The version on Sean Don's sharp new album, Dark Sky Paradise, only features Drake, but the pre-album take also had a raucous verse from Kanye. It's so great we could talk about it for days, but the major talking point is that this is the first time Drizzy and Yeezy—currently the Johnson & Bird of the rap game—have appeared on a song together since 2009's "Forever."
Drake's surprise mixtape-as-album, If You're Reading This It's Too Late, is dark, aggressive, and absolutely essential. Toward the end, there's a unique standout in the form of Aubrey's latest love-letter to his mom. It's a touching follow-up to Take Care's "Look What You've Done" and Nothing Was the Same's "Too Much," and one of the many highlights of the new record.
Right after winning a pair of GRAMMYs for the jubilant, complex "i," K.Dot pushed out one of his thorniest, most thought-provoking treatises on race and the black experience in America. Best of all: It's got us back to square one in terms of figuring out what the hell his good kid, m.A.A.d city follow-up is going to sound like.
"Drop That Kitty" could have been just another silly ode to strippers. Instead it's a brilliant, sexy anthem which anyone can identify with. Ty Dolla $ign plays the dude taking in the view while Charli XCX and Tinashe express two different sentiments of seductress—the former acts as the in-your-face vixen ("I'm gonna make you explode! / Drop that kitty down low!") while the latter plays a shy femme fatale ("I'm giving you a show / You like what I'm doin'?"). Male or female, R&B, pop or hip hop fan, this track appeals to all.
Presenting his new Adidas fashion collection in New York City, Kanye took a minute to debut "Wolves," the first track from his still-shadowy upcoming album. It's a dark mix of 808s & Heartbreak and Yeezus production, with Sia and Vic Mensa joining in on the fun. Pair this with "FourFiveSeconds" and "Only One"—two of our favorite January songs—and color us completely befuddled re: the direction 'Ye's taking on this new record.
Here we are, at the second cut from If You're Reading This, It's Too Late. And let's just be up front: "Energy" is sooooo good. It embodies almost every great thing about the record, too—brief, paranoid, flawless chorus and couplets ("I bought this one a purse, I bought this one a truck / I bought this one a house, I bought this one a mall"), and a murky, piano-heavy beat that doesn't quit.
And one more from Dark Sky Paradise! Like an all-too-real lovers' quarrel put into song form, Big Sean calls out a companion's extreme anxiety ("But you unlockin' my cell like you is a cop / How you decode all my V-mails, G-mails, even P.O. box?) while Ariana Grande spits back ("Do you remember? Do you remember? When you have nothing to hide?"). As one of the cutest couples in Hollywood, the duo seems secure enough to have a fun exploring the ins and outs of a not-great relationship.