Nav Returns From Brief Retirement With New Album Executive Produced by The Weeknd

Inspired by Lil Uzi Vert‘s own apparent exit from the music business, Toronto rapper Nav spent some time at the beginning of this year contemplating retirement. He actually did announce that he’d be taking a break, only to decide to come back after his manager, Amir “Cash” Esmailian, went ahead and released the Brown Boy EP on March 14. The resulting support spurred him to reveal that he’d be releasing a true album in the near future. And now, that album, Bad Habits, is here. At its helm, aside from the rapper himself, is The Weeknd, who acts as the project’s executive producer.

If you’re a Nav fan, you know that his drip-obsessed raps rival even the cartoonish extravagance of Gunna. His songs are usually light on emotion and heavy on braggadocious punchlines and metaphors. Things may be a tad different on this album, as the 16-track LP features songs with titles such as “To The Grave” and  “Why You Crying Mama.” Bad Habits also features Young Thug, Meek Mill, Gunna, Lil Durk, and, of course, The Weeknd. Nav recently revealed on Instagram that a Lil Uzi verse was supposed to appear on the album but couldn’t be cleared.

Nav just released his debut studio album Reckless in 2018. It debuted at No. 8 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

Steve Aoki & Monsta X Bless Us With English Version of ‘Play It Cool’

It’s no secret that Steve Aoki is a big-time K-pop fan. Aren’t we all these days?

Fresh from his collaboration with BTS, Aoki dropped his latest joint track with South Korean group Monsta X. And folks, let us tell you — it’s still a banger, whether it’s in English or Korean.

“It was such an honor to work with Steve Aoki,” said Monsta X in a statement. “He is truly an amazing artist and producer. We love how ‘Play It Cool’ turned out at the end so much that we included it in our recent album Take.2 We Are Here.” The album just debuted in February, with lead single “Alligator.” The follow-up to Monsta X’s 2018 album Take.1 Are You There? features 10 tracks, including their collab with Aoki.

“After the great success of the Korean version, we can’t wait to see the responses to the English version from all over the world. This collab is a gift from us to our ‘monbebe’ for always taking care of us and keeping it cool. Thank you,” continued Monsta X in a joint statement. Aoki expressed his excitement for working with the band as well.

“Monsta X is one of those powerhouse groups that sets the bar very high,” said Aoki of his especially hunky collaborators. “Their voices stay with you long after the song is over, and on this track they sang so profoundly that all we had to do was focus on the story we were telling. I really believe in today’s world that we have redefined what love and relationships look like, so I think that this song is one that many people can relate to.”

The track’s sleek electro-pop is the type of “high fashion” music you’d expect to hear while sipping an expensive latte in a ultra-hip cafe, or a bop you’d want played while voguing during your own photoshoot. Its chorus is instantly memorable, with a dance-break beat connecting the verses that’ll make you want to jump off the sofa for an impromptu dance part. And now with its English lyrics, you honestly have no excuse not to learn the words, even if you just hummed along to the excellent original.

Monsta X is comprised of Wonho, I.M., Minhyuk, Shownu, Jooheon, Kihyun, and Hyungwon — your new crushes. They had a fantastic year in 2018, with the EP The Connect: Dejavu hitting No. 2 on Billboard’s World Albums Chart, and concluded a successful U.S. tour. Rounding out their accomplishments is the fact that they previously made history as the first K-pop group to headline iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball.

If this English track is your first brush with the band, make sure you dive into their discography ASAP. We’ll be over here moving it just like Monsta X likes it right into the weekend.

Bop Shop: Songs From Lizzo, Everglow, Jamila Woods, And More

Bear Hands ft. Ursula Rose: “Blue Lips”

“Blue Lips” is a sleazy groove with a bridge you can’t get out of your head. “Cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry,” singer Dylan Rau croons, and you’re immediately hooked. I’m constantly on the lookout for tunes with unique hooks, and “Blue Lips” delivers them in droves, from the verses tinged with staid cigarette smoke to the slinky strip club beat near the end of the song.

But the real highlights are the spoken interludes by Ursula Rose: “I don’t see how you think you can come to me and bitch to me/ Lay out your problems like ancient history / Like I ain’t got no other shit to do / I love you baby / But my lips are turnin’ blue.”

It’s so sassy, so indifferent. So raw. It’s not even particularly melodical, and yet I make sure I sing every word correctly when I hear this part come up. It feels like strutting down your own personal runway and giving someone you can’t stand the kiss-off – or perhaps even someone you once loved who’s taken you for granted for far too long.

“Someone check the kids, make sure they are still alive,” cautions Rau. More like check my pulse, because it stops every time I hear this song. —Brittany Vincent

Tame Impala Are Finally Back With ‘Patience’ And It Was Well Worth The Wait

There’s not enough sun and fun in the music of the moment, at least not like what Tame Impala have consistently brought since their 2010 debut Innerspeaker. After 2015’s breakthrough Currents, the band’s output slowed considerably, but now they’re back, and, with them comes the wicked fun that has been missing. The band’s new single is “Patience,” and it looks like the fans’s ability to wait for four years has been rewarded. From frontman Kevin Parker‘s chilly vocals to the lush 1960s musicality, their latest is the kind of larger-than-life, timeless, tune that makes it impossible to be anything but happy.

