Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, and More Best New Music Friday


Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion dropping fantastical music video art in the same week? That’s a good week.

Cardi’s new single “Up” and Megan’s collaboration with DaBaby, “Cry Baby” are just two of the most interesting, catchy videos released this week. Elsewhere, we have new music from Victoria Monét, VanJess, Lucky Daye and Tiana Major9, and so many more. Start adding to your playlists accordingly.

Below, check out our picks for this week’s Best New Music Friday.

Cardi B, “Up”

Cardi B’s “Up” is her first solo release in a while, and the music video is a force to be reckoned with. “Up” flashes from rich, detailed image to rich, detailed image before you can even make out what’s happening. She splays inside a massive seashell with a group of women, trading tongue kisses; she dances atop a grave in her best mourning wear; she has a wig made of echoing doll heads (the ultimate chorus line). The refrain of the song is straightforward and catchy, a play on something she heard Offset say, per Genius: “If it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s stuck.”

Lucky Daye feat. Tiana Major9, “On Read”

The strum of a guitar and chat bubble sound effects introduce this smooth R&B song about being left “On Read.” Lucky Daye teams up with British singer Tiana Major for this jam, themed around the concept of waiting on someone to give you attention. Those of us who have ever been ghosted will highly relate to this track. 

VanJess, Homegrown

VanJess has a new EP that, for fans, is a mix of recognizable tracks like the Kaytranada produced “Dysfunctional” and new jams like “Caught Up” with Phony PPL. The sisters are serving their usual blend of 90s R&B vocals with modern, electric beats. 

Brandy Haze, Silhouette 

Need someone new to add to your “Good Vibes” mix? Look no further than Brandy Haze. The singer dropped Silhouette today with four tracks about the complexities of dating, love, and life. Our fave song: “Could Be,” about the possibilities with a new boo.

Victoria Monét, “F.U.C.K.”

Victoria Monét is incapable of making a bad song. Her newest, the bluntly titled “F.U.C.K.,” turns the descriptive word into an acronym for “friend you can keep,” itself a play on what Britney did with “If You Seek Amy.” Playing with vocal tone and sparse, eerie production, Victoria recalls a friendship with some benefits, a friendship that’s worth keeping around even after the physical intimacy fades.

Aaron Lee Tasjan, “Got What I Wanted”

Storied singer-songwriter and guitarist Aaron Lee Tasjan is back with a new album, his first since 2018. Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! is irresistible indie pop-rock through a plaintive lens. Album closer “Got What I Wanted” is an especially memorable Elliott Smith-influenced woozy pop song, weird and hazy with lyrics that ponder: “But I got what I wanted/Never knew it would feel just a little too real.”

BIG Naughty feat. 원슈타인 & prod. PEEJAY, “Girl At the Coffee Shop”

17-year-old Korean hip-hop artist BIG Naughty’s new song tells a story as old as time: seeing a cute person at the coffee shop and fantasizing about asking them out. Mildly cheesy coffee metaphors abound, but the smooth guitars and jazz-infused R&B give the song an Anderson .Paak vibe, with BIG Naughty’s own early aesthetic shining through: a mix of playful and chill.

Megan Thee Stallion feat. DaBaby, “Cry Baby”

The music video for “Cry Baby” is a Toy Story fever dream, in which Megan Thee Stallion moves into an elaborate dollhouse and collaborator DaBaby stands inside a Hot Wheels racetrack loop, conjuring up all kinds of nostalgia. “Cry Baby” is dreamy pop art, only magnifying the delicious taunting vibe of the song, and we need Meg to direct a Toy Story sequel ASAP.

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