Recording artist Rick Ross attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City.
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS

New Music Fridays: Rick Ross, Megan Thee Stalion, PJ Morton And More

Music fans will have a lot to keep up with this weekend. Rick Ross and Megan Thee Stallion are the two headliners – Ross with his long-awaited, star-studded Port of Miami 2 album, and Megan with an official "Hot Girl Summer" anthem featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign. But Ugly God also released his official debut, Blueface dropped a new EP, and PJ Morton and Zo! dropped jazz and R&B records for the grown and sexy crowd. Which of the below albums and songs are you most excited about?

Rick Ross – Port of Miami 2

The biggest release of the day is Rick Ross' Port of Miami 2. For his tenth studio album and his first since 2017, Rozay resurfaces with his husky voice and the lush, robust production he's built a career off of. While chock full of the street talk and lavish life that's become his signature, he also gets personal about the death of his close friend Black Bo and his own near-death experience from health issues. The album is also packed with guest appearances by Lil Wayne, Drake, Nipsey Hussle, Teyana Taylor, Summer Walker, Jeezy, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, and Denzel Curry, along with his MMG soldiers Wale, Meek Mill and Gunplay. | Apple Music | TIDAL

Megan Thee Stallion ft. Nicki Minaj – "Hot Girl Summer"

Women around the world have been having a hot girl summer, taking Megan The Stallion's credo and applying it to their everyday lives. Now, they have an official soundtrack: days after appearing on Instagram Live together, Megan The Stallion and Nicki Minaj have dropped their first collaboration. Produced by Juicy J and featuring vocals by Ty Dolla $ign, Megan and Nicki give hot girls the anthem they've been waiting for. | Apple Music | TIDAL

Ty Dolla $ign Ft. Project Pat and Juicy J - "Hottest In The City" 

Ty Dolla $ign has been helping everybody else eat with his string of strong guest appearances, and now he's dropping his own heat with "Hottest In The City," a new song with Project Pat and Juicy J. The song is a perfect illustration of his versatility: it starts off with Ty trading melodic bars with Juicy J over a harder production, then switches into a smoother backdrop by Tay Keith, where he goes back and forth with Project Pat. The song pays homage to Memphis in a wonderful way, and is a strong addition before the summer simmers out. | Apple Music | TIDAL

Blueface – Dirt Bag

Blueface has made headlines recently with his claim of sleeping with 1,000 women and claiming himself the best lyricist of his generation. Now, he's coming out with music to make the most from the attention. His new Dirt Bag EP features guest appearances from Offset, Rich The Kid, The Game, Lil Pump and Mozzy. | Apple Music | TIDAL

PJ Morton – PAUL

PJ Morton's 10-song project PAUL is a welcome step back into both the carefree days of music and of life. The album features guest appearances from Rapsody, Jazmine Sullivan, JoJo and more, and is bolstered by well-fleshed out production and samples that are pleasantly reminiscent of the Motown and R&B days. The themes of pro-blackness and Continuing The Marathon are amplified on the standout tracks "MAGA?" and "Buy Back The Block." | Apple Music | TIDAL

Ugly God – Bumps & Bruises

After popping in recent years with singles like "Water" and his mixtape The Booty Tape, the hilarious and talented Ugly God is finally releasing his debut album Bumps & Bruises. The former XXL Freshman keeps things largely self-contained on his first record, producing everything himself and only having two guest appearances, Takeoff and Wintertime, among the album's 14 tracks. A deluxe version of the album has two extra songs. | Apple Music | TIDAL

Bas – Spilled Milk Vol. 1

Dreamville has kept busy so far in 2019, with multiple tours and the star-studded Revenge of the Dreamers Vol. III. Queens lyricist Bas dropped his last full-length album in 2018, and now he's back with an EP called Spilled Milk Vol. 1.  Bas sounds great as usual, and he also enlists help from his Dreamville teammates JID, Ari Lennox, and EARTHGANG. | Apple Music | TIDAL

Zo! – FourFront

Michigan-bred musician Zo! has been making silky, multilayered jazz and R&B music for nearly 20 years now, and his latest album under Foreign Exchange Music, FourFront, continues that legacy. His first album since 2016's Skybreak has guest vocals from Carmen Rodgers, Devin Morrison, Phonte, Deborah Bond, Madison McFerrin and more, and is full of smooth grooves to relax to over the weekend. | Apple Music | TIDAL

Murs, 9th Wonder & The Soul Council – The Iliad is Dead and the Odyssey is Over

Murs and 9th Wonder have proven themselves a threatening duo, with four albums done together since 2004's Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition. For their fifth collaborative project, The Iliad is Dead and the Odyssey is Over, they bring in 9th Wonder's production crew The Soul Council for extra help on the beats. If their phenomenal mini-movie is any indication, this album will be another worthy addition to their respective catalogs. | Apple Music | TIDAL

Young M.A. – "BIG"

After dropping freestyles over Clipse's "Grindin" and Blueface's "Thotiana" and attempting to work through relationship issues on "Stubborn Ass,"  Young M.A. has dropped her second single of the year. "BIG" features a knocking beat by Mike Zombie and cocky bars from Young M.A. about bagging your chick and staying ready for naysayers. The video takes her and the crew to the driveway of a home, where they pop sh*t and party with bikini-clad women. Life is always good for Young M.A.

