Disney has just announced The Lion King: The Gift, an album produced and curated Beyoncé, which will accompany the theatrical release of The Lion King (July 19). The album, which appears to be separate from the movie’s soundtrack, will include an international roster of artists performing songs “steeped in the sounds of Africa.”

“Spirit,” the first single from The Gift, is by none other than Beyoncé. It is no “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” but it gets the job done. Click play.

The year was 2001 and Pharrell had a pornstache that still makes zero sense. Superproducers N.E.R.D. released their own music for the first time, and 18 years later, “Lapdance” remains ever green.

The song was was a crucial part of the wave of rock/rap blends that were popular at the time, and it serves as another example of Vita’s unappreciated contributions to popular music.

Earlier this week, Rich the Kid dropped the video for “Woah,” the fifth single from his sophomore album, The World Is Yours 2. The song features Miguel and Ty Dolla $ign, and the video features an assortment of women that got that woah.

If I didn’t know better, I would’ve thought this was a Miguel song featuring Rich the Kid and Ty. The production sounds like something from War & Leisure and Miguel def gets more track time than anyone else.

All in all, dope track. Click play.

Saweetie just dropped a video for “My Type,” which samples Petey Pablo’s “Freek-A-Leek” and is actually quite catchy. So far, I haven’t been sold on Saweetie’s bona fides as a rapper. She has always struck me as an IG model who just happened to rap because the opportunity presented itself. And then there’s the disastrous freestyle on Hot 97.

You don’t have to be an amazing freestyler to be a serious rapper, but from the perspective of someone who was already suspicious, that freestyle didn’t help. In any case, “My Type” is definitely worth a listen. Check it out below.

The mark of a talented ensemble is when each member goes solo and is able to produce quality material. The Fugees is one of such ensembles.

Two years after the group’s second and final album, The Score, Pras tried his hand at a solo career, and while he wasn’t as successful as his other band mates, he will always be able to lay claim to putting out a classic.

Written by Pras, former bandmate Wyclef, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, “Ghetto Superstar” samples “Islands in the Stream,” which was written by The Bee Gees and performed by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

I can’t help but wonder Marvin would’ve done to this song, but I know it would’ve amazing.

“Ghetto Superstar” was the second single from Pras’ self-titled solo debut album. The song was also a single from the #Bullworth soundtrack and peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100. It has, however, enjoyed the longevity of a No. 1 hit. Click play.

When it comes to music videos, no one is fucking with Cardi B right now. In a recent livestream on Instagram, the Bronx native said she was in her creative bag during the production of the “Press” video, and my goodness, she wasn’t lying.

The video starts off with a threesome situation that ends with Cardi pulling out a gun. We hear a gun shot and a scream, but it isn’t clear who got popped. Art begins to imitate life as we see Cardi going to court in the latest fashions, which is her present reality — she’s still dealing with an assault case for throwing bottles at two sisters she suspected of sleeping with Offset.

There’s a scene where Cardi and a squad of dancers — all naked, nipple-less and stained with blood — get in formation. It’s not part of the plot, but it will def get your attention. At some point, all the dancers appear to have been killed. Murder scene, Cardi made a mess.

The video ends with Cardi in jail with a cellmate who makes the mistake of trying Cardi. Watch all the way to the end.

Lil Nas X just released his debut project, an EP titled 7, and I am here to tell you that this young man’s winning streak is not close to being over. For one, “Old Town Road” is still sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100 — 11 weeks and counting — but this lil EP he just dropped? I wasn’t ready.

The eight-track EP is book-ended by the “Old Town Road” remix (featuring Billy Ray Cyrus) and the original version. It seems to be his way of reminding the listener of why we’re all here in the first place. “Old Town Road” has never been my cup of tea, but I was fascinated enough by his story to want to hear what he had to offer. As you’re about to find out, I was not disappointed.

The second track is a song called “Panini,” which sounds like what a Travis Scott song would sound like if Travis Scott committed to making songs that were sonically pleasing. Lil Nas X goes from rapping to singing and rapping again on the track, which is under 2 minutes long. The refrain is sung over a drum beat that makes you think the song is about to transition from hip-hop to rock, but then X brings it back. “Panini” is by far the best on the EP and Lil Nas X would be an idiot to not make it a single while we have this good weather.

