Austin R&B

Myia Thornton: “Never Good 4 Me”

Unlike the legendary machines of Stax and Motown who relied on a ton of well oiled cogs to make any R&B singer into a star, these days the new blood has to do everything themselves, talent agent or not. And while not everyone can be Prince or D’Angelo in terms of multi-instrumental discipline, bringing something extra behind the mic, whatever it may be, really makes a rising singer stand out in the endless milky way of could-be R&B stars.

That puts us into orbit around Myia Thornton, songwriter-bassist-producer with Los Angeles ties but a current home base here in Austin. Beginning with her 2018 start date on streaming, she’s shown herself to be a spiritual pupil of Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, and Missy Elliott. Thornton’s clearly learned that everyone’s voice has its own unique character, even if the difference in timbre is more of a gradient than a completely different shade, and has accordingly made the most of her proficiency on bass guitar to attain that extra “it” factor.

But as with any R&B songstress, romantic turmoil can have a huge impact on lyrical inspiration and overall motivation. And once that comfort from a significant other’s gone, you just gotta get back to work and not take for granted what makes you intrinsically (and us as listeners) happy. So with her fourth release in just 2024 alone, Myia Thornton continues to break past the hiatus that’d been in place since her 2022 collaboration “Lexus”. Less of a tearjerker and more of a “how’d you get so ugly” piece of post-relationship clarity, Thornton’s self-produced “Never Good 4 Me” is about as bad as it gets. Arrangement-wise the sparseness of its verses is nothing short of genius, especially compared to the stereo-spanning lushness of its hooks, classy key chords, sexy MIDI strings, onion-layered vocals and all. Get it, Myia.

J. Cole’s Apology /  Kendrick vs. Drake

It’s a two-parter of Kendrick Lamar clashes: J. Cole’s public apology and Drake’s ongoing affronts. Hear how Confucius and Fresh feel about the beef, Hip-Hop Facts, the latest headlines, and an Unpopular Opinion on hip-hop’s “health”.

Street Peach: “Heavy”

If we’ve learned one thing from Destiny’s Child, it’s that vocal groups aren’t always limited to one breakout singer. Even if fate favors one over another in the long run. And that’s kind of lining up with how we see some of the expats from former Austin R&B trio Keeper.

See, while Keeper’s Yadira Brown has kept busy with longtime collaborator BoomBaptist through The Vapor Caves, her fellow Keeper co-founder Lani Thomison only started picking up speed with her solo project Street Peach in the past few months. As we already heard in Tomison’s work with Keeper, Street Peach’s techniques blend R&B, soul, and choral, plus (as you might’ve guessed from her handle) some extra urban sex appeal as well. Sure, Street Peach’s introductory standalone, “Qiller”, has kept us as sated as possible since May 2020. But truthfully, we’re already licking our lips over news of a full batch this fall.

That basket arrives this October in the form of Street Peach’s debut EP, Monarch, a seven-song spreading of wings created alongside producer Willie Green. And following Monarch‘s first offering that’s already enjoyed consistent spins on recent episodes of The Breaks (mid-February’s “Caroline”), another nubile installation just landed in our lap. “Heavy” lays the seduction on thick, thanks to delineated drums, drizzling synths, and a Sylvia Striplin-style chord progression channeled through a killer chorus guitar groove – one that makes the bed for Street Peach’s featherlight vocals. And those steamy conditions forecast for next week? They could get you sweatin’ juuust right for when Street Peach heats up the stage 7:15PM next Thursday at Hotel Vegas ahead of Daphne Tunes.

The Drake-Future Feud / Sex Appeal

Confucius and Fresh cover the latest rap beef before weighing the importance of sex appeal in the modern era. Hear that, Hip-Hop Facts, Confucius Reads the News, and an Unpopular Opinion on industry politics.

SXSW Plans / The Hard Early ’00s

Find out what Confucius, Fresh, and KUTX have coming up for SXSW and decide whether or not Nelly’s first three albums came up in the “hardest’ era. And in between Hip-Hop Facts and Confucius Reads the News, feathers get ruffled with Fresh’s Unpopular Opinion around the recent wave of women in rap.

Officially the Best Radio Show

After so many consecutive nominations, Confucius and Fresh reflect on their first ever ‘Best Radio Show’ Austin Music Award before discussing why longtime Austinites are jaded to good opportunities. And in between Hip-Hop Facts and Confucius Reads the News, Fresh dishes a particularly Unpopular Opinion on why the music industry actually doesn’t need to change.

State of the Austin Union

Confucius and Fresh talk about the current state of the Austin R&B and rap scene. They also discuss whether radio is still important and what needs to change for it to stay relevant.

You’ll learn Hip-Hop Facts about how Joey Bada$$ really feels about his song “Devastated,” how Dipset ended up with an office in the Def Jam building, who gave Irv Gotti his name, and more!

Fresh states the Unpopular Opinion that Megan Thee Stallion might be a little overrated.

Confucius talks about the Uvalde School Board’s decision to fire police chief Pete Arrendondo, Offset’s lawsuit against his record label, the Biden administration’s decision to forgive some student loans and more in Confucius Reads the News.