PARTYNEXTDOOR just dropped his new album PARTYMOBILE, which marked his official return to the game. He never really dropped off in popularity though. For years, the Toronto native has been one of the most prominent figures in R&B.
When DJ Akademiks took a look into the latest streaming numbers for R&B artists, he was surprised to make a few discoveries. For one, Ak didn't know just how impactful 6LACK has become. Although he didn't make any observations about PARTYNEXTDOOR's placement as sixth on the list, the recording artist caught wind of the numbers and decided to voice his frustration.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Re-posting the numbers with a cap emoji, it looks PND wants a recount. If the statistics are accurate, that would mean that Frank Ocean remains the most popular R&B artist on streaming platforms, despite his musical inactivity in recent years. He is followed directly by 6LACK, Daniel Caesar, Bryson Tiller, and the self-proclaimed king of the genre Jacquees.
PARTYNEXTDOOR clocked in 937 million streams, which is nothing to scoff at. In fact, that's more than most artists will ever see in their lifetime. However, he's not trusting of the source, calling out whoever put the list together and determining it false news.
Do you think PND's numbers are actually higher?
Top 15 Hottest R&B Albums Of 2019
As R&B finally begins to settle into a definitive era, we countdown the best ouputs of 2019.
R&B is not dead, but the past ten years have pointed toward such a conclusion. In 2010, top crooners began resorting to pop tracks for chart-topping success and Drake was, well, singing. While quality was certainly upheld at various checkpoints, the lines were undeniably blurred. There was no longer some clear and comprehensive criteria to classify the genre within the mainstream; but, when the current class of torchbearers began to assume their roles in the last half of this decade, it’s easy to make out what was happening all along.
Hindsight being 20/20, we see now that history is repeating itself. The collective resurgence of R&B in an otherwise lacking landscape finds a parallel in the rise of neo-soul around the turn of the millennium. Just as audiences then were turned on to the Erykah Badus, Maxwells, and Jill Scotts , today’s listeners are presented with a once-underground class of talent with no interest in conceding to traditional constructs set by their predecessors. It’s less of a coup of the tenets that once buoyed an entire class of creators, but is rather a changing of the guard, making way for a new era of candor and earnest delivery that will likely cue the next’s generation’s cleaning days to come: the age-old sign of a classic.
This year, especially, proved to be as much of a pinnacle for such creations as it was for the discussion that surrounded them. Debates on the showmanship, fan interaction, and the (still uncrowned) King of R&B have underscored the creeping mainstream dominance of R&B’s new direction. So much so, in fact, that it seemed we talked less about the music and more about the artist’s actions. At the root of it all were some of the best outputs that this newest generation of artists have created in some time. In this year’s rotation of R&B albums, we found breakout bodies of work from brewing rookies and undeniable opuses from long-established vets. Similar to the entrance of the first wave of neo-soul, 2019’s most memorable R&B creations latched onto a strong commonality: nostalgia. Whether taking cues from both Motown’s heroes, New Jack Swing soldiers, or Sidekick-era luminaries, the music found a way to transport listeners to times gone by, introducing us to a successful trend of retro-contemporary soundscapes. The year’s outputs prove that we are quickly moving past some SoundCloud phenomenon and are settling into a definitive era of R&B’s next paradigm. Here are the top efforts that stood out from the exhaustively impressive pack.
Additional contributions to this list come from:
15. Jacquees – King Of R&B
By the end of the hour-long tracklisting of Jacquees’ sophomore studio album, the 25-year-old doesn’t necessarily end up making a case for any coronation of sorts. But, what he does tremendously well extends the foundation laid by past incumbents.
In the pool of young R&B-centric talent, Jacquees has proven to be one of the few with clear intentions on upholding the values set forth during the genre’s more definitive eras. On King Of R&B, this quality shines through as he achieves a balance that vacillates between boyish tease and earnest lover. The blending of genres isn’t a concern for Jacquees. Instead, he focuses his energy on the contemporary presentation of R&B’s hallmarks. He upholds the classic admission of guilt on “Cross The Line,” while baring vulnerability and regret on “Warning.” He’s attentive in the sheets on “Round II” and even fills in the blank of a fitting duet with the Summer Walker-assisted “Superstar.”
“I understand who done came and who done did that and that and that, but now it’s my turn,” he famously declared when initially crowning himself king. Now, nearly a year later, the brash crooner proves that his conclusion did not come without its due diligence. Jacquees is an undeniable student of the game. He’s mastered mirroring and refining the techniques crafted by the genre’s most notable teachers and makes this especially clear on King Of R&B.
14. Mahalia – Love & Compromise
Mahalia’s debut album was eight years in the making. What this impressively translates to is the fact that the project’s sound— in comparison to that of her contemporaries— is not birthed in response to an evolving landscape, but is rather the result of an isolated decade where she perfected of her craft. Love & Compromise, then, is refined and assured output that proved to be one of the most cohesive albums of the year.
