First Stream: New Music From The Kid LAROI, Megan Thee Stallion, Pusha T and More

First Stream: New Music From The Kid LAROI, Megan Thee Stallion, Pusha T and 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, The Kid LAROI is back with a new radio-ready single, Megan Thee Stallion has no time for her ex, and Pusha T is still running laps around his doubters. Check out all of this week’s First Stream picks below:

The Kid LAROI, “Thousand Miles” 

In 2002, Vanessa Carlton’s top 10 hit “A Thousand Miles” expressed just how far the singer-songwriter would walk just to be with her significant other that evening; 20 years later, The Kid LAROI’s own “Thousand Miles” suggests how far away his beau should stay from him, since he’s “about to f–k it up with you.” As a brooding, self-bashing anthem, “Thousand Miles” showcases The Kid LAROI’s ability to aim at the heart of modern pop while also displaying his full, unadulterated personality — no one else could sing “Thousand Miles” quite like he can, and that’s why the song works.

Megan Thee Stallion, “Plan B” 

Megan Thee Stallion’s two most recent singles demonstrate why she’s an A-lister: on last month’s Dua Lipa team-up “Sweetest Pie,” she’s squarely in top 40 mode, and now with the no-nonsense rap evisceration “Plan B,” Meg unleashes a tsunami of explicit disses that few current hip-hop artists could rival. Dressing down an ex atop a sample of Jodeci’s “Freek’n You” remix, Megan Thee Stallion recalls the fiery energy that helped her break through on 2019’s Fever, and reminds the rap world that her pop moments can still be balanced out with ultra-NSFW bars.

Pusha T, It’s Almost Dry 

For 2000s hip-hop fans and, more specifically, Clipse diehards, the existence of a new Pusha T album produced primarily by Kanye West and Pharrell Williams feels like a fever dream — and thankfully, It’s Almost Dry lives up to that pedigree, rife with mean boasts and drug euphemisms over soul samples and sinister beats (Williams’ booming “Let the Smokers Shine the Coupes” may be the highlight here). Pusha T remains as gifted of a hard-nosed rhyme slinger as he was back in his “Grindin’” days — and for longtime supporters, hearing him rap alongside his long-retired brother Malice on the closer “I Pray For You” is a true cherry on top.

Ed Sheeran feat. Lil Baby, “2Step” 

Ed Sheeran has been one of pop’s most in-demand collaborators over the past six months, dropping songs with everyone from Camila Cabello to Bring Me The Horizon to Fireboy DML to Taylor Swift. For this new version of “2Step,” from last year’s = album, Sheeran recruits a fellow superstar in Lil Baby, who glides over the pop-rock track with surprising vulnerability and absorbing detail — both of which are exemplified in the video for the track, which was filmed in Kyiv, Ukraine, prior to the recent acts of violence against the country.

Jason Aldean, Georgia 

Georgia may be the second half of Jason Aldean’s Macon, Georgia double-album project, but the latest project from the veteran country star stands on its own with sturdier songwriting and a more forceful single in “Trouble with a Heartbreak.” Aldean’s voice has resonated within and outside of the genre since his My Kinda Party days, but a full-length like Georgia re-establishes his skills as an open-hearted anthem producer, with tracks like “Holy Water” and “Your Mama” imparting sing-along wisdom with a touch of twang.

PinkPantheress feat. Willow, “Where You Are” 

After earning acclaim last year with her To Hell With It mixtape, PinkPantheress corralled a trio of outside-the-box stars — Willow, Skrillex and Mura Masa — for “Where You Are,” which marries her sweet, slightly disaffected vocals with Willow’s emotional urgency. Co-produced by Skrillex, Mura Masa and PinkPantheress, the track shuffles and stops at points in its dance shimmer, but the interplay between the two vocalists, hovering around each other before eventually locking in place, makes “Where You Are” an intoxicating listen.

First Stream: New Music From The Kid LAROI, Megan Thee Stallion, Pusha T and 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, The Kid LAROI is…