Big Sean & Hit-Boy — What You Expect
Big Sean and Hit-Boy solidified their working partnership on last year’s Detroit 2. Now, after teasing a collaborative project with “What a Life,” the high-powered duo returns with a co-headlining EP, What You Expect.
“Me and HB, it’s an instant slapper, instant plaque, a system crash,” Sean raps on the intro, “Chaos.” “I pitched it black and risked the max / Anything less? I can’t live with that.”
Sean and Hit hold it down as a duo, but they aren’t alone here. The 6-song project also features guest appearances from the likes of Lil Durk, Bryson Tiller, 42 Dugg, and Babyface Ray.
This marks yet another joint effort for Hit-Boy. The West Coast producer/emcee also recently worked extensively with Nas on their King’s Disease II LP. Last year, Hit and Sean worked closely on Detroit 2, which featured the hit single “Deep Reverence” featuring the late great Nipsey Hussle.
Listen to What You Expect below.
A$AP Rocky — Live.Love.A$AP
A$AP Rocky’s Live.Love.A$AP has long been held up as one of his most celebrated releases. The mixtape originally released in 2011 is now finally available on streaming services in honor of its 10th anniversary.
This is remembered as a special moment for Rocky. The 16-song offering boasted collaborations with ScHoolboy Q, A$AP Ferg, and SpaceGhostPurrp, among others. It also featured production from the likes of Clams Casino, A$AP Ty Beats, and DJ Burn One.
As usual with mixtapes that go to streaming channels, this version isn’t identical to the original. Instead, fans miss out on a few cuts (including “Kissin’ Pink”) in exchange for “Purple Swag” and “Sandman,” which are added here.
Taking to social media, Rocky reflected on the “crazy journey” to celebrate the momentous occasion.
“DI$ PROJECT WA$ HOW DA WORLD FIR$T HEARD WHO ROCKY IZ WHO JODYE IZ WHO FLACKO IZ,” he wrote. “4EVA GRATEFUL 4 ALL DA FANZ & FAMILY WHO’VE GROWN WIT ME DI$ IZ 4 Y’ALL.”
Stream this edition of the project below.
A$AP Ferg feat. Pharrell Williams — “Green Juice”
The A$AP Mob news keeps coming. While A$AP Rocky delivers his Live.Love.A$AP mixtape to streaming platforms, A$AP Ferg provides a new single for fans in the form of “Green Juice.”
Pharrell Williams produced the track as part of The Neptunes, but Skateboard P also lends his voice to the record. “They do not make nothing like this no more,” he sing-raps on the hook. “We got the caterpillar chains, the butterfly doors.”
Trap Lord Ferg shows up to boast about the collaboration during his verse. “I’m the king, I’m the ruler,” he raps. “Got Pharrell up in Harlem, chillin’ on a crate with a block of shooters.”
Valentin Petit directed the song’s music video, which appears to have been inspired by The Matrix films. “I run the game, I set the bar,” Ferg raps in the video, while flashing his grill in a digitally fragmented clip that goes in and out of realism.
Listen to “Green Juice” and watch the visual below.
Various Artists — The Harder They Fall Soundtrack
The Harder They Fall is a star-studded experience. The Netflix film, which stars Regina King, Idris Elba, Lakeith Stanfield, and Jonathan Majors, also boasts JAY-Z as one of its producers.
Director Jeymes Samuel recently broke down JAY’s involvement with the film. “Most of the stuff we go back and forth on is film,” he told GQ. “And it has always been that way. We have big debates over Scarface.”
Hov also lends his voice to two cuts off the film’s original soundtrack: “Guns Go Bang” with Kid Cudi and “King Kong Riddem” with Jadakiss, Conway The Machine, and BackRoad Gee.
As Samuel explained: “We’ve always collaborated. We go back to collaborating with Jay Electronica. And Jay and I did the Great Gatsby together. So working with Jay is literally like breathing.”
CeeLo Green, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Barrington Levy, Koffee, and Seal also make appearances on the soundtrack, which you can listen to below.
Alicia Keys — “Best of Me”
Alicia Keys has maintained a steady output in recent years and now, she continues building upon her legacy with her newest single, “Best of Me,” and its “unlocked” remix.
The self-produced new track features Alicia’s impressive vocals, which fans know and love. “You feed the mystery,” she sings. “You are my red and my blue pill / It makes me come alive, don’t be a lie, it feels so real / You get the best of me.”
To go along with the new single, Alicia also delivers an “unlocked” version produced with Mike WiLL Made-It.
Keys dropped her ALICIA album last year and doubled back with ALICIA: The Selects earlier this year. She also recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of her beloved Songs in A Minor LP.
“Best of Me” is expected to appear on AK’s forthcoming double album, Keys, which was just announced. The project is expected to arrive in December, featuring an “originals” version and an “unlocked” version produced with Mike WiLL.
“One album. 2 versions. Originals & Unlocked,” Keys explained on social. “The Originals come from that classic side of me! It’s that AK that we WANT! A homecoming. The Unlocked side, I wanted to sample The Originals to create a whole other sonic experience. So, Mike WiLL Made-It and I connected and made magic.” Together, they are a fusion of the worlds within me with the Keys as the main ingredient.”