On Love & Compromise, Mahalia crafts a thoughtful journey that considers its title at each stop along the way. The first is greeted with Eartha Kitt’s voice purring of her philosophy on the folly of compromising for a man. This sentiment practically shrouds the remainder of the project with the subject matter largely pertaining to an eventual choice to walk away or to avoid the relationship altogether. “Hide Out” is a reflection of betrayal as the breakout “I Wish I Missed My Ex” ponders on the satisfaction of moving on. The poignant “I Know What You Did” duet with Ella Mai hones in on an ex-lover’s scheming and the Beenie Man-sampling “Simmer” finds the 21-year-old Brit brushing the possibility of any serious companionship away.
Armed with an apparent affinity for a multitude of influences, Mahalia effectively pieces together an album that seamlessly bobs and weaves between various sounds, rhythms, and even periods in time. She draws from ’90s slow jams on “He’s Mine,” digs into Gospel fundamentals on the project closer “Square One,” and calls to her Caribbean roots on the forenamed “Simmer” alongside Nigerian star Burna Boy. Pairing a competency for leveraging such variety with smart and inclusive songwriting, Mahalia unquestionably constructs something for everyone on Love & Compromise.
13. Blood Orange – Angel’s Pulse
One could make the argument that no one is putting out albums as sonically and thematically cohesive as Devonte Hynes right now. Hynes has stood out for the masterful degree of control that he maintains over his art and it only becomes more apparent with each release. His ability to craft such a complete statement is largely due to the fact that he has a hand in every little part of it – he writes, he sings and he’s credited for playing ten different instruments on Angel’s Pulse alone.
Considering Angel’s Pulse was presented as a mixtape – rather than Blood Orange’s usual album format – one might have expected Hynes to abandon his fierce dedication to cohesion. However, it still plays like an extended dream. Anyone accustomed to a Blood Orange project could understand his sonic collages as the products of a single mind. His ingenious use of features allows him to cover as much ground as possible. He often calls on undervalued female vocalists and tests them in new contexts. Tinashe and Justine Skye both shine in their recurring appearances on Angel’s Pulse. Hynes also orchestrates one of his wondrously odd collaborations by placing Venezuelan artist, Arca, and BROCKHAMPTON’s Joba on “Take It Back”. Everything makes sense under Hynes’ curation and Angel’s Pulse is another example of his ambitious music feeling effortless.
12. H.E.R. – I Used To Know H.E.R.
This year, H.E.R. made a surprise drop when she pieced together two previously-released EPs to craft a full-length album. On the comprehensive I Used To Know H.E.R. project, the enigmatic songstress combines the Prelude and Part 2 EPs of last year, adding a handful of new tracks and even lengthening a few interludes to fully craft the body of work. Tying it all together is a subtle update in the project’s artwork in which a previously blurry polaroid is now clear with an image of Gabi Wilson leaning over to teach a younger version of herself how to play the guitar.
I Used to Know H.E.R. proves to be H.E.R.’s most important project to date. It arrives at a peak of popularity and mainstream success for the once-anonymous siren. It signals the culmination of Wilson’s evolution. Whereas H.E.R. of 2015 gifted us with a faceless proponent for broad-spectrum tracks on love and relationships, the most recent iteration of the singer offers fuller perspective into the life of a twenty-something navigating maturity (“21”), money (“Racks”), and mental health (“I’m Not OK”).
11. Daniel Caesar – Case Study 01
“It’s all just a big experiment,” wrote Daniel Caesar as he introduced fans to his surprise CASE STUDY 01 album in June.
A lot had changed between then and the time that he released 2017’s debut Freudian. Take immediate cultural success, three Grammy nominations, and way more attention than you’ve ever had before, and the same would be true for anyone.
While still leaning into philosophical influences, the Canadian crooner’s CASE STUDY 01 opens listeners up to a number of subjects bombarding his psyche beyond the sweet nothings of love that brought him to prominence. On CASE STUDY 01, Daniel Caesar’s bubble expands past the one trope, engulfing ideas of faith and mortality. But, to the trained ear, we’ve been here before.
Early patrons of Caesar’s catalog will recognize CASE STUDY 01 as a deeper exploration of the themes first laid out on 2015’s Pilgrim’s Paradise. Whereas Daniel may have found success as a proponent for love ballads, CASE STUDY 01 finds its magic in the return to form that it presents for Caesar. When you pair such ideas with the inevitable change that Caesar has undergone since then, the result is a listing of tracks that still trace remnants of romance, but also intertwine the reality of fame’s aide in metamorphosis: “Used to steal all my groceries and now I get to the racks/Used to be ugly, but now I hit from the back,” (“Frontal Lobe Muzik”).
This promotion is also reflected in the number of extra names present on the effort. Caesar avoids the bloat, keeping a smart balance of day one collaborators such as Sean Leon while flexing his muscle with the recruitment of Brandy, Pharrell Williams, and John Mayer. It all seems to add up to a detion from the blueprint laid out by Freudian, but CASE STUDY 01 is the necessary pit stop that continues what Pilgrim’s Paradise began.
10. Raphael Saadiq – Jimmy Lee
The past few years have seen Raphael Saadiq take on roles that task the 53-year-old hitmaker with manning his position from behind-the-scenes to play his hand in some of our most significant cultural moments. Since 2016, he has served as the composer of HBO’s Insecure series and is credited as executive producer of Solange’s seminal A Seat At The Table.
