Wale

Source: Kevin Rawls / Radio One Digital

Teyana TaylorThe Album

Two years after K.T.S.E., Teyana Taylor is back with the highly-anticipated release of her newest full-length project, The Album.

The 23-song effort boasts a star-studded cast, including Erykah Badu, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Big Sean, Rick Ross, Quavo, Kehlani, Missy Elliott, Future, and King Combs. But it’s also a family affair, as it features her husband Iman Shumpert (on “Wake Up Love”) and their baby daughter Junie (on “Come Back To Me”).

The production team is also full of familiar names here. It includes Kanye West, Timbaland, Cardiak, Murda Beatz, Bongo ByTheWay, Ayo n Keyz, Mike Dean, and more.

Juneteenth was the perfect release date for this album, according to Teyana. “With releasing the album on Juneteenth, it’s important because if you noticed the lead singles that I led with were ‘Made It’ and ‘We Got Love,’” Taylor told Billboard. “So I’ve always been here. I’ve always been about us being celebrated and celebrating my culture and my people. For everything to happen, from my album getting delayed and it falls perfectly on Juneteenth, yes, it’s a celebration.”

She added: “It’s still a lot of work to be done, but I just wanted it to be a thing where Juneteenth is amazing, but even after Juneteenth, we have to keep going. We have to keep celebrating one another and not letting that die down.”

Listen to The Album below.

WaleThe Imperfect Storm

Wale surprises fans with The Imperfect Storm. Without much advanced notice, Folarin releases a new six-song EP that was inspired, in large part, by the recent events surrounding this country and the world.

The Imperfect Storm features Eric Bellinger on “Empty Wishing Well” and McClenney on “Movin’ Different.” The project also includes production from Bizness Boi, Super Miles, LAKIM, Dahi, Jonah, King Sunny Ade, Omega, and McClenney.

“I try to watch to the news but I’m lashin’ out / My daughter seen the murder on cellular phone,” Folarin raps on “June 5th.” He adds: “America is lost, these are the results / I check in with God, my passion be gone / Wasn’t askin’ for nothin’, just compassion is all.”

Stream The Imperfect Storm below.

Anderson .Paak — “Lockdown”

Anderson .Paak reflects on the state of the nation on “Lockdown.” Produced by Anderson and J.LBS, the new song is a rumination of the protests around the country following the tragic death of George Floyd.

“You should’ve been Downtown,” Anderson sings on the hook. “The people are rising / We thought it was a lockdown / They opened the fire / Them bullets were flying / Who said it was a lockdown? / Goddamn lie / Lockdown? We ain’t gotta stop ‘cause they tell us to / Downtown where I got shot with the rubber bullet.”

The song’s video was directed by the critically acclaimed Dave Meyers. It features Andra Day, Dumbfounded, SiR, Dominic Fike, Syd, and a special verse from Jay Rock. “Ready for the revolution, who ready to ride?” he raps. “It won’t be televised, so tell me, who ready to die?”

Watch the visual for “Lockdown” below.

John Legend — Bigger Love

John Legend finds Bigger Love with the release of his newest album. The 16-song LP falls on the same day as his scheduled Verzuz battle with Alicia Keys.

Jhené Aiko, Rapsody, Koffee, Gary Clark Jr. and Camper all appear on this album, while the production team includes Charlie Puth, Anderson .Paak, Cautious Clay, Ryan Tedder, Ricky Reed, Mr Hudson, and more.

“This album is full of love, hope, and soul,” Legend told fans on Twitter. “After I wrote the song [“Bigger Love”] with [Ryan Tedder and Cautious Clay], I knew that it felt like an album title that captured the spirit of the music.”

He later added: “Every album is unique. My life experiences evolve. My perspective evolves. My inspiration and mood are different and I often push myself by collaborating with different people to get me out of my comfort zone. I feel like it all came together to make [Bigger Love] my best yet.”

Find Bigger Love below.

Alicia Keys — “Perfect Way to Die”

On the eve of her Verzuz battle with John Legend, Alicia Keys releases “Perfect Way to Die,” an emotional, piano-led song co-produced and co-written with Sebastian Kole.

“Mama never thought she would be getting a call from the coroner,” she sings. “Said her son’s been gunned down / ‘Can you come down?’ / Tears in her eyes, ‘Can you calm down?’ / ‘Ma’am, can you calm down?’ / But it rained fire in the city that day.”

Keys explained the song’s inspiration and its title on social media. “I have felt called by music like I never have before.⁣⁣ I have been following its lead.⁣ It has led me to the song ‘A Perfect Way to Die.’ ⁣⁣The song title is so powerful and heartbreaking because WE are heartbroken by so many who have died unjustly.⁣⁣

“Of course, there is NO perfect way to die,” she continued. “That phrase doesn’t even make sense. ⁣⁣Just like it doesn’t make sense that there are so many innocent lives that should not have been taken from us due to the destructive culture of police violence…Let’s NEVER stop fighting for justice.”

Noname — “Song 33”

When J. Cole released his newest song “Snow On Tha Bluff” earlier this week, critics claimed it was directed at Noname. Although Cole never confirmed who the song was about, he asked fans to follow the Chicago-based rapper on Twitter, calling her “a leader in these times.”

Days later, Noname has responded to the controversy with a track of her own, “Song 33.” Produced by Madlib, the new cut features references to Cole’s “Snow On Tha Bluff,” George Floyd, and the late activist Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau.

“He really about to write about me when the world is in smokes?” she asks. “When there’s people in trees? When George was begging for his mother, saying he couldn’t breathe / You thought to write about me?”

Following the song’s release, J. Cole shared a link to the Noname track on Twitter. Listen to “Song 33” below.

Noname — “Song 33”

When J. Cole released his newest song “Snow On Tha Bluff” earlier this week, critics claimed it was directed at Noname. Although Cole never confirmed who the song was about, he asked fans to follow the Chicago-based rapper on Twitter, calling her “a leader in these times.”

Days later, Noname has responded to the controversy with a track of her own, “Song 33.” Produced by Madlib, the new cut features references to Cole’s “Snow On Tha Bluff,” George Floyd, and the late activist Oluwatoyin “Toyin” Salau.

“He really about to write about me when the world is in smoke?” she asks. “When there’s people in trees / When George was begging for his mother saying he couldn’t breathe / You thought to write about me?”

Following the song’s release, J. Cole shared a link to the Noname track on Twitter. Listen to “Song 33” below.