Jay Electronica In Concert - Brooklyn, NY
Jay Electronica backstage at Brooklyn Bowl on May 31, 2018 in New York City.
Johnny Nunez

New Music Friday: Jay Electronica, Rich The Kid, Don Toliver, And More

This is not a drill. Jay Electronica has finally released his debut album.

With memorable songs like "Exhibit C" and "Dear Moleskine," Jay Electronica had already made his stamp on hip-hop history, despite not releasing an album. But today, the New Orleans lyricist finally stepped up  – with the help of the greatest rapper ever by his side. But this is a packed week of new music otherwise as well, with albums from Lil Uzi Vert, Rich The Kid, Blueface, and more.

Jay Electronica – A Written Testimony
After more than ten years of false starts and frustrated fans since releasing the triumphant "Exhibit C," the elusive Jay Electronica has finally released his debut album. Hours after three listening parties put on by Tidal in New York City, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, A Written Testimony – which Jay says was recorded over 40 days and 40 nights – is officially here. And get this: Jay-Z has a prominent role on the album as well, in the style of Ghostface Killah's role on Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx. Here's hoping for more of the thoughtful, poetic verses that we associate with Jay Elec – and a Hov who's being pushed to new heights himself. TIDAL | Apple Music | YouTube

Rich The Kid – Boss Man
With songs like "Plug Walk," "New Freezer (feat. Kendrick Lamar)" and "Talk To Me (with Tory Lanez)" earning him spots on the charts, Rich The Kid plans to revisit the charts with his new album, Boss Man. And with the A-list collection of features, he shouldn't have an issue getting back there: Lil Baby, DaBaby, Nicki Minaj, Post Malone, Lil Tjay, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Quavo, and London On Da Track all help showcase Rich The Kid's star power. Apple Music | TIDAL

Lil Uzi Vert – Eternal Atake (Deluxe) – LUV Vs. The World 2
Last week, Lil Uzi Vert delivered what VIBE said was his best album yet, Eternal Atake. But a week later, he's dropping the bonus version of the album – which he's referred to as LUV Vs. The World 2, a sequel to his 2016 mixtape of a similar title. "I put 2 albums in one," he tweeted. "Second half of EA is LUV vs The World 2." The additional 14 songs include appearances by Future, Chief Keef, Young Thug, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Young Nudy, and others. Apple Music | TIDAL

Blueface – Find The Beat
After 2019 saw Blueface taste stardom with his remix of "Thotiana" and his Dirt Bag EP, the Cash Money West rapper dropped his hilariously self-deprecating-titled Find The Beat. The project is 16 tracks long, with a loaded guestlist: Gunna, Lil Baby, DaBaby, Stunna 4 Vegas, NLE Choppa, Jeremih, and YBN Nahmir all make appearances. Apple Music | TIDAL

Clear Soul Forces – ForcesWithYou
After building a fan base with memorable songs like "Get No Better," the kinetic Detroit rap group Clear Soul Forces has released their fifth and final album, ForcesWithYou. Released on March 13 in honor of Detroit's area code (313), the four-man crew's swan song has them working with no features, and with no outside production besides in-house producer Ilajide. Congrats to CSF on a great run, and good luck to their future solo endeavors. Apple Music | TIDAL

Doe Boy and DJ Esco – 56 Birdz
It's been five years since DJ Esco followed a 56-day jail sentence in Dubai with 56 Nights, a mixtape with Future that featured his classic song "March Madness" and is seen as a gem in Future's catalog. Today, Doe Boy continues the legacy of his Freebandz label boss with 56 Birdz,  his own mixtape with DJ Esco. No guests, and limited outside production; just Doe Boy and Esco showcasing their chemistry and repping the Freebandz team to its best. Apple Music | TIDAL

Don Toliver – Heaven Or Hell
Houston rapper/singer Don Toliver showed early promise with his 2018 mixtape Donny Womack, and since then he's given memorable assists to Travis Scott's Astroworld and Eminem's Music To Be Murdered By. This week sees the release of his debut album, Heaven Or Hell. He lays his melodies over robust production by the likes of wondaGURL, Sonny Digital, and Frank Dukes, with guest appearances by Travis Scott, Offset, Quavo, Sheck Wes and Kaash Paige. Apple Music | TIDAL

Kierra Luv – "Good Day (feat. Ray Moon)"
On "Good Day," promising young Puerto Rican spitter Kierra Luv lets off a barrage of bars that show the power of her pen. It's a completely different look from the melodic "Can't Stand It," her single with Tory Lanez that she dropped this January. The variety should be a good sign for her upcoming mixtape, Take It Or Leave It. Apple Music | TIDAL

Kaelyn Kastle – "2 Pretty"
Bermuda-bred, Atlanta-based singer Kaelyn Kastle has released her new single "2 Pretty." "Ira & Paul help make the aesthetics of my life and how I’m feeling make sense," Kastle said, referring to producers Paul “PressPlay” Robinson, Ira Hobbs Jr. & Joel Tock. "I needed to say, 'don’t play with me unless you want to be played with,' and this is what we came up with." Apple Music | TIDAL

Zaku - "On My Way (ft. Jay Blaze)"
In this highlight from his Younger Yesterday EP, Zaku calls on Jay Blaze for this cinematic video shot in the Philippines.

