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21 Savage, Rae Sremmurd, Jojo And More Friday Releases You Need To Hear

Who are you listening to?

The holiday parties are coming to an end, and the rest of 2018 is rapidly winding down. Even so, we still have a little more time left for new music releases.

From 21 Savage to Rae Sremmurd and A Boogie, here's what you should be listening to now. Check out our full list below.

21 Savage – I AM > I WAS 

After somewhat of a late start, 21 Savage's dropped his new album I Am > I Was. The album was originally supposed to drop earlier this month, but 21 later tweeted that he "forgot" to put it out.

The album includes the pre-released track "Immortal," which was originally debuted on the Mortal Kombat 11 video game.

In celebration of the LP's release, 21 launched an interactive exhibit called "Motel 21" in Atlanta. The exhibit allows fans to explore themed rooms while sipping on Ciroc-based beverages. Each room will feature custom art created by Antwanette McLaughlin and Skye Williams. Fans will also be given a $1,000 gift card provided by Amazon, Get Schooled, Juma and 21's Leading by Example Foundation.

Listen to I Am > I Was below.

Jojo – Jojo (2018)

In a pleasant surprise to fans, Jojo has reworked her debut studio album with new vocals nearly 15 years after the album was originally released.

The singer announced the news in a series of posts on social media on Thursday (Dec. 20). If you remember, the album includes the hit single's "Leave (Get Out)," "Baby It's You," "Weak," and "Never Say Goodbye."

The original 2004 project debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, selling 95,000 copies in its first week. It is also certified platinum.

Listen to the re-recorded version of Jojo below.

Rae Sremurd – Sremm Christmas

Rae Sremmurd are back just in time for the holidays. The rap duo dropped their first holiday album, entitled Sremm Christmas. Producer Mike Will Made-It initially announced the album a few days before its release.

The two previously dropped two singles, including the melodic "Christmas at Swae's" and "Nothing For Christmas" which showcase Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi's individual talent and group dynamic.

The album comes behind the triple-disc album Sr3mm, which the group dropped in May 2018. Rae Sremmurd also teased a Sremm 4 project sometime in 2019.

Listen to Sremm Christmas below.

A Boogie – Hoodie SZN

A Boogie dropped his 20-track album, Hoodie SZN featuring guest appearances from Juice Wrld, Offset, Tekashi 6ix9ine, Young Thug, PnB Rock, Don Q, and Queen Naija.

The album includes the pre-released track "Startender" featuring Offset and Tyga, "Swervin" with Tekashi 6ix9ine, and "The Reaper." The album artwork features Boogie hiding his face under a hoodie as he sits in the pouring rain.

Liste to Hoodie SZN below.

The-Dream – Sextape Vol. 1-3

The-Dream is tackling a rather large feat with the release of his three-part project, Sextape Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3. The album is 40 songs long with no apparent features.

Of the new project, Dream said he wanted to create a body of work that explored the theme of love. "My goal with the start of this series is to liberate the lives of those who seek love, lust and honesty," the singer said in a press statement about the album's inspiration. "This is me and my lover’s ongoing diary – truly an unapologetic treat to the world of R&B."

Listen to Sextape Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and Vol. 3 below.

NBA Youngboy – Realer

NBA Youngboy is back with his new project Realer. The mixtape features appearances from Lil Baby and Plies.

Realer follows the release of his debut studio album, Until Death Call My Name, which dropped in Apr. 2018. NBA Youngboy was reportedly arrested in Feb. 2018, for an alleged assault and kidnapping. Despite his arrest, he promised fans a new mixtape.

Listen to Realer below.

Eric Bellinger – "Kisses On Christmas"

Just in time for Christmas, Eric Bellinger has released his new track, "Kisses On Christmas. Bellinger showcases his vocal range on the sultry, R&B single as he vies for the attention of a special loved one. The song also samples a snippet of Donny Hathaway's 1971 holiday track, "This Christmas."

"Could've splurged out, spent a check / 'Cause I know you like finer things / But you don't want none of that babe / I gave her kisses on Christmas," he sings.

Listen to "Kisses on Christmas" below.

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Judge Sides With Nicki Minaj In Tracy Chapman Court Battle

A judge has sided with Nicki Minaj in her legal dispute with Tracy Chapman. U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that Minaj’s song “Sorry” falls under the “fair use” and not copyright infringement as Chapman claimed, Variety reports.

Minaj was reportedly unaware that her song, “Sorry,” featured lyrics and a bit of the melody from Chapman’s 1988 track, “Baby Can I Hold You” when it was recorded. She  reached out to Chapman to get permission to use the song but was ultimately turned down. Since she couldn't get legal clearance, the track never made it to the Queen album, but Chapman’s attorneys accused Minaj of leaking the track to Funkmaster Flex. Although Minaj confirmed sending Flex an Instagram message about the song, she denies actually sending it. “I had a change of heart,” she later testified. “I never sent the recording.”

