Beyoncé — The Lion King: The Gift
Queen Bey gifts fans The Lion King: The Gift. Beyoncé, who voices Nala in this year’s live-action version of The Lion King, curated the new project as its executive producer. The global powerhouse called this star-studded endeavor a “love letter to Africa.”
Yoncé doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the LP’s star quality. Aside from co-stars James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Billy Eichner, and Donald Glover, the new effort also features Bey’s husband JAY-Z and their daughter Blue Ivy. But wait, there’s more. Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Major Lazer, Tierra Whack, Jessie Reyez, and more make guest appearances.
“This soundtrack is a love letter to Africa and I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa, and not just use some of the sounds and did my interpretation of it,” Bey told ABC in a rare interview promoting the film. “I wanted it to be authentic to what is beautiful about the music in Africa.”
She continued by describing how this LP came together. “A lot of the drums, the chants, all of these incredible new sounds, mixed with some of the producers from America, we kind of created our own genre,” she added. “I feel like the soundtrack becomes visual in your mind. It’s a soundscape. It’s more than just the music because each song tells the story of the film.”
The film is also out now. Receive The Lion King: The Gift below.
Nas — The Lost Tapes 2
Nas excavates his vaults for The Lost Tapes 2. Seventeen years after the inaugural edition, Escobar unleashes a new batch of unreleased songs for the sequel. Much like the original, this one features songs that didn’t make any of his albums. Some, he’s said, are 10-12 years old, while others were made within the last two years.
Led by “Jarreau of Rap (Skatt Attack),” the new effort includes 16 songs. It also features Swizz Beatz, RaVaughn, David Ranier, J. Myers, and Keyon Harrold. Meanwhile, RZA, Pharrell, Statik Selektah, Hit-Boy, Swizz Beatz, DJ Dahi, DJ Khalil, and Pete Rock are among the album’s producers.
Nas, who is on tour with Mary J. Blige right now, spoke about the new LP with “The Daily Show” earlier this week. “I really didn’t know what to do with these songs,” he said. “They weren’t really the songs I wanted to put on the [album]. They were just sitting there. I always thought I’d come back to them and finish them up later, but it never happened. So I’m sitting there with songs starting to pile up and I’m like, ‘Oh, I did The Lost Tapes album seventeen years ago…I think it’s time for another one.’”
Find The Lost Tapes 2 below.
Quality Control feat. DaBaby & Lil Baby — “Baby”
Quality Control is getting ready to Control the Streets once more. The machine behind Lil Yachty, Migos, and more is gearing up for its second compilation of the same name with a Baby-themed new single. In a cohesive move, the label teams up Lil Baby with DaBaby for a new song titled “Baby.”
Lil Baby shouts out the late Bankroll Fresh and his song “Show Em How To Do It” before launching into his verse: “Baby really a problem; somebody gotta stop ’em / And the haters watchin’ too hard, I think they got binoculars / Every nigga with me on go, it ain’t no stoppin’ us.”
DaBaby follows up with his own verse, referencing Bad Boy boss Sean Combs: “Baby CEO, he shake the game like he Diddy / You would think it’s Mardi Gras, I got these bitches showin’ titties / And I ain’t throwin’ beads, I pull them bitches’ weaves.”
The Wheezy-produced track is set to appear on Control the Streets Vol. 2. Due Aug. 16, the project is expected to feature QC acts like Quavo, Ofset, Takeoff, City Girls, Lil Yachty, and other acts from the label. However, an official tracklisting has yet to the revealed. Listen to “Baby” below.
Tory Lanez — “Forever”
Tory Lanez is reflecting on his day ones with the release of his newest single, “Forever.” After delivering tracks like “Broke Leg,” “Melee,” and “Freaky,” the Canadian rapper-singer unloads a new cut that’s all about loyalty.
“When shit gettin’ wild and you kill a nigga, we bury the shovel together,” he vows on the song. “I got you forever and ever / I got you through every endeavor.” Later, he adds: “We were freezing in the cold and we were starving in the desert together / You were quick to pull that Desert whenever.”
“Forever” is meant to hold fans over while Tory continues working on his next project, Chixtape 5. Lanez recently apologized to fans on social media, saying the delays will be worth it.
“I [know] it’s taking long guys. But perfection is perfection and I promise it’s worth the wait,” he wrote. “I’ve never been in my bag like this. Production, writing, creative concepts, this project might really be the best one yet and that’s hard for me to say but the more time that gets spent on it is the better it sounds.”
Listen to “Forever” below.
Maxo Kream — Brandon Banks
Maxo Kream builds on his buzz with the release of his newest project Brandon Banks. One year after Punken, the upstart reloads with this 15-song LP. Although he may just be starting to get more recognition, this effort features some high-profile collaborators.
Travis Scott, ScHoolboy Q, Megan Thee Stallion, and A$AP Ferg lend their voices to the project. Meanwhile, Mike Dean, D.A. Doman, Zaytoven, Supah Mario, and Chasethemoney are among this project’s producers.
However, Maxo takes centerstage with raps about his life and street ties. “I got homies in the grave, I got brothers in the pen,” he raps on the intro, “Meet Again.” “I got some that’s coming home, I got some that’s going in / Tried to go to visitation but they wouldn’t let me in / So our only conversation writing letters with a pen.”
Kream has been making noise for his raw street raps and he continues to flex that muscle on tracks like “Still.” “Still got a chopper too big to conceal,” he raps. “Still making deals, just signed me a deal / Signed to RCA, 1.5 mill.”
Stream Brandon Banks below.
Iggy Azalea — In My Defense
Iggy Azalea is back for the first time since her 2014 debut album, The New Classic. Following delays, a label separation, and plenty of controversies, the Australian rapper returns with a 12-song offering, In My Defense.
Azalea tapped Lil Yachty, Kash Doll, Stini, and Juicy J for guest spots this time around. She also worked with producers like Rico Beats, Smash David, and Go Grizzly. However, JWhite Did It, who also recently produced Cardi B’s “Money,” worked on the bulk of this project.
The Aussie rapper recently explained why she worked with JWhite on the majority of this project. “We were fans of the same things and that made for a good connection,” she told iHeartRadio. “The whole thing is such a collaboration…It’s just so sticky and gluey and all good in one thing, and that’s what I love about it. So excited about it. It was the best time making it.”