Rap

#MainstreamMonday

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On the 16th, Creed II: The Album was released by well-known producer, Mike WiLL Made-It, who was recruited to curate the project. For the most part , the Creed II soundtrack is reminiscent of early 2000's rap music which was provocatively "gudda", assumably foreshadowing all of the eye-gashing goodness in the movie. With that being said, my favorite tracks on the album are actually the more soulful ones (because I am a lover) such as "Shea Butter Baby" performed by Ari Lennox and J. Cole, and "Bless Me" performed by Ama Lou; my favorite rap track is "Runnin" (mostly because of Nicki). Creed II:The Album is out on all major platforms and the movie will be viewable in theaters this Thursday, November 21st.
Earlier this week Juicy J dropped the official visual for his single "Neighbor" which features Travis Scott. A full project may not be too far off.
 
Little Mix continues to drop anthems for women with the release of their visual accompanied single, "Strip". The song, which empowers women to take pride in their natural beauty, is one of nineteen tracks on their album, LM5, released on the 16th.
Gucci dropped the official visual for his single "Not Goin'" which features buzzing rapper Kevin Gates.

#MainstreamMonday

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On the 26th, The Black Eyed Peas dropped MASTERS OF THE SUN Vol 1, and-- who needs Fergie? I kid, but need I say more? The album is solid expectedly, however I don't think any of us anticipated a traditional Hip-Hop album. The trio has return to the Golden Age of Hip-Hop with MASTERS OF THE SUN Vol 1 incorporating more free flowing verses than anything else accompanied by an occasional kill switch and musical fusion. The whole premise of the album is to wake the masses up. You see, The Black Eyed Peas dropping after a seven year hiatus along side the likes of Nasir and Tribe is an event in itself. Will,i. am, apl.de.ap, and Taboo have returned to encourage humans to pick a side-- metaphorically speaking: choose to take the high road or the low one, or in simpler terms: ascend or continue to live in hell. According to TBEP, if you are not doing your part by aligning you mind, body, and spirit, you are hindering the collective's progression. They remind us to embrace numerology, learn spiritual warfare, kick drug habits, and to love ourselves first, so that we can in return love one another. MASTERS OF THE SUN vol 1 is available on all streaming platforms.
 
A little over a week ago, Lil Wayne dropped a classic visual for his single "Uproar" which features Swizz Beatz. The Single is off his album The Carter V.
 
On the 19th, Future and Juice WRLD dropped a collaborative album, WRLD ON DRUGS. "Transformer" featuring Nicki Minaj is one of sixteen tracks.
 
Buzzing rapper, Kodak Black released a feel good single, "ZeZe" which features Travis Scott and Offset.
 
Migos member, Takeoff, released the official visual for his first solo single, "Last Memory". The song will be featured on his solo album, The Last Rocket, set to drop on Friday, November 2nd.

#MainstreamMonday

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Someway, somehow the internet has been graced with new music from TDE’s empress, SZA. While SZA has publicly spoken on a complete project, she has yet to reveal any specifics. What I was able to gather about her upcoming project, an EP supposedly entitled, Honesty, is that it will consist of 5 tracks, 4 of which I was lucky enough to hear (smiles). BUT, because I am a SZA “stan”, I am choosing to share only one of the 5 tracks, the original version of “Love Galore”, which still features Travis Scott. The track list for Honesty is as followed:

  1. Love Galore (Original) feat. Travis Scott

  2. Back Together feat. Mark Ronson & Keith Parker

  3. Passport

  4. Inside Man

  5. Die for You (Weeknd RMX)

    There is no rumored release date, only speculation that the project may be one of a couple TDE projects to drop later this year.

