Schoolboy Q, Oxymoron

Schoolboy Q is part of the crop of new millennial MCs poised to take over the game, but his beats definitely channel L.A. hip-hop’s G-funk rappers of yore. His gritty album sounds really good, so props to Q on picking bangin’ beats. Lyrically, Schoolboy Q is concerned with sex, money, and making heads nod. Collaborations with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Raekwon, Tyler the Creator and 2 Chainz go over well, so if you’re good with Q not being overly conscious or introspective, then this one is for you.

The album is available on iTunes.

Estelle, “Make Her Say (Beat It Up)”

Estelle taps into her inner freak once again, to bring us more electric sex. The London bred singer makes no qualms about what she wants in “Make Her Say” as she chant/sings risqué lines like, “Shall I call you daddy/Shall I call your name/You can f**k me again babe/But never the same,” as she beckons her lover to smash. Be warned, she says “pu**y” a lot, so this isn’t for the squeamish or sexually repressed. But if you’re free with yours then carry on, because the steamy track—driven by a tribal house beat—will make you want to at least dance around at home in the mirror while getting ready for a hot date. This is the latest from Estelle’s EP, Love & Happiness Vol. 3: How Stella Got Her Groove Back, which you can download for free.

Ashanti ft. Beenie Man, “First Real Love”

It’s no surprise that Ashanti is a dancehall fan, like a lot of former ’90s kids who grew up immersed in New York’s urban music scene. She tapped into her passion for old school by linking up with the King of the Dancehall for “First Real Love.” It’s a feel good banger that’s sure to take people back to the puppy love days, as Beenie Man’s Jamaican-style raps and signature zagaza ad libs complement some grinding and waist whining. Catch this single on Ashanti’s forthcoming album, Braveheart, due out March 4.

Jupiter and Okwess International, “Margarita”

Fans of West African music who enjoy the sounds of Fela Kuti will most definitely get off on Jupiter and Okwess International. Jupiter Bokondji is at the helm of this band hailing from Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and calls their sound “Bofenia rock.” (Most refer to Bokondji as the rebel general.) All of the band’s music can best be described along the lines of Public Enemy meets funk meets Afrobeat, as the music urges listeners to dance but also to think.

I stumbled across this group based on previous music choices, and I’m late. They’ve been rocking since the early ’90s, and their last album, Hotel Univers, came out last year. But it’s never too late to get up on the good stuff. Check out one of their most popular hits, “Margarita,” featuring band affiliate Nelly Eliya declaring a woman’s right to say no.

P.S. It’s contagious so you may find yourself grooving even if you don’t understand the lyrics. (I’m guilty).

Starrene Rhett Rocque is a pop culture junky 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 fitness. Follow her on Twitter @GangStarrGirl or at