However, with the arrival of his Jimmy Lee studio effort, Saadiq rightfully adjusts the spotlight onto his own narrative, pulling the curtain back on deeply personal tales of addiction and eventual loss. Named after Saadiq’s late older brother who died of an overdose, Jimmy Lee finds Ray navigating the years of self-discovery that have followed since 2012’s Stone Rollin’. Cuts such as “Riker’s Island” capture the overarching theme of the effort while contrasted with a new perspective on the autobiographical “My Walk.”
On Jimmy Lee, Saadiq subtly delivers on an emboldened reminder of his dominance in adhering to the genre in question. He attaches himself to the winning formula that he’s always known, rarely departing from the sound that he has long established. In the midst of newer voices reworking old formulas, Jimmy Lee is a quieted example of just how it’s done.
9. Steve Lacy – Apollo XXI
In 2017, Steve Lacy took the music industry by storm. Well, to be fair, he foreshadowed his takeover in 2016 when he joined The Internet and offered a crucial hand to the creation of the group’s career-shifting record, Ego Death. His contributions on there became discernable as he started lending his production chops to artists like Isaiah Rashad, J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Blunted drums, sanguine guitar melodies and reverberant bass marked the signature sound of Steve Lacy. Headlines like “Steve Lacy Produced That Hot Kendrick Lamar Track Using Only His iPhone” led to him being viewed as the wunderkind to grab for your next album – the future.
Steve Lacy’s Demo (2017) concentrated his magic in a single place, opposed to it being sprinkled across the projects of others. It housed the archetype of his sound, but managed to show dazzling versatility in just fourteen minutes. His debut studio album, Apollo XXI, proved that, with 43 minutes, Lacy only has more room to explore and impress. He’s willing to stretch his vocals to their limits to embody more personas. On “Playground,” Lacy’s the tour guide of a colourful acid trip. On “Lay Me Down,” he gives the breathy moans of an R&B sex god. He reaches back into various eras of various genres but always sculpts something that is unmistakably his own.
8. Tory Lanez – Chixtape 5
The immersive experience of Tory Lanez’s fifth Chixtape project began as soon as the Canadian placed a forever-young Ashanti front-and-center on his album artwork. The music itself would deliver on its magic in the flipping of the running backlash against Tory’s love for samples by deliberately extracting from the early 2000s cuts that color his inspiration.
Wholly following through on his intentions, Tory Lanez’s creation of Chixtape 5 deserves immediate praise for its presentation as a new prototype. With each new flip, a familiar voice is attached. T-Pain is present on the “Jerry Sprunger,” which samples his “I’m Sprung” hit,” Uncle Snoop shows up for a verse on “Beauty in The Benz” which flips his Pharrell-assisted “Beautiful.” Cover star Ashanti doubles up with an appearance on “Foolish” remake “A Fool’s Tale” and Chris Brown once more gets to “Take U Down” on “The Take.”
In an age in which nostalgia reigns supreme, Lanez perfects the trend that he, himself, has helped to craft in the last half of the decade. He captures the essence of the golden age that inspired his own career. Its a proper homage in an increasingly post-genre landscape, and it makes for Lanez’s most ambitious outing to date.
7. Gallant – Sweet Insomnia
Gallant has been slowly but surely been building up his reputation as an important r’n’b voice of the new generation. The Maryland singer is filling a gap left from 2000s-era r’n’b, picking up the mantle and adopting it to fit our 2019 (soon to be 2020) landscape. His voice is silky sweet, while his music explores the boundaries of r’n’b, pushing into alternative rock territory yet somehow always bringing it back home to rhythm and blues. His sophomore studio album, Sweet Insomnia, showcases these aspects of his artistry in a succinct 13 tracks (and it’s worth noting three of those tracks are too-short interludes), with the rock-infused title track as the album’s centerpiece.
The wide, plucky guitar notes of “Sweet Insomnia” (featuring 6lack) become somewhat of a guiding theme across the warm, cushy tones of the album, complemented by Gallant’s vocal dexterity; his voice the blanket atop it all. “Hurt” opens with an acoustic guitar melody that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Sufjan Stevens song before it gets buried in lush, modern production. Early stand-out “Sharpest Edges” brings the guitar element on less of a folk-level and more of a rock-level. As we inch closer to the album’s end with “Sleep On It” brings back the acoustic guitar which pervades the length of the song, and equally, showcases how his lyrics often encapsulate perfectly the pull-and-tug of a relationship: “it’d be a shame to waste / Perfect night like this / Saying things that we don’t mean, yeah I know it’s hurting you / Shit, it hurts me too / We’re too stubborn to admit it,” he croons, littering the song with bursts of his honey’d falsetto.
6. Lucky Daye – Painted
Lucky Daye’s debut album Painted arrived to listeners in pieces. As the crooner shifted comfortably into place, he gradually treated new ears to bite-sized introductions found in his I and II EPs. Painted would arrive with a conclusive third part, binding it all together to make for one of the year’s most textured and enveloping offerings across all genres.
Daye’s influence is deeply rooted in mainstays of eras gone by— a facet that can be linked back to forbidden listens of Prince and The Gap Band while being raised in a deeply religious Christian home that forbade outside entertainment. A self-proclaimed “infinite soul,” Lucky’s Painted is an unequivocally timeless creation.
