5) Snoop Dogg – “Go On” ft. October London
Snoop Dogg could see himself included frequently in summer playlists this year. While the West Coast rapper already has classic summer jams such as “Drop It Like It’s Hot” he appears to be adding more to his list. Days before the release of his 15th studio album, “Neva Left” Snoop Dogg released “Go On,” an October London-assisted single.“Go On” finds Snoop rhyming about fun under the sun.
October London has collaborated with Snoop before as he was featured on his previous album, “Coolaid.” Beyond that, London is signed to Snoop's Cadillac Music label. He's the perfect addition to the song as his voice is very reminiscent of Marvin Gaye.
4) Meek Mill – “Whatever You Need” ft. Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign
Meek Mill enlists Chris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign for his new single,“Whatever You Need.” Over a sample of Tony! Toni! Toné!’s “Whatever You Want,” Meek Mill tones down as he caters to the ladies. “Long as you hold me down you know it’s goin’ down / Be there when I turn around and I’ll turn your world around,” he raps. Listen below:
3) Wale – “Fashion Week” ft. G-Eazy
Wale usually isn't mentioned in discussion of being one of the best current lyricists. It's fair to say it's because he isn't mainstream enough. His latest album,“Shine” sees him smally attempt at a more radio-friendly sound. The G-Eazy assisted “Fashion Week” serves as an example. The song could best be used as morning booster, especially for the ladies. “That body bangin', accept that/ You should model, girl, who do your booking,” Wale raps. Get ready to hit the runway for “Fashion Week” below:
2) TLC – “Way Back” ft. Snoop Dogg
It’s the 90’s all over again! Despite it being twelve years since the girl group TLC have released a studio album, the duo have remained close and are still relevant. With a VH1 biopic that aired in 2013 and a J. Cole collaboration, TLC have become known to a new generation. Last year, TLC launched a Kickstarter campaign for their final album and raised more than $430,000. Their brand-new reminiscent tune, "Way Back" is one to include in your summer playlist as it has all of the elements of a classic TLC song. As soon as you hear T-Boz's raspy tone, you'll instantly feel nostalgic.
1) Goldlink – “Meditation” ft. Jazmine Sullivan, KAYTRANADA
Goldlink may be a new act to many, but he's been quietly doing music since 2013. Since moving to RCA, Goldlink has seen a slight increase in popularity. For instance, the Shy Glizzy-assisted “Crew” is his first single to chart. However, Goldlink's latest single, “Meditation” better embodies him musically. Due to growing up in D.C., the rapper is very familiar with go-go, which is evident in "Meditation." Hear the song below and get ready to have it on repeat:
Aside from the songs recommended, what songs will you be including in your summer playlist? Comment below.
Brandy hasn't displayed herself in the best light as of recently. The R&B singer debuted at 15 years old and was placed in a elite group with the late Aaliyah and Monica. Each singer had a different image, and Brandy was put in the most pressure as she was viewed as America's Sweetheart. She eventually became the poster child for teen girls. Despite how she projected herself, Brandy had jealously toward her peers. In interviews, Norwood would lie as if she was the best of friends with both Aaliyah and Monica. It was rumored that she and Monica had fought backstage at the 1998 MTV VMA's. The rumors were confirmed while they promoted their single, "It All Belongs To Me" on The Angie Martinez Show. Monica also admitted during their Breakfast Club interview that they didn't like each other and didn't communicate.
Brandy also used to comment on Aaliyah's appearance. Aaliyah's expression seemed unsurprised as an interviewer mentioned it to her. Being the sweet-natured girl that Aaliyah was, she remained professional as she responded to Brandy's comment. Aaliyah wasn't fond of Brandy however.
On Aaliyah's self-titled album, Liyah made a subliminal diss towards Brandy on the track, “Loose Rap.” Aaliyah was aware of Brandy's jealously towards her and mentions it in the track. Brandy wanted to collaborate with her producer Timbaland and eventually did on her 2004 album, “Afrodisiac.” Timbaland happened to produce most of the album and Brandy captured Aaliyah's sound to "represent" her.
Aside from having a squeaky clean image, Brandy was also pressured as she starred in the teen sitcom, “Moesha.” Portraying Moesha, Brandy felt that she had to live up to the image of her character. The series was seen as a platform for black teenagers as it dealt with relatable situations. Despite Moesha's close relationship with Countess Vaughn's character, the two weren't getting along in reality. They had encounters on set that led to Vaughn calling Brandy a b**ch. “She knows,” says Brandy of Vaughn. “She wakes up and looks at herself in the mirror and she gets disgusted. I don’t.”
