New Music From DJ Khaled, Elton John And Britney Spears, Lil Tjay, And Others


Billboard’s First Stream is a handy guide to this Friday’s most important releases — the music that everyone is talking about today and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond.


This week, DJ Khaled makes a comeback with the help of some A-list rap peers (as well as the Almighty), Britney Spears begins her comeback with a collaboration with fellow pop immortal Elton John, and Eiffel 65 are finally back in our lives thanks to David Guetta and Bebe Rexha.

The rest of Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist this week could hardly boast a more star-studded lineup than DJ Khaled’s God Did, which features Drake, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, John Legend, Kanye West, Eminem, Future, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, 21 Savage, and Roddy Ricch — and that’s just on the first five tracks. Rap fans will undoubtedly find plenty of potential personal favourites among the 18-track set; our early picks for highlights include the soulful 21 Savage showcase “Way Past Luck,” the Eddie Murphy-sampling Migos near-reunion “Party All the Time,” and, of course, the eight-minute title track, capped by an epic Jay-Z verse sure to dominate Twitter this weekend.


After repurposing songs from his past over a euphoric dance-pop beat with Dua Lipa on 2021’s “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix),” could Elton John capture lightning in a bottle twice with Britney Spears — in her first major appearance on record since the end of her conservatorship? Surprisingly, the answer appears to be yes. Over a blissful beat helmed by pop powers Cirkut and Andrew Watt, “Hold Me Closer” stitches verses from 1992’s “The One” with the eternal chorus to 1971’s “Tiny Dancer” — and once again, the whole ends up being more than the sum of its parts. Spears’ presence is more supportive than commanding, but it will undoubtedly keep her fans waiting until she is ready for her proper star return.

It’s impossible to listen to Lil Tjay’s emotional new solo single “Beat the Odds” without thinking about the recent attempted robbery that nearly resulted in his murder, not least because Tjay raps about it in the new single. “I took seven shots, no shame/ Back to the wall, I’m still gon’ blow you down, I ain’t no stain,” he raps over a melancholy piano-led beat produced by KXVI, DesirezBeats, and KBeaZy. The song is a metaphorical and literal triumph of survival, but it’s also strikingly weary, as Tjay explains, “They be like ‘Tjay, why do you move around with all those f-kin’ guns?’/ I just tell them it’s because I don’t want to die.”
“Lock&Key” by Lolahol


The first official song release by Lolahol, a 25-year-old singer-songwriter, will understandably garner the most attention due to the fact that its creator — whose real name is Lourdes Leon — is the daughter of an all-time pop great. In reality, “Lock and Key” would be a standout debut from any emerging artist. It’s an alternately dreamy and frenetic alt-pop transmission whose glitchy, drum-and-bass-like beat provides the perfect sense of claustrophobia for the song’s emotional clutter — which only finds respite on the immediately stunning chorus refrain of “I need a breeze/ Whisk me away.” It doesn’t need any Madonna comparisons, though it would have sounded great on Ray of Light as well.

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