Friday Music Guide: Normani, Tommy Richman, Luke Combs, Don Toliver & More

Billboard’s Friday Music Guide serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond. 

This week, Normani’s debut album is at long last with us, as are new sets from Don Toliver and NxWorries, and a new Father’s Day-ready LP from Luke Combs. Check out all of this week’s picks below.

Normani, Dopamine

That’s right, everyone: We made it to Normani release week. After years of teases, delays and false starts, the 5H alum’s impossibly long awaited solo debut album Dopamine is finally here. The 13-track affair, featuring pre-release singles like the Cardi B teamup “Wild Side” and “1:59” with Gunna, is an impressively tight affair, with its biggest thrills including the Slim Thug sample (via Mike Jones’ “Still Tippin’”) on “Still,” the shredding guitar solo late in “Insomnia,” the skipping house beat on “Take My Time” and of course the Billboard shoutout on the album-opening “Big Boy.” Only her longtime fans can really determine whether the set was worth the wait, but it’s a welcome listen this Friday regardless.

Tommy Richman, “Devil Is a Lie”

If you’ve finally gotten your fill of breakthrough hit “Million Dollar Baby” — unlikely, given how the song is still hanging around the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 — breakout singer-rapper Tommy Richman is back this week with its follow-up. “Devil Is a Lie” is intoxicating in many of the same ways “Baby” was, with his buttery falsetto floating over clean, throwback-tinged trap-n-B beats, and a chorus hook (“I’m not no Travis, baby, not no Chase B/ I work too hard, can you f–kin’ pay me?”) that should do big business on TikTok. We’ll see whether it’s enough to disqualify Richman from one-hit wonder status in his first post-“Million” try, but it certainly sounds like another potential smash.

Luke Combs, Fathers and Sons

Happy Father’s Day from Luke Combs! The country superstar announced his new album, Fathers and Sons, just a week ago, planning it for release just before the patriarch-celebrating holiday. The album, which was previewed last Friday (June 7) by the advance single “The Man He Sees in Me,” is a predictably emotional and heartfelt set of tributes to his two sons Tex Lawrence Combs and Beau Lee Combs, as well as to his own father, Chester Combs. Touching (and occasionally tear-jerking) stuff, of course — though some of us who prefer the less-sentimental version of Combs may stick to his booming Twisters: The Album soundtrack hit “Ain’t No Love in Oklahoma” when building our summer playlists.

Don Toliver, Hardstone Psycho

The Cactus Jack lieutenant is back with his fourth studio album of booming trap beats and piercing R&B vocals. Don Toliver‘s Hardstone Psycho is divided into four sections of four tracks each, and features the advance singles (and Billboard Hot 100 hits) “Bandit” and “Attitude” (featuring Charlie Wilson, Cash Cobain and a clever sample of Pharrell’s hook from Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful”). Additional guests include Future and Metro Boomin on “Purple Rain,” label boss Travis Scott on “Ice Age” and Kodak Black on album highlight “Brother Stone,” while other inspired samples include a pitched-up Whitney Houston singing “Exhale (Shoop, Shoop)” on “Glock.”

Pharrell, “Double Life”

Pharrell plus the Despicable Me franchise always equals pure pop soundtrack gold, right? Maybe, though this new entry from the upcoming Despicable Me 4 film probably doesn’t quite sound like what you’d expect: “Double Life” rides a grungy guitar riff, sharp chorus harmonies and an action-packed bridge to maybe the most dramatically high-stakes Pharrell soundtrack single yet. “It doesn’t matter to you if you get heads or tails/ You just don’t like the flip all the time,” a double-tracked P belts on the chorus, sounding more like he’s trying to match “One Night in Bangkok” than “Happy.”

NxWorries, Why Lawd?

Yes, it’s the return of the other superduo featuring R&B critics’ darling Anderson .Paak. We haven’t gotten a full-length project from NxWorries, which pairs .Paak with underground favorite hip-hop producer Knxwledge, since 2016 — with .Paak also experiencing pop stardom in the interim as half of Silk Sonic with Bruno Mars. The new project Why Lawd? might not experience that level of chart-topping success, but it should be a joy for longtime fans of the producer and singer-songwriter — with its 19 tracks of chill grooves also soundtrack from big names like H.E.R., Earl Sweatshirt, Snoop Dogg and of course R&B legend Charlie Wilson, who appears to be absolutely everywhere in 2024.