Busta Rhymes — Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God
Eight years after Year of the Dragon, venerated veteran Busta Rhymes finally unleashes his newest album, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God. It arrives more than two decades after the original and long after it was first teased years ago.
Busta brings familiar friends to the party. The 22-song album features familiar faces like Chris Rock, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Mariah Carey, and Mary J. Blige. It also includes Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, and Rapsody, as well as fellow rap vets Rakim, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, and M.O.P.
It’s been a long time coming, as Busta has been teasing ELE2 for quite some time. In 2014, for example, Rhymes talked about working on the project for four years up until that point. “I want the music to speak for itself,” he told Fuse at the time. “I’m working on a legacy album. This ain’t a hot album. This is a legacy album.”
Listen to Busta Rhymes’ highly-anticipated “legacy” album, Extinction Level Event 2 below.
Common — A Beautiful Revolution
Common begins a new saga. One year after releasing his Let Love LP, the legendary MC returns to the scene with his newest project, A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 1.
Calling it a labor of love, Common announced the new album with the Black Thought-assisted single, “Say Peace.” “I found my peace…making these albums,” the Chi Town MC rapped on the track. Now, the rest of the project is here, featuring Lenny Kravitz and PJ. Karriem Riggins handles a bulk of the LP’s production with assists from Robert Glasper and Burniss Earl Travis.
“A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 1 is affirmation,” Common said in a statement to press. “It’s recognition. It’s elevation. It’s music to go with a movement because the truth is, there is still so much work to do. Regardless of the outcome of the election, we need to make sure things do not return to the status quo. The intention of the music is to channel all of our pain and outrage into something productive, inspirational, and good. It’s to help lead a movement into our next phase of the work to be done.”
Listen to that phase on A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 1 below.
Atmosphere — The Day Before Halloween
As this spooky season comes to a close, the legendary independent hip-hop group Atmosphere bring the frightful holiday in with their newest album, The Day Before Halloween.
One year after Whenever, Slug and Ant bring forth ten new songs, including the previously released single, “Blotter Acid Reflux Syndrome.”
Famed director Jason Goldwatch both directed and edited a movie to go with the album. With Slug listed as an assistant editor, the new film features spliced footage with a vintage flare and a trippy horror vibe.
Slug revealed that the album was inspired by the 1980s during a Twitch conversation with his Felt comrade, Murs. “There’s a feeling to me that is cold, maybe it’s made of metal — not rust but old metal — maybe it has chipping paint on it. It’s the ‘80s to me,” he explained.
Listen to the timely offering The Day Before Halloween below.
Freddie Gibbs, Big Sean & Hit-Boy — “4 Thangs”
It’s been a big year for Freddie Gibbs. Shortly after dropping his Alfredo project with The Alchemist, the Indiana titan teams up with Big Sean and Hit-Boy on “4 Thangs.” The new track comes with an accompanying video full of championship vibes.
For his part, Freddie shouts Big Sean out on the track. “I fuck with Sean Don; he run the D like Barry Sanders,” Gibbs rhymes. Meanwhile, his partner-in-rhyme serves up some breakfast-themed wordplay. “I pray my life go over easy and I never scramble,” he raps before delivering a throwback gem. “She sent a text like ‘Can we talk?’ I’m not Tevin Campbell.”
The new song was produced by one of the year’s hardest working producers Hit-Boy, who recently handled the production on Sean’s Detroit 2, Nas’ King’s Disease, and Benny The Butcher’s Burden of Proof. The “4 Thangs” collaboration between Sean and Gibbs follows their work together on Mike Posner’s “Bring Me Down.”
As for the the visual: the “4 Thangs'” music video was seemingly inspired by the Los Angeles Lakers’ recent championship run. Dressed in purple and gold, the trio of Sean, Freddie, and Hit enjoy a champagne-filled celebration full of trophies, skits, and dancers. Watch the visual below.
Ariana Grande feat. The Weeknd — “off the table”
Two of music’s biggest names join forces as Ariana Grande and The Weeknd team up on “off the table,” an early standout off Grande’s newly-released album, Positions. The R&B-flavored track was produced by Tommy Brown, Shintaro, Travis Sayles, and Mr. Franks.
Over that production, Ariana Grande ponders a potential lover on the hook. “Just wanna know, is love completely off the table?” she sings as Abel Tesfaye joins in with his own thoughts on love. “I’ll wait for you even though it always feels like I’ll be number two to someone you can’t hold anymore,” he laments.
The Weeknd is one of three guests on Grande’s new LP, which is out now. The other featured acts are Ty Dolla $ign, who appears on “safety net” and Doja Cat, who lends her raps to “motive.” The project also includes the celebrated title track, which also worked as the project’s lead single.
Stream the entire LP, including “off the table,” “safety net,” and “motive” below.
Omarion – The Kinection
Omarion connects once again with The Kinection. Six years after his Sex Playlist project, the seasoned R&B singer drops off his latest offering in the form of a 12-track LP.
O tapped a few friends for this effort including Ghostface Killah on “I Ain’t Even Done.” Elsewhere, Wale shows up on “Mutual,” T-Pain pops up on “Can You Hear Me,” and Busy Signal appears on “Goddess.”
The “Ice Box” crooner says this album is also the soundtrack to a 5-part documentary that’s set to arrive soon. The upcoming doc is slated to focus on O’s 2019 “Millennium Tour” experience. “You’ll see how the planets aligned for me,” Omarion wrote in a statement to press. This is perhaps most evident on the song “B2K Experience.”
Elsewhere on social media, O added: “So much went into this body of work and now it’s finally yours.” Stream The Kinection below.