Rapsody
Alberto E. Rodriguez

New Music Friday: Rapsody, Missy Elliott, Raphael Saadiq, Jeezy, Jidenna And More

This week in music, one of rap's brightest voices releases a concept album, an R&B/soul legend makes a powerful return, and a rap icon releases his swan song. Look below for this week's new releases by Rapsody, Missy Elliott, Raphael Saadiq and more.

Rapsody – Eve
Rapsody earned a Grammy nomination and critical acclaim with her last album Laila's Wisdom, and she keeps up her lyrical and conceptual wit on her new record, Eve. Her new album clocks in at 16 tracks, each of them inspired by and named after a powerful, culturally significant black woman. The first single "Ibtihaj (feat. D'Angelo and GZA)" is named after fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing in the Olympics, and the J.Cole-assisted "Sojourner" was released as a loosie in 2018. But other subjects include Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Nina Simone and Michelle Obama. This album is less of a lesson in black history, and more of Rapsody channeling the spirits of her elders, whether they're deceased or otherwise, into the skill set that she has already harnessed so well before. With production by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council and guests such as Queen Latifah, Leikeli47, K.Roosevelt, Mereba, Elle Varner, SiR, JID and PJ Morton, Eve has the potential to be one of the top albums of the year. Apple Music | TIDAL

Missy Elliott – Iconology
With Missy Elliot receiving multiple honors over the next few days with the Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards and the opening of the Museum of Missy, she's decided to celebrate with a "collection of new songs" aptly titled Iconology. The five-song project is her first in 14 years, since the Grammy-nominated and well-reviewed The Cookbook in 2005.  Apple Music | TIDAL

Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee
It's been eight years since Raphael Saadiq last dropped a solo album, but for the brilliant singer/songwriter, it's always worth the wait. Jimmy Lee sees Saadiq getting personal and conscious at the same time. He speaks about social issues like drug addiction and social injustice, but he doesn't just bring them up as blanket terms or news headlines: he shows how they've impacted or killed his loved ones, and how he deals with the pain from those experiences. The album's namesake is Saadiq's older brother, who died from a heroin overdose. The compelling subject matter is paired with Saadiq's musical expertise, mixing soul with gospel to make the pain and hope even more resonant. Apple Music | TIDAL

Jeezy – TM104: Legend of the Snowman
Almost all of us can remember the first time we heard Jeezy's timeless debut, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, and now the snowman's rap career is coming to an end. TM104: Legend of the Snowman is the fourth of the Thug Motivation series, and the eighth and final album in his storied career. "Why call it a tracklist, when it's more like chapters to the greatest story ever told," Jeezy said while revealing the tracklist, which includes guest appearances by CeeLo Green, Rick Ross, Queen Naija, Ty Dolla $ign, John Legend, Gunna, Ball Greezy, and Meek Mill, who appears on the single "MLK Blvd." Only time will tell if Jeezy sticks to his retirement, but taking him at his word, this is his swag song. Apple Music | TIDAL

Jidenna – 85 To Africa
While many may know Jidenna from the suited and booted "Classic Man," his new album 85 To Africa sees him tapping into his Nigerian roots with Afrobeats production and songs about no-heel slippers ("Babouche"), Nigerian savings arrangements ("Sou Sou"), and beautiful, spiritual women ("Sufi Woman"). Guests on the album include GoldLink, Seun Kuti, Mr. Eazy, St. Beauty and Mereba. Apple Music | TIDAL

BROCKHAMPTON – Ginger
After 2018's Iridescence, self-proclaimed boy band BROCKHAMPTON has released their latest album, Ginger. The 12-song, 44-minute album includes "Boy Bye," "If You Pray Right," and "I Been Born Again," and is being described by critics as "honest" and "transparent." Apple Music | TIDAL

Trae Tha Truth – Exhale
Trae Tha Truth's latest album Exhale is the first of his 20-year career to not have any features. But he needs the time to himself, with the loss of his close friend ("Nipsey") and a custody battle over his 1-year-old daughter ("Letter 2 Truth") weighing heavily on his mind. Full of the pain-wrought raps his fans adore him for, Exhale is a worthy addition to the Houston rap titan's catalog. Apple Music | TIDAL

Zac Flewids feat. Sylvan Lacue – "Eyelids"
Toronto's Zac Flewids teams up with Florida Man lyricist Sylvan Lacue, who we've been listening to since his stellar 2018 album Apologies In Advance, for their catchy new song, "Eyelids."

