BLEU & Nicki Minaj — “Love In The Way”
Nicki Minaj is currently sitting at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with “Super Freaky Girl.” Following this level of success, the Queen of the Barbs isn’t slowing down. Instead, Nicki teams up with BLEU, formerly known as Yung Bleu, for a new single, “Love in the Way.”
Minaj kicks things off with an introductory verse. “You blew it, I could tell you knew it / But you was like ‘screw it’ / I guess I’m fluid,” she raps on the track. “I was going through it / Ain’t nothing more to it.” Later, she comes back with a separate verse: “You never had a queen on deck / I never was the type to be next / I’m the type to be kept.”
For his part, Bleu sings about a lover on the dance floor. “Girl, let’s move,” he sings. “If you can’t dance, grab my hand, just do a little one-two / It hurts to love again and it’s all because of you / I love when you dance to thе music and the DJ’s playin’ the right tunes / It’s hard to love again and it’s all because of you.”
The new cut speaks to the idea that “Heartbreak is a universal language,” Nicki says via Twitter. “There are no ranks in the game of love.” But the track didn’t come easily, she explains. “I couldn’t even write to the song. I was in a trance for the whole night when [BLEU] sent me this. On everything I love. Just sat there [with] the headphones on.”
Listen to “Love in the Way” below.
Ab-Soul — “Moonshooter”
Ab-Soul fans can rejoice. The Top Dawg Entertainment emcee has not released a new album since 2016’s Do What Thou Wilt. But six years removed from the project, Soulo returns with another one-off single. This one is called “Moonshooter.”
“It’s kill or be killed, not heal or be healed,” Soul begins rapping on this Poptartpete-produced production. “Fake is the new real / I want to say what happened / to hip-hop but then I’d be naggin’.” He soon explains the song title: “Shoot for the moon and keep a gun around / In a world so cold, at least the sun is out / Live in my mind, I question everything / To that point, I don’t know what to think.”
The introspective Soul carries on from there. “Head to the sky like, can I win one time?” he asks in a self-reflective manner before explaining his thought process further. “’Tis the question / I had to eat, the industry was giving me indigestion / But opting out ain’t an option in my profession / You don’t know what I’m talking about though, here’s the lesson: shoot for the moon.”
“Moonshooter” follows “Hollandaise,” which dropped earlier this year. Listen to the new single below.
Mariah Carey — Butterfly: 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition
Mariah Carey has a lot to celebrate in an illustrious career. This week, she honors her impressive legacy with the 25th Anniversary Expanded Edition of her lauded and beloved album Butterfly.
This edition comes with a couple of live renditions, including “The Late Show with David Letterman” performance of “Butterfly” and “My All” from “VH1 Divas Live.” Moreover, it also includes acapella versions of “Fourth of July” and “Outside,” as well as a new iteration of “The Roof (When I Feel the Need)” with Brandy. Finally, it features remixes of “Butterfly” and “Honey” by Amorphous and David Morales, respectively.
“I will never forget the day I released this album to the world,” Mariah says via social media. “I had never felt more exposed and vulnerable yet free and euphoric at the same time. It was a true EMANCIPATION (no pun intended!) of my spirit, soul and innermost feelings which I poured into every lyric and every note on every song. 25 years later, it’s still one of the proudest moments of my life & career.”
Listen to the 25th anniversary edition of Butterfly below.
Cam’ron & A-Trak feat. Conway The Machine — “Ghetto Prophets”
Cam’ron and A-Trak recently teamed up for “All I Really Wanted.” Now, the dynamic duo is back with “Ghetto Prophets.” This time around, they bring Griselda’s Conway The Machine into the fold.
A-Trak produced the song along with DJ Khalil and Lakim. First, Killa Cam raps about a recent escapade. Eventually, he tackles his come up. “Homie, I came from nothing,” he explains. “Tenement introduction / The crack era destruction.”
Conway handles the hook on this joint. “Stop playing, you know I’m getting to that loaf / Two new Virgil color ways, I just got them both / Drip, drip, drip, $9,200 for my coat,” he raps. “Infinity pools and ocean views right by the coast.”
Cam and A-Trak have been linked for years. In fact, Cam opened up about their collaborative chemistry back in 2017. “I wasn’t aware of A-Trak’s celebrity, and it turns out he’s a really big deal,” he told RedBull at the time. “He’s really cool. He came to the house, we’d cook, eat, chill, watch TV, go do a song. Then we’d make jokes, talk about each other’s mothers, smoke weed, go make a song.”
Now, the guys are back at it. Their upcoming joint album U Wasn’t There is due next week. Listen to “Ghetto Prophets” below.
KXNG Crooked & Joell Ortiz — Harbor City: Season One
KXNG Crooked and Joell Ortiz ruffled feathers with Rise & Fall of Slaughterhouse. Now, just months after releasing their farewell to the four-headed monster, the duo returns with Harbor City: Season One.
Joell and Crook go back-and-forth over the course of 24 songs. But they aren’t going at it alone. Instead, they call on some familiar faces, including Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and the legendary emcee AZ. Blakk Soul, MRK SX, and Jeweliet also make appearances.
Crook celebrated the release across socials. “Feels good to drop some more music with my guy,” he says. “I thought I’d be working on my retirement album all 2022 but then me and Joell reconnected and everything changed. We bounced ideas & concepts around until they became studio sessions and music videos.”
He adds: “Rise & Fall was one of the most honest rap albums I’ve heard in a while. Luv it or hate it, we lived in our truth and kept shit classy. That’s behind us now. I feel brand new!…[F—k] retiring right now! Me & Joell have work to do!”
Listen to Harbor City: Season One below.