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11 Takeaways From The 2020 Grammys

There are many factors that go into winning a Grammy, the most coveted music prize of the industry. It’s more than “is the song good?” Sometimes it’s based on campaigning, other times it’s based on what voters feel should be the industry standard. However, the fun doesn’t come until after the ceremony, where all the winners have been revealed and it’s time to process what it all means for the larger picture and the future of recording.

The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards was met with controversy this year thanks to a lawsuit against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences from ousted CEO, Deborah Dugan. Through her explosive claims and allegations, the voting process has gotten even less transparent— and we’re left with more questions and mysteries than answers. Still, artists and media moved forward, and the focus has temporarily shifted back to the music and the awards.

Here are 11 takeaways from VIBE that capture the essence of key wins (and snubs) at the Grammy Awards.

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The late Nipsey Hussle and Kobe Bryant are projected onto a screen while YG, John Legend, Kirk Franklin, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, and Roddy Ricch perform onstage during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Nipsey Hussle Honored By DJ Khaled, John Legend And More At 2020 Grammys

Hours after Nipsey Hussle was posthumously awarded with his first Grammy, the awards ceremony honored him with a heartfelt performance by an all-star roster of John Legend, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Roddy Rich, Kirk Franklin and YG.

Meek Mill began the performance with an emotive, unreleased verse that served as a letter to Nipsey, with Roddy Ricch singing a chorus. [Update: The song, "Letter To Nipsey," was released to streaming services later that night.] That led into a rousing performance of "Higher," the song that appeared on DJ Khaled's album Father of Asahd.  John Legend played the piano and sang the chorus while backed by a choir, which was directed by an energetic, adlibbing Kirk Franklin, as a video of Nipsey rapping played on a big screen. YG joined the stage in a red suit, speaking to the gang unity between Crips and Bloods that Nipsey endorsed with his music and his life. The performance ended with an image of Los Angeles legends Nipsey Hussle and and the recently deceased Kobe Bryant, with Khaled paying tribute to them both.

Nipsey Hussle's debut studio album, Victory Lap (2018) came after an epic mixtape  earned him a nomination for Best Rap Album at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. He died on March 31, 2019, after being gunned down on in the parking lot of his Marathon Clothing store in Los Angeles. The music and business worlds reeled from his loss, with his rap career on the upswing and his work as a businessman and community leader inspiring many.

Before Sunday's (Jan. 26) ceremony, Nipsey Hussle was awarded a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance for "Racks In The Middle," the last single that he released in his lifetime. The song features a guest appearance by Roddy Ricch, and is produced by Hit-Boy.

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An image of the late Kobe Bryant is projected onto a screen while host Alicia Keys and Boyz II Men perform during the 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards at STAPLES Center on January 26, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

Alicia Keys And Boyz II Men Honor Kobe Bryant, Sing "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" At Grammys 2020

Just hours after the world was hit with the news of Kobe Bryant and his daughter's untimely death, the Recording Academy decided to add a tribute to the award show's program. As the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards started in Los Angeles' Staples Center, the night's host, Alicia Keys, made her way to the stage and addressed the audience and viewers.

"Here we are, together on music’s biggest night, celebrating the artists that do it best," she began her opening statement. "But to be honest with you, we’re all feeling crazy sadness right now. Because earlier today, Los Angeles, America, and the whole wide world lost a hero. And we’re literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built."

After the audience erupted in applause, Keys continued: "Right now, Kobe and his daughter Gianna and all those that have been tragically lost today are in our spirit. They're in our hearts, they're in our prayers, they're in this building, and I would like to ask everybody to take a moment and just hold them inside of you. Hold them inside of you and share our strength and our support with their families.

"We never imagined in a million years we'd have to start the show like this. Never, never, never, never, never, never. So we wanted to do something that could describe a tiny bit [of] how we feel right now."

Keys began singing a short a capella rendition of "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday" with Nathan Morris, Shawn Stockman, and Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men. Watch their performance below.

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