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Inside Beat

Here are this month's highlights in music

Aside from Silk Sonic's iconic debut, Drake released his chart-topping EP "Scary Hours 2" earlier this month, making this March a great time for new music.  – Photo by Champagnepapi / Instagram

The past few weeks have seen song releases from some of music’s most prominent artists, and filtering through the amount of music that comes out on a daily basis can be a daunting task.

Music heavyweights like Drake and Bruno Mars recently put out songs that have excited their fanbases and established their album rollouts, but relative newcomers like Baby Keem and Phoebe Bridgers are also creating their own identity with their releases and musical styles.

Here are this month's highlights:

“Scary Hours 2” by Drake

Drake’s “Scary Hours 2” album feels like a Drake we've not seen in years. “What’s Next” features a prominent synth sample, and Drake flows on this track with both confidence and braggadocio. He can morph his style to whatever he is feeling at the time, and this confidence and dominance over his peers is both accurate and something his fans love to see from him.

He raps, "Yeah, I got one, Virgil [Abloh] got one, and that there is the only two." This is a reference to his Patek Philippe watch, of which there are only two in the world. In fact, only Abloh, the founder of the fashion brand Off-White, and Drake have a pair.

Quotables like this are sprinkled throughout the project and are Drake’s bread and butter stylistically, and over time, his status and career become more inspiring to witness.

"Leave The Door Open" by Silk Sonic

Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak have teamed up to form the musical group Silk Sonic, and their song, “Leave The Door Open,” is a beautiful mix of modern neo-soul and '70s funk.

The music video’s color grading uses brown tones to give it a muted and funk-inspired look, and the energy of the song is relaxed and perfectly polished.

Meanwhile, Mars’ singing fits snugly with .Paak's rap-singing blend, and the use of strings and a xylophone give the song a grand and otherworldly feel. Roy Ayers’ xylophone work and Parliament-Funkadelic are clear inspirations behind this track, and Silk Sonic's Grammy performance of this track only added to the etherealness and grandness of this song. 

"no sense" by Baby Keem

Baby Keem has been a prominent and unique voice in rap since the release of his 2019 hit song, “ORANGE SODA.” His rapping style features a distinct lack of autotune, and his natural voice and flows are enough to make his songs interesting and energetic.

His latest release, “no sense,” features minimal percussion and a prominent string sample that follows Baby Keem’s flow and wordplay. In the song, he sings, “Why're you showin' off because you with your friends, dawg? / Don’t be showin’ out when you with your friends, dawg.” While this song is not as high-energy as those on his last album, it proves that Keem can switch up his style whenever he sees fit.

Spotify Single Release "Kyoto" and "Summer's End" by Phoebe Bridgers

Bridgers' Spotify singles reconstruct her hit 2020 track “Kyoto” and features an acoustic collaboration with singer Jackson Browne, while "Summer's End” is a cover of the original track by John Prine.

Bridgers is well-known for her acoustic and relaxed songwriting and delivery, and these new releases are inspired by the songs of Bob Dylan and The Beatles. But while she takes different stylistic inspirations from genres like country and indie-rock, she doesn't truly fit neatly into one categorization. Both songs use the acoustic guitar as a driving force, and Bridgers feels snugly in her element as the song progresses and the instrumentation swells around her.

The past few weeks have featured important releases from artists of all different genres. Drake’s “Scary Hours 2” will hold his fans over until the release of his next studio album, and watching his career progress through the years feels both gratifying and inspiring.

Meanwhile, Silk Sonic has repackaged neo-soul with two incredible artists, and Baby Keem and Phoebe Bridgers are creating their own lane artistically with their releases and collaborations. The future of music is constantly evolving, and we can only anticipate what highlights will be released in the weeks to come.

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