Billboard’s Friday Music Guide 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.
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This week, Taylor Swift and Ice Spice both big-up “Karma,” Dua Lipa shimmies into the summer and Lil Durk continues to unspool his story. Check out all of this week’s picks below:
Taylor Swift feat. Ice Spice, “Karma (Remix)”
Taylor Swift and Ice Spice may be at different phases in their respective experiences with fame — Swift the biggest name in music, headlining stadiums on the hottest tour of the year; Ice Spice a fresh-faced star in mainstream hip-hop, collecting her first top 10 hits after going viral last fall — but on the remix to “Karma,” from Swift’s Midnights album, the two artists share a musical sensibility marked by an effortless confidence in their craft. The highlight of Swift’s Midnights (The Til Dawn Edition), which also includes a “More Lana Del Rey” version of “Snow On The Beach” and the debut of “Hits Different” on streaming (among other goodies), the “Karma” remix finds Ice co-signing Swift’s philosophy that what goes around will come back around, in her favor: “It’s okay, baby, you ain’t gotta worry, karma never gets lazy / So, I keep my head up, my bread up, I won’t let up,” she raps.
Dua Lipa, “Dance The Night”
Rejoice: we have a new disco-pop single from Dua Lipa in time for summer. “Dance The Night,” which leads the upcoming soundtrack to the Barbie movie, functions as an uptempo stopgap between Lipa albums in the same way that singles like “One Kiss” and “Electricity” helped soothe impatient fans in between Lipa’s 2017 self-titled debut and 2020’s Future Nostalgia: working with Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt and Caroline Ailin on the track, Lipa sends “Dance The Night” into the same hustle-ready stratosphere as “Levitating,” her forceful voice turbo-charging the hooks in the first half of the song and then delivering one of the sleekest bridges in mainstream pop this year.
Lil Durk, Almost Healed
As Lil Durk has transformed from promising new talent to commercial question mark to late-blooming superstar over the course of his career, the Chicago rapper has remained introspective as both a solo artist and collaborator: put him in any context, over any beat, and he’ll likely share personal stories of past brutalities that help explain his present-day hardened exterior. Almost Healed, which opens with a literal therapy session with Alicia Keys and ends with Durk begging someone not to lie to him over a squealing electric guitar, also boasts guests like J. Cole, Future and 21 Savage, but is once again defined by his confessional, affecting tone.
Peso Pluma, “Bye”
For as singular a voice as Peso Pluma possesses, and how quickly his profile has expanded from the popular Mexican music scene to the entire world, the 23-year-old has often done so while joined by other artists, from Eslabon Armado on “Ella Baila Sola” to Yng Lvcas on the “La Bebe” remix to Becky G on “Chanel.” “Bye,” his first solo single since 2021’s “Por Las Noches,” capitalizes on both Pluma’s individual momentum and the rapidly shifting boundaries of regional Mexican: as horns and guitars mournfully careen off one another, Pluma proves unafraid of baring his soul and extending his syllables for maximum listener engagement.
d4vd, Petals to Thorns
Over the course of his short career, as songs like “Romantic Homicide” and “Here With Me” graduated from TikTok flare-ups to streaming smashes with nine-figure plays, d4vd has revealed himself to be a canny, cross-genre multi-hyphenate, an 18-year-old whose songs evoke strong reactions from older rhythmic-pop fans and screen-scrolling teens alike. All of new nine-song EP Petals to Thorns, and particularly stormy new single “The Bridge,” demonstrates his quick-grade evolution: even though “Romantic Homicide” is a highlight of the project, the newly unveiled songs sound more carefully considered than d4vd’s breakthrough hit, as if his songwriting has already adjusted to the brighter lights.