Kemba feat. Portugal. The Man – "The Feels"
After his celebratory last single "Alive" with Eric Bellinger, Kemba turns things down with "The Feels," his new somber single. Equipped with a spaced-out soundbed by Black Milk and Brasstracks, Kemba gets vulnerable and speaks about depression, suicidal thoughts, and childhood traumas. Apple Music | TIDAL

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Drake attends the "Top Boy" UK Premiere at Hackney Picturehouse on September 04, 2019 in London, England.
Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

Drake Officially Releases "Behind Barz" Freestyle For Netflix Series 'Top Boy'

Drake has finally delivered the official version of his "Behind Barz" freestyle on Thursday (Sept. 12). During a 2018 promo campaign, the artist teased the radio verses on the UK rap channel LinkUpTV for his fifth studio album Scorpion.

One year later and "Behind Barz" has suitably been released on the Netflix series Top Boy soundtrack. SPIN reports the 10-episode British television crime and drama series follows the lives of two drug dealers during their day-to-day in the London streets.

OVO Sound posted on their Twitter on Wednesday (Sept. 11) with the subtle announcement that the freestyle would be listed as a bonus track on the soundtrack.

TOP BOY Friday Sept 13 pic.twitter.com/tSkdWi32XV

— OVO Sound (@OVOSound) September 11, 2019

The once unreleased track shows Drake delivering verses with an accent as he spits about "paigon chit-chat." Staying in big six-six with woes/Man start dissin' and doin reposts/They do anything except road/Still can't see them after it snows, he raps in the opening verse.

Nafe Smallz, Fredo, Headie One, Baka, M Huncho, Youngs Teflon, Dave, SL, Popcaan, AJ Tracey, Ghetts, Avelino, Little Simz, and Teeway all brought their own international sounds on to the 17-track album.

Top Boy stars Ashley Walters (Speed Racer), Kane Robinson (Tower Block), and Micheal Ward (The A List).

Listen to "Behind Barz" below.

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Bridget Kelly Showcases The Pitfalls Of Summer Love On 'The Great Escape'

Through beautiful summer days at the park coupled with late night tryst, Bridget Kelly is taking us on a trip of the sunny highs and cloudy lows of a summer romance gone wrong in The Great Escape.

The four-minute short film chronicles a love story between Bridget and her leading man Scott Machado. At first, they trade flirty eye glances in a park, and then later meet at a party which then segues into the bedroom. Yet towards the end of the film, she finds out he’s been creeping with another girl.

The Great Escape is made from music off Kelly’s latest five-track EP. The Grammy-award winning artist has continually made it a point to release new summer filled music. Back in 2016, she released a new EP, Summer of 17.  And in spite of The Great Escape being about a love gone wrong, Kelly isn't really pressed about relationships in her own life. She just craves something natural and organic.

"I love being in love. However, if something doesn’t work out or happen for me in the timeframe that I want it to, I’ve learned to just let it go.," she told XO NECOLE. " I now take a less intense approach to relationships because I want it to feel natural; I want it to be a normal progression."

Watch The Great Escape above.

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Sweet Chick

Stance Socks Celebrates 'Ready To Die' Anniversary With Sweet Chick Collaboration

Friday (Sept. 13) marks the 25th anniversary of The Notorious B.I.G.'s masterpiece debut Ready To Die, and Stance sock company teamed up with hip-hop elite and friends of Biggie to celebrate the occasion.

On Thursday (Sept. 12) evening, Stance hosted a party at Nas' chicken and waffles restaurant Sweet Chick in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Guests were served cocktails and food themed after Biggie's lyrics (i.e. "escargot, my car go" and "a t-bone steak, cheese eggs"), while enjoying music spun by Statik Selektah, who unveiled a Jadakiss verse over Biggie's "Mo Money Mo Problems" that he says was from the song's original sessions. Attendees of the party included DJ Clark Kent, CJ Fly and Termanology, along with performances by Junior M.A.F.I.A. member Lil Cease and Tek of Smif-N-Wessun.

The evening also revealed a Stance and Sweet Chick "Sweet Chick Down To My Socks" collaborative sock, with a design similar to Biggie's beloved Coogi sweaters. The sock will be sold exclusively at Sweet Chick locations and online for $16.

Sept. 13 also marks a reissue of Ready To Die, with limited edition packaging, liner notes by journalist and author Kathy Iandoli, never-before-seen photos, and stories by producers Easy Mo Bee and Chucky Thompson.

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