Snoop Dogg
Allen Berezovsky

New Music Friday: Snoop Dogg, Young Thug, Quality Control, A$AP Ferg and more

This week's New Music Friday has a new album from a rap legend in Snoop Dogg, a possible legend in the making with Young Thug, and one of the best rap crews with Quality Control, along with projects from shining R&B minds Snoh Aalegra and Bridget Kelly. Look below for the rundown on today's releases.

Snoop Dogg – I Wanna Thank Me

A week after top 50 rap lists circulated online, one of the greatest rappers ever has dropped his new project. After dropping his double-disc gospel LP in 2018, Snoop Dogg is back to what he does best with I Wanna Thank Me, the West Coast legend's 18th (!) studio album. Songs like "One Blood, One Cuzz" (feat. DJ Battlecat)" encourage gang unity, he experiments urbana sounds with "Do It When I'm In It" (feat. Jermaine Dupri, Ozuna and Slim Jxmmi), "Let Bygones Be Bygones" is dedicated to resolving his longstanding issues with Suge Knight, "Countdown" meshes Swizz Beatz adlibs with a classic West Coast sound, (feat. Swizz Beatz), and the title track uses his Hollywood Star acceptance speech to introduce a boastful, self-referential banger. Other guests on the 22-track offering include Slick Rick, Swizz Beatz, YG, Mustard, Russ, Wiz Khalifa, Trey Songz, the Hamiltones, Rick Rock, and RJmrLA. Snoop has spent the last 25-plus years becoming one of the most versatile musical artists on earth, and he tries out a variety of different styles here. He may be making his money in a variety of places, but the music is still consistent. Apple Music | TIDAL

Young Thug – So Much Fun

It's been two years since Young Thug dropped a full-length project, so fans have been foaming at the mouth for So Much Fun.  So Much Fun has 19 tracks and features from Future, Gunna, Lil Baby, 21 Savage, Lil Duke, Quavo, Lil Keed, Juice WRLD, and J. Cole and Travis Scott on the previously-released "The London." While Young Thug has been influential in recent years, and nailed appearances with stars like Post Malone, Camilla Cabelo and Ed Sheeran, he has yet to release a definitive record – and this may be his chance to do so. Apple Music | TIDAL

A$AP Ferg – Floor Seats EP

With the announcement of his Yedi Tour with MurdaBeatz and MadeInTYO starting in November, Harlem's A$AP Ferg is giving fans new music to mob to at the shows. The Floor Seats EP is nine tracks long, showcases Ferg at his energetic best, and features appearances by MadeInTYO, Asian Doll, Rico Nasty, A$AP Rocky, Ty Dolla $ign, and Brent Faiyaz. Apple Music | TIDAL

Various Artists – Quality Control: Control The Streets Vol. 2

Atlanta's Quality Control has established itself as one of the strongest crews in music, and Control The Streets Vol. 2 showcases the squad in full bloom. The follow-up to 2018's Vol. 1 includes QC members Migos, Lil Baby, City Girls, 24Heavy, DJ Durel, Duke Deuce, Jordan Hollywood, Kollision, Layton Greene, Stefflon Don, YRN Lingo, YRN Murk and Lil Yachty. Guest features are provided by DaBaby, Gunna, French Montana, Meek Mill, Megan Thee Stallion, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Young Thug and more. With 36 tracks, fans will have plenty to dig into. Apple Music | TIDAL

Curren$y – Hot August Nights

Hip-hop doesn't get more prolific than Curren$y. The New Orleans spitter releases music at a more consistent clip than anyone that's out there, and he's continuing that with Hot August Nights, his third project of 2019. Spitta is as consistent as it gets, so we're expecting no different with this seven-track work. Apple Music | TIDAL

Snoh Aalegra – - Ugh, those feels again

Swedish singer/songwriter Snoh Aalegra, signed to Def Jam and to No ID's ARTium Recordings imprint, has spent the last several years earning a fan base that included the likes of Prince and Drake, who sampled her song "Time" on his record "Do Not Disturb" from More Life. Now, after releasing four singles this year – "You," "I Want You Around You," "Find Someone Like You," and "Situationship" – she's dropping her sophomore album. If the title and singles are any sign, listeners will be in their feels just as much as she is. Apple Music | TIDAL

