Flow's Four Corners Volume 4 – August 21 ...

Flow's Four Corners Volume 4 – August 21, 2023

Aug 21, 2023

Flow’s Four Corners is a concept series focused on highlighting the four most impactful releases of the week through the eyes of Flow the Exec. With the world of curation feeling very much like wash, rinse, and repeat, I felt compelled to offer something that went deeper into the music. The more curators and curation become commodified, the more necessary a distinguished platform that can offer as much value to the artists as it does to the consumer becomes. Without further ado, here is Flow’s Four Corners Volume 4.

Disclaimer: The week of August 14, 2023 was a strong week of releases. Putting together this volume brought about the greatest challenge of them all to date. Therefore, you should truly look even further than my recommendations if possible this time around.

Usher – Boyfriend

On the 4th of July, Usher made a show of him serenading Keke Palmer at his Las Vegas Residency performance like he was her boyfriend (less than a year into her giving birth to her son) and it set the internet ablaze. While her actual boyfriend sat in his displeasure after making his disapproval of the incident known via social media, the rollout for the surprise “Boyfriend” record was secretly underway.

Barely over a month after the Las Vegas incident, Keke posted a teaser to the record on her Instagram just a day before the song and video were set to be released. The next day Usher and Keke posted a trailer of the music video that channels and acts as a response record to the “U Don’t Have To Call” visual. Essentially, 14 years later Usher has the energy of a brand new act on this pop-infused R&B record.

Once the signature “turn the lights on” stamp rings off at the start of the song, nothing more needs to be said about what we, as the listeners, are about to experience. The star-studded lineup of contributors on this record include Rico Love, Darhyl "Camper" Camper Jr., Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, Laney Stewart, Believve, and James "JLack" Lackey – names that speak for themselves. Still, by chance you need you some more intel, the bunch have crafted masterpieces alongside the likes of a Beyoncé, Natasha Bedingfield, Trey Songz, Brandy, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Mary J. Blige,  Summer Walker, K-Ci & JoJo, and if we keep dropping names this article may never end. Now, this is the the part where you go listen to the song and/or watch the video because you have heard enough of what I have to say.

Favorite line: “In your head cause I’m not in your bed, you just imagine” – Usher

Anycia – BRB

All 2023 the women of HipHop have been making it a point to show whatever the men do they can do better, and Anycia does just that with her new single “BRB.” If you’re familiar with a song called “Back Flippin” by Luh Tyler, this record by Nene (Anycia’s alternative alias) takes that vibe to an entirely different place with an infectious feminine approach. While her catalog consists of a handful of records, this Leo baby is outside, outside in all of the right ways from her On The Radar appearance to hosting all throughout the Atlanta nightlife scene.

“You don’t tell the truth, and that is why I do not f*ck with you” displays Anycia’s no-nonsense demeanor as she glides in and out of pockets over the invigorating Levin "Tapekid" Buhtz, Elias "Etrou" Iatrou production that feels like it may have drawn some inspiration from the theme song of ‘Law and Order’. Go watch the music video or listen to the song and let it speak for itself. I’m willing to bet you will walk away with a better understanding after you hear what I’m talking about for yourself.

Favorite line: “See me goin up you b*tches stuck, you b*tches on the ground” – Anycia

Leon Thomas – Electric Dusk

Leon Thomas perfectly embodied whatever in the hell ‘Electric Dusk’ is with this project. This project being one of two debut albums making it to this volume of Flow’s Four Corners should tell you something if I can’t tell you nothing. With a mere three clearly intentional features from none other than Griselda’s Black Soprana Family head honcho, Benny The Butcher, the incomparable Ty Dolla $ign, and the tour-sold-out-in-6-minutes Victoria Monét on this 12-track record, the rest of what I’m about to say should be evident.

Who remembers when Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak unknowingly teamed up and gave us Silk Sonic in the midst of concerns about the current state and future of R&B? Well, if you can believe the woes of that point in time are still ringing strong today, Leon is holding critics feet to the fire with songs like project-opener “Slow Down,” where he belts lyrics like, “ooh, oh-oh, all I really think of is you, ooh, oh-oh, all my night dreams are blue” set the tone for the journey he’s about to take listeners on.

“Breaking Point” was so good he had to place it on the track list twice with the closing record being the remix featuring Ms. Monét. The pain that song will bring to anyone with a heart shows Mr. Thomas will be delivering us records we can relate and sing along to for quite some time. I mean, that’s if you weren’t already able to tell that much by looking at the diversity and range in his songwriting and production credits. One of the more recent, notable efforts he had a hand in was SZA’s chart-topping ballad “Snooze.” So, if you have been on snooze and haven’t given this man his proper time to bless your ears and heart, make today the day you stop cheating yourself.

Favorite song: “Slow Down”/“Crash & Burn”

Reneé Rap – Snow Angel

Reneé Rap is raw, honest, vulnerable, and a ball of lightening on ‘Snow Angel’. When you hear a White, bisexual woman from North Carolina utter “and, yes, I am a feminist. But, b*tch, you’re making it so hard for me to always be supportin’ all women (I hate that b*tch)” the way Rapp did on “Posion Poison,” you have to give her your ear even if just for an hour. The 23-year-old MTV Best New Artist 2023 nominee gives more than a handful of reasons why this almost 40-minute project should be prioritized above the other releases this week. Imagine taking the attitude of Gwen Stefani, P!NK, and Madonna, then combining that with the sonic influences of Taylor Swift, Hayley Williams (of Paramore), and Fergie (of The Black Eyed Peas). That’s about as good as I can do with crystallizing what’s in store when you give this album a listen.

It’s no surprise this budding star of a generation happens to be a Capricorn of all zodiac signs. Reneé Rap is the musical artist I didn’t know I was missing out on. The Snow Angel has arrived and you have the grand opportunity of joining her for the ride as she kicks off her career with an impeccable debut album. Let’s make sure you don’t spoil that opportunity and go hit play immediately after reading this glowing review.

Favorite song: “Poison Poison”/“Gemini Moon”

Listen to the playlist here or below.

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