Written by Sylvia Robinson and Bert Keyes, “Love on a Two-Way” street was originally performed by Ray, Goodman & Brown, who scored a top five hit with the song back in 1970 (when they were called The Moments). It is the most successful version of the song, but my personal favorite is a 1981 cover by Stacy Lattisaw, who recorded the song for her third album, With You. It would go on to become one of her biggest hits.

In honor of Stacy Lattisaw’s 55th birthday, which is today, let’s revisit this amazing live performance of the song on Soul Train. Happy Thanksgiving!

If you’re a chart-watcher, this would come as no surprise: The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” is officially the biggest hit in US chart history.

Even though the song only spent four weeks at No. 1, it spent an unprecedented 43 weeks, 57 weeks, and 86 weeks in the top 5, top 10, and top 40, respectively. It also holds the record for the longest run on the Billboard Hot100 — 90 weeks.

“Blinding Lights” dethrones “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, which held the top spot for nearly six decades.

Mike Jones turns 40 years old today, so how about we revisit his “debut” single?

“Still Tippin'” has an official release date of November 12, 2004, but it had been out for over a year as a track on independent label Swishahouse’s 2003 compilation project, The Day Hell Broke Loose 2. Up until that point, Mike Jones’ music was popular in Houston strip clubs, but with “Still Tippin’,” radio began taking notice. The song gained so much airplay that Mike Jones landed a record deal with Warner Records while Swishahouse inked a distribution deal with Asylum Records — a subsidiary of Warner.

The original version of “Still Tippin'” featured Slim Thug and Chamillionaire, but after Mike Jones fell out with the latter, Paul Wall was tagged in. This song’s hook is a looped line from Slim Thug’s “I’m a Hoe (Freestyle)”.
“Still Tippin'” didn’t crack the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the length of its legacy — evidenced by the number of times it’s been sampled — speaks to its importance to hip-hop.

Post Malone and The Weeknd play gun-toting adversaries in the video for “One Right Now.” The video is a gory mess that has Abel’s name written all over it.

Video aside, “One Right Now” is a certified chune that takes you on the first listen. It debuted at No. 6 on the Billbord Hot 100 this week on the strength of audio streams alone, so it will probably crack the top five next week. Click play.

Young Dolph was killed in a drive-by shooting in Memphis earlier today. According to multiple reports, the rapper was in front of a local cookie store (called Makeda’s Homemade Butter Cookies) when a gun man pulled in a car and opened.

Young Dolph has been targeted in the past, surviving two shootings in 2017. In one of those incidents, he was shot at over 100 times.

Tributes have been pouring in since the news of Young Dolph’s passing broke. The Memphis native was 36 years old and leaves behind two children.

Today in 2011, Drake released his sophomore LP, Take Care. The album came just under 18 months after his major label debut, Thank Me Later, which was widely considered a disappointment, especially among fans who had followed the Canadian since his pre-Young-Money days.

At the time of its release, the album cover for Take Care was lampooned mercilessly on social media. The idea of Drake being “soft” — an idea entirely rooted in his popularity among women and girls — had already started being formed with the success of singles like “Best I Ever Had” and “Find Your Love.” The Take Care artwork, for whatever reason, was a reinforcement of this idea among certain fans — almost invariably male — who roasted Drake in the days following the artwork’s release.

For someone who witnessed the ridiculing of Ja Rule into oblivion less than a decade earlier, it seemed like Drake might suffer a similar fate. However, the very thing that was the instrument of his public roasting turned out to be his lifeline. When Take Care finally arrived, it was so universally loved that many of the people who poked fun at its artwork ended up singing its praises on the very same social media platforms. And as the derision had gone viral, so did work about how good Drake’s new album was. Drizzy had basically established himself as a rapper who was too good to not like despite being “soft,” which was a first.

By surviving that roasting, we could argue that Drake gained antibodies that have made him immune to certain types of ridicule. Today, he now gets away with heart-shaped linings in his hair and pictures like this. And we ain’t mad.