Bridget Kelly – The Great Escape EP

After her 2018 full-length Reality Bites, New York singer/songwriter Bridget Kelly has released her The Great Escape, a five-song EP with production from Ayo N Keyz and StarchildYezzo. "It's True" sees her professing her love to a new interest, and "Just Playin" sees her looking to apologize to a lover for going overboard in an argument. Apple Music | TIDAL


Kill Em All - Kill Em All

Mach-Hommy is making waves, but the Haitian rapper from New Jersey is an exercise in scarcity: he doesn't reveal his face, and much of his music is only attainable via physical copy for hundreds or thousands of dollars. So when he drops something readily available, his quickly-budding fan base pounces on it. Kill Em All is his second available project of 2019 with DJ Muggs, after Tuez-Les Tous dropped this spring. Expect Muggs' signature brand of sparse, gloomy beats, and Mach's equally dark, conceptual rhymes. Apple Music | TIDAL

Nef The Pharaoh – Mushrooms & Coloring Books

E-40 signee Nef The Pharaoh has released his latest LP, Mushrooms & Coloring Books, using Bay Area sounds and dropping quotables while enlisting guest appearances from the likes of Tyga, Slimmy B, LOE Gino, ShooterGang Kony, Scando The Darklord, Sada Baby, Rexx Life Raj and ALLBLACK.

Apple Music | TIDAL

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J Balvin performs at Baja Beach Festival 2019 in Mexico's Rosarito Beach.
Baja Beach Fest/Jose Prado

Review: Baja Beach Festival Brings Reggaeton And Latin Trap Oasis To Rosarito

One of Mexico’s Hollywood-friendly beach towns got some action this weekend with the third annual Baja Beach Festival. From Friday, Aug. 16 to Saturday, Aug. 17, the serene beach just under an hour from San Diego transformed into a paradise for urbano music stans. With the weather clocking in at mid-60 to mid-70 degrees, the end of summer breeze blew just hard enough for attendees to throw their inhibitions to the wind. An idyll of booty cheeks, bikinis, and Tecate beer guzzlers, the outdoor venue that boasted one main stage was not only ideal for those who wanted to take a dip in the ocean then plop on the sand to indulge in live entertainment but also for those who caught the performances from the balconies of the adjacent hotels.

The line-up mirrored a well-curated playlist of today’s popular Latin trap and reggaeton acts. Singer Cazzu brought her Club Emo Tour to Mexico, evoking bad girl vibes. She could slow down the tempo for a sensual love note à la “Toda” -- she appeared on the remix for the song from fellow Baja Beach performer Alex Rose -- or body roll to a sexy number like “Puedo Ser.” R&B-leaning artists like the Brytiago (Night 1) and aforementioned Rose (Night 2) present as rappers on-stage with fitted hats and tees, designer gear and iced out jewelry but croon for a woman’s adoration. Ear-pleasing entries like Brytiago’s “Bipolar” and “La Mentira” as well as Rose’s “Darte” (which borrows the melody from Akon’s explicit “I Wanna Love You”) and contribution to Lunay and Baja Beach Fest act Lyanno’s “A Solas.” Reggaeton duo Jowell y Randy brought classic reggaeton feels with “Un Poco Loca,” which samples Chaka Demus & Pliers's "Murder She Wrote” while also reviving eternal party-starters like Casa De Leones’ 2007 debut single “No Te Veo.”

Despite missing Cardi B -- who canceled a string of shows recently -- the star power for both nights was not dimmed. J Balvin performed an hour’s worth of material that anyone who owns a streaming service account would know. The Balvin fiesta came with dancing figures like life-sized clouds, mushrooms, and colorful creatures including a Cookie Monster-esque octopus. There was no territory he didn’t cover on the music front either. He sprinkled in gems from the Bad Bunny joint project Oasis and collaborative tracks like “Con Altura” (which features Anita) and “Loco Contigo” (which includes DJ Snake and Tyga). After their earlier set, Jowell y Randy appeared for “Bonita” during J Balvin’s set. He then hyped up the late-night crowd with infectious mainstream hits like “Machika,” a Cardi B-less “I Like It” fused with Pete Rodriguez’s original “I Like It Like That” and the explosive finale “Mi Gente.”

