The Weeknd — “Take My Breath”
The Weeknd’s back. Seemingly kicking off a new era, Abel Tesfaye unleashes a funky new joint with throwback elements and a controversial new video.
Produced by Max Martin, Oscar Holter, and The Weeknd himself, the new track is about an intoxicating romance. “I saw the fire in your eyes / You told me things you wanna try,” Abel sings. “I know temptation is the devil in disguise / You’d risk it all to feel alive / You’re offering yourself to me like sacrifice / You say you do this all the time.”
The Weeknd recently explained that his next album reminds him of his debut album, Kiss Land. “If it wasn’t for Kiss Land, I wouldn’t have been able to make this new album,” he told GQ. “That [unreleased] song that you just heard? That’s Kiss Land, man. It’s just me understanding how to use Kiss Land now, in my craft. But it’s definitely my most honest record. I was the most naked. Most vulnerable.”
Directed by Cliqua, the new video for the song comes with an epilepsy warning. It’s a vivid visual packed with intense strobe lighting. In fact, the music video was so intense that, it was pulled from IMAX Theaters, where it was meant to debut, over potential medical concerns. For this reason, the video is merely linked here. Stream the song below.
Nas — King’s Disease II
Escobar season has returned. After nabbing his first-ever Grammy win last year for King’s Disease, Nas re-ups with the sequel, King’s Disease II.
Eminem, Ms. Lauryn Hill, EPMD, Charlie Wilson, YG, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, and Blxst all join Esco on this 15-song LP. Much like the first installment, this one was produced by Hit-Boy.
“The pressure weigh a ton, it’s gettin too heavy,” Nas reveals one the intro, “Pressure.” “Had to inspire them again like I didn’t already / Real ones still around, release the confetti / God’s Son across the belly.”
Nas and Hit-Boy appeared in a promo for the album. “Incredible timing, man. Greatness,” Nas said in the social clip. “Great weeks in a year. It’s about that: moments, man. Moments for real.”
Stream King’s Disease II below.
Tinashe — 333
A year after releasing Comfort & Joy, Tinashe comes out with her newest project, 333. The independently-released offering boasts 16 new tracks, including features from rapper Buddy and singer Jeremih.
Kaash Paige, Wax Motif, Quiet Child, Kudzai, and Absolutely are also guests on this project. Meanwhile, KAYTRANADA, Hitmaka, Crishan, and Sam Sparra are among the LP’s producers.
Tinashe recently told Beats 1 that the album is all about experimentation and about distancing herself from expectations. “I was just experimenting,” she said. “I would get in the room and I would say to the producers, ‘What’s the weirdest beat you have?’ Because they would always play me something that, to me, would sound like something they thought I would want every time… Do not. To me, it was about finding the opposite of what they thought I wanted and then kind of deconstructing that from there. That was an interesting process.”
The singer also talked about dropping this album in a lengthy message to fans on social media. “Being an independent artist has its challenges and at times makes you question your greater purpose in the music industry,” she wrote. “I definitely had a different idea of what my career would look like when I was a kid. But here I am, 10 years into it, knowing I am on the right track, finally feeling the freedom to trulyyy be myself and the confidence to become a better and more passionate person, songwriter, artist, and woman.”
Stream 333 below.
Jack Harlow feat. Pooh Sheisty — “SUVs”
Shortly after appearing on Lil Nas X’s “Industry Baby,” which is currently sitting at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, Jack Harlow unloads his own new single featuring an appearance from Pooh Sheisty.
Produced by Go Grizzly and Smash David, the new song is all about boastful evolution. “All my brags turn to facts – all my hundreds turn to racks,” Jack raps. “All my ladies turn to snacks / SUVs black on black / I was fucking up but now I’m back on track.”
Receiving the memo, Pooh adds to this theme in his verse: “I seen hitters turn to rats, went from HEMIs to them CATs.” Later, he adds: “I don’t put shit in the past / If you were looking for me and couldn’t find me, I was in my bag.”
Jack recently announced that his upcoming “Créme de la Créme Tour” sold out after the initial run of dates was announced. “We used to do shows with 10 people in the crowd,” he said in a statement to fans. “Every night I would struggle through my set, trying to entertain an empty room, telling myself that one day all of my concerts would be packed. Those times are the reason I could never take something like this for granted. Streams and followers are nice…but having real people buy real tickets to come and see you in the flesh is priceless. Thank you for this.”
Stream “SUVs” below.
Victoria Monét — “Coastin’”
Victoria Monét is wavy on her newest single, “Coastin’.” Produced by The Stereotypes, “Coastin’” is a smooth and old school-inspired new joint by the singer-songwriter that pulls inspiration from different directions.
“All I do is think of you, think of the ways I wanna give you this ass,” she sings o the sultry cut. “Feels like a Thursday how I’m throwing it back / Baby, we can go North, South, East, West Coast.”
Victoria explained that the song was inspired by the summertime during the pa
“I actually made [the song] in the winter time, so it was an interesting, nice way to escape, because we were still pretty quarantined and social distanced,” the singer said in a statement, according to 2DopeBoyz. “I was able to jump into a summertime that I wish existed and was really inspired by some old classics, one being ‘Tell Me’ by Groove Theory. I just wanted that energy.”
Groove Theory’s “Tell Me” is a classic. The revered song has also inspired a slew of other songs, including 50 Cent’s Lloyd Banks and Tony Yayo-assisted “Doin’ My Own Thing,” Wale’s “The Glass Egg” and Gallant’s “Miyazaki.”
Stream “Coastin’” below.