Alicia Keys — ALICIA
Four years after Here, Alicia Keys returns with her eponymous seventh album. Originally meant to arrive earlier this year, Alicia finally lands boasting 15 songs and some big named guests to go along with AK’s star power.
Jill Scott, Snoh Aalegra, Khalid, Miguel, Tierra Whack, Sampha, and more join the songstress on the album. Ed Sheeran, Ryan Tedder, Swizz Beatz, and Ludwig Göransson also lend their talents to the songwriting and production side of the project.
Keys has been prepping this LP for months. Back in January, she told “Big Boy’s Neighborhood” all about why this album is eponymous. “I’ve never had a fake persona,” she explained. “But I feel like now, I know all the sides of Alicia. I think that, as humans, we kind of get to know that one side…we kind of section ourselves off in so many ways. I finally have recognized that there are so many sides of who I am and I want to get to know all of them.”
Baby Keem — “hooligan” + “sons & critics”
Baby Keem created a buzz with last year’s Die for My Bitch. That excitement grew even more when Kendrick Lamar and Dave Free launched pgLang with Keem at the heart of the announcement. Now, the rising rapper unveils two new singles: “hooligan” and “sons & critics.”
“sons & critics” was produced by Jahaan Sweet, Scott Bridgeway, and Keem himself. Over thumping production, Keem bashes critics and boasts about his lifestyle. “Welcome to the new me,” he says on the track. “What’s your taste level on / Mine is pgLang, no, you didn’t hear wrong.”
Led by piano keys, “hooligan” boasts a production team that includes Jahaan Sweet, Oogie Mane, FAXONLY, and Pilgrim. Hooligans, they’re on the way / Had to influence the wave / Hop in that ship, go to space / Drive to the crib on the lakes.” Directed by Jake Schreier, the “hooligan” video features models rapping in Keem’s place while he stoically looks at the camera.
Rapsody — “12 Problems”
Rapsody takes on police brutality with the release of her newest single, “12 Problems.” It’s the latest cut off an upcoming Reprise compilation, which Roc Nation has called “a musical initiative uniting artists in protest against social injustice.”
“I got 99 problems, 12 still the biggest,” Rapsody raps on the track, referencing a classic JAY-Z joint. “I got 99 problems, batons, bullets, triggers.”
Later, she adds: “Cops kill lawfully, no remorse / I don’t want to hear arguments no more / about Black on Black, when white on white kill their own too / But cops are the only ones who ain’t accountable.”
Rap released the new song with a message. “Join me in bringing awareness to social injustices as part of the upcoming Reprise album a musical initiative uniting artists in protest against social injustice,” she said via social media. “A portion of proceeds will support organizations fighting to protect victims of police brutality, hate crimes and other violations of civil rights.”
Listen to “12 Problems” below.
Anitta feat. Cardi B & Myke Towers — “Me Gusta”
Cardi B is flying high on the Billboard Hot 100 with the chart-topping Megan Thee Stallion collaboration “WAP.” To follow that up, the New York rapper teams up with Brazilian megastar Anitta and Puerto Rico’s buzz-worthy Myke Towers on “Me Gusta.”
The “Bodak Yellow” star celebrates the collaboration during her verse. “Cardi and Anitta / two fly mamacitas,” she raps. Later, she adds more seasoning to the track: “I like girls that kiss on girls, / I like workin’, I like murkin’ all my haters.”
To go with Bardi’s appearance, Anitta provides a bilingual approach while Myke’s verse is in Spanish. The track was also produced by Andres Torres, Mauricio Rengifo, RDD, and Ryan Tedder.
The trio dropped a Daniel Russell-directed video for the track, which was shot in Brazil. It features a colorful theme and a fashion show on the streets. Listen to the global track and watch the vibrant visual below.
Busta Rhymes, Anderson .Paak — “Yuuuu”
Busta Rhymes and Anderson .Paak star in a “Spy vs. Spy”-inspired video for their new collaboration, “Yuuuu.” The new track finds the duo going back-and-forth over Anderson’s production.
“I had to bust a U / Came right back to get that loot,” .Paak sings on the track. “Know I had to finish what I started / No, it ain’t too late to turn around, is it?”
Busta adds: “Please get away from me, I don’t really wanna talk ‘bout nothin’ / If my money ain’t where it’s supposed to be, that’s when my gun starts bustin’ / Shells hit the floor, more shots comin.”
Directed by Benny Boom and Bustsa himself, the song’s video is a black and white split-screen “Spy vs. Spy” type thriller. Complete with comic animations and explosions, the video can be seen below.
Curren$y & Harry Fraud — The Director’s Cut
Curren$y and Harry Fraud are back with another one. Fresh off the release of their OutRunners project, which came out earlier this year, the duo returns with The Director’s Cut.
This time around, the guys provide nine new tracks of their signature sound. Snoop Dogg, Trippie Redd, Styles P, and Larry June all lend their vocals to this effort.
The Snoop guest spot almost didn’t happen. “Hit Snoop at 7am for a verse,” Andretti tweeted. “I’m like ‘yo it drops at midnight tonight so You’d have to get it back to me within a few hours’…had it back before I finished my breakfast. Love u legendary uncle [Snoop Dogg].”
Listen to that collaboration and the rest of the offering below.