Tame Impala’s latest is bright, kaleidoscope funk. It’s like Woodstock in 1969 all over again with its audible sepia tones. The crashing of the ride cymbal ripples to the rhythm of the crisp snare strikes. There’s a piano that shines through like a piercing lighthouse light cutting through the darkness of a foggy night. Parker’s vocals are blended with the immersive blend of instruments that blur the lines between ’60s funk, alt-rock, and vibrant contemporary pop. It’s a beautiful mix, one that stays with you long after it ends and lets you know that Kevin Parker is back to make up for lost time.

On March 30, Tame Impala will make their SNL debut. Next month, Parker and the supporting musicians will be headlining the second day of the Coachella Festival and in August, they will be playing at Lollapalooza. They’ve also revealed dates for a tour that kicks off in Nashville, Tennesee in May and wraps up in Walibi Holland, Netherlands in August.

Listen to the lavish, nostalgic tune up above.

Megan Thee Stallion Takes A Glimpse Into A Steamy Future On ‘Sex Talk’

Megan Thee Stallion signed to 300 Entertainment last year and has become one of the most prominent rising women in rap. Her intensity is addicting; the power in her booming voice translates her cunning, sexual prowess. She’s uncompromising, unabashed, and most importantly, herself. She has released a new song, “Sex Talk,” that oozes with an erotic tension that makes her music a masterclass in teasing. It’s also a bit different than the standard idea of a steamy song, so it’s a bit harder to place in a box. But those old, outdated, song categories need to be trashed anyway.

“Sex Talk” is a sensual record that cuts the theatrics of being steamy and hops straight to the point – the act of sex itself. Imagine the imprint of hands on the glass doors leading to an immense, foggy shower. Or the foggy windows of an occupied car, with inhabitants immersed in an erotic fantasy while parked in a dimly lit lot. “Sex Talk” isn’t a soothing record with melodies and other classic signifiers of a song to bone to. It’s bone-crushing with trap elements, most chiefly being the cold, Voldemort-like delivery of the song’s focus. Megan’s cold delivery is powerful and raw and it’s not really like anything you’ve heard before. She speaks of sex with 100% clarity; she’s a seeress with a prophecy destined to come to light. We never doubt her abilities in the bedroom or her capability on the microphone. Her breath control, manner of stopping and flipping her rap style on a dime, and ability to creating intense, vivid depictions of steamy scenes reveal an artist dedicated to the craft first. She’s a captivating lyricist with a premiere skill set altogether, not just a captivating “female rapper.”

Megan Thee Stallion recently revealed that her sophomore album Fever will be coming out in the near future. “Sex Talk” will be the LP’s lead single. Her debut studio album, Tina Snow, came out last December. Since then, there’s been so much growth on her end that it’s wise to prep the follow-up so soon. 

Ariana Grande And 2 Chainz Performed Together For The First Time And ‘It Was Lit!!!’

Ariana Grande and 2 Chainz are really making the most out of their newfound friendship.

The two first joined forces on a remix of her swaggering chart-topper “7 Rings” back in February. That was followed by “Rule The World,” a shimmery, loved-up jam from 2 Chainz’s Rap Or Go To The League album that features a feel-good hook from Ari. The latter single is gaining traction at radio — partially because of its luxurious new video — and now it’s gotten an extra boost thanks to the pair’s first joint live performance.

On Wednesday night (March 21), Grande’s Sweetener World Tour landed in Boston for its second show, and she surprised the crowd by bringing her pal 2 Chainz out. Together, they tore through “Rule The World” for the first time, bathed in pink and purple stage lights as fans went crazy. As 2 Chainz noted alongside a clip from the performance, “the show was lit!!!”

After the show, Grande shared a pic of them posing on top of the “7 Rings” car and thanked 2 Chainz for swinging through.

That wasn’t the only surprise up Ari’s sleeve at her Boston show. Earlier in the night, her manager, Scooter Braun, made a sneaky and hilarious cameo during her Last Supper-inspired performance of “God Is A Woman.” The Sweetener World Tour, apparently, is just full of surprises.

Tierra Whack’s #WhackHistoryMonth Was About Growth And Bold Exploration

When It Dropped: February 26

How It Sounds: Heavy, like you need an antacid after scarfing down five cheeseburgers

Standout Lines: “Whack, Whack, damn she killer / Why she got holes in her denim?”

Like a cat tangled in a mess of yarn, Whack World‘s playfulness was its defining characteristic. “CLONES,” meanwhile, is a zoo lion that’s been let out of its cage. Whack immediately makes that clear, demanding her engineer leave a recorded sneeze on the track, twice. Then the bass crashes like colliding trains, a devastating growl left in the aftermath. As the gigantic 808s continuously rumble, Whack digs into another facet of her personality: the straight-faced spitter with something to prove. Her raps here don’t contain any amount of melody. Instead, she opts for a rattling, low-volume dice roll with each word, her voice bouncing off the walls of the track with each curse, comparison, and humblebrag. These aren’t your typical bust-down watches and “Dripping Patek” bars. They’re earthier and emotional, with the true flex being her creative voice control.

