Shanell ft. Busta Rhymes — “Last Time”
There’s a lot of breakup songs out there, but Shanell’s brand of retribution never looked so good. “I’ma make it feel just as good for him as I did for you,” she sings over a seductive FKI-produced track. The sensual slow tune isn’t just about breakup sex, it’s about making your soon-to-be former lover wish they never crossed you, as you give them a final sample before fleeing into the arms of the next one. Even better is Busta Rhymes’s erotic rap (reminiscent of his collaboration with Janet Jackson on 1998’s “What’s It Gonna Be?!”). He kicks a cunningly tantalizing rap about “putting his face so far in it that [he] can probably see a lung,” and challenges his lover on her way out because… well, she’ll probably be back since his skills are like that.
MHz Legacy ft. Blue — “Yellow + Blue”
Columbus, Ohio’s MHz Legacy is comprised of Copywrite, Tage Future, RJD2, Jakki da Motamouth and the late Camu Tao, an MC/producer who tragically lost a fight to lung cancer in 2008. Tragedy aside, MHz Legacy is finally releasing a proper debut since the formation of their collective over a decade ago. The eponymous album is available now, but if you want to test the waters first, check out “Yellow + Blue.” This diddy, produced by Surock, was constructed with bluesy organs, hardcore military-style drums and guitar riffs peppered in, as Blu intertwines wordplay in his signature laid back style, rapping, "Let them rest in peace/Ashes to ashes, peace/Pack an automatic piece/Cut a classic masterpiece/Peace to my peeps/From the streets, off the sheets I release.” The brash track is definitely on some rappity rap isht; not for the faint of heart (a.k.a. those who prefer fluff over intelligence).
KRS-One — “Disaster Kit”
The Teacha has been quiet on the music front lately, but he used Hurricane Sandy as the perfect opportunity to come back and kick some knowledge about disaster survival. The title, “Disaster Kit,” is transparent—no puns, no metaphors, just real “survival of the fittest” type stuff.
“This is an opportunity to show the world what hip-hop is capable of,” says KRS. “Obviously this project isn’t about raising money or making money. This is purely about knowledge and survival; I truly hope the world benefits from these words. By memorizing the lyrics of this song, you at least prepare yourself with a mental checklist against natural and man-made disasters,” said the Blastmaster about the song, which is genius.
He literally breaks down how to disinfect and purify water, explains how to take down fevers and kicks uncommon knowledge about how water is actually more important than food. There is no one else in hip-hop who would take the opportunity to put out a song like this. I guarantee you any other rapper references about Sandy will be asinine, so do yourself a favor and download this track to absorb information that will most likely be needed again.
Murs and 9th Wonder — “Funeral for a Killer”
After years of making beautiful music, Murs and 9th are finally closing the chapter on their book of collabo LPs. The Final Adventure drops November 13, but “Funeral for a Killer” (which will be on the project) is available now for public consumption. The topic of the song is relatively self-explanatory, but Murs and 9th up the ante with a black-and-white video that features macabre graveyard scenes and men in makeup inspired by the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos.
Check that out here.
Tyrese starring Eva Marcille — “Best of Me”
My annoyance with Tyrese aside (see Dumbest Tweets. Ever. as proof that he should quit his social media life), he does actually make good music when he applies himself to the right hobby. “Best of Me” is a romantic tune perfect for cuffing season, as he sings about a woman he believes is the best girl in the world. “I feel like I can conquer the world with you by my side, because of your unconditional world,” he sings about his lady-friend who brings out the “best of me.” It’s nothing we haven’t heard before, but we can’t get enough of the sappy romantic stuff. What’s even better is the black-and-white video, which features Eva Marcille as Ty’s love interest. There are scenes of the couple canoodling while cooking in the kitchen, on the beach and… you get the picture. “Best of Me” can be found on Tyrese’s latest album, Open Invitation (in stores now), but you can check out that video here.
Starrene Rhett Rocque is a pop culture junkie who often fantasizes about becoming a shotgun-toting B-movie heroine, and aspires to save the world from the impending #ZombieApocolypse… In reality she’s a freelance entertainment journalist/blogger who muses about music, TV, movies and love. Follow her on Twitter @GangStarrGirl.