4 Best New Songs of the Week

Every week, Vulture highlights the best new music. If the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year’s best music.

Kid Cudi feat. Willow Smith, “Rose Golden”
It’s possible that Kid Cudi and Willow Smith were carved from the same neon meteor that’s making trails through the universe right now, in some galaxy far, far away. Near the middle of Cudi’s new 90-minute meditation on existential struggle and triumph, Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’, sits “Rose Golden,” a collaboration between Cudi and his cosmic child/sibling, Willow. The song opens with both artists singing together, lamenting the lack of believers they had when they were growing up (because Willow is at least 300 and we know this): “Since I was young been grooving to my own drum. Ain’t that many teachers show me my potential.” But then it transitions into an affirmation of the power of difference (“Stronger than I know, soon I’d understand the power I possess, the story of The Chosen”). Cudi continues to oscillate back and forth between melancholy and hopefulness throughout the track, rapping about fake friends in one minute and the need for all of us to love one another better in the next. Cudi has been on one hell of a journey since Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, and Passion finds him as vulnerable as he’s ever been. If you’re down to dive into his moody journal, “Rose Golden” is a true highlight, and it’s been kissed by the Princess of Transcendental Lullabies herself.Jordan Crucchiola (@JorCru)

Mick Jenkins, “Aurora Borealis”
There are few pairings I look forward to hearing from more than Mick Jenkins and Kaytranada. Once again, Kay has produced a Mick song — this one apparently for a Chicago compilation — and, as usual, it’s food for the soul. That is, if you ignore half of the subpar lyrics (“might go 9/11 when we fly low” … just, no). Mick’s pen can usually flow better than that, but his delivery is unaffected by the words rolling off his tongue. It’s a classic dude move: Disguise all your weak pickup lines with bravado and you’ll get the girl. Men don’t realize how transparent the shtick is; we just let them have their moment, offer some false hope that sparks are truly flying, then politely drop them back down to the dark reality. This song, like that whole act, is so smooth until it’s slippery. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Hau feat. Footsie, “Everything”
The introduction to this track on its SoundCloud page says, “
Hau returns with a bass-heavy monster just in time for the festive season,” and since Hau is Australian, that likely refers to the sunny summertime in the land down under. But here in the States, the MC’s new track has arrived just in time for Christmas, and it’s certainly got its own kind of good cheer. Hau opens the track with the lyrics Music, my medicine, more inspired than I’ve ever been,” and informs us that he’s here to “resurrect the true essence of hip-hop with a new message.” The presence of grime rapper Footsie makes “Everything” hit like a Skepta song, which means you will be powerless to stop bobbing your head and tapping your feet in time with the beat. By the end, you too should be feeling like you’re “on the good foot with my best shoes, best hat with my best suit.” —JC

GoldLink ft. Brent Faiyaz, and Shy Glizzy, “Crew”
I am picking this song not just because I think it’s a lovely, relaxed ode to male bonding over the pursuit of women, but because as we wrap up yet another year of Songs of the Week, we’d like to think we’ve been your crew over the course of this zany year. (But, like, remember when Zayn dropped an album?) In all seriousness, it’s been a trying 12 months to process, and we hope that by making the small weekly contribution of the best in new music, on an especially personal level, that we’ve also offered even the slightest bit of respite from it all. Many of us who write for this column have relied on music as an escape from this strange new reality; it’s once again been a treat having you along for our travels. See you in 2017! —DL

This Week’s Best New Music