Project opener and lead single “Roll Some Mo” acts as the basis for a contemporary trip down memory lane while Lucky and producer Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II lay the framework of an effort that takes its cues from all the golden tenets of R&B and Soul’s greatest sounds. “Extra” and “Late Night” tune into dance-ready funk influences while “Misunderstood” and “Love You Too Much” display an appreciation and intelligent interpretation of modern Jazz and Blues foundations. All the while, Lucky Daye’s intuitive songwriting fasten it all together to underscore an affinity for nostalgia while showcasing a nuanced comprehension of music’s current trends. On Painted, Lucky Daye is the wondrous sum of all his parts and we’re all better for it.
5. Snoh Aalegra – Ugh, Those Feels Again
The amount of emotion that finds its way to the surface of Snoh Allegra’s ugh, those feels again is palpable. It places a stronghold on the project and produces the Swedish-born singer’s most stirring work. Picking up where 2017’s FEELS left off, ugh finds Snoh Aalegra post-breakup as she navigates a smoldering mix of emotion that explores heartbreak, dating, and protection of self.
Executive produced by NO I.D., the effort finds its bones in larger-than-life production as Snoh makes an effort to relay her reluctance in indulging in the wave of feelings that come attached to love— or lack thereof. Such reluctance is present with the apprehension of moving on and in the regret of a failed relationship. A tug between these two factors artfully characterizes ugh, those feels again. As quickly as she gratifies in the highs of Side A selects such as “Find Someone Like You” and “Woah,” she retreats to pensive despondence on Side B representatives like “Charleville 9200, Pt. II” and “Be Careful.”
The ease at which she flips the script paints an honest picture of the realities of navigating heartbreak and finds its value in working out the kinks in love.
4. SiR – Chasing Summer
For TDE’s resident soul singer SiR, loneliness is always on tap. His latest project, Chasing Summer, finds him gasping to keep his head above water at times, extracting prickly metaphors and excuses for behavior from the reservoirs of his ego. His jazzy sweetness is frequently chased with these more self-serving tendencies, and he gulps down concocted fancies with a fervor on tracks such as “Hair Down” and “John Redcorn.” The irony is that Chasing Summer’s sunny complexion does little to stand in the way of SiR’s vaporous ruminations about romance. A pilot’s voice-over serves to guide the listener on what is presumed to be a journey into uncharted lands. But the Inglewood native instead chooses to content himself with more localized stomping grounds as he runs through the gamut of emotions, from passion to pain to poison. Temporary love interests notwithstanding, SiR manages to stay firmly in his element, dictating his heart’s desires at will over shimmering instrumentation.
3. Solange – When I Get Home
The title of Solange’s When I Get Home suggests a return to a place of familiarity, where the process of psychological souvenirs firing between synapses is more cathartic than anything else. This meditative quality is impossible to ignore out of the gate, with “Things I Imagined” purring into place through a repetition that massages the cortex. Structure gives way to mantra as the album begins to blossom into an ambient and unshackled pop piece. It’s the opening salvo for an exceptional sonic experience in which most songs barely flirt with the two-minute mark. A labyrinth of wafting sights and sounds that toy with the senses lend themselves to this ambiance. Meanwhile, the tendrils of Houston mythology wrap their way around Solange’s retreat into this dreamy domain, refusing to let go but allowing her to breath new life into the atmosphere. Though the album is not bereft of guests, those whose voices peer out of the mist serve a decidedly less ancillary purpose than is typically expected of big budget roles. When baby Carti pops up amidst the black solidarity of “Almeda,” it feels like a natural progression rather than a commercial-minded addendum. If A Seat At The Table is Solange’s all-consuming magnum opus, then When I Get Home is a soul-funk salve, a freeform mental map where motion is the antidote for weariness.
2. Summer Walker – Over It
Summer Walker had an amazing year. The singer officially went from relatively unknown to mainstream moniker, thanks to an impressive debut album, Over It, executive produced by her boyfriend London on Da Track. The album pulled on those nostalgia-ridden heartstrings, not only with production elements that recalled an era bygone, but with the artwork too. The pink-heavy cover shows Summer with her du-rag in place, deep pink eyeshadow plastered on her eyelids and an exaggerated set of lashes, mid-phone conversation; a baby pink phone with a chord. While the phone is not fully visible, it’s quite clear that this is a rotary phone. It could be the scene of a 2000s-era r’n’b music video.
The album continues the trend with a few carefully curated samples, namely, Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna” on the early fan favorite (and Usher-featuring) “Come Thru” as well as Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name” on the Bryson Tiller-featured “Playing Games.” Summer doesn’t rely on these influences like a crutch though, rather she invokes them to uplift her own sound. It’s a sound that feels effortless, much in the same way our Instagram feeds are filled with “effortless” poses and postures– it’s all surface level. Despite the calmness of the music, Summer herself is still a bit messy, still a bit frantic, still figuring out who she is and where she belongs, like many millenials are. It’s these emotions and thoughts that pervade her lyrics. The mix of Summer’s raw writing with London’s thoughtful backdrop make the album an enthralling and captivating listen from start to finish.
