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Vixen Review: 'Nothing Was The Same' is the Sound of a Man With Confidence

Insatiability can be mankind's Achilles heel, and we ladies know it best. In our personal quests to find Mr. Right, we tend to craft these fantasy-like mental mock-ups of the perfect man- one who can fight off a Spartan army, sheds no tears, is a god in the sheets, and has two degrees and a bottomless wallet--and the men in the real world fall short. Of course every woman (and her checklist) is different, but if a fella's got four out of five, wandering minds still hunt for the guy with the perfect strikeout is. A woman's (understandingly) sky-high expectations may make some dudes intimidated or insecure, but by the sound of Nothing Was The Same, Drake isn't one of them. No woman, or man for that matter, can shake the confidence that comes with the 26-year-old's hard-earned stardom. Now that right there, is an attractive quality.

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The months leading up to the release of Drake's third studio release were cloaked in a spirit of anticipation. Both men and women-temperamental and ice-hearted-anticipated the lust-struck confessions, admissions of imperfection and cuffing season play-by-play of hip-hop's most emotive rapper-slash-singer. There's something about the amiable Canadian, with his therapy session flow and his save-a-trick tendencies, that strikes a collective nerve. After his tears seeped through speakers on Thank Me Later (2010) and Take Care (2011), it was safe to assume listeners should prepare for Sept. 24 stockpiling boxes of Kleenex. NWTS wasn't quite that.

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Yes, Drizzy does bait on raw emotions by assuring his listeners that he's as flawed as the next man ("Furthest Thing") and that he's not above a night cap with a gorgeous gal ("Come Thru"). Gentle songstress Jhene Aiko hauntingly traces his romantic memories in "From Time," while he croons lovingly about giving himself to a lady friend on "Own It" and "Wu-Tang Forever," which samples The Clan's song of the same name. He even tip-toes on wedding song territory on his sugary-tinged, "Hold On We're Going Home." But for most of the 15-track album, he's staring into the mirror admiringly and puffing out his newly chiseled chest saying, "Aubrey, you did good."

Boastful, borderline aggressive accounts of his come-up and conquer punch holes through syrupy streams of consciousness like morse code. "Open the mail, staring at the check/Enough to make you throw up/Man it's gross what I net," he flexes on "Worst Behaviour." His single-turned-mantra "Started From the Bottom"-whose anthemic stanzas wound up inked on Taco Bell sauce packets-echoes his personal pat on the back one hundred fold.

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Throughout our lives, we're constantly reminded of how much we still have to improve and how easy it is to miss the mark. Aubrey Graham's third LP couldn't have been given a more fitting title. On Nothing Was The Same, he rejoices in just that, giving himself the flowers for his myriad accomplishments while he's still "here." "My life's a completed checklist/I'm tired of hearin' 'bout who you checkin' for now/Just give it time, we'll see who's still around a decade from now," he reaffirms on the album's opener "Tuscan Leather." It's easy to picture the wide smile he's flashing as he delivers the rhyme. Yup. Confidence looks damn good on him.


--Stacy-Ann Ellis (@stassi_x)

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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