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August 3rd, was the date of the hottest releases for music including Travis Scott, YG, H.E.R, Ella Mai, and Diggy Simmons. From albums, to EPs, singles, and videos, we got a lot of artistry to enjoy last weekend. Here’s my view on all these new projects:

Albums covers(Travis Scott, YG, H.E.R, and Ella Mai)

Albums covers(Travis Scott, YG, H.E.R, and Ella Mai)

1. Travis Scott- Astroworld (Album)

Travis Scott's new album cover, Astroworld

Travis Scott’s new album cover, Astroworld

Travis Scott’s new album, “Astroworld,” was the most highly anticipated project on Friday. Fans have been waiting for Travis’ third studio album since last year, when he released the title of the album in a interview. From the abstract cover art, to the lyrics, to the dope beats, this new album is exactly what his fans have been waiting for.

You can’t deny that Travis is one of the leaders in the new school when it comes to trap rap  music. Not only does he make music for his own musical projects, but he also wrote and produced for other big artists like Rihanna (which he was rumored to be dating), and Kanye West. Travis music isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of the rapper, then you will enjoy this project because it sounds like classic Travis. He remained true to himself on this project. He’s known for his rock and roll lyrics, talking about women and drugs, his hard hitting beats, and having some the hottest features. In the album, he talked about his personal life with the mother of his child/girlfriend, Kylie Jenner, his drug usage, bragged about the money and material things he has, and his hometown, Houston. And although it’s not listed on the tracklist, there are a lot of guest features from big artists like Drake, The Weeknd, Swae Lee, 21 Savage, Frank Ocean, and even Stevie Wonder.

My favorite tracks are:

“SICKO MODE” ft. Drake, Juicy J, and Swae Lee

“STOP TRYING TO BE GOD” ft. Kid Cudi, Stevie Wonder, and Swae Lee

“SKELETONS” ft. The Weeknd and Pharrell Williams

“WAKE UP” ft. The  Weeknd

“CAN’T WAIT” ft. Don Toliver

HOUSTONFORNICATION,” and his single “BUTTERFLY EFFECT,” which is actually a year old. But overall, the tracks that stuck with me the most, were  “CAROUSELft. Frank Ocean, because I always appreciate a Frank feature, being as it’s so rare; and “COFFEE BEAN,” because not only is it a different sound from Travis, but the lyrics are very personal and honest. On that track, he’s discussing his relationship with girlfriend and mother of his daughter, Kylie Jenner, and how people/media would say he’s not good for her, because of his “bad boy” image.

Overall: 4 out of 5.

2. YG- Stay Dangerous (Album)

YG's new album cover, Stay Dangerous'

YG’s new album cover, “Stay Dangerous”

YG, the Compton, California rapper, has just released his fourth studio project, “Stay Dangerous.” The album has his hit single, “Big Bank” ft 2Chainz, Big Sean, and Nicki Minaj. The song has been in the news lately not only from the album release, but because of the latest controversy with the football video game, Madden’ 19 EA game, where it seems the game blurred former NFL player, Colin Kaepernick name out of Sean’s verse on a the game’s soundtrack. YG took to IG, to stand by Colin with disappointment in the game creators, expressing how he thinks they owe Colin and all the people on that song an apology. On the same day, Jhene Aiko released the remix featuring YG on song, “Never Call Me.” So it’s been quite a weekend for him.

Now if you’re familiar with the California rapper, you know that he makes gangster West Coast rap music. YG has never shied away from being affiliated with the bloods(gang), and in this album, you get to hear more of that. But although he gives you music to turn up to or blasting in your car with the top down, he tends to always give you some real deep songs towards the end of all his albums, referencing back to his debut, My Krazy Life with the song like “Sorry Mama.” Or on his last album, Still Brazy,” with songs like “Black and Browns,” and “Police Get Away with Murder.” This album, was no different; he gave you the best of both worlds. Towards the beginning of the album, you get the gangster rap, and towards the end, you get some songs talking about the problems he faces with being in a gang and using rap as an outlet. And being able to help his family and friends, now that he’s doing well financially.

My favorite songs on the album are:

“10 TIMES”

“TOO COCKY”

“POWER” ft. Ty Dolla Sign

“TOO BRAZY”

“BIG BANK” (single), and “DEEPER THAN RAP.” But my absolute favorites was the interlude “FREE THE HOMIES INTERLUDE,” going into the last song on the album, “BOMPTOWN FINEST.” The interlude was a recording of YG’s friend in prison, thanking YG for putting money in his commissary, and how a lot of people turned their back on him when he got locked up. However, YG, continues to support him, and how the gang life isn’t worth it, and how he’s proud of all of YG’s success. Then it goes right into the song, “BOMPTON FINEST,” were YG talks about the struggles he faced regarding in his career, friendships, being a dad, etc. My least favorite track on the album, is “SLAY” featuring Quavo. Although I’m a fan of both artists, the song was very simple, and sounded very similar to other songs I heard Quavo on.

Overall: 3.5 out of 5.