Flex said that he obtained the recording from a “blogger,” not Minaj.

In her decision, Judge Phillips reportedly noted that artists tend to “experiment” with music before they attempt to get proper licensing.

“Artists usually experiment with works before seeking licenses from rights holders and rights holders typically ask to see a proposed work before approving a license,” the judge wrote. “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”

Despite the ruling, the question remains over whether or not Minaj should be held liable for the song being leaked. Last month, Minaj’s attorneys filed court papers requesting that Chapman’s motion for a summary judgment be denied in full.

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Big Sean Debuts ‘Deep Reverence’ Feat. Nipsey Hussle

Big Sean delivered his collaboration with Nipsey Hustle “Deep Reverence” on Monday (Aug. 24). The 32-year-old rapper decided to drop the song after  finishing up his highly anticipated Detroit 2 album due out next week.

“My heart and my gut was saying not only do people deserve that song right now,”  Sean tweeted on Tuesday (Aug. 25). “I felt like hearing nips [sic] voice, his presence and the energy of the song itself was needed and deserved it’s own moment!”

A snippet of the song debuted during Hit-Boy and Boi1da's Verzuz battle in April. Sean said that he has wanted to release the song ever since then.

“My label (a few people there, not the whole label) thought it wasn’t smart to put this song out ahead of my album, they told my team I should hold on to it...they still supported my decision in the end tho [sic],” he explained in another tweet.

The record opens with a clever and poignant verse from Nipsey. “F*ck rap I’m a street legend, block love me with a deep reverence,” he raps. “I was birthed in a C-section/Hella cops and police presence, we got opps so we keep weapons. We on y’all block while y’all eat breakfast. A lot of shots, we broke street records. Watch how you talk, I got reflexes.”


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Rest In Power bro! The World miss you n need to hear your voice! DEEP REVERENCE OUT NOW 🏁💙🙏🏾 Prod by. @hitboy & @g.ryomo

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Aug 24, 2020 at 9:07pm PDT

On Sean’s verse, he reveals that he reached out to Kendrick Lamar after Nipsey was killed and addresses the alleged beef between him and the Compton MC. Fans also believe that he hinted at  Jhené Aiko suffering a miscarriage. “Should be a billionaire based on the time off I’m not takin,’” raps Sean. “Probably why the sh*t with me got crazy and we lost a baby.”

Detroit 2 is executive produced by Hit-Boy, Sean and Kanye West. The album drops on Sept. 4.

Listen to “Deep Reverence” below.


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My fifth album #Detroit2 September 4th 🌎✊🏾🌹🖤 🌟 🙏🏾

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Aug 24, 2020 at 11:15am PDT

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Listen To Brandy's Highly Anticipated ‘B7’ Album

Brandy’s new album, B7, arrived on Friday (July 31). Led by the single “Baby Mama,” the 15-track album about love, heartbreak and growth, includes appearances from  Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caeser, and Brandy's teenage daughter, Sy'rai Smith, who joins her mother on the track “High Heels.”

Along with the new album -- her first since 2012 -- Brandy debuted the music video for her latest single, “Borderline.”

“I spilled so much of my heart on this album,” she proudly told fans during a listening party on YouTube on Thursday (July 30).

In a more sobering moment from the virtual party, Brandy opened up about the death of her friend and producer, Lashawn Daniels. “It feels very strange although I’m excited and grateful to have the music out, it’s just hard not having him here to hear the complete project,” she said.

“But I take him with me wherever I go. I know everything he ever said to me, ever taught me, and what he told me, I can hold onto that. If I ever feel down about my gift there’s a few things that he told me to remind me that I have no reason to feel down at all.”

Speaking with Billboard, the Grammy winner discussed the importance of Black female R&B artists sharing content, especially during these turbulent times.

“I believe that music heals. Music is the language that we all speak. It is what we all need, and I feel like we need it more now than we ever have,” she explained. “This is the year where we all need to feel like we have something to get us through. ... I was a little hesitant with putting out music in this time because, of course, you want to speak to the times. And I'm thinking, ‘My music is not about exactly what's going on right now.’ But then I thought, ‘But this is the time where people need to feel like they have something to just escape and just help them heal.’ ...that's what made me feel better about releasing [the album].

“And I think that we don’t want to feel alone,” added Brandy. “We need to feel community, we need to feel togetherness, we need to feel love right now. And I think music is the best way to feel that. It’s the shortcut to feeling that right away.”

Stream B7 below.

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