Drake — “Laugh Now Cry Later”
Shortly after dropping “Greece” and “Popstar” with DJ Khaled, Drake unveils his newest single, “Laugh Now Cry Later.” The Lil Durk-assisted track is set to appear on his just-announced forthcoming album, Certified Lover Boy.
Drizzy speaks about his rivals throughout the new joint. “Tired of beefin’ you bums, you can’t even pay me enough to react,” he raps. Later, adding: “When he tells the story, that’s not how it went / Know that he lying a hundred percent.”
Lil Durk breaks down loyalty on the track, which was produced by Cardogotwings, GRy, Yung Exclusive, and Rogét Chahayed. “I’m like DaBaby, I’m not just a rapper; you play with me, you gonna get stretched,” raps Durk. “Bring Drake to the hood and surround Drake around Dracs / Even though I got a case – I’ma do what it takes.”
Certified Lover Boy is Drizzy’s first official full-length since 2018’s double album, Scorpion. Since then, he’s released loosies, b-sides, and mixtape cuts on 2019’s Care Package and this year’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes. The much-discussed music video features all-star cameos from Kevin Durant, Marshawn Lynch, and Odell Beckham Jr. live from Nike Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. Watch the full Dave Meyers-directed visual below.
Nas — “Ultra Black”
Nas is back with a new single and an album announcement. The legendary MC has confirmed that his next LP, King’s Disease, is due next week. To celebrate the announcement, he released the project’s lead single, “Ultra Black.”
The new cut was produced by Hit-Boy, who’s also listed as a featured act, and Corbett. “We goin’ ultra Black,” he raps. “I gotta toast to that / We don’t fold or crack / Occasion, we rose to that / Fuck goin’ postal, we goin’ ultra Black.”
“Black is beautiful,” he adds at the end of the cut. Elsewhere, Esco also raps about Motown, Cash Money Records, Colin Kaepernick, Iman and Billy Dee Williams. He also references the recent controversy surrounding Doja Cat.
Nas discussed the new project in a teaser clip released on social media. ”I’ve been trying to do this with this man for years,” he explains in the clip regarding Hit-Boy. “We finally got the timing to work, that alignment…I’m super proud.”
King’s Disease is set to follow 2018’s Kanye West-produced NASIR LP. Since then, Mr. Jones also released The Lost Tapes 2, a sequel to the 2002 original. Listen to “Ultra Black” below.
Burna Boy — Twice As Tall
One year after African Giant, Burna Boy keeps that theme running with Twice As Hall. “If you think it’s over, then you must be drowsy,” Burna announces on the opening title track. “I’m a motherfuckin’ legend and I say it proudly.”
“This album was a journey through a bunch of emotions and energies at different points in time,” he said in a statement on social media. “It has now morphed into something bigger than me. It serves as a bridge for mankind to show that we’re all different but still very much the same.”
Diddy also added his thoughts on social after working alongside Burna. “Twice As Tall is one of the GREATEST PROJECTS I’ve had the privilege to work on,” he wrote. ”Congratulations to my brother Burna Boy on creating this CLASSIC ALBUM. And thank you for allowing me to work with you on this MASTER PIECE! TWICE AS TALL is unapologetic, bold, beautiful and BLACK! A certified CLASSIC ALBUM.”
Listen to the album, which features Naughty By Nature, Chris Martin, Stormzy, Sauti Sol, and Youssou N’Dour, below.
Anderson .Paak feat. Rick Ross — “Cut Em In”
Anderson .Paak and Rick Ross join forces on “Cut Em In.” Produced by Hit-Boy, the new joint works as an anthem about all of the things we need in life, according to the Oxnard champion, including valuable friendships.
“Sometimes you need a friend / Not the ones that just show up and don’t put nothin’ in / You know, the ones that lend a hand and wanna see you win,” Anderson says on the song. “When you come up on a lick, make sure you cut ‘em in.”
With his deep vocal delivery and the Maybach Music tag, Ross enters: “Grew up having nothing, you’re labeled impatient / But once The Bawse made it, you’re labeled amazin’ / Meticulous with words, such a force of nature / I don’t wanna seem absurd, but that boy’s a gangster.”
Anderson’s been heating up with new music. Earlier this year, he released his “Lockdown” single and he dropped the remix last week featuring Jay Rock, JID, and Noname. Listen to “Cut Em In” below.
Alicia Keys feat. Khalid — “So Done”
Alicia Keys teams up with Khalid for a moving duet on “So Done.” The new single arrives along with a vintage prom-inspired music video that goes through different eras.
The introspection hits across the board. “I lost control over all my energy,” Alicia reflects on the guitar-driven track. “Done so much damage to my heart / I’ve given in, I’ve changed my identity / I didn’t mean to go so far.” Khalid adds: “People keep changing faces / Why I’m so jaded / Face it, I think I’m fadin’” Together, they sing: “I’m so, so done / Fighting myself, going through hell / I’m livin’ the way that I want.”
Alicia Keys gave Khalid glowing praises in a 2019 TIME article. “Khalid is totally unique,” she explained at the time. “He’s a beautiful writer with the ability to take human concepts and make you understand and feel them. He has a full, powerful voice that is somehow unassuming and smooth at the same time.”
Keys was looking to release her new album Alicia earlier this year but delayed it due to the pandemic. Head back in time to prom in the visual for “So Done” below.