New Music Friday: 6/19/20

This year, Juneteenth is both a reminder of necessary change and a celebration of the newfound collective social consciousness of racial injustice and historic inequality and brutality. In honor of this year’s celebration, this week’s picks celebrate people of color and the art they’ve created for the occasion.

Single(s) of the Week:

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“Lockdown,” Aftermath Entertainment

“Lockdown” – Anderson .Paak

Anderson .Paak’s ability to shape piercing lyrics around a foot tapping groove is what makes him so incredible. In “Lockdown,” his lyricism instantly captivates while the backing production forces the listener to move with the beat. Discussing the ongoing movement, “Lockdown” is an excellent statement of protest, expertly executed.

For fans of: J. Cole, 6LACK, Mac Miller 


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“My People,” Virgin EMI Records

“My People” – Amber Mark

Borrowing the aesthetics of her immaculate 3:33am, Amber Mark’s cover of Eddie Kendricks’ “My People” is an emotionally resonant, hopeful piece surrounding the Black Live Matter movement. Speaking directly to her community, Mark bears her soul and offers a piece of hope, the refrain exclaiming “My people! Hold on.”

For fans of: Snoh Alegra, Kendrick Lamar, Beyoncé



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“Experience,” Tribe Records

“Experience (with Khalid & SG Lewis)” – Victoria Monét

Victoria Monét never sleeps. After lending her writing talents to the bulk of 2019’s biggest pop album in Ariana Grande’s thank u, next, Monét has dropped several soul pop bangers throughout the last year. Featuring Khalid and SG Lewis, Monét drops her catchiest and strongest single yet. It’s just so fucking fun.

For fans of: Ariana Grande, Normani, Chloe x Halle


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“Black Parade,” Parkwood Entertainment

“BLACK PARADE” – Beyoncé

At this point in her historic career, it would be more surprising for Beyoncé to announce a new release prior to its drop. “BLACK PARADE” is an instant success, a more rap-influenced celebration of black excellence from the queen herself. A marathon of strength, the epic song is a well timed and passionate anthem.

For fans of: Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Rihanna

Author: Kieran Sweeney

Writing about entertainment for the better part of a decade and consuming it twice as much, Kieran Sweeney is "the" pop culture aficionado. A connoisseur of the intersection of art and commercialism, the USC Annenberg graduate has earned his reputation as an empathetic and thoughtful writer. His resume includes USC's The Daily Trojan, USC Viterbi News, and personal assistance for publicity and marketing companies from Drill Down Media to This Fiction. His intersectional experience in the industry points to his wit and unfiltered thoughts on the latest project in entertainment

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