R&B/Hip-Hop Fresh Picks of the Week: IDK & Gunna, Bay Swag, THEY. & More

The summer of “Not Like Us” is in full swing. It’s been less than a week since Kendrick Lamar broke the internet with his Pop Out concert — featuring Mustard, YG, 310babbii, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, DeMar DeRozan, Russell Westbrook and more — where he turned his victory lap into an historic moment of West Coast unification. After opening the show with his blistering “Euphoria” diss, the superstar tore through a set list of hits like “DNA,” “King’s Dead” and “Alright.” To close out the show, Kendrick — alongside friends from every corner of the West Coast — performed his Billboard Hot 100-topping “Not Like Us” a whopping five times in a row.

With major albums from Megan Thee Stallion, James Blake & Lil Yachty and Lucky Daye due later this week (June 28) and the BET Awards on Sunday (June 30), the hip-hop and R&B worlds have much to look forward to. In the meantime, there’s still the weekly onslaught of new music to sort through — from GloRilla’s highly anticipated “TGIF” to Brandy and Monica’s gorgeous remix of Ariana Grande’s “The Boy Is Mine.”

With Fresh PicksBillboard aims to highlight some of the best and most interesting new sounds across R&B and hip-hop — from IDK and Gunna’s new team-up to The 80s’ new collaboration with Snoh Aalegra. Be sure to check out this week’s Fresh Picks in our Spotify playlist below.

IDK & Gunna, “TIFFANY”

A viral snippet that goes on to live up to the hype is a rarity nowadays, but IDK and Gunna defied the odds with “TIFFANY,” their first-ever team-up. Gunna is a guest on the DMV native’s single but feels right at home with his close friend Turbo helming the twitchy production. The chemistry is apparent, as they join forces for a silky chorus name-dropping the designer brands filling their wardrobes. With a luxe visual shot in Paris, it’s fitting the track dropped in the midst of Paris Fashion Week. IDK lets it be known he’s been grinding for a decade to get to this point, and refers to himself as reliable children’s cartoon character Bob the Builder. “TIFFANY” follows IDK’s Joey Bada$$-assisted “Denim,” and he’s drummed up some momentum heading into his album later this year.

Adrian Marcel, “Lovin Me”

Rising R&B singer Adrian Marcel offers up a delectable slice of warm, inviting R&B vibes on his new single, “Lovin Me.” With his soulful falsetto and pristine layering coloring the drum-heavy jazz-inflected soundscape of Bay Area R&B, Marcel crafts a track that grapples with the lingering feelings of apprehension that remain in even the longest of relationships. “Through all your sacrifice, you stood by my side/ But still, I can’t help wondering/ If you’re still in love with me,” he ponders over the Sonny B-produced track, co-written with Ryn Nicole. Playing on the doe-eyed balminess of classic soul and R&B, “Lovin Me” is a sweet addition to the soundtrack for a hazy summer evening.

2Rare, “Congratulationz”

2Rare has a lot to be thankful about these days. He’s sharing the love and the timing is perfect for his “Congratulationz” single, which serves as a celebratory anthem for every graduating class across the country. The triumphant tune is a refreshing change of pace compared to previous releases for the Philly native, as he toasts to leveling up in life and thanks his parents and God for being there every step of the way. “Give it up for us one time,” he urges listeners, with help from a children’s choir to further drive home the familial aspect. It’s not going to reach the heights of Quavo and Post Malone’s diamond single of the same name, but 2Rare’s positivity is a welcome sound.

THEY., “Diamonds And Pearls”

“Be my addiction, material girl/ Wrapped ’round my finger like diamonds and pearls/ Hit all your buttons with no strings attached/ Make you wanna run it back,” Drew Love sings at the beginning of “Diamond And Pearls,” a Prince-nodding, City High name-checking ode to the sensuous heat of the chase. After previewing the song last year, the acclaimed R&B duo presents a full song that leans into its hip hop-soul and neo-soul influences, while employing a sing-rap cadence in the verses that feels decidedly contemporary. Embracing all aspects of the chase — sex, liquor, material wealth — “Diamonds And Pearls” is the kind of infectious R&B jam that makes even the slimiest concepts feel alluring.

Bay Swag, “Worldwide Sniper”

It’s a Slizzy Summer in NYC, and Bay Swag, alongside his “Fisherrr” collaborator Cash Cobain, are the driving forces behind the sexy drill movement sweeping the Big Apple rap scene. The Queens native gives his rendition of DMX’s “What These B—–s Want” anthem, as Bay runs through various women in his lineup, like an H-Town fling who used to date NBA star James Harden or a nurse from Brooklyn that he passed to Fivio Foreign. With Cash helming the ominous production, the 24-year-old is crossing state lines to live up to his “Worldwide Sniper” reputation. If you let Bay Swag tell it, he says the track is “a shout-out to all the baddies worldwide who bring that energy wherever they go.” 

The 80s & Snoh Aalegra, “Blue”

Last Friday (June 21), The 80s — comprised of James Fauntleroy & No I.D. and formerly known as Cocaine 80s — released the 2024 remaster of their Pursuit EP, the first in a series of defining Blog Era projects. With three-time Grammy nominee Snoh Aalegra offering her first musical release of 2024 via a new verse on “Blue,” the moody album closer emerges as one of the set’s most rewarding listens. Her ethereal tone blends beautifully with Fauntleroy’s tender falsetto — grounded by endless layers of backing harmonies — making for the perfect vocal complement to the dramatic piano line that anchors No I.D.’s sparse production. “And all I ever wanted was your love/ Damn, I would pull the sun down/ Just because you’re all I wanted,” they coo.