Check out this week’s must-hear releases.
The crucial music that everyone will be talking about today and that will rule playlists this weekend
This week, Nicki Minaj releases an eye-catching visual, Lil Baby offers us another confessional smash, and Romeo Santos cements his legend. See below for a list of all this week’s First Stream picks:
Romeo Santos‘ legacy will always include a significant amount of bachata; throughout the course of his solo career, the Aventura star pushed the genre to new sonic and commercial heights.
On his expansive new album, Fórmula Vol. 3, Romeo Santo acknowledges this significance by focusing most of its 21 songs on the genre he has made his own. But Santos is also not content to keep inventing his own wheel, so Fórmula Vol. 3 makes nods to the meringue (“15,500 Noches,” with a number of the genre’s luminaries), flamenco (“El Paulo,” with current torch-bearer Rosala), and tropical music (“Sexo Con Ropa.”). It also makes room for a Justin Timberlake-assisted pop crossover, “Sin Fin,” which might
Romeo Santos’ “Formula Vol. 3” is his first album since “Utopia” in 2019 and the first in the “Formula” series since “Vol. 2” from 2014, which is still active on Billboard’s Top Latin Albums chart. With “Vol. 1,” Santos began his solo career in 2012, bringing a bachata and R&B fusion to American radio and other countries. Prior albums featured Usher, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and others as guests.
Prior to the release of “Vol. 3,” Romeo Santos collaborated with Spotify to talk about the collaborative and genre-defying “recipe” that went into his latest album. Santos said on the platform, “I wasn’t aware of the duty of ‘Hey, make sure you get someone to sing bachata that no one anticipates,’ with ‘Formula Vol. 1’ and ‘Vol. “I’d say it’s definitely a crucial aspect, and in this album that would undoubtedly be JT,” the speaker said.
Additionally, today sees the debut of the “Sin Fin” music video, which was shot in Los Angeles and directed by Emil Nava and features Justin Timberlake and Mariah Santos demonstrating their best dancing moves to the beat of the pop-bachata.
‘Formula Vol. 3’ Tracklist:
- Intro (feat Katt Williams, My Kids)
- Sexo Con Ropa
- El Pañuelo (feat Rosalía)
- 15,500 Noches (Toño Rosario, Rubby Perez ft. Fernandito Villalona)
- Sin Fin (feat Justin Timberlake)
- Solo Conmigo
- Sus Huellas
- SIRI (feat. Chris Lebron)
- Me Extraño (feat. Christian Nodal)
- Culpable (feat El Lápiz Consciente)
- La Ultima Vez
While the world waits for the official follow-up to his breakout project My Turn, Lil Baby has kept himself busy this year. His solo songs “Right On,” “In a Minute,” and “Frozen” have all recently become Hot 100 hits, and he has also worked with other artists on tracks like “U-Digg” (featuring 42 Dugg and Veeze) and “Never Sleep” (featuring Nav and Travis Scott), both of which have also achieved chart success.
One of Baby’s more successful recent efforts, “Detox,” may very well follow in its footsteps. Baby’s restless, unrelenting flow on the single evokes some of My Turn’s most moving passages, as Baby’s voice cracks over recollections of poisoned loves and unfulfilling material possessions.
The new music video for Nicki Minaj’s No. 1 hit song “Super Freaky Girl” has already won over the Barbz, and it’s easy to see why. In the video, the rap icon transforms into a Barbie girl in a Barbie universe, fusing the sexual innuendos of the song with a vividly colorful fantasy full of sight gags. Minaj usually turns the premiere of a large music video into a big event since she has a gift for physical humor and is one of the most expressive faces in contemporary music. This anticipated visual does not let her down.
Ari Lennox’s surprise EP previewing her sophomore album age/sex/location raises our enthusiasm for it even higher. Her voice is just as powerful as it was on her 2019 debut, Shea Butter Baby, but her songwriting and production choices are far more forward-thinking. The lavish Summer Walker collaboration “Queen Space” is obviously Away Message’s high point, but don’t overlook “Gummy,” an ultra-smooth clap-along with one of Lennox’s funkiest vocal performances to date.