1. Ari Lennox – Shea Butter Baby
“Alright, all the ni—as in here, leave, please, on the count of three because I need to talk to my bitches,” instructs a recurring voiceover at the tail end of Shea Butter Baby opener “Chicago Boy.”
On her debut album, Ari Lennox is both the patient and the therapist. Throughout all 12 selections on Shea Butter Baby, Dreamville’s resident siren carefully walks the line. The body of work— three years in the making— is a curative collection of Lennox’s diary entries on display for all to see. It’s an anthropologic experiment, giving way to brash assertions of sexuality on cuts such as “Up Late” and “BMO,” celebrating the playful pride of autonomy on “New Apartment,” and basking in the brooding heartbreak depicted on “I Been.”
Once again, like her peers, Lennox is reaching back to some form of an archive to extract inspiration, most closely resembling the voice of neo-soul pioneers. In Lennox’s case, however, it’s less of a contemporary update on the subgenre and more of a direct continuation of the form. She offers no novelty in most of the style’s tenets. The lyricism is still as candid as ever, piercing emotion is in full abundance, and meticulously selected production— anchored by jazz, blues and soul roots— serves to complement Ari’s airy and poignant vocals.
What’s more is that she practically does it solo, making little room for no more than two voices from JID and J. Cole. Thereafter, the shop is closed off to strangers as Lennox keeps the communal space of Shea Butter Baby sacred. It is here that she bares it all and leaves the narrative open-ended enough for listeners to fill in their blanks in what inexplicably mirrors a reciprocative exchange.
SOUND OFF IN THE COMMENTS.
Barack Obama Co-Sign Earns Lizzo, Drake, SZA & DJ Khaled Huge Streaming Numbers
The GOAT President still has major pull.
Barack Obama may only be the President of the United States in our hearts but he’s still got major pull around the world. When he says something, people take notice. If he lists off his and Michelle Obama’s favorite books, we all rush to the nearest library or Barnes & Noble. When he tells us what he’s been listening to all summer, we follow suit and track the exact same music. Thus, it’s really no surprise that the majority of Obama’s Summer Playlist picks have experienced massive spikes in streaming over the last few weeks.
As reported by Billboard, Barack Obama shared his list of special summer songs that he’s been vibing to as he chills in the sun. The chart included cuts from his friends Beyoncé and Jay-Z, star singer Lizzo, BJ The Chicago Kid, Ella Mai, Drake, Rihanna, Mac Miller, and many more. It turns out that Obama still has a ton of influence in the music world because after calculating how each song performed in the last month, it was determined that the majority of the playlist saw major boosts in numbers.
Only four songs from the post experienced declines in streaming, being Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road,” Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Señorita,” Ella Mai’s “Boo’d Up” and “Mood 4 Eva” by Beyonce, Hov, Childish Gambino and Oumou Sangaré. The people who earned the strongest increases include Lizzo, Terence Trent D’Arby, Esperanza Spalding, GoldLink, BJ The Chicago Kid, SZA, and more. Check out the full list Complex here.
Daniel Caesar Performs A Soulful Rendition Of “Cyanide” On "Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Daniel sings his most popular hit, “Cyanide.”
Daniel Caesar’s CASE STUDY 01 tape is still a fresh offering that boasts features from Pharrell, Brandy, Sean Leon, Jacob Collier, John Mayer and others. The album is a refreshing follow-up to Daniel’s 2017 tape Freudian and the 24-year-old has come through to show more love to his work with a visit to Jimmy Kimmel Live to perform the second Case Study track, “Cyanide.”
Dressed in what looks to be an air pilot’s outfit (helmet and all) Daniel stood center stage with five gorgeous women singing backup vocals behind him. The performance is more laid back compared to the recorded single as we hear Daniel embellish on more notes, providing a different take on how the song can be delivered.
Daniel Caesar’s currently on the road for his Koffee accompanied tour for CASE STUDY 01 and has already announced a part two with another string of stops to perform for his adoring fans – peep the stops below.
Common Joined By Swizz Beatz For "Hercules" On Fallon
The second single off his upcoming album, “Let Love”.
Common was the musical guest on The Tonight Show on Monday night. Common was assisted on stage by Swizz Beatz to perform their track off the latter’s album, Let Love, which will be released on August 30. A Swizz Beatz feature in this day and age often means that he is responsible for production and ad-libs, but this single was actually produced by Karriem Riggins, Samora Pinderhughes, and Burniss Travis. “Hercules” finds Swizz Beatz singing the hook, while Common maneuvers some intricate wordplay over an ominous beat. Their performance opened up a recording of Common reciting a famous quote from writer, Toni Morrison, who passed away last Monday: “I get angry about things, then go on and work.”
Common also sat down with Jimmy Fallon to discuss the various other projects he has to promote, including his memoir, Let Love Have The Last Word, and the movie, The Kitchen. Common told Fallon that the album Let Love is inspired by his book, because “he went to subject matters that he wouldn’t normally talk about”, such as therapy. Common expressed his desire to open up the conversation around mental health in the Black community.
