As far as summer records go, they don’t get much better than KYLE’s “Playinwitme” (featuring Kehlani). It’s a piano-driven song (a la “iSpy”) with a sweet melody, a dope beat, and catchy lyrics that many will find irresistible. So far, the song hasn’t charted on the Billboard Hot 100 (a whole two months after its release), but I’m going to chalk that up to KYLE’s relatively low profile and inadequate promo on his label’s part.

“Playinwitme” is the second single from KYLE’s debut studio album, Light of Mine, which was released a little over two weeks ago. Watch the video below.

Bardi season is not over. Maroon 5 tapped Belcalis to spit a verse on the third single from their sixth studio album, Red Pill Blues. The video features cameos from MJB, J.Lo, Tiffany Haddish, Sarah Silverman, Camila Cabello, Phoebe Robinson, Gal Gadot, Franchesca Ramsey, Ellen, Millie Bobbie Brown, Danica Patrick, Ashley Graham and Rita Ora, among many others. Watch the clip below.

On this day in 1995, music fans got something special. Two of the greatest artists of all time (who also happen to be siblings) came together to give us a perfect blend of pop, R&B and rock. Up until this point, Janet had been strict about not collaborating with Michael because she wanted to make name for herself and didn’t want to be in his shadow. By 1995, she was one of the biggest stars in the game while Michael, on the other hand, was trying to shake off bad press from the child molestation allegations of 1993. In many ways, this collaboration was Janet lending goodwill to her big brother in what was then the most trying time of his career.

Written and produced by both Jacksons along with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, “Scream” takes direct aim at the press for the shitshow that was 1993. The music video for the song is a black-and-white futuristic masterpiece that I have loved since I was [redacted] years old even though I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on — it is apparently about Mike and Janet running away from Earth on a spaceship.

With production ringing up $7 million (over $11 million when adjusted for inflation), “Scream” still holds the record for the most expensive music video of all time. Das how a boss do it. Treat yourself:

Welcome to dystopia.

We are now living in a world where a racist, badly behaved and possibly criminal former reality TV star is not only president of the United States but is now hosting meetings about prison reform with another reality TV star whose claim to fame is a sex tape with Brandy’s little brother.

Kim Kardashian is trying to get a pardon for Alice Marie Johnson, a 63-year-old woman who has served over 20 years for a first-time drug offense, which is an undeniably good deed. However, the imagery is a jarring signifier of how far down the toilet America has gone. The country is being run by a thirsty-ass clout-chaser and he is having a meeting with another thirsty-ass clout-chaser under the guise of discussing a serious matter.

Prison reform is not and has never been a part of the Republican platform, and Donald Trump cares nothing about this issue. This is nothing but a crass photo-op and I hope all you Jill Stein voters are proud of yourselves.

 

Two morons.

And so is Pusha T.

In a bid to shock the populace, Kanye West convinced Pusha T to use one of the infamous 2006 pictures of Whitney Houston’s bathroom (full of drug paraphernalia) as the cover for his new album, DAYTONA. Kanye supposedly paid $85,000 to license the picture, which (according to Pusha T) “represents an organized chaos” and matches the energy of the album. That’s deep, bro.

At this point, it is clear that Kanye West has exhausted all of his creative juices because he is grasping at straws to create controversy for the hell of it. Gratuitous disrespect is not and will never be a legitimate cultural statement, and both Kanye and Pusha T are extremely wack for doing this.

And then he wonders why Jay-Z and Beyoncé want nothing to do with him.

The Black Eyed Peas seem to have returned to pre-Fergie form. As the title indicates, “RING THE ALARM pt.1, pt.2, pt.3” is three songs in one (the second is my favorite) and is possibly the most conscious single the group has ever put out, touching on issues ranging from police brutality to Big Pharma. Also, Will.I.Am is spitting like its 1998, so no complaints here. Watch the clip below.

Jessie Reyez released the video for her new single, “Body Count,” a week ago. The song is presumably the lead single from her sophomore album, whose title and release date are yet to be announced.

Co-written by Babyface, “Body Count” is a stripped-down mid-tempo that talks about double standards relating to the number of “bodies” (i.e. sexual partners) that men and women are allowed to have. The lyrics are clever and profane like every other Jessie Reyez song, and the video has a Salem witch theme where Jessie gets burnt at the stake (presumably for having too many bodies). Watch the video below.

Today in 2005, the world got introduced to Rihanna. “Pon de Replay” sounded like about 5 other songs released in that period, but as luck would have it, the song went on to be a major hit, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together” sat at No. 1 that entire summer).

Modeled after Beyoncé in the early days of her career, Rihanna has gone on to establish her own unique style and is now a legend in her own right. Watch the clip below.


PS: “Pon de Replay” and Will Smith’s “Switch” have the same damn beat and I’m surprised that there was never a law suit over this.