songs of the week

5 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.

Remy Ma, “Shether”
What more needs to be said about this scathing, instantly all-time great crucifixion of Nicki Minaj that my colleague Frank Guan didn’t already accurately note? “With the possible exception of some prophetic passages of the Old Testament, a character assassination more vicious and thorough as ‘Shether’ has yet to be recorded,” he wrote in awe of Remy’s takedown. This song, a gender-flipped take on Nas’s Jay Z massacre “Ether,” nearly exceeds the parameters of diss tracks. Many of its predecessors have been equally calculated to sharp-shoot its target, but few have been executed with such precision and petty. All rap beefs are personal — no matter what these grown men would have fans believe — and Remy Ma versus Nicki Minaj feels both personal and political. You don’t come this relentlessly hard at someone (disparaging every ounce of a person’s character and reputation in one fell swoop) with the intention of getting just their attention. This was a culture-wide power move. Respect it and Remy accordingly. —Dee Lockett (@Dee_Lockett)

Sylvan Esso, “Die Young”
The “live fast, die young” rock-and-roll lifestyle has always been self-serving and dependent on independence. Desire is cool. Pining is cool. Heartbreak is cool. But growing old? Committed relationships? Not so rock and roll. On Sylvan Esso’s new single, “Die Young” (the first from their just-announced sophomore album, What Now, out in April), Amelia Meath plays the part of a young person who, realizing that they’ve fallen for someone, now has to contend with the fact that they’re in for the long haul. “I was gonna die young / now I gotta wait for you, hun.” It’s a self-aware and pretty hilarious dig at the fetishization of youth, and, thanks to its catchy melody and retro synths, it’s also an earworm. —Gabe Cohn

Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean and Migos, “Slide”
It’s amazing Frank Ocean will never once have to sit down and force a hit. He provides the lyrics, links up with a Calvin Harris type in the mood to actually challenge himself, throws in a couple Migos for good measure, and boom — it’s a hit. “Slide” is a song that sounds like very minimal effort went into its making in order to achieve that light, relaxed, free air it blows with every delicious Frank note. It’s about striving for an embarrassment of riches that few will ever experience — except all four of these dudes so clearly have that, it sounds believable enough for the everyman and -woman to someday realize it, too. Don’t be surprised when this song blows up come spring into summer. —DL

Thundercat ft. Kendrick Lamar, “Walk on By”
Long has Thundercat been a guiding force behind Kendrick’s sonic exploration into the realm of funk and new-generation jazz. So it comes as no surprise that he scooped up a feature for his own phenomenal new record. Kendrick gets accused a lot of phoning in guest spots because he does them so often. But he’s not about to Maroon 5 Thundercat. Real recognize real, and Thundercat is the realest. Kendrick’s words are an extension of the intense self-scrutiny he underwent on his last record, designed to piggyback off Thundercat’s own thoughts of depression and acceptance that alcohol can’t be your only friend. —DL

6LACK ft. Jhené Aiko, “First Fuck”
I am admittedly very basic and, in line with my basic tendencies, “First Fuck” is exactly the kind of song I’d like to take with me between the sheets when I’m feeling like hot shit. (Which is all the time, duh.) —DL

5 Best New Songs of the Week