Let Love Tracklist
1. Good Morning Love featuring Samora Pinderhughes
2. HER Love featuring Daniel Caesar
3. Dwele’s Interlude
4. Hercules featuring Swizz Beatz
5. Fifth Story featuring Leikeli47
6. Forever Your Love featuring BJ Tha Chicago Kid
7. Leaders (Crib Love) featuring A-Trak
8. Memories of Home featuring BJ The Chicago Kid and Samora Pinderhughes
9. Show Me That You Love featuring Jill Scott and Samora Pinderhughes
10. My Fancy Free Future Love
11. God Is Love featuring Leon Bridges and Jonathan McReynolds
Chance The Rapper’s "Owbum": Everything We Know
We’ve gathered every single morsel of information that we have on Chance The Rapper’s forthcoming debut “Owbum.”
Since he arrived in our collective consciousness, Chance The Rapper has been fashioning his own lane. Prone to capitalizing on any opportunity that’s put in front of him, he’s been turning shortcomings and limitations into positive attributes ever since he transformed a high school suspension into an immensely productive spell of recording. Where other teens would’ve let those days idly dwindle by, Chano used his suspension for marijuana possession to lay the building blocks for one of the most successfully independent hip-hop careers of all time with 10 Day. His debut tape and its seminal follow-up Acid Rap signified the arrival of a new force in hip-hop that was capable of benevolence, introspection or brashness dependent on the task at hand.
Capped off by the Apple Music-affiliated Coloring Book in 2016, this introductory trilogy of mixtapes ingratiated Chance into the realm of the hip-hop elite. With his mind hovering in the consecrated clouds and his feet still treading on the windswept streets of the city that raised him, Chi-town’s biggest ambassador since pink-polo-Kanye is bringing the curtain down on the first chapter of his career with a soon to be released debut LP. Tentatively referred to as his Owbum, the project marks the culmination of years of relentless work to leverage his cathartic brand of gospel-infused material into a favourable position in the mainstream. Labelled corny by his detractors and uniquely authentic by his legion of fans, the fact that the world is waiting with baited breath on his next move hasn’t made Chancellor Bennett any more forthcoming with information. Set to be released on an unspecified date this month, we’ve decided to compile each and every morsel of information that we have on his debut record.
Across his catalogue to date, Chance has been unwilling to pigeonhole himself into one particular subset of the hip-hop world. Granted, his maniacal ad-lib and lyrical content may all emanate from the same ballpark, but the production and arrangements have always been subject to renovation. Even across his spree of 2018 singles– “I Might Need Security,” “Work Out,” “65th & Ingleside,” “My Own Thing,” “The Man Who Has Everything” and “Wala Cam” — he rejected the notion that there had to be any common thread that bound them in favour of wading into whatever he saw fit. This carried through into last month’s dance challenge-centric “Groceries.”
On account of his penchant for capturing the dizzying sensations of euphoria in his music, it should come as no surprise that Chance has said that he’s aiming to evoke the feeling of one of the happiest days of his life on his debut project. During an interview with Zane Lowe that marked the release of his last single, Chano revealed that the music which sound tracked his wedding day had been a driving force in what he hoped to accomplish:
“The whole album has been inspired by the day that I got married and how I was dancing that day,” he said. “We had a reception with the legendary DJ Pharris. And we all danced our hearts out. It was the hardest I ever danced in my life and I’m a great longtime dancer. Everything in it is all the different styles of music that make me want to dance and remind me of that day and remind me of that night and all those people that were there.”
As far as other recurring motifs go, it’s important to note that this record comes in the aftermath of an extended period of scripture reading. Back in December, Chance took to Instagram to proclaim that he was headed out on a religious secondment:
“I’m on a plane headed out the country on my first sabbatical,” he declared. “I’m going away to learn the Word of God which I am admittedly very unfamiliar with. I’ve been brought up by my family to know Christ but I haven’t taken it upon myself to really just take a couple days and read my bible. we all quote scripture and tell each other what God likes and doesn’t like but how much time do we spend as followers of Jesus to really just read and KNOW his Word.”
Known to strike a balance between the secularist and the spiritual, it’ll be interesting to see if the scales tip in favour of praise-giving after his short pilgrimage. But while that may be unsubstantiated, what we do know for certain is that it won’t be a carbon copy of anything that’s came before. Bowled over as he is with his accomplishments to date, Chance stated that there’d be no reruns back in February of this year. Taking to Twitter, he announced that:
“I’ll always be immensely proud of what I did with Coloring Book. Same Drugs, Summer Friends and Juke Jam are some the realest songs I’ve ever written so u dont have to defend Coloring Book to me. It happened, it made history but I did it already. The album won’t be acid rap either.”
From his first tentative steps into the game, Chance has always leapt at the chance to work with likeminded individuals. Just on Coloring Book alone, he summoned an array of talent to come through and aid that encapsulated Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Saba, Justin Bieber, Young Thug, Future, Jay Electronica, “My Cousin Nicole” and more.
Regularly pinpointed as the closest thing that Chance has ever had to a mentor during his career, one man that appeared on his last project and seems earmarked for inclusion on the next is Kanye West. Bonded by their closely held faith, their hometown of Chicago and the desire for creative freedom, the two have been spotted together on numerous occasions over the past couple of years and it seems all but a foregone conclusion that he’ll appear on at least one track. Aside from explicitly stating that he was in Chi-town to work with Chano in August of last year, footage emerged of the two cooking up some vintage Michael Jackson samples in the studio. On top of that, Chance frantically gyrated to some house-indebted jams from Kanye at Sunday Service. Given the genre’s roots in their native Windy City, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them contribute their own entry into that storied tradition.