3. H.E.R- I Used To Know Her: The Prelude (EP) 

H.E.R's new EP cover art, I Used To Know Her

H.E.R’s new EP cover art, I Used To Know Her

H.E.R’s appearance remains a mystery, but her music is not. Over the best two years, the singer has been killing the R&B game. She caught the attention of most people from her song, “Focus” from her self-titled mixtape. From songs like “Every Kind of Way” to “Best Part” ft. Daniel Caesar, it had her fans craving some new music. Well now, they have some, which will hold them to the album.

This EP with only 6 songs, gave us exactly what we needed. Of course we got love ballads with poetry towards the end, but we actually got to hear some rapping like on the first track, “Lost Souls” where she samples Lauryn Hill classic song, “Lost Ones.” The project is mostly her, but she included one feature from the “Trapsoul” singer, Bryson Tiller on the song “Could’ve Been.”

My favorites songs on the EP are:

Against Me” and “Feel A Way,” which sounds like a song Brandy would sing.

Not many songs on the project to judge or dislike, but my least favorite is “Lost Souls.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the sample, but honestly, because of the project is so short, I would have appreciated if we heard an original track.

Overall: 3 out of 5.

4. Ella Mai- TRIP (Single)

Ella Mai's new single cover art for, "TRIP"

Ella Mai’s new single cover art for, “TRIP”

The British singer, Ella Mai has had the season on lock with her single, “Boo’d Up,” which has been the song of the summer. Everybody and their momma has been remixing it, including her with the original remix featuring, rapper Nicki Minaj, and  ⅓ of the Migos, Quavo. Although the singer has several projects, which the last one, “READY” actually has “Boo’d Up” on it, a lot of people only know the single, and aren’t too familiar with those projects. Many were wondering if she was going to be a one hit wonder, and recently, Ella has put a stop to those rumors, with the release of her latest single, “TRIP” on Friday.

The single has a 90s/early 2000s R&B feel to it, which I love because I live for throwbacks, but even if you don’t, I think you would still enjoy it. Ella is yet again expressing her love to a guy, in a new way. It’s a love song, which Ella is known for, but it has an up tempo beat of course produced by the man that discovered her, DJ Mustard. The single is just in time for her, “Boo’d Up Tour,” which kicks off this Monday, August 6 in Dallas, Texas. And if you’re wondering about the album, good news, Ella says, “It’s coming soon.”

Overall I give the single a 4 out of 5.

5. Diggy Simmons – It Is What It Is (Single and Video

Diggy Simmons' cover art for single, "It Is What It Is"

Diggy Simmons’ cover art for single, “It Is What It Is”

It’s been 6 years since most of us heard some new music from Diggy Simmons, even though he’s released some singles here and there, we didn’t get much promo or talks of an album. But now, Diggy has been talking and promoting this single and video for a couple weeks, and got everyone excited to hear/watch the video.

The single, “It Is What It Is,” is definitely a different sound from the Diggy I remember, but in a good way. He was very young when he first started his rap career, and you can tell he was trying to find his sound and trying to cater to his young audience, but now, he’s all grown up, and his music has grown with him.

The song has a soulful sound to it, and positives and encouraging lyrics like, “On your way to try to it big/ Try your best not to do a bid. I wanted momma to be proud of this/ Start the Porsche and see how loud it is. Start a business, we could make a killin’.” And the video follows suit with positive images of people praising in church, little black kids dancing, and young black men with graduation gowns on. 

 

Diggy recently sat down with “The Breakfast Club,” where he talked about dealing with mental health issues like anxiety and OCD, and feeling pressure about releasing new music. He said that’s sort of the inspiration behind the song, and revealed his album is done. So we probably can expect that by the end of this year, or the beginning of 2019.

Single: 3.5 out of 5. Video: 5 out of 5.

 

Music

Truly Legendary! “Brandy Verzuz Monica” Reaches Over 1.2 Million Viewers!

Brandy and Monica gaves us the “Verzuz Battle” we have been waiting for! The two legendary singers who rose to fame as adolescents in the nineties are now fully grown women with rivaling musical catalogues and a history of personal beefs.

However, tonight, Brandy and Monica settled their issues–off-screen of course–and reached over 1.2 million viewers with their highly anticipated Verzuz Battle, creating a moods and moments none of us will ever forget!

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monica brandy verzuz battle

Brandy and Monica gaves us the “Verzuz Battle” we have been waiting for! The two legendary singers who rose to fame as adolescents in the nineties are now fully grown women with rivaling musical catalogues and a history of personal beefs.

However, tonight, Brandy and Monica settled their issues–off-screen of course–and reached over 1.2 million viewers with their highly anticipated Verzuz Battle, creating a moods and moments none of us will ever forget!

monica brandy verzuz battle

Back and forth the ladies delivered hit after hit and bop after bop; which had many Generation X-ers and Millennials reconnecting with their childhood. From Brandy we heard hits like “What About Us?,” “Brokenhearted (the Wanye duet),” “Sittin’ On Top Of The World,” and more. Meanwhile Monica came just as heard with classics like “So Gone,” “4 U I Will,” “Everything To Me,” “First Night,” and more.