The next track is “F9mily (You & Me), which is a rock song through and through. If it reminds you of Blink 182, it’s because the song was produced by Travis Barker. As far as rock songs go, it’s not half-bad, but I won’t be listening to this one on my free time.

“Kick It” is another chune. We get a lot of bass, but we also get horns and violins. And while it is certainly a hip-hop song, it dips in and out of rock in certain segments.

The song starts with Lil Nas X rapping about his new-found fame and how old associates are being hella chummy so they can kick it. On the second verse, he appears to be reciting words from an angry old associate who’s mad about being curved and turns on X, saying that he’ll fall off in two months. It’s an interesting song that feels like a little more personal than the rest of the album, and from a purely musical standpoint, it is truly amazing. If “Panini” is No. 1, “Kick It” is definitely No. 2.

Lil Nas X recruited Cardi B for “Rodeo,” which sounds like a third (and much better) version of “Old Town Road.” Bardi’s verse is full of quotables that are sure to be coming to an IG caption near you.

“Rodeo” is followed by “Bring U Down,” which X had previewed on IG months ago. The snippet sounded promising and the full song did not disappoint. Like “F9mily,” this is also a full-blown rock song, but the only difference is that I would listen to this one without being forced.

The EP’s seventh track (and the last of the new material) is a song called “C7losure (You Like),” which was produced by Allen Ritter and hitmaker Boi-1da. The track sounds like something you’d expect from Daniel Bedingfield, Shift K3y or some other white Brit who mixes R&B and EDM. It’s no “Panini,” but it’s a solid track.

I remain in awe of Lil Nas X’s story. Even if it ended with “Old Town Road,” it would be remarkable, but after listening to 7, it is clear that Lil Nas X will be around till at least 2020. In just under 20 minutes, he showed us a great deal of range and dispelled any thoughts about his ability to make another hit. If 2019 did nothing else right, it gave us Lil Nas X, and for that, we owe it gratitude.

Album rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars.

Nicki Minaj samples dancehall classic “Filthy Riddim” for her higly anticipated new single, “Megatron.” The song — presumably a lead single from her next album — might not be her best, but it is certainly good enough. There’s a line about a mega con followed by a line about this being a race and not a marathon, which can only be a Cardi B diss. I wish Nicki would let this go, but either way, dope bar.

There’s also another line where Nicki defends her relationship with boyfriend Kenneth Petty (a.k.a. ZooBang), who served time for a sex offense. I got nothing.

The video stays true to the song’s dancehall influences. Click play.


Today is Lionel Richie’s 70th birthday, so this week’s TBT selection has to be something from his amazing catalog.

In August of 1981, Unc Lionel linked up with Diana Ross to record “Endless Love,” a song he wrote and produced for the soundtrack of a movie with the same title. The movie wasn’t much of a hit, but that song? A stone cold winner.

“Endless Love” spent nine weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for Best Original Song at the Oscars and Record of the Year at the Grammys. It would become the biggest hit for both artists, and for Diana, her 18th career No. 1 and sixth as a solo artist. Practically, she’s tied with Mariah Carey for most No. 1s among female artists, but Billboard separates tallies for artists who have been a part of different acts.

(Speaking of Mariah, she made an amazing cover of this song with Luther Vandross that is definitely worth checking out.)

Below is a live performance of “Endless Love” at the 1982 Oscars. Enjoy.

June 14, 2019, marked the 20th anniversary of “Bills, Bills, Bills,” the lead single from Destiny’s Child’s sophomore album, The Writing’s on the Wall, and the group’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was co-written by Kandi Burruss, Kevin Briggs and all four members of the group at the time — Beyoncé, Kelly, LeToya and LaTavia.

Much like Kandi’s other “man-bashing” creation, “No Scrubs,” “Bills, Bills, Bills” had certain types of men in their feelings. And like they did for “No Scrubs,” Sporty Thievz made another response track, but it didn’t stick quite like “No Pigeons.”

The music video, which was set in a hair salon, was an homage to the group’s stylist and Bey’s mama, Tina Knowles. However, that’s not the most interest fact about the video: Among its extras is soon-to-be replacement Farrah Franklin, who would only last all of six months in the group. What a time.

Join me in revisiting this classic!