Kris Kelli, I Am Kris Kelli

Block Entertainment/Bad Boy South’s Kris Kelli is making an audacious reintroduction to the world with her latest project, I Am Kris Kelli. The Jamaican rude gyal has an edgy sound that fuses her Caribbean dancehall vibes with hip-hop and pop. Kelli is part MC, part singer… and all-hustler. This is the type of music you put on when you’re preparing to head out for a night of fun with the girls.

Candice Glover, Music Speaks

Season 12’s American Idol winner Candice Glover finally makes her official debut with Music Speaks. She describes her album as having “an R&B feel to it, but more soulful and from the heart,” which is perfect. Glover’s testimony is an important one. Fans know it took her more than one try to actually win American Idol, and when she finally got a deal, album pushbacks seemed to impede her progress. But she’s arrived at long last, and with a voice like hers, you have to listen. Throughout her debut, she sings about the ups and downs of triumph in life and love. 

Purchase Music Speaks at iTunes.

Psalm One a.k.a. Hologram Kizzie, Hug Life

Psalm One, once also known as the First Lady of Rhymesayers, has begun a new journey in her hip-hop career with the release of Hug Life via Bonafyde Media. These days she goes by Hologram Kizzie, as she keeps up her tradition of slanging in-your-face thought-provoking and infectious rhymes. The seemingly new moniker may sound odd, but there’s an explanation.

“Kizzie was one of my first rap names, and the hologram is a symbol of the future. It’s just sort of a time travel theme for me, and continuing upon something I started years ago,” she tells Chicago magazine. “Also, Kizzie is Kunta Kinte’s daughter in Alex Haley’s classic Roots. So there are a lot of themes going on with the name Kizzie. But the most important thing is that it’s a continuation of my first rap name.”

It should also be noted that “HUG” is an acronym for “help us grow,” something that Kizzie helps to foster musically. She jumps from the braggadocio, you-can’t-eff-with-me ish on tracks like “Juke Me Again” (ft. Bahamadia and Open Mike Eagle), to having a lover who loves another, to sex-positive anthems like “Sex Is a Weapon” (ft. Ill-Esha and Fluffy) where she raps, “I make this music for weirdos and the sexiest nerds.” The best way to describe the former chemist’s sound is that it’s like a trippy ride through Rapville inspired by hip-hop’s foremothers and the Chi.

Stable, “Jump”

Stable, formerly known as Un-Stable, has been pushing his music on the independent scene for years. The Harlem native runs the gamut of topics, from love, to the pitfalls of a life on drugs, to simply just having fun. His latest song, “Jump,” falls into the latter category, hence the title. It’s a bouncy track sure to get any party started, featured on Stable’s Made in Harlem EP.

Noel Gourdin, City Heart, Southern Soul

Noel Gourdin is keeping soul alive with his third album, City Heart, Southern Soul. Gourdin has changed labels since his 2008 debut (The River), and been through some ups and downs in the music industry before teaming up with Shanachie Entertainment. The label seems to get his vision for creating music that embodies his influences: the likes of Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. He does a good job of paying homage to the rhythm and blues greats before him while still keeping up with the new millennium’s listening habits.

Gourdin flexes his smooth alto throughout the album with a smidge of pop sensibilities thrown in the mix, topped off with his signature gospel-style riffs. This album speaks to Gourdin’s life as a Yankee from Boston who spent a lot of time with his family down in Mississippi. The album is out today, but check out the video for his first single “Heaven Knows” to get an idea of what you’re in for.  

Purchase City Heart, Southern Soul here.

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