Here's what Rāwiri is jamming to this month...
Buddy ft. T-Pain - Happy Hour
Featuring one of the most prominent G Funk basslines in recent memory, Buddy's Happy Hour is a hell of an anthem-in-the-making. Proudly representing the West Coast, the talented rapper/singer borrows vibes from fellow Comptonite Kendrick Lamar on this, the latest from his 2022 album Superghetto.
With replay factor cranked way up, we're gonna be running down the chorus's drink order before too long: Henny sour, margarita, tequila soda, gin and tonic. It is, as the man says, a faded song, not a sad song!
The atmosphere is laidback, slick and seductive - even when T-Pain's vocal histrionics come out to play in the song's second verse at double-speed - and it has all the ingredients to soundtrack the next block party, BBQ or birthday bash.
John Legend ft. JID - Dope
Another of R&B's most enduring voices of this century, John Legend is back with another up-tempo hit that melds old school Motown sensibility with modern hip-hop flourishes - not to mention, a healthy guide track in his own 2006 hit Stereo.
On Dope, a determined dancefloor filler crackling with energy, John describes the addictive quality of his late night lover, claiming to be her dope fiend. The song's breezy refrain centres around the singer's expertly crafted harmonies, which swirl around a simple 'she's do dope' lyric.
Along for the ride is Spillage Village rapper JID, a perfect match for the track's bouncy spirit. Building on Dope's drug analogy and dropping in some smile-crafting sex references for good measure, his delivery is on point.
Muni Long - Pain
With her smash hit Hrs And Hrs still ruling the airwaves, Muni Long comes out swinging with a brand new song from an as-yet-untitled project.
As far from the slinky seduction of Hrs as you can get, here on Pain the songstress contemplates a bitter breakup and the wish for her ex to feel as badly as she does. "That's that pain, I hope you cry, I hope it cross your mind at least one day," she proclaims as her agile vocal wraps around the melody line.
Cool, catchy and hashtag relatable content, it's another one in the bag for the talented singer/songwriter.
Xavier Omär - Feelings 4 You
A San Antonio native, singer Xavier Omär has built a solid following largely in part because of his vast array of musical influences and refusal to conform to one style or sound.
With a laid back drum beat and the sort of instrumental piano and electric guitar flourishes you'd expect on a song by D'Angelo, Omär has crafted a moving ode to unrequited love. "I know we're friends, if that's all you want, that's all I'll give... I've still got feelings for you."
It might come to personify being Friends Zone'd, but with a compelling vocal from the talented artist, Feelings 4 You is a worthy repeat listen.
Summer Walker, SZA & Cardi B - No Love
No Love was a highlight from Summer Walker's Still Over It album when it dropped last year, but the recently released extended version featuring a singing Cardi B takes the song to high levels.
Having come out of a relationship worse off than her ex, Summer and support sister SZA ruminate on how they'd play the hand differently if they did it all over again - namely, by using the man's approach: physical intimacy; no emotions.
"All I wanna do is fuck, get drunk, take drugs... hop planes" the two sing in the midtempo's catchy hook. The blended vocal work of both singers is a pleasure to the ears, and alongside Cardi B's inspired verse, makes for an intriguing, inspired listen.
Ne-Yo - Don't Love Me
Ne-Yo's career has been built on a foundation of everlasting platitudes and assurances of security. In a refreshing move for the R&B singer, his latest record sees him asserting his inadequacy as a suitable partner.
"And I really wanna see you happy," he begins over a wistful guitar line, "I know you don't feel that with me anymore."
Taken from his upcoming 8th album Self Explanatory, this is Grown Man R&B that revels in a kind of maturation rarely seen these days. Even better, Ne-Yo sells every single falsetto-rinsed note of it with conviction.
Check out all of this month's tracks on the RāViewz Spotify playlist!