Khalid — “Self”
Khalid focuses on “Self” with the release of his newest single. The singer-songwriter’s introspective new song is a single off his forthcoming album, Free Spirit, which is due April 5.
Produced by Hit-Boy, “Self” features some self-reflection. “He knows I hear him cryin’, cryin’ out for help / I don’t know how to save him, I can’t even save myself,” he sings. “There’s many people dyin’, I’ve always been afraid / Not that I’m scared of livin’, I’m scared of feeling pain.”
While analyzing himself, Khalid croons about his issues with this type of analysis. “Always had a little trouble with self-reflection,” he adds. “Now, does my raw emotion make me less of a man?”
Khalid opened up about the song’s cathartic nature during an interview with Beats 1 last year. “One subject matter that I’ve written about is myself,” he said. “How I feel about myself, and how I felt at my low…After I wrote that song, I felt way better.”
Free Spirit is set to be Khalid’s first full-length release since 2017’s critically-heralded American Teen LP. Listen to “Self” below
Saweetie — Icy
Rising rapper Saweetie follows her “Icy Girl” single success with her highly-anticipated Icy EP. Despite the effort’s title, the album does not include her breakout single. Instead, she packs this seven-song effort with a series of new cuts.
The West Coast MC’s rumored boyfriend Quavo appears twice on this project. First, he shows up on the raunchy Buddah Blessed-produced “Tip Toes.” Later, he pops back up on the NOVA Wav-produced “Emotional.”
Saweetie enlists a team of producers here, including Murda Beatz, Hit-Boy, London on the Track, G Koop, and Cronkite. But otherwise, she handles the vocal duties herself, rapping about her ice, sex, gifts from a lover, and ownership.
“Ownership of all my shit or I don’t sign the dotted line,” she raps on the intro, “Trick.” “I’ma come for all of mine, make it rain, then see the shine / Diamond in the rough, but all these diamonds, I ain’t hard to find.”
Get Icy with Saweetie below.
Phonte — Pacific Time — EP
Phonte is living on Pacific Time. The well-respected rapper-singer follows last year’s critically-acclaimed No News Is Good News LP with a new EP.
Phontigallo has flexed his multidimensional nature throughout his career. Although he raps on this effort, he primarily focuses on his singing skills throughout this project. It features Devin Morrison on “Beverly Hills” and Bosco and KAYTRANADA on “Heard This One Before.”
“Made a little money, thought it made me pop,” he rhymes on “Heard This One Before.” “It didn’t give me money but it gave me options / Like trips to the Moulin Rouge / Or more cheese on my cordon bleu.”
Spend some time in the Pacific with Phonte below.
Birdman & Juvenile — Just Another Gangsta
Cash Money legends Birdman and Juvenile reunite with the release of their new duets album, Just Another Gangsta. The new effort lands with 12 tracks, including a guest appearance from NLE Choppa. DRoc is the album’s primary producer, handling every track. He is sporadically assisted on the production side by Super Earz and Sven Rafael Steenburgen.
Juvenile and Birdman reflect on the past while celebrating their current blessings throughout. “Took it from the block, now I’m on the yacht / Cartier shades on, looking at the ops,” Juve raps on “From tha Block.” “We did it all / ’88 in the projects, we had it all,” Baby adds on “Back Then.” “Block bumpin’, we real niggas, we kill ‘em all.”
This album may come as a surprise to some fans. After all, Birdman and Juvenile beefed with one another after breaking into hip-hop together. However, the duo apparently reconciled their differences and business-based disputes in recent years.
“I think it was time,” Juvenile told “The Breakfast Club” this week. “We really built our friendship back up over the last couple of years, hanging and stuff. [Plus] I’ve been away for a minute. I didn’t wanna come back out with a solo album yet. I need to get my feet wet first.”
Stream Just Another Gangsta below.
Ciara — Thinkin Bout You
Ciara continues to level up with new releases. The “One, Two Step” songstress is back with “Thinkin Bout You,” the latest single off her forthcoming album, Beauty Marks.
Over Space Primate’s funky production, CiCi sings about her lover. “I’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout you,” she sings. “Maybe you’re my destiny / Maybe it’s just a fantasy / Maybe it’s just my imagination / Boy, I’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout you.”
It’s been fifteen years since Ciara released her debut album Goodies. This year, she is honoring that with the release of her new album Beauty Marks, which is due May 10. The LP is set to drop through her own Beauty Marks Entertainment imprint.
Listen to “Thinkin Bout You” below.
Melii — phAses
Newcomer Melii is going through phAses. The bilingual rapper-singer unleashed her debut project phAses a couple of days early this week.
The rising New York act dropped 14 tracks off for fans. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Odalys, and Tory Lanez make guest appearances on this project, which is out through Rule #1/Interscope Records.
Melii gets autobiographical on the intro, “Way Out,” which was produced by Felix Leone. “Mama working three jobs, only see her in the night / There was times we didn’t have it, grinding for a better life,” she raps.
The new effort arrived under some controversial circumstances. Upon its release, Tory welcomed Melii to his One Umbrella team, which apparently rubbed Meek Mill the wrong way. The Philadelphia rapper, who was reportedly set to sign Melii to his imprint, allegedly commented, “This a corny ass move on both y’all end,” via Instagram.
Melii addressed the controversy on Instagram Stories. ”It’s easy to judge n argue about things that aren’t true n seem a certain way because of social media,” she wrote. “But not once have I bashed Meek or even plan on doing so.”
She later said: “I never intended to snake anyone. If anything I tried my best to work around many things that put me in uncomfortable situations. As a woman, a lot of things I stood for weren’t there so I took the high road n gracefully removed myself.”
Listen to Melii’s phAses below.