Here's what Rāwiri is jamming to this month...
Drake - Massive
90's house was not what people thought Drake would be serving in 2022. Still, when you've engaged with almost every aspect of pop music in the past 20 years, it makes sense to look to the past for inspiration.
And inspired it certainly is, with a thudding piano beat and ECG machine beep pairing setting the scene for an interesting and evocative five minutes of rave realness.
Hardly concerned about alienating his more hip-hop audience, Drake's self assuredness on this, the lead single from Honestly, Nevermind, helps keep the song on track. It might be a little hyperbolic to name it Massive, but it's big in a way Drake hasn't been before.
Monica ft. Ty Dolla $ign - Friends
Back in 2020's early Versus lockdown reign, Monica teased a new album of R&B that was led by Trenches, a solid effort firmly in the vein of Mo's back catalogue. That album still hasn't materialised and out of nowhere, her first new song in 2 years has dropped.
The gorgeous singer's southern roots are hinted at with the song's country-leaning guitar strums and the lyricism further suggests more in this direction. "I love ya darling," she sings in the song's refrain, "and there's nothin' they can do about it." And that's on periodt.
Both Monica and Ty Dolla $ign make the time to add their unique and impressively realised vocal flourishes, and alongside its striking music video, here's hoping Friends builds the momentum needed for an album drop soon.
Beyoncè - Break My Soul
Dropping ahead of her upcoming 7th solo album, Queen Bey's lead single from Renaissance is a creative left turn, and one that paves the way for a potential new audience.
The ideal soundtrack to the final season of Pose, and taking inspiration from soul and house records of the 90s, it is impossible to deny the uplifting message of the song.
Plus, when delivered with such enthusiastic reverie by a clearly empowered Ms. Carter, the track's unique charm will hopefully soundtrack a whole new generation of self-secure women.
Diddy ft. Bryson Tiller - Gotta Move On
Back in 2006, Diddy dropped an album so vastly different in sound to his Bad Boy era that some questioned his sanity. But genius be like that, and despite middling sales, it contained some of the most inspired mainstream hip-hop of the early century.
Fast-forward to 2022 and once again, Sean Combs proves that when he wants to, he's capable of subverting expectation while dropping some hot music.
The only confusion here is the media mogul's decision to play second fiddle on his own song, because, despite a few of his own few rhymes, Gotta Move On feels like it belongs to Tiller, selling every heartbroken line with seasoned and sincere honesty.
Chloe - Surprise
Continuing her sultry grown folk vibe, Chloe's latest release is a late night groove made for lovers, or lovers-to-be.
Where Have Mercy demanded immediate attention with it's swinging hook, Surprise is an altogether more seductive affair. On it she teases and purrs throughout, hypnotising the listener with her soulful pleas for affection.
What's most impressive about Chloe's latest song is the variation in vocal work. Whether she's spitting rhymes up the front, giving rhythmic tones on the hook or playing catch with the harmony lines in falsetto, she showcases different facets of her voice in a while that it is quite stunning and yes, maybe a little surprising, too.
Chris Brown ft. Wiz Kid - Call Me Every Day
Hooking up with Wiz Kid on this Caribbean-inspired midtempo, Chris Brown opts for a mellow vibe ahead of the release of his 8th album BREEZY.
Chris has questioned the apparent lukewarm reception to his latest album and based on the single choices so far it seems less a point of quality and more a choice of statement. Call Me Every Day is a solid groove; it's just lowkey, a term not often attributed to the R&B superstar.
It's only a brief two-and-a-half minutes with a fifth of that dedicated to a cool sax riff, and by sharing the vocal duties its likely that fans simply wanted more Chris Brown on this Chris Brown record.
Check out all of this month's tracks on the RāViewz Spotify playlist!