Schoolboy Q Debuts Sexy New Song ‘Chopstix’ On Fallon

Schoolboy Q took the stage on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night for a lively performance of “Numb Numb Juice,” but that wasn’t the only thing that he performed. The rapper also unveiled to the world the first look at a new song, “Chopstix,” which looks to be a sexual take on the eating utensil that’s much softer than what we’re used to from Schoolboy Q. It was a smooth premiere that gave viewers a glimpse of his subject range. Think of it as an appetizer as to what could be coming next – the album that the rapper hints is on the way at the end of the performance.

The show was simple, relying on Schoolboy Q’s energy to carry it – and that it did. The rapper pranced around the stage with the energy of a bouncing ball trapped beneath the ceiling and the floor. As he performed “Numb Numb Juice,” an enormous screen behind him gave the song’s lyrics new life; some of the images that were presented on screen were of a person testifying in court, an antique BMW driving on the road, and a close-up of a statue. Without warning, the rapper then goes into “Chopstix” and starts talking a little friskier than normal. HipHopNMore reported that the song originally leaked back in September and featured Kendrick Lamar. In this version, however, it sounds like Travis Scott will croon on it with his signature robotic yelps. Schoolboy Q lets the song play at the end after his verse finishes, dances, and tells the audience that the album is coming “very, very, very, very, very, very, soon.”

Schoolboy Q released “Numb Numb Juice” and an accompanying, cinematic video last week. His last album was 2016’s Blank Face LPIt’ll be exciting to see what kind of cartoonish, dangerous flair will exist on his upcoming project. It’ll, no doubt, be very, very, very, very, very, very, intriguing.

Take a look at the performance medley up above.

Daddy Yankee Makes History On Corden With Exhilarating ‘Con Calma’ Performance

Daddy Yankee made history last night as the first Spanish language performer on The Late Late Show With James Corden. He set an extremely high standard with his thrilling performance of “Con Calma,” his electrifying nightclub anthem that recently topped Billboard’s Latin Airplay Songs chart. Yankee, along with his crew of support dancers with seemingly endless amounts of energy, brought experience to the stage unlike any other.

It becomes immediately clear that, from the opening seconds, Daddy Yankee understand theatrically like few else. His dancers, clad in blinding blue tracksuits have intense faces as they whisk to and fro in a complex beginning routine, only to flee to the sides as Yankee takes the beautifully lit stage. There are Daddy Yankee masks on the performer’s left and right sides, bleeding pink goo out of their virtual sunshades. The pink spills onto the neon-stained stage and covers the floor. From there, the scene changes, with blinding, rapidly flickering colors giving way to more pink good that turns pink. Dancers retake the stage to continue their intricate routine and pack it with harsh faces, purposely stiff movements, then follow them with sexy body rolls before repeating, only slightly different each time.

This makes up the first half of the performance. Daddy Yankee’s backup dancers come out in gigantic masks and begin another routine that’s equally energetic and makes use of the vibrant stage’s constantly changing backdrop. There’s blue goo, an exaggerated depiction of Daddy Yankee performing, and those flashing lights in a collective rotation. It simulates the energy of a nightclub perfectly. The music takes us there while the performance itself creates that atmosphere and ambiance.

Daddy Yankee’s “Con Calma” isn’t the only enormous hit that he’s had recently. In 2017, his collaboration with Luis Fonsi, “Despacito,” became the second fastest YouTube video in history to reach one billion views (it took 97 days).

Take a gander at the electrifying performance up above after putting on your dancing shoes.

Logic Announces New Album Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind By Drenching Himself In Blood

In a surprise announcement on Twitter today, Logic unveiled that his new album will be coming soon. The release date wasn’t specified. But, it is called Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the words unveiled in crimson ink in an admittedly sinister looking font. How these unveils came was…scary – disturbing at the least. Logic bloodied himself up in a stomach-turning video unveil that’s darkly mystifying in its startling intensity.

The video in question is four minutes long. Logic captioned the video, “I wrote this one in Blood.” He made his Twitter avatar a picture of his face in this human ketchup, smiling like a madman. But enough about this, turn the video on to see the message in action. Logic stands in complete darkness, rapping new material with an enormous gash on his neck. Over time, the intensity in his performance doesn’t change while the amount of blood on his body does. His shirt grows redder, his neck grows slicker, his eyes grow wider. By the end of the performance, he’s been doused in the blood like it’s a marinade for a chicken wing. This is Logic’s mind, dark and violent. And it looks like the stories housed in this chamber of torture are about to be unveiled.

Logic’s last studio album was YSIV that came out in September. Earlier this week, he shared a collaboration with 21 musicians from Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s HITRECORD creative platform, “Do What You Love.”

Check out the creepy trailer up above.