Heat Control Roundup: Baby Rose, RAP Ferreira, Arima Ederra and More

The Heat Check playlist is your source for new music from the world of hip-hop and R&B with a focus on hot, unknown and under-the-radar artists. Who has a warm hand? Who is on the run? It’s a menagerie of remarkable songs curated by NPR Music enthusiasts.

This week’s Heat Check selection features grounded wordsmiths, up-and-coming Los Angeles-based singers, self-tuned misfits, and self-care songs. A rap thinker flexes his muscles, another ponders his stereo past, an unlikely but welcome soulful collaboration pays off, a group of nu-trap impersonators try to replicate a singular star and more. Stream the playlist on Spotify. Registration.


Baby Rose, “Fight Club” (with Georgia Anne Muldrow)

On Baby Rose’s latest single, in collaboration with fluid experimenter Georgia Anne Muldrow, the vintage singer embarks on a new journey. Propelled by an out of tune piano, a tambourine and a percussive and pulsating bass, “Fight Club” invites us to abandon comfort, to take the risk. “I wanna run towards my fears until I’m scared no more,” Rose sings on the chorus, to which Muldrow responds, “Catch a blast of cool air to ride.” Muldrow plays a catalyst role here in a collaboration that I didn’t know I needed. —Ashley Pointer


RAP Ferreira, “ours”

Few rappers seem to like rap as much as RAP Ferreira. The artist formerly known as milo is such a meticulous writer that his rhymes exude care, but he’s also an allusive writer who constantly thinks about other thinkers, the ideas they might bring to notions. of rhythm and symmetry and lyricism, the lessons their work could imprint on his – and anyone else’s. “ours” is a prime example of study becoming a craft, the 10,000 hours manifesting. Over a wobbly-sounding piano mash, courtesy of Rose Noir, Ferreira plays with the looseness of someone relying on muscle memory. “The most disastrous motive, wrote this letter to the pacifist poets / In my bag is an understatement / Retract it, I stand ready to burn like a match / Cowboy soaked in blood, until my last box of Altoids / They’ll say this was a stream of consciousness / I was just a being, to be honest,” he raps. Even if you don’t know he’s one of the greats, he sure does. —Sheldon Pearce


Arima Ederra, “A day of orange color”

Las Vegas-raised, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Arima Ederra creates smooth, upbeat, folk-tinged soul music that nods to influences like Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley. The title track from his new album, An Day of orange color, displays his propensity to make serious things light. She practices a weightless form of R&B that simmers in the ether like incense, and here her voice seems to let the sung lines spiral until they dissolve. Its harmonies give the song an intangibility, as it sings of angels and paradise. About a minute later, the song erupts into a barrage of quivering drums. They retreat, then come back. But throughout the ebb and flow, her singing remains unwaveringly subtle and elusive. —Sheldon Pearce


Ruti, “Safe & Sound”

In a post-lockdown world, moving quickly to make up for lost time can actually be more exhausting than redeeming. Ruti embellishes this blabla on “Safe & Sound”. With scraped UKG percussion and a wailing saxophone in the background, Ruti’s vocals ring so clearly that she is able to hit a sweet spot, leaving the listener both grounded and uplifted. This is a slow recorder with more to discover with each listen. —Sidney Madden


Joyce Wrice, “Spent”

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If you haven’t yet heard of recent Tiny Desk guest Joyce Wrice, there’s still time to embrace her soulful music, which has taken a more dynamic turn lately, and bask in its richness. She performed several stars of her new EP, Pattern, during a jaw-dropping set, including the Kaytranada-produced “Iced Tea” and the lush “Bittersweet Goodbyes,” but another cut to visit is the Afropop-influenced jam “Spent,” which opens up to her to put more showcasing the range and agility of her bubbly voice. “All the time we went by too quickly,” she sings, with the exasperation of a woman running out of patience. —Sheldon Pearce


ssgkobe, onlybino, xhulooo, spgwes, pourz, “patek”
parczy, “launch it!” (ft.ilymax and xravvvenx)
brentsrevenge, “SRT!”

With all the talk of rap’s waning dominance lately — an overreaction to a slight drop in a few streaming metrics — it might be odd to see the exact opposite curve playing out elsewhere. There is a group of obvious rap stars existing beyond the confines of popular culture, connecting directly with their audiences while everyone ignores them, and none of these figures is more prevalent online this year than Yeat. . Just spend 20 minutes letting things play automatically on SoundCloud and you’ll start to feel its influence. These three songs are deeply indebted to him in one way or another. Half of the rappers in the “patek” group seem to mimic Yeat’s mummified flows and vocals. The nascar and qwentcrazy production on “run it up!” evokes the work of beatmakers like Trgc. Even “SRT!” plays in the same blurry, darkened aesthetic, which seems to erase the songs of any distinctive or defining features. They all have their individual charms, but they can only come close to Yeat’s particular appeal. —Sheldon Pearce


KIRBY, “Take Care” (ft. Dave Guy)

The volume of “self-care songs” has certainly increased since the dark ages of the pandemic, but KIRBY’s new single “Take Care” still manages to meet the moment. There’s plenty to think about in this transportative neo-soul soundscape, produced by and featuring trumpeter Dave Guy. Community sounds from the outside – children playing, banter from neighboring families and friends – provide a nostalgic foundation for a pocketed drum groove, dynamic bass line, soulful, muted horns and own smoky vocals KIRBY’s Badu: “This load is way too heavy to carry on your own / Take care of mama,” she sings, her voice wispy but unmistakable. “Know you gotta / Take care of my brother / You gotta / Take care and hustle / But please take care of yourself.” —Ashley Pointer


Open Mike Eagle, “Circuit City” (ft. Still Rift and Video Dave)

LA-via-Chicago Open rapper Mike Eagle looks back for inspiration in the future on “circuit city”, referencing the now-shuttered chain of electronic supermarkets. The Madlib-produced song engulfs you in a smooth, rock-tinged instrumental, as Eagle playfully raps, “I’m a brand new man doing the same dance / It only seems confusing ’cause I switched my trousers.” His longtime collaborators continue to drop out, and Video Dave churns out verses nonstop, pushing a steady stream over a steady, punchy beat. The song is just a flashback to Eagle’s latest project, component system with automatic inversion, where it’s at its reflective best – traveling to the age of clunky stereos, booming ’90s beats and reminiscing about its own past, reminding us to have fun while we’re at it. —Teresa Xie


Exotix, “Ton1ght” (Remix) (ft. j4M and Luvdes)

Singing Atlanta rapper Exotix likes to layer monotonous, self-tuned flows over beats that lightly shimmer and shimmer. He often sounds zoned out in his songs, as if dozing off under the soft hum of a night light. “Tonight,” his best-performing track to date, has the feel of a sleeping cradle sped up by up to 1.5x. Even moving in tandem with like-minded rapper j4M, the cut somehow unfolds, pleasingly unassuming. A new remix elevates it to something more than a sparkling ball. The new version adds extensive vocal tracks from Luvdes, which not only bring texture but also tone to an otherwise colorless affair. Even in the few moments when her voice is unsteady or cracks slightly, she’s still arousing because she’s looking for something dramatic. —Sheldon Pearce

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