Even in a week loaded with high-profile singles and albums, one song stands out: Pharrell and Jay-Z’s moving ode to Black entrepreneurship, “Entrepreneur,” which is part of an issue of Time magazine dedicated to the subject called “The New American Revolution” and curated by Pharrell. Check out our earlier coverage of the song here and the magazine here.
We also previously highlighted “Dynamite,” the blockbuster new single by BTS; the return of Phoenix, whose first new song in three years, “Identical,” is featured in the forthcoming Bill Murray-starring film by Sofia Coppola, “On the Rocks,” and albums by The Killers and Bright Eyes which, if 2020 hasn’t already made you feel old enough, are currently trending on Twitter as “New releases from The Killers and Bright Eyes have millennials feeling like they’re stuck in a time warp.” As one might have said 20 years ago, “LE SIGH!”
And with that, here are five more hot songs from this week:
Maluma “Parce” (featuring Justin Quiles) With all the craziness going on in the world, this song is like a nice warm bath, with a gently loping reggaeton beat and soft guitar accompanying an intimate vocal from this stellar Colombian singer (and Variety Power of Young Hollywood cover star)’s just released new album, “Papi Juancho.”
Aluna “Envious” Anyone jonesing for a fresh dose of 2020 disco (as purveyed by Dua Lipa, Jessie Ware and Lady Gaga) need look no further than this hot solo effort from the singer of the long-running London duo AlunaGeorge, which is on hiatus at the moment. The song is a tantalizing preview from “Renaissance,” her forthcoming solo album on Diplo’s Mad Decent records, out next week.
Nas “Spicy” (featuring Fivio Foreign and A$AP Ferg) Twenty six years on from the un-toppable “Illmatic,” this Queensbridge living legend is still bringing heat, accompanied here by a plinking old-school sample and commanding guest verses from fellow New Yorkers Fivio Foreign and A$AP Ferg.
Amber Mark “Thong Song” We prefer not to put covers in the Fri 5, but there’s no denying the invention this rising young R&B singer has brought to Sisqo’s turn-of-the-century, er, classic, which closes out her lockdown-themed “Covered-19” series (which, despite its title, has two originals and three covers), all recorded at her NYC apartment. She completely overhauls the song’s arrangement, bringing a hazy but driving treatment with a Latin rhythm and a deft key change at the end, dispensing with nearly all of the original’s undeniable silliness (at least, until the “Livin’ la Vida Loca” reference comes up) …
Tate McRae “Don’t Be Sad” With a Lorde-like vocal pout, this 17-year-old Canadian delivers this song’s sultry melody and spiraling chorus over a slinky trap beat — she wrote the song with Larzz Principato (Dua Lipa, Halsey) and Jeremy Dussolliet (Anthony Ramos), and their previous work shines through without distracting from this “So You Think You Can Dance” alum’s talent.