Naturally, the ladies dabbled in fun shade; reminiscing on the alleged slap down Monica gave Brandy in their youth, and their aforementioned off-screen heart to heart to clear the air. They apparently had not spoken to each other for eight years.  Nevertheless, their honesty and ability to forgive one another was endearing and an excellent example of how two people in a longstanding feud can heal one another.

monica brandy verzuz battle

 Honestly, their Verzuz Battle left us wanting a joint album from them. Brandy and Monica are magic together, and this is the closest match up in the history of the Instagram Live series. To us, there was no clear winner.

The positive commentary and feedback from thousands of celebrities and influencers; and over a million fans shows we definitely need R&B to make a comeback. The singers we have grown to know and love are good for more than just features and hooks. Brandy and Monica PLEASE go on tour! We will definitely buy tickets!

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Music

As She Should…Jojo Pulls Tory Lanez Collaboration from Deluxe Version of Her Album!

The girls are sticking together when it comes to canceling Tory Lanez. Singer, Jojo, has opted to remove her collaboration with him off the deluxe version of her album.

After Megan Thee Stallion confirmed Tory Lanez indeed shot her, a fan reported he heard Tory was removed from the album, and Jojo confirmed it with a tweet:

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jojo megan thee stallion and tory lanez

The girls are sticking together when it comes to canceling Tory Lanez. Singer, Jojo, has opted to remove her collaboration with him off the deluxe version of her album.

jojo

Jojo at arrivals for MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) 2015 – ARRIVALS 1, The Microsoft Theater (formerly Nokia Theatre L.A. Live), Los Angeles, CA August 30, 2015. Photo By: Elizabeth Goodenough

After Megan Thee Stallion confirmed Tory Lanez indeed shot her, a fan reported he heard Tory was removed from the album, and Jojo confirmed it with a tweet:

Tory appeared on Jojo’s club banger, Comeback, from her latest album, Good to Know. You can check it out below.

We are here for Jojo’s decision to bar Tory from the album. His actions were misogynistic and toxic.

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Music

“Baby Mama!” Brandy is Back w/ New Single, featuring Chance The Rapper!

Brandy, AKA “The Vocal Bible” is back with a new single, “Baby Mama,” for mothers worldwide!  The new single features award winning artist, Chance The Rapper, and was released via collaboration between Brand Nu Entertainment and Entertainment One (“eOne”).

Just in time for Mother’s Day, “Baby Mama” speaks on Brandy’s journey raising her own daughter, Sy’rai, as well as mothers working to support their families.

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baby mama brandy chance the rapper

Brandy, AKA “The Vocal Bible” is back with a new single, “Baby Mama,” for mothers worldwide!  The new single features award winning artist, Chance The Rapper, and was released via collaboration between Brand Nu Entertainment and Entertainment One (“eOne”).

Just in time for Mother’s Day, “Baby Mama” speaks on Brandy’s journey raising her own daughter, Sy’rai, as well as mothers working to support their families.

via Press Release

baby mama brandy chance the rapper

The single is currently available on digital platforms worldwide and will be impact radio on May 4. The song premiered this morning via iHeart Media stations across the country, and will be played every hour on the hour today until 10 PM local time.

“It takes a village to raise em’, we don’t do it all by ourselves…This song ain’t just for me, it’s for every mama yeah…Every day I breathe it’s for my little mama…I’m every woman and a baby mama.”

Brandy says, “My new single is about embracing the strength and fortitude needed not only in motherhood, but in life.  I’m am thrilled that Chance joined me on this track, and I hope my fans find it as uplifting as I intended it to be!”

Following the single’s release, BET will premiere the official “Baby Mama” video on Monday, May 4 via, BET JAMS, and BET SOUL, and BET.com beginning at 12 noon ET.   Directed by Derek Blanks, with creative director Frank Gatson, the video features a glowing and vibrant Brandy. 

“Baby Mama” is the follow-up to Brandy’s GRAMMY-nominated, hit single with Daniel Caesar, “Love Again,” which soared to #1 on the Urban AC chart late last year.

Since emerging with her 4x-platinum self-titled debut album in 1994 (released when Brandy was only 15-years-old), this trail-blazing pioneer has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and is ranked one of the best-selling female artists in American music history by the RIAA, having sold over 11 million albums in the United States. During her reign she recorded five albums: In 1998 – Never Say Never (1998), Full Moon (2002) Afrodisiac (2004), Human, and 2012 – Two Eleven (2012). Brandy has also earned scores of awards, including a Grammy, an AMA, two Soul Train Music Awards, two NAACP Image Awards, three Billboard Awards, four MTV Awards, six Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, two Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, and four BMI Awards.

“Baby Mama” will be featured on Brandy’s highly anticipated forthcoming album out later this year.  Fans can stay updated on new music and more by logging onto www.4everbrandy.com.

baby mama brandy chance the rapper

We have to say we love Brandy’s new single! It is a true bop and only goes to show that she still has it! She and Chance are quite the dynamic duo.

What do you guys think of “Baby Mama” sound off in the comments’ section below!

FOLLOW BRANDY:

Instagram: @brandy

Twitter: @4everbrandy

Facebook: @foreverbrandy

Tik Tok: @brandy

Snapchat: @TheNextBrandy

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