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Heat Check: Ode To The Cap

"No Cap" is yet another phrase that has bubbled up from the hip-hop community to the top of the layman's lexicon. The term is basically synonymous with "no lie" and is applicable in a whole swath of situations, especially when, ironically, there is a lot of lying going on.

Music has a way of adding some glitter to lies – lies we tell ourselves, dreams out of reach, fantasies on replay. Balancing glitchy, pithy pop with raucous reggae, trap and R&B, this week's Heat Check picks capitalize on the fantasy, giving us a moment's escape from the ordinary.

Per usual, get your weekly fix of Heat Check on Spotify and Apple Music now.

Koffee, "W (feat. Gunna)"

Winding down from her breakout year, Koffee teams up with Gunna for an unexpected win. Raining money during the Rapture? Not the worst way to go out.

Roddy Ricch, "Tip Toe (feat. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie)"

Ahead of his debut album, Please Excuse Me For Being Anti-Social, Roddy Ricch simmers in this cool-headed status reminder.

"Patron of the New, I had to put the drip on / Ask me how many n****s I done put on / My private planes 'bout to fly with the good old," he declares.

Kilo Kish, "Spark"

Laconic, lavish and guitar-grounding, Kilo Kish propels you through procrastination into a motivated work-mode.

The Weeknd, "Heartless"

The blinding lights of Las Vegas. The cigarette-stenched sheen. The poise and luxury of perfunctory love. Yes, The Weeknd has officially returned to give IG influencers and f***boys ammo for their latest Internet illusion.

"And I'm back to my ways 'cause I'm heartless / All this money and this pain got me heartless / Low life for life 'cause I'm heartless," Abel Tesfaye assures.

Tiana Major9 & EarthGang, "Collide"

As one of the more reflective, soulful and subdued cuts off Queen & Slim: The Soundtrack, "Collide" is a cradling reminder that the crash is never as sweet as the burn.

Baby Rose, "Show Me"

Fresh off her just-in-time-for-the-holidays EP, To:You, Baby Rose bolsters some well-deserved hype with this Soundcloud-exclusive mix of heartwarming and quivered, bone-chilling new tracks.

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Sidney Madden is a reporter and editor for NPR Music. As someone who always gravitated towards the artforms of music, prose and dance to communicate, Madden entered the world of music journalism as a means to authentically marry her passions and platform marginalized voices who do the same.
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