First Stream: New Music From Lil Baby, Charlie Puth, Chloe & More
Billboard’s First Stream serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond.
This week, Lil Baby and Maggie Rogers make their solo returns, Camila Cabello and Charlie Puth each call back to different splits from their past, and Jack Harlow and Chlöe look to a couple of late-’00s smash hits for inspiration. Check out all of this week’s First Stream picks below:
Lil Baby, “Right On”
Though he’s never been far from the charts in the 2020s, it’s been a minute (by his prolific standards) since we heard a new single from Lil Baby that wasn’t a feature or a collab. The pause appears to have done him good, though, if his supercharged performance on new single “Right On” — one of two new tracks he’s dropping this Friday, along with the more contemplative “In a Minute” — is any indication. The rapper born Dominique Jones sounds supercharged over an unstoppable beat helmed by local fixture ATL Jacob, with a sticky and anthemic chorus full of mini-catchphrases (“Ain’t put no cap inside my rap”) that should blare outside of clubs and car stereos throughout the warm-weather months. “Building up for my kids’ kids’ kids, I ain’t gon’ never quit,” he testifies, and you gotta believe him.
Charlie Puth, “That’s Hilarious”
Charlie Puth teared up on TikTok a couple weeks ago talking about the then-upcoming release “That’s Hilarious,” saying the song brought up still-painful memories from 2019 of “the worst breakup of my life.” Out this week, “Hilarious” indeed sounds much closer to the raw emotion of that clip than any carefree chuckles its title might imply: “You took away a year of my f–king life, and I can’t get it back no more/ So when I see those tears comin’ out your eyes, I hope it’s me they’re for,” he wails on the rueful pre-chorus. And while the refrain does find him snickering at his ex for now wanting him back, it’s still more bitter than boastful, more “Cry Me a River” than “Since U Been Gone.” Nonetheless, if “Hilarious” can follow prior single “Light Switch” to the Hot 100’s top 40 — again establishing Puth as the kind of reliable hitmaker he was pre-2019 — he may enjoy getting the last laugh after all.
Jack Harlow, “First Class”
“They say, ‘You a superstar’/ No… d–n, I guess I am.” Fresh off the top 20 Billboard Hot 100 debut of his “Nail Tech” and a performance at the Grammys alongside his “Industry Baby” co-star Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow is back with the kind of gently melancholy banger (produced by, among others, gold-spinning hitmaker Rogét Chahayed) that Drake made his own superstardom on in the early ’10s. His not-so-secret weapon? A down-pitched hook borrowed from Fergie’s chorus to her Ludacris-featuring 2007 Hot 100-topper “Glamorous,” which sounds like it might soon again be as ubiquitous on radio as it was 15 years ago.
Camila Cabello feat. Willow, “Psychofreak”
A team-up with Willow on a new song called “Psychofreak” — has Camila Cabello gone pop-punk?? Not exactly: While “Psychofreak” might have slightly harder edges and spacier lyrics (“Maybe I’m an alien, Earth is hard”) than the pop star’s average single, it’s not Travis Barker behind the decks, but pop producers Ricky Reed and Tom Peyton giving the song a light (if slightly downbeat) bounce. Of course, the single is more likely to get folks talking about Cabello’s old collaborators than her new ones, thanks to second-verse lyrics (“Everybody says they miss the old me/ I been on this ride since I was fifteen/ I don’t blame the girls for how it went down, down”) that she’s confirmed are about her split from former group Fifth Harmony — also offering that she’s “in a really good place with them now.”
Chlöe, “Treat Me”
A half-year after knocking on the door of solo stardom with her debut single, the No. 28-peaking Hot 100 hit “Have Mercy,” Chlöe Bailey looks to burst through it with follow-up “Treat Me.” With a “Treat me like I treat me” hook sure to caption social media posts all summer, and an eye-popping (and other-body-parts-popping) music video to accompany it, the new single certainly sounds the part — and to hedge their bets a little, Chlöe and producer Warren “Oak” Felder also swipe the timeless “booty, booty, booty, booty, rockin’ everywhere” hook from Bubba Sparxxx’ and the Ying Yang Twins’ ’00s classic “Ms. New Booty,” an unmistakable clarion call to the dancefloor for anyone currently between the ages of 22 and 40.
Maggie Rogers, “That’s Where I Am”
Maggie Rogers’ 2019 debut LP Heard It in a Past Life was one of the major alt-pop success stories of the late ’10s, notching a No. 2 debut on the Billboard 200 albums chart and helping Rogers earn a Grammy nomination for best new artist. Three years later, she returns with “That’s Where I Am,” lead single from her July-due sophomore set Surrender. A satisfying mix of muscle and melody, “That’s Where I Am” has the bigger drums, busier production and brighter hooks befitting an artist ready to make a sophomore leap. “Wherever you go, that’s where I am,” she insists on the chorus — and if you plan on going to a lot of music festivals (or just on a lot of road trips wherever) this summer, it may prove true enough.
First Stream: New Music From Lil Baby, Charlie Puth, Chloe & More Billboard’s First Stream serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond. This week, Lil Baby and Maggie Rogers make their…
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