The main event came with Ozuna. The 30,000 in attendance clung to every canción, from “Vaina Loca” to the Romeo Santos-assisted songs “Ibiza” and “El Farsante.” His solo rendition of “La Modelo” and the megahit “Dile Que Tu Me Quieres” had the hot girls -- and boys -- singing every word. “Baila Baila Baila” was an immediate call-to-action for twerking on the beach while the closing number “Taki Taki” preceded a nearly three-minute fireworks show, a fitting nod to Friday’s explosive performances.

Following a night of afterparties that rang off in las calles till 4 a.m., Saturday was still loaded with vibras. To set Day 2 off, daytime acts like Amenazzy and Lyanno provided a melodic yet nostalgic buffet of their catalog’s finest. Amenazzy performed a track that borrowed the beat to Rich Gang, Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan’s “Lifestyle” while Puerto Rico’s own Lyanno brought “Se Cansó,” the Urba y Roma and Zion y Lennox-assisted “Te Veo” and “Dejarte Llevar,” which samples Mario’s “Let Me Love You.”

After an intermission of line dancing to Caballe Dorado’s “No Rompas Más (Mi Pobre Corazón)” (Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Achy Breaky Heart” morphed into a Spanish language hit), De La Ghetto stormed the stage with his latest release “Selfie,” the Nicky Jam collabo “Si Tú No Estás” and his verse on the “Escápate Conmigo” remix, an ideal soundtrack for lovers and lovers-for-the-night alike. He transitioned into a semi-bar fest by performing his solo take on Drake’s “Started From The Bottom” with “Estamos Aqui,” a track with Arcangel (the reggaeton artist De La Ghetto formed a duo with in the early aughts) and in a sense, an appropriate slogan for the sold-out crowd in attendance.

Now, full stop for Becky G. The fiery Chicana who hails from both Mexico and Inglewood, Calif. represented her two cultures with pride, telling the crowd in Spanglish, “I lived my life in between two worlds, representing two flags, y siempre me dijeron, ‘You’re either too Mexican for the Americans or too American for the Mexicans. You can’t be in the middle.’” But Becky G showed and proved she can keep the same energy for her peoples, bringing some hip-hop flavor to her crossover joints like “Mad Love” (which features David Guetta and Sean Paul) and the playful Anitta collabo “Banana” while dishing out Spanish-language songs like “Mala Mía” (Maluma and Anitta are on the original), “Que Me Baile,” the Myke Towers duet “Dollar” and the celestial love note “Cuando Te Besé.” Based on the hometown love she received from an audience that included her parents and siblings, claro que si, Becky G nailed it.

The roar of the crowd reached a fever pitch when one of the seasoned reggaetoneros, Nicky Jam, arrived. With the breadth of his catalog packed with, you guessed it, jams, the puertoriqueno effortlessly segued from his recent offerings (“El Amante,” “Si Tú La Ves” and the Silvestre Dangond’s wedding day-ready “Cásate Conmigo”) to the hits that cemented his reggaeton reign (2003’s “Me Voy Pal Party” and 2005’s “La Gata” which follows the same cadence as P!nk’s 2000 debut single “There You Go”). Nicky Jam then unleashed “X,” a continuation of J Balvin’s Night 1 performance of the Will Smith-co-signed single.

To note, it wasn’t uncommon to hear the same song performed by multiple acts. Rosarito was treated to three different verses of Nio García, Darrell and Casper Mágico’s 2017 smash “Te Boté” from Ozuna, Nicky Jam and Bad Bunny, who each appeared on the remix released in 2018. Same happened for J Balvin, who performed his parts in “La Canción” and “I Like It” on Night 1, followed by Bad Bunny, who delivered his share of the same tracks on the consecutive night.

To set the mood for Bad Bunny, Mexico’s own DJ Fredy Fresco dabbled in some hip-hop by spinning City Girls “Act Up” and a festival favorite, YG’s “Go Loko.” For context, the warm-up felt intentional as Bad Bunny’s melodic swagger and rap sensibilities have boosted his crossover appeal. Cue the summer smash “Mía," which features a Spanish-speaking Drake (Sadly, the 6 God was M.I.A. for the live rendition in Baja California), and definite crowd-pleaser. Still, the eccentric 25-year-old -- laced in a red tracksuit and his signature shades -- delivered other cuts across the spectrum from the high-octane banger “200 MPH” to the subdued “Solamente Soy Feliz." The YouTube phenom’s reach was palpable: for every track he performed, it sounded like his fans printed out the lyrics for a sing-along. He then brought el fuego (literally firing up the flame machines) for “La Romana” before bowing out with “Callaita,” a perfect send-off for Baja Beach Fest with this lyric alone: Si hay sol, hay playa.