For decades, Brandy has hidden behind this innocent image, but her true character is being unveiled especially through social media. With the R&B icon being more active on social media, it's becoming very apparent that the singer's behavior has been bizzare. Brandy, who would once draw attention with her music is instead attracting the media with drama. Brandy reignited her feud with Monica, which began publicly when a fan asked if she'd participate in the "So Gone Challenge." "Chile Bye," the R&B singer responded. Brandy also posted an Instagram post where she referred to the late Whitney Houston as her fairy godmother after Monica described her as such on Oprah's “Where Are They Now.”
Aside from the Instagram posts directed at Monica, Brandy's songwriter and former friend Tiyon Christian has admitted to her being insecure. They've brought their tension to Instagram, and recently had a lengthy exchange of words. Their feuding became public in December when Christian had a Twitter tirade, mentioning that Brandy was upset when he took a picture with Beyonce. The two revived their feud this week and Christian posted this lengthy message on Instagram:
Nothing is wrong with Brandy being human, but it's startling as Brandy has displayed herself as this embracive and innocent woman. Since her debut, the R&B singer has appeared to have jealously toward her peers. Through her use of social media, it's clear she's still envious. However, this in no shape or form takes away from her accolades or her unique gift.
Mary J. Blige had a rocky summer as it went public that she filed for divorce from husband/manager, Kendu Issacs. The report brought anticipation toward her music, as she’s known for her break-up hits. Blige has given a taste of what to expect on her new single “Thick Of It,” which reflects on the divorce. Entitled “Strength of a Woman,” the LP is set to feature contributions from Hit-Boy, Jazmine Sullivan, and Kanye West. Listen to “Thick Of It” below:
In 2016, G.O.O.D. Music signee, Big Sean, is one that HAS been quiet for most of the year; at least as a solo artist. Earlier in the year, Sean released a joint project with R&B singer and current girlfriend Jhene Aiko. Together, the two were known as TWENTY88. Their self-titled project along with its visuals was an amazing piece of work altogether. As we know it, the two have always made great music together.
With that and only a couple features under his belt early in the year, by the fourth quarter, Sean fuels up his latest era with the release of “No More Interviews” and “Bounce Back.” He sets the tone for his upcoming works as he returns to his original, turnt up, sound and super-duper flow. Sean later announces the release date for his fourth studio album “I Decided,” dropping February 3rd, 2017. He leaves us with “Moves,” which is featured on the album, and “Living Single” featuring Chance The Rapper and Jeremih. Big Sean says I Decided is his best work yet and hopes to push the culture forward with the release. I can’t wait to see his if he lives up to those statements.
If there’s anyone who won in 2016, it was Teyana Taylor. The actress/singer achieved breakthrough success when she starred in Kanye West’s “Fade” music video, which showcased her sickening body. Taylor was also a highlight at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors for her tribute to honoree, Lil’ Kim. This year has displayed her versatility, but not all of it as the “Fade” star can sing. Taylor is signed to Kanye West’s “GOOD Music” and dropped her debut album in late 2014. Vocally, she falls under Brandy as she has a sultry, raspy tone.
Taylor has already teased new music. Check out my favorite from VII below:
To some, it may seem like Nicki Minaj took a break from taking over the rap scene in 2016. Although it was a small amount, Minaj did give us a major taste of things she’d been working on. The rapper gave us remixes to some the most popular hits of the year with “The Pinkprint Freestyle” and “Black Barbies,” stayed true to her brand with killer features on pop records, landed a role in the blockbuster hit Barbershop 3, released her mobile app Nicki Minaj: The Empire, and so much more.
We obviously got little solo releases because Nicki has been working on her fourth studio album, as seen in clips floating around social media; from her own hinting lyrics in her Instagram captions to producers posting snippets of the work they’re doing for her. This “break” of Nicki Minaj's fuels up the anticipation for her next studio album, hoping to release this 2017.
The Hip-hop industry saw retirement happen substantially in 2016. The Game announced his departure during his Dec. 18th show in Moscow, Russia. The rapper unveiled his final album entitled “Westside Story” will be written before he goes to jail. “When I get back to L.A. I’m going straight to jail because I fuckin’ had a fight with a police officer and shit,” Game revealed. His 2005 collaboration with 50 Cent shares the same title as his forthcoming project.
In October, The Game released his eighth studio album, 1992, which debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200.
This year, East released his highly anticipated “Kairi Chanel” mixtape after buzz of being signed to Nas’ Mass Appeal label and releasing several crazy “East Mix” remixes. As seen on social media, East has shown and announced upcoming features with artists such as J. Cole, Lil Uzi Vert, G Herbo, Don Q, and others. East has also been seen shooting a music video for the first track on Kairi Chanel titled “It Was Written.” With potential and talent on his side, I see Dave East going very far and look forward to his success.