Days ago on the 12th, rap superstar and active member of The Migos, Quavo released his first solo album, Quavo Huncho. The album is a little over an hour long and has some highlights. It includes a variety of sounds and some unexpected features, but overall remains true to the trap genre. On Quavo Huncho, Quavo really gives more of his own perspective. He continues to talk about the fruits of his labor as he does on Migos records, but he gets a little more intimate speaking on his private life; on "Huncho Dreams" he implies that he and Nicki are an item, something that has been questioned in the recent months. The album is available on all streaming platforms.
On the 12th, pop-star, released a new single "I'm Still Here". On it Sia sings about the dark night of the soul and the challenges and tests that arise during the event, all of which have to be conquered and learned from in order reach one's higher self.
On the 11th, UK based four woman band, Little Mix released the official visual for their single "Woman Like Me" which features female rapper Nicki Minaj. The song empowers women to remain true to themselves versus bending at a man's will, even when the innate desire for companionship arises.
On the 12th Usher and trending producer, Zaytoven dropped a collaborative project, entitled "A". On "A" hot commodity, Usher continues his playboy antics-- he messes up, quickly "learns his lesson", grovels at the feet of his love only to later continue his hot pursuit of the abundant women accessible to him. Despite the subjects at hand, the sexy and hip album provides a nice listening experience for women as well, especially if they've left their man in the dog house. Overall the project is solid. "A" is available on major streaming platforms.
On the 10th, pop Princess, Ariana Grande released the official video for her record "Breathin". The visual is very simple and quite abstract, but what I took from it is: no matter what, we should continue to find our way. "Breathin" is off her most recent album Sweetener.

#MainstreamMonday

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On the 28th, Marsha Ambrosius, released her third studio project entitled Nyla, and as predicted it is pleasantly sensual. Like her previous works, Marsha speaks on love in developing stages to its corruption on Nyla, and uses her vocal skills to express all the emotions felt in between. What sets this project apart from the others is the soul singer's exploration with native and techno sounds. As always the soul singer has supplied us with plenty of melodies, harmonies, and just outright soul! The project is effortlessly groovy, the impressive production worthy of a good bit of the album's praise. Nyla's jazzy vibes can be felt via major streaming platforms.
On the 28th, Hip-Hop artist Logic released his seventh album, YSIV (Young Sinatra 4). On YSIV, Logic pays homage to music, highlighting specific eras through the incorporation of specific sounds, some of of which are swing, funk, and lo-fi Hip-Hop. While Logic prides himself on being what would be considered an Emcee, he stands by his decision to explore creatively which has caused him to receive backlash. He uses YSIV to matter-of-factly acknowledge listeners concerns; what fans see as "unusual" music selections for Logic are actually just ways of the artist reflecting his personal growth artistically. The rapper still holds day-one messages at the forefront of his platform, continuously spreading positivity by encouraging growth regardless of adversity and unity. Overall, YSIV is solid. The album can be found on all streaming platforms.
Legendary Rapper, Lil Wayne has finally delivered his long awaited album, The Carter V, and to account for our time without it, the album is a lengthy 25 tracks. On The Carter V Wayne brings us up to date on all the things heard about him via the media. The rapper discusses love, suicide attempts, and even betrayal. He also reasserts himself as a major contributor to rap culture. The album is not his best lyrically, but compared to more recent releases by him, it will definitely do. Like many of his other albums he's gives us a variety in sound, including a signature rock track. Notable features include Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scoot, and of course Nicki, however there are some unexpected feature as well. The album is available on all streaming platforms.

#MainstreamMonday

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On the 20th, upcoming rap artist, Pardison Fontaine released a song and video for his single "Backin' It Up" which features megastar Cardi B. Formally speaking, the song speaks on seeing things through and it's release could easily be a public relations clean-up for Cardi B and Nicki's public altercation earlier this month, or merely a coincidence. Whatever the case may be, its release serves as a win-win with the song being Mr. Fontaine's first mainstream hit since starting his career a little over 5 years ago.
 
On the 19th, the visual for 2 Chainz's "Bigger Than You" visual featuring Quavo and Drake went viral. The song will most likely appear on the rappers album in the works, Rap Or Go To The League(TBA). The visual pays homage to the rappers present day through the depiction of themselves in grade school.

