What a week it was in new music. Here are some of the highlights of what went down.
First off, rest in peace Prince. The musical renaissance man passed away Thursday (April 21) at the age of 57 at his home in Paisley Park, Minnesota. He was hospitalized last Friday (April 15) after his private plane made an emergency landing in Illinois. He had been fighting the flu, however things seemed to be looking upward as he threw a party at his estate just a day after returning home from the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Aside from news outside of the studio, a lot went down behind the boards as numerous big time artists dropped some heat. After being silent for most of 2016, Fetty Wap dropped three new songs, including one with Snoop Dogg called “Westside.” Wiz Khalifa dropped a couple of bangers – one with Juicy J and One Direction member Liam Payne, and another featuring his old partner in rhyme Curren$y.
In preparation of his album Always Strive and Prosper, which was released today (April 22), A$AP Ferg blessed us with “Strive”, featuring the always lovable Missy Elliott. If you haven’t listened to it yet, do so. Click right here. Ferg was also showcased on Jim Jones’ songs “Harlem” and “Finesse” (the latter also featuring Rich Homie Quan).
Finally, Ariana Grande teamed up with Lil Wayne for “Let Me Love You”, a single off her forthcoming album Dangerous Woman. From the looks of it, the LP may have more of a club ring as Future and Nicki Minaj are slated to make appearances. Kid Cudi, Chris Brown, Migos, Post Malone and more also released music within the last seven days.
Check out a few picks of what our music staff was feeling below.
Fetty Wap - "Queen of the Zoo"
A wise woman named MC Lyte once called Fetty Wap a feminist, and she was absolutely right. The crooner has forged his own lane of hood love anthems, and “Queen Of The Zoo” has the potential to be his next “Trap Queen”-level hit. On a slower, strip club-worthy admittance of admiration, Fetty’s vocals also get an update, featuring harmonizing that may point to a few singing lessons. If you’re still sleeping on the fact that the Paterson, N.J. kid can make a hit record, wake up and try to avoid vibing to this track. - Iyana Robertson
Mac Miller feat. Dave East - "Headaches Migraines"
Okay, look, let me start by saying that I'm not very used to Mac Miller delivering his rhymes in this form or fashion like he is on "Headaches Migraines." He's taken on this trappish Future Fan flow, which at first listen is annoying and abrasive, but after a few listens becomes a part of him. Meanwhile Dave East glides through the track like a champ and is a welcomed break from Mac's new style. The combination though is key, mixing with a digitally dark beat, and the result is a certified tune to bump on repeat. No headaches or migraines here. - Kathy Iandoli
Juicy J & Wiz Khalifa feat. Liam Payne - “You"
Rocking a trap beat that can also be played on the top 40 stations is always impressive. This also marks Liam Payne's first musical experiment with hip hop which as we've seen in the past can either come off laughable or it can catapult you to a higher plane of credibility. The track is only a demo but as demos are supposed to, it leaves you wanting more. - Jacob Rohn
A$AP Ferg feat. Missy Elliott - “Strive”
Just like that we got, what can potentially be, the early Summer banger. Everyone involved is in top form. For starters, this might be DJ Mustard’s best since “Rack City.” The center of the track? Ferg’s massive gift for rhythmic flow. And while a Missy feature could be treated as a gimmick, it’s really just a bonus here and it takes the pressure off her allowing her to slay her verse. While there are glimpses of Vic Mensa’s “Down on my Luck” it really doesn’t matter because the message is winner. - Jon Reyes
Big K.R.I.T. - “$30”
Big K.R.I.T. has one of the best batting averages in hip hop. Releasing his most recent project It’s Better This Way late last year, the Meridian, Mississippi kingpin has been dropping bangin’ loosies here and there since. On “$30” Krizzle remixes Kanye West’s “30 Hours” from The Life Of Pablo by slightly tweaking it sonically, but completely changing up the lyrical matter. If you’re here for typical southern-fried K.R.I.T. tales of perseverance, this one’s for you. - Paul Meara
Wiz Khalfia feat. Curren$y - “Change”
Curren$y might be "one of those" people that doesn’t ever appear to sleep, considering how much music he’s been releasing this year on the regular. For this track, he was recruited by none other than Wiz Khalifa to celebrate 4/20 with a mellow, smooth vibe that highlights the talents of each emcee over Ricky P’s polished production. Wiz always comes through when it comes to creating tracks inspired by his favorite plant, as he and Spitta go back and forth waxing poetic about how things "Change." - KC Orcutt
Waka Flocka Flame - "Real Friends (Remix)"
Calling all of Waka Flocka's real friends. I bet you think this song is about you. It is. Waka let us into the Life Of Juaquin with a remix of the Kanye West-produced "Real Friends," where he opens up about his life and career. - Janice Llamoca