jhene aiko

Pronounced zhané (though yes, that's another band)

Jhene Aiko, “My Afternoon Dream”

This Key Wayne-produced track lays the perfect musical foundation for Jhené Aiko’s signature breathy voice. The music appropriately sounds like the middle of a dream sequence due to the prominent piano riffs and slow tempo, as Aiko sings about love being her remedy when life starts to get stressful. This week’s release of “My Afternoon Dream” keeps up with Aiko’s tradition of releasing music on her birthday (March 16). Her Def Jam debut album, Souled Out, is set to hit digital and retail outlets in May.

YG, My Krazy Life

YG is part of the new crop of Cali representers who are reestablishing hip-hop’s gangsta. The Def Jam recording artist seems to be coming from the perspective of a G who’s been there done that, yet still has tendencies. For example, he raps, “I just wanna party/I don’t wanna hurt nobody/I just wanna party/I don’t wanna hurt nobody/But I’ll beat the f**k out of a nigga” on the hook for “I Just Wanna Party,” appropriately featuring Schoolboy Q. He also tapped Kendrick Lamar, Jeezy, Rich Homie Quan and more for this musical journey that’s part N.W.A, part E-40, part Geto Boys, and all hardcore with a millennial appeal. YG’s lyrics are simple, and the beats are laced with loads of G-funk (primarily produced by DJ Mustard) as he drives his point home.   

Available at iTunes.

RELATED: SCHOOLBOY Q CRUSHES THE BUILDINGS FOR ONE NIGHT IN NYC

Prince and Zooey Deschanel, “FALLINLOVE2NITE”

The full-length version of Prince and Zooey Deschanel’s funky “FALLINLOVE2NITE” is finally here. Let’s rewind: The Purple One appeared on a Super Bowl episode of New Girl back in February, where they performed a snippet of the song at the end of the episode. But now we’ve got the entire song. It reminds you of typical party Prince circa the ’90s. The lyrically light song features the pair singing variations of “Don’t you want to fall in love tonight?” repeatedly, and the music is sure to make you move something on the dance floor. This is most likely yet another single from Prince’s forthcoming album, Plectrum Electrum, which has yet to get a release date (and we’re waiting impatiently). 

Nitty Scott, MC ft. Ab-Soul, “Apex”

It’s East meets West on Nitty Scott’s latest, “Apex.” The Brooklyn MC teamed up with Ab-Soul, from Carson, California for this low-key yet also fast-paced cerebral track about how dope they are. And they do it in a way that makes you listen repeatedly, just to make sure you don’t miss anything. Nitty raps seemingly cryptic verses like, “Little bummy/Ain’t a damn thing funny/You so poor, honey/All you have is money,” as she dares people to get on her level of mental elevation (“Hiding in my psyche/I dare you to come and find me”). This is the latest joint from Scott’s forthcoming album, The Art of Chill.

Tiffany Mynon, Love Vendor EP

Tiffany Mynon, also known as “the Angel of R&B,” is a veteran singer/songwriter who’s opened for Ginuwine and SWV, sang background for Marvin Sapp and Talib Kweli, and also penned hits for various movers and shakers in the music business. Her latest project, Love Vendor, is an EP that features a variety of love songs ranging in tempo from fast to slow. Mynon has a lovely soprano voice that shines no matter what she sings, so it’s not surprising that even when she’s doing more radio-friendly R&B with pop undertones, you can tell that she plays no games when it comes to the vocals. Each song on this EP has a throw-on-whenever quality sure to get you going for house cleaning, chilling, pre-game for a night out or whenever. It’s good vibes all around.

Available at iTunes.

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a pop culture junky who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun toting B-movie heroine, and aspires to save the world from the impending #ZombieApocolypse… In reality she’s a freelance entertainment journalist/blogger who muses about music, TV, movies and fitness. Follow her on Twitter @GangStarrGirl or at GangStarrGirl.com.