Much like Thank Me Later, Take Care had a long runway leading up to its release, with Drake putting out three lead singles as he did with his debut. “Marvins Room,” though a moderate success on the charts, was an instant classic; on “Headlines,” Drake directly addressed concerns about him falling off while claiming his spot in the rap game; and on “Make Me Proud” (featuring Nicki Minaj),  we are blessed with numerous quotable lines and a hook that will get you hooked on the first listen. If Drake indeed fell off, he stood back up with the first three singles of Take Care.

When the album finally arrived, the world caught YOLO fever with “The Motto,” which became an anthem for people who wanted to make bad decisions in peace. The term YOLO — which stands for “you only live once” — would become such a part of the cultural lexicon that articles would be written about it, thereby exposing it to boomers and making it uncool. But it had a good run.

On “Cameras,” get a first glimpse at Drake and frequent collaborator Noah “40” Shebib’s ability to use R&B samples masterfully. The song borrows heavily from Jon B.’s “Calling on You.” It was co-written by then-up-and-comer The Weeknd, whose profile was rising rapidly after Drake gave his breakthrough project, 2011’s House of Balloons, a resounding co-sign. The fellow Toronto native would receive songwriting credits on four other Take Care tracks: “Practice,” “Shot for Me,” “The Ride” and “Crew Love,” the last of which also features The Weeknd and the latter three of which were initially intended for House of Balloons.

Another future superstar — Kendrick Lamar — appears on “Buried Alive Interlude,” performing the song from top to bottom.

The spotlighting of Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd would introduce us to Drake the A&R exec/tastemaker, who would go on to boost more up-and-coming talent — from PartyNextDoor to WizKid to Summer Walker — over the next decade.

On album opener “Over My Dead Body,” Drake talks addresses all the chatter about his career and his prospects; he also talks about jealousy, a theme that would show up on much of his music for years to come; on “Look What You’ve Done,” Drake lives up to the “soap opera rapper” trope beautifully with emotional lyrics that show that there is more than one way of being raw and honest in hip-hop; and on the album’s title track (and biggest hit), Drake sings with Rihanna (his on-again, off-again girlfriend at the time) over a Gil Scott-Heron sample.

Around these parts, Views is Drake’s best work, but Take Care is a close second. Drake gives us all the bravado we tend to look for in hip-hop while showing a bit of vulnerability, and it is the latter that makes the album so special. That confidence in doing things that could get you ridiculed results in music that is unburdened by the performative machismo that constrains so many rappers.

Take Care won Drake his first Grammy Award — for Best Rap Album. It would go on to become his best-selling album and has been certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Favorite track: “Look What You’ve Down”

Yesterday was Britneypendence Day — the 13-year conservatorship that controlled every part of Britney Spears’ life was officially terminated.

According to Variety, a sealed termination plan was filed with the court this past Monday. John Zabel, the accountant who replaced Jamie Spears (Britney’s father) after his suspension will have limited administrative authority as part of the plan. Additional hearings will be held on December 8 and January 19.

Beyoncé’s contribution to the King Richard soundtrack dropped last night and it is in keeping with the pro-black themes that have permeated all of her music in the last half-decade. The song has a rock-ish beat that will remind you of The Doors’ “Five to One,” which was sampled by her husband on “Takeover” — his 2001 diss track directed at Nas and Mobb Deep. It’s not clear if it officially samples this song, but the folks at Genius seem to agree.

“Be Alive” was co-written by Bey and Roc Nation signee Dixson. Check it out below.

Between a new TV show and a baby on the way, it’s a good time to be Eve. Not to mention, she celebrated her 43rd birthday yesterday.

Eve is not one of the first names mentioned when people discuss the Queen of Rap title, but for a moment in the early 2000s, she was arguably the hottest female rapper in the game. My personal favorite from her catalog is 2002’s “Gangsta Lovin’,” which features then-newcomer Alicia Keys. Produced by Irv Gotti and & Aurelius, the song samples Yarbrough & Peoples’ “Don’t Stop the Music”.

“Gangsta Lovin'” was the lead single of Eve’s third LP, Eve-Olution, and is one of her biggest hits, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.