This weekend, as a surprise of us all, Drake popped up during the “spooky hours” of Saturday night with a pair of songs in the form of “When to Say When” and “Chicago Freestyle.” Both quality drops from The Boy, our focus now is on the latter of the two.
Standing as a distant cousin of sorts to his time and location series, Drake’s “Chicago Freestyle” finds him in a very introspective place. Reflecting on the lessons he’s learned and the mistakes he’s made on his journey to fame, the two verses on the track are held together by a poignant hook from, no not Sampha, but Long Beach’s very own Giveon.
The name itself may be familiar to some for a few reasons, most likely as a result of him being an opening act for Snoh Aalegra’s Ugh, a mini tour again this past fall. A glance at his Apple Music profiles shows only four songs available, but with an EP set to arrive later this year, Giveon’s future will only add to the proof that R&B is alive and well, despite it’s doubters.
Growing up, Giveon’s musical upbringing found him constantly listening to the likes of Anita Baker, Mary J. Blige, Sade, and Denise Williams–artists that created a sound that he described as “black women heartbreak music” in an interview with Flaunt in 2018. It’s this very “genre” that he cites as the “heartbeat of [his] sound.”
The upcoming year will most likely be a big one for Giveon, so while you wait for what’s next, get acquainted with what the Long Beach act has to offer with the bundle of songs below. My personal favorites so far are “Fields” and “Like I Want You,” but you can find your choice(s) below.