Praised by Chance for getting him a dream role in the new live action adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King, another man that’s been instrumental in his career is Donald Glover, better known to hip-hop fans as Childish Gambino. While a collaborative project between the two has been bandied about for years on end, Chance’s remarked to Peter Rosenberg that they had plenty of material that was lying in wait during a trip to Open Late:
“We’ve got six songs that are all fire, he claimed, but I think the album is going to be more than 14 songs.”
Now that we know that the two have been in close proximity to one another during The Lion King’s filming, there’s every chance that it resulted in a newly-crafted spate of material that could make its way on to the new LP. A track which infamously gained the ire of Joe Budden for being “too positive,”all signs point to his collaboration with Daniel Caesar manifesting itself into a track known as “First World Problems” while video has emerged of Chano teaching gospel artist Kirk Franklin a few steps in the unmistakable surroundings of a recording studio back in June. Fresh off the heels of appearing on YBN Cordae’s “Bad Idea,” it’d be interesting to see whether their time together equated to a collaborative track on each artist’s new record. On top of that, an April 2018 interview with fellow Chicagoan G Herbo led Chance to illuminate fans with the news that he’d been working with artists including Young Thug and Francis And The Lights.
The latter can be heard in the July 4th album teaser that paid homage to his wife on a track’s that believed to be entitled “Not Single Anymore.” The notable creative synergy between Chano and the Oakland-born crooner makes it likely that he’ll be heard across the project. Fresh off of the release of the Chance-assisted “Rememory” earlier in the week, it’s also highly likely that Supa Bwe will be granted some space to shine on the project as their canon of hook-ups continues to grow. On the other hand, it’s highly unlikely that there’ll be contributions from SAVEMONEY alumni Towkio or Stix after Chance made it known that he was “ashamed” of his friends that had been accused of sexual misconduct.
Considering that he has conspicuously altered his Twitter display name to “Peter Owbum Cottontale,” it’s all but a foregone conclusion that he will have his hallmarks all over the project. A hivemind since the days of The Social Experiment, there’s nothing to suggest that he, Nate Fox and Nico Segal will play any less of a pivotal role in the production of this project than they did on Coloring Book. Capable of conjuring up sonic grandeur, their style is a seamless fit for an album that’ll harness the spirit of his wedding and all the joy that came along with it. After working together on “All Night” alongside 2017’s “And They Say,” it’d be no surprise to see Kaytranada reassume his position behind the boards. The Murda Beatz and Felix Leone-helmed “Groceries” was initially teased with a video that featured “The Whoa” originator 10K.Cash, so it’s very possible that we’ve only heard one byproduct of those same studio sessions.
For eagle-eyed viewers, Chance’s teaser video “The Next Chapter Begins” held more revelations than it did if it was just consumed at a passive level. Although it contains a fleeting teaser of new music, there is also a split-second clip at 00:53 where a board is visible that features the heading of “The Whole Album” before it quickly blurs. First compiled over at Hip-Hop-N-More, the as yet unconfirmed tracklisting reads as follows:
“1) ‘Big Fish’
2) ‘On The Run’
3) ‘Sun Come Down’
4) ‘Girl In Town’
5) ‘Hot Water’
6) ‘Not Single No More’
7) ‘Do You Understand’
11) ‘Even If It Hurts’
12) ‘Slide Around’
13) ‘Pray For Real’
14) ‘Side Things’
15) ‘Skim Thru’
16) ‘Five Yr Plan’
17) ‘Where Ya Goin’
18) ‘We Go High’
Are you hyped for Chance The Rapper’s debut album? Sound off in the comments
Daniel Caesar Announces "CASE STUDY 01" Album With Pharrell & More
Daniel Caesar is releasing a new project tonight!
Get ready because we’re about to receive a brand new body of work from Canadian sensation Daniel Caesar. The R&B star began to blow up a few years ago and he’s absolutely hit his stride recently, winning a Grammy Award for “Best Part” and impressing everybody with his smooth vocals on the regular. He’s been involved in some controversy this year, calling out Joe Budden and a number of other folks while defending YesJulz, who is constantly being attacked online and referred to as a “culture vulture.” Caesar is moving away from all that drama and he’s ready to blow our minds again, introducing us to a brand new project tonight called CASE STUDY 01.
Teasing something new for the majority of this week, Daniel Caesar has finally opened up about what he’s preparing to welcome into the world. His new baby is called CASE STUDY 01 and it will feature a number of talented vocalists and musicians like Pharrell, John Mayer, Brandy, and others. It will hit streaming services tonight with a total of ten songs being added to the tracklist. According to HHNM, “Love Again” is expected to become the lead single from the project but we’ll see about that once the full work is out tonight.
Look out for some new Daniel Caesar tonight and let us know if you’re excited.
