Amber Mark, Competition
Amber Mark, "Competition" PMR, INTERSCOPE

Happy Pride Month y’all, and happy Black Music Appreciation Month! Even though there’s still lots to be concerned about, it feels like there’s more to be hopeful about recently, no? For one thing, it’s looking like live music is coming back soon, as tour dates start to ramp up and fill the calendars of local venues. Refresh your mind and get ready for it all with these three new music releases.

“Competition,” Amber Mark

New York-based singer-songwriter Amber Mark has released the second single from her forthcoming debut full-length, which is set for a 2021 release via PMR and Interscope. The repeat-worthy “Competition” joins previously released single “Worth It,” but the former is more of a self-determined success story than a motivational mantra. In a statement, Mark says the song is about “how much stronger we are together,” and the constant state of comparing yourself to others. “This is not a competition/you are not the opposition/I just wanna see you win” she sings. “Wanna be the greatest/want someone to share it with.” The song’s end has her repeating “Damn I really made it.” She’s looking royal in the music video co-directed by Mark and Cara Stricker, and the whole visual is packed with amazing vibes, gorgeous care-free and confident choreography, fabulous fashion, and even some supernatural elements. Check it out below:

“GG #4,” Bocha, Corey G, Donte Thomas

The new single by Portland-based rappers Bocha and Donte Thomas and producer Corey G is named after the weed strain Original Glue (formerly known as Gorilla Glue 4), a bud that provides a euphoric feeling and has been said to leave one glued to the couch. The song joins the enjoyable “DO SI DO,” which dropped recently. Released under the Produce Organics label/collective, “GG #4” does give off that feeling of time being slowed down and a general haziness in the air. But the music video is much more active, set on a basketball court and during a game of pool at a bar. During his verse Thomas raps: “You are now rocking with the flock of fruit and vegetables/acceptable/their stepping stool/reputable, it’s delectable.” During Bocha’s verse he gets his basketball swagger on, hanging upside down from the hoop. The supporting cast of ballers in the video includes local hip-hop and R&B artists Scooty, YoungShirtMayne, KisHerGoodnight, and more. Check it out below:

“Peaches (REMIX),” Justin Bieber, Ludacris, Usher, Snoop Dogg

The Biebs just released a remix of Justice highlight “Peaches” featuring Ludacris, Usher, and Snoop Dogg. While there’s nothing I would’ve changed about the original single featuring Daniel Caesar and Giveon, this remix is obviously delightful—and how would it not be with these four artists involved? The remix takes the romantic single and gives it a more sexy vibe that’s not as radio-ready.

After Justin’s verse, Usher enters with some chill-inducing harmonies with Justin in the chorus, adding his own verse: “Don't be thinkin' that she mad at you/She from Decatur so she got a little attitude /She do what she wanna do (Uh)/Wonder where she learned to bounce that booty/What's her secret? I bet her mama went to Freaknik.” Snoop Dogg aptly finishes the song off, obviously with his own weed-related lyrics. This remix made me realize that I’ll welcome any and every (West Coast) remix of this song—I wanna hear all of 'em!