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Taraji P. Henson performs onstage for the 2020 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for dcp

Watch Taraji P. Henson Bring The Party To The 2020 American Music Awards

What can't Taraji P. Henson do? The actress, philanthropist, and new podcast series host kicked off the American Music Awards 2020 with an energetic opening number many of us didn't know we needed. Live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Henson hit the stage with The Wiz's "A Brand New Day" and danced through other classics like Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," Jay-Z's "Dirt Off Your Shoulder, and Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage."

By the end of Cardi B's "W.A.P.," Henson's outfit changes a gold bodysuit and a slew of masked dancers by her side, let's just say Ms. Henson did that as this year's host of the annual music award show. After completing her performance before America (and a small socially distanced audience), she got powdered up and got right into it. Alright, Taraji!

You betta @tarajiphenson! #AMAsWithUs #AMAs pic.twitter.com/tVEH4bpHvC

— LaTonya Holmes (@LaTonyaHolmes) November 23, 2020

ICONIC: @tarajiphenson dancing "WAP" to open up the 2020 #AMAs. pic.twitter.com/co5EylXJ2n

— Cardi B Stats (@CardiStats) November 23, 2020

Okay @tarajiphenson I see you baby 😂🥰🔥#AMAs pic.twitter.com/W49Zle6xqO

— YA FAV ♓️ (@Yafav_Petty) November 23, 2020

We just hope to make 2020 a little brighter with our show tonight! ❤️ #AMAs pic.twitter.com/qfHrwBxZ8Z

— American Music Awards (@AMAs) November 23, 2020

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The Weeknd To Headline Super Bowl LV Halftime Show

The Weeknd just reached a career milestone. The Canadian singer will headline the Super Bowl LV halftime show, it was announced on Thursday (Nov. 12).

"We all grow up watching the world's biggest acts playing the Super Bowl and one can only dream of being in that position,” said The Weeknd. “I’m humbled, honored and ecstatic to be the center of that infamous stage.”

performing on the iconic stage. see you 02/07/21 @pepsi #pepsihalftime #SBLV pic.twitter.com/oYlQyvKRwh

— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 12, 2020

Emmy-nominee Jesse Collins will executive produce the Super Bowl LV halftime extravaganza, which marks the second collaboration between Roc Nation and the NFL since announcing their partnership last year. The big show will go down at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.

“The Weeknd has ushered in a sound all his own. His soulful uniqueness has defined a new generation of greatness in music and artistry,” JAY-Z said. “This is an extraordinary moment in time and the Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show is going to be an extraordinary experience with an extraordinary performer.”

The “Blinding Lights” singer joins Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Prince, Katy Perry, Madonna, and other music stars who have performed at halftime.

Super Bowl LV will live on CBS on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.

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Sizzla Sings From The Heart In His "Without You" Music Video

"Righteousness will always get a fight," Sizzla Kalonji once told me, "and that is only to make you stronger." That conversation took place in 1997, he year Sizzla electrified lovers of reggae and dancehall music with two landmark albums, Praise Ye Jah and Black Woman & Child. Sizzla has gone on to become one of the most prolific artists of his generation, releasing his most recent album, Million Times in September—a collection of 12 sweet love songs, touching on the sounds that made songs like "Just One of Those Days" and "Give Me A Try" so legendary.

"Beautiful people want to listen to the beautiful reggae music," Sizzla told me. "And you know reggae bashes against corruption. It’s not just a music to sing spirituality only and to make you feel good and sing love songs, conscious songs. And it’s good for social commentary, a very good music to be used for social commentary. And any little thing happen to the poor people, we’re quick to express ourselves on dancehall riddims and on the one-drop roots rock reggae riddim. And what we’re explaining and expressing is the total truth. It’s a music that can be used for expressing our innermost feelings and thoughts."

Today, VIBE and Boomshots proudly premiere the new music video from the album "Without You." Big Up Kalonji every time.

Million Times is out now on all music streaming platforms.

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