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Brandy’s new album, B7, arrived on Friday (July 31). Led by the single “Baby Mama,” the 15-track album about love, heartbreak and growth, includes appearances from Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caeser, and Brandy's teenage daughter, Sy'rai Smith, who joins her mother on the track “High Heels.”
Along with the new album -- her first since 2012 -- Brandy debuted the music video for her latest single, “Borderline.”
“I spilled so much of my heart on this album,” she proudly told fans during a listening party on YouTube on Thursday (July 30).
In a more sobering moment from the virtual party, Brandy opened up about the death of her friend and producer, Lashawn Daniels. “It feels very strange although I’m excited and grateful to have the music out, it’s just hard not having him here to hear the complete project,” she said.
“But I take him with me wherever I go. I know everything he ever said to me, ever taught me, and what he told me, I can hold onto that. If I ever feel down about my gift there’s a few things that he told me to remind me that I have no reason to feel down at all.”
Speaking with Billboard, the Grammy winner discussed the importance of Black female R&B artists sharing content, especially during these turbulent times.
“I believe that music heals. Music is the language that we all speak. It is what we all need, and I feel like we need it more now than we ever have,” she explained. “This is the year where we all need to feel like we have something to get us through. ... I was a little hesitant with putting out music in this time because, of course, you want to speak to the times. And I'm thinking, ‘My music is not about exactly what's going on right now.’ But then I thought, ‘But this is the time where people need to feel like they have something to just escape and just help them heal.’ ...that's what made me feel better about releasing [the album].
“And I think that we don’t want to feel alone,” added Brandy. “We need to feel community, we need to feel togetherness, we need to feel love right now. And I think music is the best way to feel that. It’s the shortcut to feeling that right away.”
Stream B7 below.
Jhene Aiko expanded the guest list for the deluxe edition of her Chilombo album released on Friday (July 17). The updated album is packed with 29 tracks, featuring guest appearances from Kehlani, Snoop Dogg, Mila J, and Chris Brown.
Kehlani joins Aiko and H.E.R. on the remix to “B.S,” while Snoop and Chris Brown hop on “Tryna Smoke,” and Wiz Khalifa drops a guest verse on “Down Again.”
Aiko connects with her older sister, Mila J, for “OTW,” and it looks like the musical collaboration has been a long time coming. “Finally got a song with my big sister,” Aiko happily tweeted on Friday (July 17).
finally a song with my big sister @MilaJ 💙 scorpio & pisces 💦💦💦
— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) July 17, 2020
The Grammy winner announced the deluxe album earlier in the week, along with debuting the track list and gothic cover art.
7/17 #CHILOMBO (deluxe) 🌋 pic.twitter.com/4ZupGndOKL
— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) July 15, 2020
The original installment of Chilombo was released in March and shot to No. 2 on the Billboard album chart. In addition to the new tracks, Aiko released the music video for her latest song, “Summer.”
Stream the deluxe edition of Chilombo below.
Last week, Noname and J. Cole squared off in a lyrical tic-for-tac over the issues of accountability during the recent deaths of many African Americans at the hands of police brutality. After launching her track "Song 33," Noname went on Twitter over the weekend and apologized for engaging in a battle of the words with Cole.
"i've been thinking a lot about it and i am not proud of myself for responding with song 33," she tweeted regarding her Madlib-produced track. "i tried to use it as a moment to draw attention back to the issues i care about but i didn't have to respond. my ego got the best of me. i apologize for any further distraction this caused."
She later added: "madlib killed that beat and i see there's a lot of people that resonate with the words so i'm leaving it up but i'll be donating my portion of the songs earnings to various mutual aid funds. black radical unity."
The initial skirmish between Cole and Noname occurred last month when the Chicago lyricist subliminally called out high profiled rappers for not being vocal during the protests for George Floyd. Fans pointed the fingers to Cole, and Kendrick Lamar for fitting Noname's description, and the former took offense, releasing his controversial track "Snow on the Bluff." Subsequently, Cole spoke on the song's creative process on Twitter and said he had no ill feelings towards Noname.
"Morning. I stand behind every word of the song that dropped last night," he began. "Right or wrong I can't say, but I can say it was honest. Some assume to know who the song is about. That's fine with me, it's not my job to tell anybody what to think or feel about the work. I accept all conversation and criticisms. But Let me use this moment to say this Follow @noname. I love and honor her as a leader in these times. She has done and is doing the reading and the listening and the learning on the path that she truly believes is the correct one for our people. Meanwhile a n---a like me just be rapping."
In return, Noname stormed back with her searing rebuttal "Song 33," questioning Cole's decision to speak on her tweet rather than the larger issues at hand.
Check out Noname's tweets below.
i’ve been thinking a lot about it and i am not proud of myself for responding with song 33. i tried to use it as a moment to draw attention back to the issues i care about but i didn’t have to respond. my ego got the best of me. i apologize for any further distraction this caused
— Noname (@noname) June 21, 2020
madlib killed that beat and i see there’s a lot of people that resonate with the words so i’m leaving it up but i’ll be donating my portion of the songs earnings to various mutual aid funds. black radical unity ✊🏾
— Noname (@noname) June 21, 2020
This article originally appeared on Billboard.