Big Boi — Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
Yaaaaaas! Now that that’s out of the way, the translation is that OutKast MC Big Boi has released a good, diverse project. Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors is some down-home, genre-bending rappity rap isht. Musically, he doesn’t stray from what OutKast fans have grown accustomed to. It’s a mesh of hip-hop and funk with some rock and pop peppered in. Lyrically Big Boi is more mature, but he enlisted new kids like A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi and Little Dragon to help him with a range of tracks covering topics like bucking the system and getting the party started. It’s available for consumption today, so go get that (and some chicken and waffles too).
Tamar Braxton — “Love and War”
It’s hard to remember that Tamar Braxton can actually sang for all her yapping and fussing. However, after years of frustration and trying to re-establish herself as a solo artist, she’s back with “Love and War,” a ballad where vocally testifies about the trials and tribulations that come with the ups and downs of love. It’s a beautiful song, and unusual, because these days ballads are on the endangered species list. But Tamar did a beautiful job showcasing her tenor/alto range and proves that slow jams can still be relevant.
Chrisette Michele — Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation mixtape
Chrisette Michele is yet another singer with a cherubic voice who gets overshadowed by today’s pop and Auto-Tune landscape. But we won’t let her talent be overlooked. Her latest project is a mixtape entitled Audrey Hepburn: An Audiovisual Presentation. The album was released in celebration of her 30th birthday (December 8). It’s hip-hop, it’s jazzy and it’s a cool collection of new tracks that we should get into—especially the ladies. This is that “riding with your homegirl for a night out on the town, jet-setting, window seat-dwelling, listen to while cleaning the crib” kind of music. Really, there isn’t any time when it wouldn’t be good to listen to this from beginning to end.
Bilal — The Retrospection mixtape
Bilal is always experimental. His one constant is that jazz finds its way into everything that he puts out. This mixtape, created by fellow musician Vikter Duplaix, is a mesh of sonic awesomeness. There’s drums, bass, hip-hop and a little of this and that. It’s comprised of classics like “All You Gotta Do Is Try” and “Sometimes,” as well as previously unreleased material. Fans will be sated ’til Bilal releases his forthcoming album, A Love Surreal, on February 12. Week’s