Marsha Ambrosius ft. Dr. Dre, “Stronger”

Marsha Ambrosius added a hip-hop style twist to her cover of Sade’s “Stronger than Pride.” Hip-hop heads will recognize the iconic beat from Jeru the Damaja’s “Come Clean” (which originally sampled Shelly Manne’s “Infinity”). This version finds a rare Dr. Dre verse. Ambrosius says Dre’s production will play an important role in her new music. Hopefully he’s not rusty and the two of them make audio magic. Marsha Ambrosius’s forthcoming album, Friends & Lovers, hits stores on July 15.

Black Milk, “What It’s Worth” 

The Detroit rapper/producer is back to show mofos how it’s done. Seriously, he plays no games on this self-produced track. It’s a complex uptempo ditty where he showcases just how talented he is, with rapid flows contemplating why he’s still pushing in the hip-hop game. “You clock in, or be clocked in/OG said no stoppin’/As long as breath is in my lungs wavin’ white flags is never the option,” he emcees. The gist of it is, he’s going to keep being himself in this industry and in life, despite the BS, no matter what.

Akilah Brock, “Banking” 

Akilah Brock is a Kingston, Jamaica-born, Queens, New York-bred rapper who’s been putting in work for years. She was inspired to start rapping following the tragic loss of her mother in 2004. For Brock, what began as a way to cope with the loss eventually inspired her to quit her lucrative, corporate nine to five to pursue a full-time music career. Her latest track, “Banking,” is a lyrical warning to those who want to test her skills on the mic. It’s the first single from her forthcoming album, I’m For Higher.

Maimouna Youssef, “I’m a Woman”

Maya Angelou would be proud of this ode to womanhood by Maimouna Youssef. This sassy, jazzy song by the Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a captivatingly classy, sophisticated, sexy anthem that every woman should add to her musical rotation.