#MainstreamMonday

On the 10th Nicki dropped the official video for her contraversal hit, "Barbie Dreams" from her most recent album Queen. The visual takes on a Muppets theme allowing Ms. Minaj channels Miss Piggy, serving a variety of looks.
On the 13th, Eminem shared the visual for "Lucky You" featuring upcoming rapper, Lucas Joyner. The visual embodies Em's thoughts about the majority of rappers today, emphasizing that they are not original. This message is conveyed through the use imitating figures in the visual. Read more about Kamikze.
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On the 14th, longstanding Hip-Hop artist Wale released a 5 track EP entitled Free Lunch, just a year after the release of his album Shine. The EP takes on a much different sound than the album, deviating back to Wale's original sound; it hosts a variety of topics from social issues to industry politics, and of course love. Free Lunch is available on all streaming platforms.
Gucci, Bruno and Kodak teamed up to produce a super smooth, feel-good trap single entitled "Wake Up In The Sky".
CiCi is on a roll this year with giving us new music. On the 14th, the versatile artist released another enticing track entitled "Dose" for a total of three summer releases.
Well-known RnB/Pop Diva, Mariah Carey, released a new single after a silent 4 years. On "GTFO" (get the f*** out) Mariah kicks her man to the curb holding true to her typical sound and subject matter.

#MainstreamMonday

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As promised, Estelle released her album, Lover's Rock (perfectly named) a few days ago on the 7th and she did not disappoint! The British artist bares her West African and Caribbean roots on the project allowing for plenty of whining, but that's not all-- The album is so rich sonically you might also find yourself fist pumping to tracks like "Really Want" or slow-dragging with your counterpart to "Don't Wanna", which is suggestive of an 80's prom. The album is all about a love worthy of envy, even in its lows, but it is far from sappy. Estelle even manages to squeeze in a couple of social statements, reminding men that in order to be seen as Kings they must respect women as Queens and refrain from belittling them with derogatory terms like "bitch", no matter the circumstances. Lover's Rock is worthy of all its praise. Check out the "Better" visual here.
The Migos teams up with DJ Durel for a last minute summer jam, entitled "Hot Summer". The inner-city inspired visual was released on the 4th.
Soul singer, Macy Gray is back after two years. The singer recently shared two single's, "White Man"-- a radical message against racists, and "Sugar Baby"-- flirty and redolent of the 50's Pin-up era. Both songs will be on her upcoming album, Ruby, set to release on the 21st of this month on all streaming platforms.
Russ wants everybody to know that "everbody has a breaking point"-- and he has reached his. On his album, Zoo, (also released on the 7th) the Hip-Hop artist gives an impressive heartfelt performance, airing his life as of late. He faces friends turned foes, family related trauma, and love. Through all the adversity, the versatile artist holds his head high.

#MainstreamMonday

On Monday, the 6th, J. Cole blessed us with an unexpected visual of him freestyling over the Classic "Oochie Wally" instrumental just a day after tweeting "Feed me beats. Everything gettin(g) murdered."

On the 6th, Travis Scott also dropped his visual for "STOP TRYING TO BE GOD" which has a lot biblical references of Christ and the rapture in relation to White "Supremacy".

Nicki Minaj released her album, Queen this week. The "tell-all" album is Nicki's declaration of self-worth, which she has momentarily forgotten along with others close to her and the general public. Though Queen has been receiving mixed reviews (naturally), most of the reviews are good. Nicki has released a few singles prior to Queen's August 10th debut. An unreleased track I really enjoy is "CoCo Chanel" which features the legendary Foxy Brown.

Tyler Creator followed behind on the 8th, finally sharing an official video for "See You Again", my personal fave off his album, Flower Boy (July 2017). The visual is Russian Military themed and features an A$AP Rocky cameo.

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RnB Pop-star, Ciara released her second single, "Freak Me", from her project in the works. She then dropped edited footage of choreography to the sexy song that reflects its native sound.
On the 9th, Dreamville artist, Bas, dropped a visual for "Boca Raton", the first single of his album set to release on August 24th. The song is a fun approach on how geographical distance can cause doubt in a relationship.
Tinashe's "Throw a Fit" was released 2 weeks ago, but is just now receiving heavy promo. The single is a spin on Gucci Man's "Sussie" and it's about using sex as leverage to gain material things or simply put: "using what you got to get what you want".
Quavo, member of the mega trio, Migos, released not one, but three solo tracks, "Working Me", "Lamb Talk"and "Bubble Gum". The tracks are available under his name on all streaming platforms.