3. LOVE AGAIN (feat. Brandy)
4. FRONTAL LOBE MUZIK (feat. Pharrell Williams)
5. OPEN UP
6. RESTORE THE FEELING (feat. Sean Leon & Jacob Collier)
7. SUPERPOSITION (feat. John Mayer)
8. TOO DEEP TO TURN BACK
10. ARE YOU OK?
H.E.R. To Headline Self-Curated "Lights On Festival" With Jhene Aiko, Summer Walker & More
H.E.R. knows how to put on a show.
Grammy-winning artist H.E.R. has dropped off quite a nice surprise for her fans since announcing the line-up for Lights On Festival, that she curated herself. The festival will take place on September 14th at the Concord Pavilion in The Bay Area in California.
“Concord Pavilion is the ultimate venue. It is the perfect place to bring people from all over the [San Francisco] Bay,” the “Focus” singer said in a statement. “I have many memories watching shows and DREAMING I’d be able to perform there. The Bay Area is my home…..it’s a dream come true to host my festival there.”
Other acts to take the stage are Jhené Aiko, Daniel Caesar, Summer Walker, Ari Lennox, Kiana Ledé, DaniLeigh, Melii, Lucky Daye, Marc E. Bassy, LONR, Tone Stith, bLAck pARty and Rayana Jay.
Leon Bennett/Getty Images
Pre-sale tickets will be on sale as of Wednesday, June 12th while regular priced tickets will go on sale as of Friday, June 14th.
“It’s an honor to be able to help this amazing artist execute her vision,” said Shawn Gee, president of Live Nation Urban. “It’s especially refreshing for us because most of the recent artist-curated festivals like Dreamville, Roots Picnic, Astroworld, Camp Flognaw and others are curated by men; we haven’t seen many female owned and curated artist festivals, especially in hip-hop & R&B.”
Daniel Caesar Apologizes After Calling Out Black People: "I Can Admit When I’m Wrong"
Daniel Caesar defended YesJulz last week.
Last week, Daniel Caesar caught major heat after he spoke out during a live stream, drunkenly calling out all the black people watching his rant and asking why people were being "so mean" to YesJulz. Julz, one of the more influential industry types behind the scenes, has been accused by many of being a "culture vulture" after a couple of perceived-shady comments about black women. The Canadian singer was dragged to hell and back after his remarks with fans threatening to cancel him and his music. Now, Daniel is realizing the error in his ways and he's offering an apology to anybody that was offended, while he still believes in what he said.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images
Caesar's apology is falling on deaf ears for many of the folks that were angry about his first video. While the artist says that he still believes in what he said, he is apologizing for the way he delivered the address. "I expressed my opinion in a very pretentious… I was talking down to you guys," he said. "I apologize for how I expressed my idea because that is where I went wrong. I believe in what I said. A real man can admit when he’s wrong. I can admit when I’m wrong."
Although he was surrounded by his friends, Caesar says his rant was "tyrannical" because nobody was checking him. Despite what the public currently thinks about him, Daniel says that he feels like he's "stronger" because of all this. Do you accept the apology?
Joe Budden Says Daniel Caesar Sent Him A Peace Offering Via Text
Episode 232 of "The Joe Budden Podcast" covers Daniel Caesar's reconciliation efforts.
The fracas caused by Daniel Caesar's comments towards Joe Budden was pretty hard to ignore this week, prompting yet another ventricle of the conversation centered around "Cancel Culture." The wreckage his comments left behind impelled a lot of people to think one of two things: that Caesar was defending YesJulz, which wasn't definitively true.
Secondly, was there an underlying message to his controversial statement? Of all people, Joe Budden seems to think so, he'll likely be leading the discussion (if he so chooses) going forward, given his proximity to the situation.
Before digging any further into Daniel's resolution, it's worth noting that Julz and Budden were once friends, but fell out of favor with each other, in a very public manner, as is often the case, when the Mood Muzik specialist is implicated.
So what did Caesar do to rectify the situation? Well. he didn't plead his case to the public a second, that's not in his nature. He didn't arrange for a slot on Budden's podcast with co-hosts Rory & Mal, again not in his nature, even though it's easy to understand why a need for "public vindication" existed in the first place, dating back to the manner in which Dave Chapelle spoke to him in the now infamous "he's gay" video.
Enter Joe Budden with plans to address on the next episode of the aforementioned podcast, the 232nd of its kind titled "Datakiss," a joke he and his cohorts go on to explain at the 39:45 of the taping. Right then and there, Joe Budden reveals the sincere overture Caesar made behind the scenes just the other day. "I was surfing the channels, it was 1 am, I could not sleep," he began explaining. "I got this text from a number I did not have stored in my phone. It said, 'brother,' and that was a little off because I don't even talk to my brothers."
At this point Rory and Mal interject, add a little comedic relief as they usually do, and Budden resumes his story by assuming Daniel's speaking voice. "'Please just make sure you watch the entire clip before you flame me, lol," he reads aloud as if to paraphrase with some degree of accuracy. Then he wraps up the anecdote by insisting that Daniel Caesar signed off on a truce.
"'I know you've got a job to do and I respect it, to a point I suppose, but it's love,'" Budden relays to the listener, that's it that's all. Joe Budden shows no sign of animosity after reading the texts, insinuating the kind of sympathy he mutters at the beginning of the tape. Give it a listen for yourselves.