New Track: “Can I” x Drake & Beyonce

The last, finalized Drake-‘Yoncé collaboration was “Mine”: a piano-laced two-parter that featured the two in their natural R&B habitat, the thematic elements shadowy and lovelorn–relentless 808s acting as their heartbeat. The recently leaked “Can I” diverges from “Mine” completely, its creepingly downtempo unfurl a starkly different atmosphere than that of the prior’s breathy, butterflies-in-stomach vulnerability….

Review: Kendrick Lamar-‘To Pimp a Butterfly’

Kendrick Lamar is more ‘mad scientist’ than ever. And it’s never felt more comfortable. The eccentric K-Dot hybrid of snarling prophet and placid beholder, this time revealed full-force in a wild, unrestrained slew of jazz experimentalism-meets-West Coast grit, makes for the fine line between disciple and maniac. And even if he were a bit kookier, it’s…

New Track: Angel Haze x “CANDLXS”

Singer/sometimes-emcee Angel Haze just released a love-y single–complete with homemade, watercolor album art–via SoundCloud, entitled “CANDLXS”. Atop a flute-peppered instrumental produced by Troy Noka, the fluently cool, alt-chick first delivers a swift rhyme then plunges into sheer R&B bliss. In an ear-swallowing hook, she croons from atop cloud nine, “Let the candles burn slow, forever…

India Shawn & James Fauntleroy Join Forces on “Outer Limits”

Earlier today, Cocaine 80s frontman James Fauntleroy and trance-R&B femme India Shawn SoundCloud-released a blissful collaboration (their first from 2014, “Floating Away”, can be found here). The track, entitled “Outer Limits”, takes a sparkling pop approach with a sleek, synthesized disco instrumental–something a bit more digitalized and dance floor-ready than the organic production usually found…

New Track: The Weeknd-“Earned It”

XO’s The Weeknd surprise-released a track last night, “Earned It”, a new single and addition to the 50 Shades soundtrack upon the film’s theater release in mid-February. The classically-influenced track features Tesfaye’s nectarous, falsetto coos over an oscillating, violin-plucked beat. To enhance the instrumental’s already-aphrodisiac effect, each verse pairs his appreciation while a background piano flickers:…

Album Review: ‘SUCKER’-Charli XCX

Around this time last year, circa-Iggy Azalea collaboration, Charli XCX appeared as more of a pop sidepiece than an actual center-stage star. She provided the swanky, blaring vocals for the chart-busting “Fancy”, but ‘blowing up’ on her own certainly didn’t seem a likely scenario. At least that’s what it looked like to those not up…

PARTYNEXTDOOR Drops 4 New Singles, Completes ‘PND Colors’ EP

Drake’s OVO Sound signee PARTYNEXTDOOR, dark R&B’s newest ne plus ultra, just released four new tracks, (“Girl From Oakland”, “Don’t Worry”, “Juss Know”, “Let’s Get Married”)–all components to his mini-mixtape, PND Colors, an ongoing project that’s been sporadically released via singles. The delirious “Let’s Get Married”, a tongue-in-cheek offer wrapped in Braithwaite’s drear-dipped idealism (“What I…

Wu-Tang Clan Previews New Reunion EP with “A Better Tomorrow”

Far from retirement, the classic, NYC-born, hip-hop 9-piece just released a new single, “A Better Tomorrow”–the title track single from their upcoming EP on December 2nd. Talk of the disintegrated group’s reunion has been circling on Twitter and other social media since their David Letterman appearance just two nights ago, a set they spent on…

Mary J. Blige Drops Piano-Heavy Ballad, “Not Loving You”

Longtime, man-slandering mother of R&B Mary J. Blige just dropped a new single, “Not Loving You”. The track, found on The London Sessions and likely a marketing move for another project to come, is loaded with simple, intimate piano and a lot of the chest-belting we’d expect from the veteran soulstress. Just over 3 minutes is all…

Review: Teyana Taylor’s ‘VII’

Still more popular for her Adidas line, Ka’oir lipstick deal, and Instagram handle–the social media platform most illustrative of her urban-fashion-queen status–the once-My Super Sweet Sixteen star Teyana Taylor is itching to prove she’s a lot more than that. Harlem’s own smoky-toned, R&B undergrounder, the 23-year-old multi-tasker can–if you weren’t aware–sing like no other. And…