Murder Inc., more specifically Ja Rule and Ashanti, had a short but glorious run in the early 2000s. Every song was a hit and they have all aged like fine wine in the years since. One of them was “Down 4 U,” which was the lead single from Irv Gotti Presents: The Inc., an album of collaborations between artists on the label’s roster.

The song samples Roger Troutman’s “I Want to Be Your Man” and the video is peak 2002, complete with the yacht, beach vibes  and buggies. The video features a seemingly random cameo from Bobby and Whitney (that I somehow forgot all about), but when you remember that Bobby was briefly signed to Murder Inc., it becomes a lot less random. I will never understand why Vita and Charli Baltimore weren’t bigger stars, but I will forever cherish their contributions to the culture. Enjoy this beautiful walk down memory lane.

Jeremih & Ty Dolla $ign have joined forces to give us this cool slice of contemporary R&B. “The Light” samples Keni Burke’s “Risin’ to the Top,” which has been sampled by everyone from the Mary Jane Girls to Mary J. Blige, and has become the soundtrack to MJB’s infamous two-step (dubbed “the Mary”). The song also includes an interpolation of Ahmad’s “Back in the Day.” Check the video out below.

As I’ve mentioned before, my expectations for music videos are usually not very high, and while this video isn’t particularly bad (it fits the song), it’s a little too similar to the “OTW” video, which only just came out and also features Ty Dolla $ign. And on top of that, it features problematic-ass internet personality, Dan Rue. No me gusta.

Depending on who you ask, Lil’ Kim turns 42, 43 or 44 years old today (even her Wikipedia page isn’t sure), but those details don’t matter. We’re just happy to have her around for another year.

To celebrate the special day, the Queen Bee released the first single from her as-yet-untitled upcoming. She announced the single, “Nasty One,” on Twitter early this morning:

Listen to the track below:

Three women (who I assume are related) showed up and showed out at a Sears store in Texas because they felt they were being jipped by the retailer. What happened, you ask? Well…according to Twitter user @davidsosaa_, who posted the video, one of the women had made a $17 purchase with her debit card and wanted a refund in cash. As you might know, stores tend to issue refunds in the payment method used for the purchase, but this didn’t sit well with these women. They wanted cash and they raised hell till they got it. Watch this mess below.

PS: At the 00:21 mark, my heart skipped a beat because I was so sure that lady was about to get the strap.

King Aubrey is doing numbers. Scorpion debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with the biggest sales week of the year (and record-breaking streaming numbers), which gives Drake his eighth No.1 album and brings him closer to rarefied territory (only the Beatles, Jay-Z, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Presley have more No. 1 albums).

But that’s not where the real news is. The real news is on the Billboard Hot 100, where all 25 tracks from Scorpion charted this week and “Nice for What” rebounds to No. 1 for an eighth non-consecutive week. The records being set and extended are plentiful, so stick with me:

  • Most concurrent entries on the Billboard Hot 100 (27 — all of Scorpion‘s tracks plus two others)
  • Most concurrent entries in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 (seven)
  • Most concurrent entries in the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100  (12)
  • Extends his lead as solo artist with the most Billboard Hot 100 entries (186 — second only to the Glee cast)
  • First song to have four stints at No.1 (“Nice for What”)
  • Most simultaneous debuts in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 (four)
  • Most Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits among solo male artists (31 — third to Madonna’s 37 and the Beatles’ 34)

It’s worth noting that two of the songs that interrupted the “Nice for What” reign were viral hits as opposed to songs that actually held the consciousness of the general public. Just eight weeks after its No. 1 debut, Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” (one of the interrupters) is sitting at No. 24, which kinda supports my initial assessment of that song. The good news is that all these interruptions allowed Drake to set another record while demonstrating what true staying power looks like.

There aren’t many artists who have had this good of a run in popular music, and in hip-hop, it is almost unheard of. People may have their reservations about Drake, but his achievements speak for themselves and deserve every bit of respect.

I don’t expect much when it comes to music videos because very few will be above average, and that’s fine. Sometimes, an artist might surprise you by releasing a video that’s really good, and other times, they will surprise you by doing the opposite. The latter is the case for Nicki Minaj’s “Bed.”

I understand that there isn’t a lot of new ground to break as far as music videos are concerned, but I like to see that an artist at least tried. Nicki didn’t try; she gave us a boring-ass video where she is looking constipated in what’s meant to be a sexy bedroom shot. There’s supposed to be a second video (or a second “edit”, as Nicki calls it), so I am hopeful; this can’t be it, especially when you consider that Nicki has been teasing the video for like two weeks as if she was about to blow our minds.

In any case, “Bed” is dope track, and both Nicki and Ariana look good in the video, which also features a cameo from Odell Beckham Jr. and an unsubtle product placement for Lyft. Peep the clip below.

From the king of blue-eyed soul to the queen. Teena Marie has long been crowned the Ivory Queen of Soul, and with the exception of maybe Linda Lyndell, I can’t think of any white woman who has ever sung with this much soul; not Celine, not Adele, not Ariana.

“Déjà Vu (I’ve Been Here Before)” is an album cut from her debut release, Wild and Peaceful. It’s a beautifully written song about having lived before and how we will all keep being reincarnated until we stop living in sin — so I guess I’ll be coming back. The true patrons of the arts will know this one, but if you’ve never heard it, you’re in for a treat. Enjoy.

Zayn made a cover of Beyoncé’s classic mid-tempo, “Me, Myself and I.” The song, co-written by Bey, Scott Storch and Robert Waller, was the third single from her solo debut, Dangerously in Love, and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is a personal favorite and a song that requires real vocal ability, so I was nervous when I saw that Zayn, of all people, covered it. But I was curious, so I clicked anyway.

In the words of Erica Dixon, I am disgusted. I don’t like shit like this. Where is his fucking integrity? Where are his morals? Where are his values? As a fucking singer, as a human. Where? Where are they?

This cover did not need to happen. It did not need to happen because he simply doesn’t have the range (and doesn’t know how to harmonize for shit). Excuse me while I go listen to the original to erase this from my memory.

Late last night, Ella Mai dropped the remix to her smash hit, “Boo’d Up,” featuring verses from Nicki Minaj and Quavo (who are both credited as lead artists). It’s what I’d describe as a lazy remix (i.e. guest verses are added to the original song as is); this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when the original song is so huge and the guest verses are anything short of spectacular, it can be particularly underwhelming.

Early reviews appear to be unanimously negative, but I don’t think it is terrible. We could definitely do without Quavo’s verse and the phone call at the end, but what can you do? Listen below.

PS: That phone ringing at the end had me thinking I had a phone call.