This Week In Music (V.25): Kanye, Rihanna, Big Sean + More

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music (my usual intro) and this week I’ve finally come up with a schedule for the blog that I want to share PLUS music news of the week. So expect a post every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Now let’s get into the news.

kanye-westFirst up, Mr. West has announced via Twitter that his new album will be titled So Help Me God. Kanye is now trainer to having themed album titles. I mean look at his first three: College Dropout, Late Registration, and Graduation. His last album had the controversial title Yeezus along with the track ‘I am a God.’ As for what’s to be fettered on this album it’s safe to assume that ‘Only One’ (click HERE for video review) and ‘All Day’ will be featured on the album. As for the tracklist that is circulating, it’s been confirmed that it’s fake. Come on, as secretive as Kanye is, it’s a given that the tracklist would be fake. No date as to when the album will be released, but the video for ‘All Day’ is on its way. In the meantime, check out his Brit Awards performance below:

Kanye isn’t the only rapper that has a new album on the way. Kendrick Lamar has a date set for his album which is available for pre-order on iTunes, but the only confirmed track thus far is ‘The Blacker the Berry’ (click HERE to listen). His Grammy winning single ‘i’ is not included on the imaginary list so who knows if it will be on the album. The yet to be titled album drops March 23rd.

dark-sky-paradiseThird times a charm for G.O.O.D Music artist, Big Sean, as Dark Sky Paradise lands in at #1 on the Billboard 200. This marks his first #1 album on the Billboard 200 selling 173,000 copies. His previous works Finally Famous and Hall of Fame did not exceed 100,000 sales. The album features 15 tracks on the deluxe edition (more bang for your buck) with features from: Drake, Kanye West, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign, John Legend, Jhené Aikp, Lil Wayne, PARTY NEXT DOOR, and his booskie Ariana Grande. It also features the smash hit ‘I Don’t F*ck With You’ featuring E-40′ and ‘Blessings’ (click HERE and HERE for those reviews). CONGRATS BIG SEAN!

rihanna-american-oxygen-340x330Wrapping up this week is Rihanna who has teased three new tracks off her upcoming album R8. Is that really the title or is everyone calling it that? Moving on, the three new tracks she’s teased via her Instagram are ‘Higher’, ‘Towards the Sun’ (from her upcoming movie Home), and the anthem for this years NCAA March Madness, ‘American Oxygen’. I did hear ‘Towards the Sun’ on the radio. The ‘Higher’ snippet is another slow track. I’m still waiting for her to release some party music. Who knows when her album will be released, just hopefully sooner than later. Check out the NCAA promo below:

That’s it for this week. Until next time…

New Sia Album Coming Soon!

The 2015 Grammy AwardsI was excited to read that Sia had was working on new music and that her album would be released sometime this year. I had heard of Sia prior to the release of 1000 Forms of Fear, but that album (click HERE for my review) really made me fall in love with her music. What I did not know was that her portfolio was as lengthy as it was.

Sia is not a new artist although her smash ‘Chandelier’ has made her brand new in the United States. Her first album was released first album in 1997 so this claim to fame in the U.S. as an artist was her sixth album. She has worked with artist such as: Beyoncè, Rihanna, Kanye West, Flo Rida, Christina Aguilera, Eminem, and more. Six albums in and it took all this time to really notice just how awesome of an artist she really is. I had heard of her name moreso behind the scenes, but this album that I can’t stop raving about really made me take notice of her career.

In a recent interview with NMESia talked about why she released 1000 Forms of Fear:

“Basically, I put this out to get out of my publishing deal. I was planning to be a pop song writer for other artists. But my publishing deal was as an artist so I had to put one more album out. I didn’t want to get famous so I kept all the songs I wanted and had a lot of fun making it.”

As for her new album?

“I’m super productive. I have a full album ready to go and it’s much more pop,” she said. “I’m calling it This Is Acting because they are songs I was writing for other people, so I didn’t go in thinking ‘this is something I would say’. It’s more like play-acting. It’s fun.”

I love the title of the album because it coincides with what she’s putting out. If she were writing it for other artists clearly it’s not particularly how she feels. I’m curious to see if she’ll spill the tea on who she would actually write each song for. I’m excited that she’s doing something different with the album and I expect more radio hits from this project. Hopefully fans won’t have to wait long for her new release.

NEW MUSIC — JoJo, #LoveJo [EP]

JoJo is another artist that makes a surprise return on Valentine’s day with her EP, #LoveJo. I must say that I’m impressed with her vocals. She sounds stronger vocally and her cover of Anita Bakers, ‘Caught Up In The Rapture,’ is AMAZING! She did not stray to much away from the traditional beat, she just added a modern taste to it. Very nice. Def my favorite of the 3 she released. She also covered Phil Colins’, ‘Take Me Home,’ and ‘Glory’ which was inspired by opera singer Kathleen Battle. I am so impressed with her VOCALS it’s ridiculous. Although this is not original music, JoJo successfully ames each track her own and I can’t wait to hear more music from her. She’s currently working on an album after a 8 year hiatus on Atlantic Records.


NEW MUSIC — Mya, With Love [EP]

Mya is BACK with a  EP, just in time for Valentine’s Day. The four tracks: ‘Space,’ ‘Like a Woman,’ ‘House Party,’ and ‘Do It,’ are all available on iTunes via Mya’s label. Planet 9. My favorite of the 4 is ‘Space.’

Enjoy the sampler below:

Video Review: J. Cole, ‘She Knows’

First off props to J. Cole on not taking the traditional approach with the making of the video. At first I was a bit confused about the concept, but after another glance I understood. First you have to listen closely to the lyrics. In a nutshell it’s about Cole cheating and doing what he does even though he’s in a relationship and although she sticks around, she knows what he’s doing.

Instead of taking that approach he did it from a child’s perspective; well a teenager. The boy is stealing money from his parents, skipping school, running from cops, smoking drinking, etc. and he thinks he has everything under control, everything under raps. When returning home he walks in to see his mom in the bedroom with a dude (J. Cole) and he rushes out. He thought that he had his secret so sealed and nothing phased him until he saw that. It goes in parallel with the track of the dude having his fun and the lady sticking around, but doing the same thing. The video showed the kids outlandish behavior, but his mother was just outlandish as he was. I’m pretty sure his parents have some instinct of his actions and from the scene at the end the father senses something, but doesn’t speak on it leaving the end up to the viewers imagination.