Today in 1998, Monica released her sophomore album, The Boy Is Mine, named after her iconic duet with Brandy. Deep down, I know Brandy hates the fact that Monica chose to name her album after their song, especially when you consider that it was technically a Brandy song first — she co-wrote, co-produced and even recorded the song before she had the idea of making it a duet. Brandy, being the petty woman she seems to have become, alluded to the song being hers at her Essence Fest performance last weekend.

But anyways, back to the album. With over two million copies sold in the US alone, The Boy Is Mine is Monica’s biggest commercial success to date. And while those sales figures aren’t particularly impressive (especially considering that this was in the late ’90s when people actually bought albums), it produced three No. 1 singles: the title track, “The First Night” and “Angel of Mine.”

Unlike Brandy, who got involved with songwriting from her very first album, Monica wasn’t a part of the creative process at this point in her career. However, with the help of Dallas Austin (credited on five of the album’s 13 tracks), Jermaine Dupri and Diane Warren, among others, she gave us an album so good that it’s hard to believe she was only 17 when it dropped.

My favorite song on The Boy Is Mine is her cover of Wilma Burgess’ “Misty Blue.” It was an album cut, so enjoy the audio below.

A few hours ago, Ariana Grande released yet another lead single from her upcoming album, Sweetener (due August 17) — she’s gone from making Mariah-esque songs to giving her albums Mariah-esque titles. The new track is called “God Is a Woman” and has Ariana bragging about her sexual prowess over a trap-type beat; it almost sounds like a response to Trey Songz’s “Invented Sex.” The good news is that it is miles better than “The Light Is Coming,” the bad news is that she can do so much better. Check the song out below.

PS: The opening note sounds like Nicki Minaj.

MØ and Diplo have come together for the fiftyleventh time to give us “Sun in Our Eyes,” the lead single from MØ’s upcoming album, Forever Neverland (due October 19). The song is very different from their previous collaborations and almost sounds like something Foster the People would make. My feelings about it changed rapidly (from negative to positive) as I listened, so I’ll give it a temporary stamp of approval for now. Check it out for yourself below.

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.