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Little Brother

Little Brother Releases 'May The Lord Watch,' First Album In Nine Years

Phonte and Big Pooh released their new Litle Brother album May the Lord Watch on digital service providers at midnight on Tuesday (Aug. 20). The album clocks in at 15 tracks and 37 minutes, with the lion's share of production handled by fellow Justus League member and frequent collaborator Khrysis, Focus and Nottz, with more beats by Black Milk, Abjo, Devin Morrison, Blaaq Gold, and King Michael Coy. A glance at the tracklist appears to show that there are no guest appearances, but this story will be updated with further details. In an Instagram post, Rapper Big Pooh referred to the record as "the album of our careers."

 

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Listen, man. It took us a long time to get it right but we did. I love the fact we accomplished the goal but it’s the journey that I’ll always cherish the most. We wrote and recorded every song on this album together. We carried each other. We give y’all the album of our careers, “May The Lord Watch” . . Thank you to everyone that contributed to this album. It wouldn’t have turned out the same way without y’all. (I’ll drop the credits later. I got some champagne to drink) #LBbizness #MTLW #availablenow

A post shared by Rapper Pooh (@rapperbigpooh) on Aug 19, 2019 at 9:15pm PDT

Phonte and Big Pooh announced in May that they would be coming back together for a new record, albeit without the production of founding member 9th Wonder, who gave the group his blessing while he continued other projects. Since then, the duo has released a documentary about their surprise live reunion at the 2018 Art of Cool Festival in their home state, which was revealed to have been the spark for their idea to make a new album. Since then, they have stayed relatively mum on details until Aug 19, when they surprised fans with the title, the album cover, and the news that the album would be dropping at midnight.

Little Brother released their debut album The Listening in 2003, before landing a record deal with Atlantic Records and releasing their acclaimed sophomore album The Minstrel Show in 2005. They released two more albums, Getback (2007) and Leftback (2010), before parting ways for their own musical endeavors. Phonte has since made solo albums and group albums with producer Nicolay as the Grammy-winning duo Foreign Exchange, Rapper Big Pooh has released solo albums, and 9th Wonder founded what would become It's A Wonderful World Music Group, which features artists including Grammy-nominated MC Rapsody..

Stream May the Lord Watch on Apple Music, TIDAL, or below on Spotify.

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Getty Images

Get Ready: A Three 6 Mafia Reunion Tour Is On The Way

Three 6 Mafia is on their way to a stage near you. According to an Instagram post from Juicy J, the popular hip-hop collective will be performing at a series of very special reunion shows.

Per the flyer, one of the shows will be held on Oct. 12 at the Landers Center in Mississippi. The show will also star DJ Paul, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, DMX and all original Hypnotize Minds & HCP Members (Gangsta Boo, Crunchy Black, Project Pat, Lil Wyte and La. Chat).

“I know this is what the fans have been asking for, so we're ready to bring them the classics, along with our new music in the best possible way,” said DJ Paul in a statement. “To quote LL, don't call it a comeback, we have officially been here for years, and we've got a lot to show for it. Just wait to see what comes next.”

The Oscar-winning group went on a hiatus back in 2012. Many of the group’s members have released solo projects, and two of the group’s founding members have since passed on (Koopsta Knicca and Lord Infamous).

Tickets to the event will be on sale this Friday (Aug. 23). Take a look at the flyer below.

DATES 09-07 Atlanta, GA - One Musicfest 10-11 Newark, NJ - Loud Records 25th Anniversary (Prudential Center) 10-12 Southaven, MS - Landers Center

 

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THREE 6 MAFIA REUNION TOUR! Tickets on sale next Friday August 23rd @landerscenter

A post shared by Juicy J (@juicyj) on Aug 16, 2019 at 12:37pm PDT

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