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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Premiere: Discover KAMAUU's Lyrical Gems In "Bamboo" Visual

KAMAUU's latest video "Bamboo" is all about growth with a healthy dose of lyrical vitamins for the soul.

Directed by Child, we find the elusive artist in nature's garden sharing the fruits of his evolution. With his tribe close by (the producer of "Bamboo" DJ dashMOON makes a cameo), it's clear KAMAUU's mission to become his best self doesn't leave behind his day ones.

The mission is also rooted throughout the track. As the opener to his latest EP MíXD GRēēNS, the production of the track was made with detailed precision. There are lines like "Same time, keep a sane mind Sane mind keep a safe mine," and the dizi flute, also known as a Chinese transverse flute heard on the track– which also happens to be made of bamboo. It's just one of many mindful choices on MíXD GRēēNS, making it impossible to put KAMAUU in a musical category.

But "Bamboo" also carries a message of moving and growing with purpose. “The song ‘bamboo’ is about focusing and being aggressive in my evolution and the shedding of my lesser self,” KAMAUU shared with VIBE.

Previously known as KAMAU, the Brooklyn-based artist has lived many lives in the art space. In 2016, he released A Gorgeous Fortune EP which spawned the favorable jam"Jusfayu" garnering over 10 million streams. His powerful song "The Icarus" was also featured on The Birth of a Nation: The Inspired By Album. 

The VIBE NEXT alum would go on to release his debut album TheKAMAUU-CASSETTE: ŭRTH GōLD with more than enough favorable tunes like MĭNT ft. Talibah Safiya, GRā (GReY) ft. Nkō Khélí and BŭRGŭNDí.

Enjoy "Bamboo" below.

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Missy Elliott Continues To Push Visual Boundaries With “Throw It Back” Music Video

In 2003, Missy Elliott won her first Video Music Award for “Work It.” During her speech, the Virginia native said, “I’d like to thank God for giving me the talent and a creative mind.” Fast-forward 16 years later, and the music legend’s creativity has garnered her the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, which she’ll receive at MTV’s annual showcase on Monday (Aug. 26).

To keep the momentum on a thousand, Elliott not only released a five-track EP titled ICONOLOGY, but she also dropped the video for the project’s lead track “Throw It Back.” The choreography is on full display from Earth to the moon, keeping in line with Elliott’s captivating moves and otherworldly creative direction.

#ThrowItBack VIDEO OUT EVERYWHERE!!!!SUPA FLAMES!🔥🔥🔥That #DRIPDEMEANOR SLAP SO HARD I promise💦💦💦💦 😅🔥🔥🔥🔥👽#CoolOff gonna have ass shaking both ways🙌🏾🙌🏾🤣 & #WhyDoIStillLoveYou is good down souf sanging! Go stream ICONOLOGY NOW my sis @TEYANATAYLOR in my new video 🔥🙌🏾

— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) August 23, 2019

The Songwriters Hall of Fame inductee's project arrives 14 years after her last studio effort, The Cookbook. In 2015, the "Lose Control" rapper dropped a single titled "WTF (Where They From)" but since certain things in life will happen when it's meant to, 2019 proved to be the year of Missy Elliott domination.

Stream the full project below and watch the video above.

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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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