Nicki Minaj’s third album The Pinkprint lands in stores today. On her most personal project yet, the rap queen holds court with Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, and Meek Mill, and enlists production from hitmakers including Da Internz, Mike WiLL Made-It, Dr. Luke, Hit-Boy, and Boi-1da.
From big booty anthems (“Anaconda”) to big ballads (“Grand Piano”), the 32-year-old icon shows her versatility, while keeping in check with her mixtape roots. She reveals her secrets on the confessional opening number “All Things Go,” and proves that she can rap with the best of them on “Four Door Aventador.”
“I think the album is so classic,” Nicki said of the follow-up to 2012′s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded. “It’s gonna feel so good and I think it will probably be something that female rappers look to as a Pinkprint for years to come.”
Did The Pinkprint make its mark with critics? The reviews are in.
Los Angeles Times: The Pinkprint won’t fully placate the hard-core rap heads, but it’s got the bangs and the thrills many of us have hoped for, even if it’s a slow build kind of power and slacks at times. 3/4
The New York Times: The Pinkprint is her third studio album, and like the first two it’s full of compromises and half-successes. Sometimes she wants to be cousins with OneRepublic, sometimes Lil Wayne. And she succeeds at both, though only one of those goals is noble.
USA Today: The deftly syncopated and haunting “All Things Go” seems more authentically confessional, with Minaj admitting to her doubts and her dreams. The more upbeat “The Night Is Still Young,” with its funky bass and guitars, is another high point, with Minaj professing, “Life is a journey/I just want to enjoy the ride.” 2.5/4
New York Daily News: It’s the most pop-friendly album of her career, primed for evening the playing field with teen-adored stars like [Iggy] Azalea. 3/5
New York Post: The New Yorker serves up a surprisingly introspective and atmospheric third album, The Pinkprint. … She’s still Nicki, but the person is now just as big as the persona. 3/4
The Atlantic: As a personal statement, The Pinkprint works effectively. As analbum … it has some issues. There are absolutely highlights: The Beyoncé-featuring “Feeling Myself” is a delightfully cocky boast for both queens. The two Meek Mill collaborations—”Big Daddy” and “Buy a Heart”—practically bounce through the listener, they’re so energetic.
One year after Beyoncé shocked the world with her digital drop, D’Angelo surprises with the release of his first album in nearly 15 years, Black Messiah. The follow-up to 2000′s Voodoo hit iTunes on Sunday night, marking the long-awaited return of R&B’s prodigal son.
Author Nelson George made the official announcement hours earlier at a listening party at the Dream Hotel in New York City, hosted by Red Bull Music Academy and Afropunk. “It’s been a really, pretty closely guarded secret as these things go,” he said.
While D’Angelo did a good job maintaining its secrecy, there were hints in the days leading up to release via a 15-second trailer and ads posted around NYC.
The 12 tracks, which he recorded with his band The Vanguard, include the lead single “Really Love” and funky “Sugah Daddy,” which dropped earlier today.
D’Angelo addressed the controversial album title. “It’s about people rising up in Ferguson and in Egypt and in Occupy Wall Street and in every place where a community has had enough and decided to make change happen,” he said in a statement. “Not every song on this album is politically charged (though many are), but calling this album Black Messiah creates a landscape where those songs can live to the fullest.”
Upon its release, the album became a trending topic as fans welcomed D’Angelo back. “It’s a passion project, and it’s everything,” said The Roots’ Questlove, who played on the album. “I really don’t want to give a hyperbolic, grandiose statement, but it’s everything.”
Stream Black Messiah below via Spotify.
Omarion dropped his raunchy new album, Sex Playlist, on iTunes
Rap Up reports,
In the wake of the protests in Ferguson, Tink uses her voice to take a stand on the chilling track “Tell the Children.” Over the Timbaland production, the 19-year-old Chicago rapper-singer fires a warning (“Tell the children to watch out / Keep running”).
Still commemorating his Shady Records 15-year anniversary, Eminem’s new mixtape Shady Classics gathers all the label’s hit singles, remixes, freestyles and fan favorites on one project. Totaling a whopping 66 tracks, Shady Classics includes music from Em, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, Yelawolf and more. The mixtape is hosted by Eminem and DJ Whoo Kid, and comes ahead of the Shady XV compilation release on Nov. 24.
Pitbull keeps the hits coming. After burning up the charts with “Fireball,” Mr. Worldwide reunites with Ne-Yo on “Time of Our Lives,” the follow-up to their 2011 chart-topper “Give Me Everything.” Pit dedicates the party anthem to everybody going through tough times, while Ne-Yo sings the celebratory hook.
Pitbull’s new album Globalization drops November 24 featuring Chris Brown, Sean Paul, Jason Derulo, and more.
Meanwhile, Ne-Yo’s album Non-Fiction is due in early 2015 featuring ScHoolboy Q, Jeezy, and Juicy J, who guests on “She Knows.”
Let loose and turn up to their feel-good collabo.
When Eminem unveiled the Shady XV tracklist a few weeks back, there was no question the most anticipated song was “Detroit Vs. Everybody,” which features an all Detroit rapper cast and seemingly pits them against the rest of hip-hop. On the Midwest posse cut, Em calls on Big Sean, DeJ Loaf, Royce Da 5’9″, Danny Brown, and Trick Trick, as they all take turns ferociously spitting over theclassic production from Statik Selektah.
As expected, this one is all about the bars, as Royce kicks things off with a stellar verse before it transitions to Big Sean, who raps for nearly two minutes, showcasing his usual flow and sharp rhymes while repping Detroit to the fullest. The song then turns up a notch following the strong hook from DeJ that smoothly goes into Danny’s verse, while Shady finishes it off, doing what has made him a legend, spitting at a rapid-paced flow while staying on topic and mentioning the recent Adrian Peterson situation, amongst other timely things.
This collaboration really just caps the day for Shady Records, as it follows up the”Shady CXVPHER,” where Marshall, Slaughterhouse, and Yelawolf put on a straight lyrical show. The upcoming Shady XV album, which officially drops on November 24, is currently available for pre-order on iTunes.
Listen to the new collaboration below.
After giving us a weekly dose of music with his LudaVerses, Ludacris connects with Miguel on his new single “Good Lovin’.” Over a piano-driven beat, produced by Da Internz, a heartbroken Luda reflects on his past relationships (“I guess I gotta learn to live with regrets”), while Miguel lays down the soulful hook.
“I need some real good lovin’ ’cause I’m troubled by the things that I see,” he croons.
The song will appear on Luda’s upcoming EP Burning Bridges, due in December. His ninth album Ludaversal drops March 31.
Get your fix of “Good Lovin’”.