Kendrick Lamar & TDE – Black Panther: The Album
The wait is over and Black Panther: The Album has landed. Featuring music from and inspired by the upcoming Ryan Coogler film, the 14-song soundtrack opens with an ominous intro from King Kendrick himself. “King of my city,” he raps with poetic power on the title track. “King of my country, king of my homeland / King of the filthy, king of the fallen, we livin’ again.”
The project was preceded by K-Dot and SZA’s “All The Stars,” which is also a fitting description of this guest list. TDE is well represented with ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and Ab-Soul, though there’s no Black Hippy collaboration. Additionally, 2 Chainz, Swae Lee, Khalid, Vince Staples, Jorja Smith, Anderson .Paak, The Weeknd, and Travis Scott add to the LP’s star power.
After hoping to work with Kendrick for years, Coogler said he’s thrilled about the final product, which connects TDE and Marvel powers. “I can’t wait for people to hear the music on that album,” he told NPR. TDE producer Sounwave added: “I think it was a perfect marriage for us to blend the two worlds.” Hear the fusion below and catch the record-shattering film, starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Lupita Nyong’o, on Feb. 16.
2 Chainz – The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It
2 Chainz didn’t come to Play. Less than one year after rolling out Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, the prolific Tity Boi unleashes a new four-track EP in the form of The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It.
YG and Offset are the only guest players on this new project, both lending a hand on the T-Minus-produced “Proud.” The Atlanta rhymer uses this joint to paint a personal portrait. “Me and mama used to trap out the same house,” he raps on the track. “Used to eat and go to sleep on the same couch / Me and mama got busted at the same time / Went to court and told the judge the same damn lies.” He adds: “I’m just trying to make my mama proud / I ain’t tryin’ to let my mama down.”
“Proud” turns out to be one of the personal standouts here, but bangers lie elsewhere. Aside from T-Minus’ production, Tauheed Epps got behind-the-boards assistance from Street Runnerz (“Lamborghini Truck (Atlanta Shit),” June James (“OK Bitch”), and 808 Mafia’s Non-Stop Da HitMan (“Land of the Freaks”).
This might be a big Play, but it’s only a warm-up for Chainz. Upon releasing this four-track EP, Tity Boi took to Instagram to confirm that his next full-length album is “coming soon.” Stay tuned, but catch the big Play below.
Blocboy JB feat. Drake – “Look Alive”
Drake continues to build his Memphis connections with “Look Alive,” a new collaboration with Blocboy JB, a burgeoning rapper from Tennessee. The cut finds Drizzy rhyming about his changes and his money-making ways.
“This fucking industry is cutthroat,” he raps. “I’m not the same man…I’m only chasing after bags now, I got a game plan.” Meanwhile, Blocboy pledges his loyalty: “I’ma get the money, Drizzy get the loot / Pull up with that Draco, play with Drake and I’ma shoot.”
Drake was raised in Toronto, but he’s celebrated Memphis throughout his career. In 2013, he filmed his “Worst Behavior” video in the city. “I have a lot of family that I love very deeply [in Memphis],” he told VIBE in 2013.
Listen to Drake rep for Memphis on “Look Alive” below.
King Combs feat. Chris Brown – “Love You Better”
While Diddy was crowning “The Four’s” inaugural champion, his son Christian “King” Combs was unleashing his new Chris Brown-assisted collaboration “Love You Better.”
This is a slick record from the laid back Bad Boy, who’s aiming to make things right with a lady friend. “You could have had Christian and Christian Dior,” he brags. “Now you just miss and I’m missin’ you more.”
Combs also lives up to his father’s penchant for sampling. “Love You Better” features a piece of Schoolly D’s influential 1985 single “P.S.K. What Does It Mean?,” which previously inspired Case’s “Touch Me Tease Me” and The Notorious B.I.G.’s “B.I.G. Interlude.” The throwback vibes continue with a sample of 1988’s “Ease Back” by the Ultramagnetic MC’s.
Listen to King Combs’ latest below.