MeLo-X ft. Cheri Coke, “Remember Remember”

The bells and wind chimes that drive the beat set a good backdrop for a dream or back-in-the-day-style sequence—perfect for MeLo-X’s verses about flying high. He’s on cloud nine because he’s nice like that. And for those who don’t know, he warns they get familiar and remember with staccato verses like, “Remember, remember this day you will remember remember/The time each and every line in my prime/Rearranging mines so they see that I’m the greatest vine/Reaching higher heights and this mountain isn’t easy climb/I can spit like this in my sleep like I’m drooling rhymes.” Cheri Coke (formerly known as Cheri Dennis in her Bad Boy days) assists with a breathy hook about “flying high in the sky through paradise.” “Remember Remember” is the latest from MeLo’s forthcoming album, GOD: Pièce de Résistance.

Luciano ft. Bob Andy, “Create Our History”

Reggae OG Luciano a.k.a. the Messenjah tapped Bob Andy, another original, in this cry for metaphorical freedom. The traditional reggae-style hook goes, “As far as the eye can see my people we all are free/Free as we want to be creating our history,” as both men lament the state of the African diaspora. The message in this song is that despite slavery being over, we still have a long way to go when it comes to overcoming the post-traumatic stress that still grips the Black community. The power behind the message is that we can control our destiny. Luciano is gearing up to release a new album entitled The Qabalah Man on December 3.

Dawn Richard, “Fade”

Dawn Richard recently reconciled with Danity Kane, but that’s not stopping her from still doing her solo work. “Fade” is a song Dawn says she found in the vault, and she’s in love with Noisecastle III’s production, tweeting, “Really love the production on this record. Make sure you grab some headphones hearts and blast it. It’s a sonic yummy movie.”

Dawn’s description is perfect. “Fade,” a beautiful song about a love slipping away, does have a sense of urgency to it, like you’re falling or slipping away (no pun intended) through a black hole. Vocally, Dawn channels her upper register for the repetitive lyrics, sounding very similar to Brandy circa Never Say Never.

M.I.A., Matangi

M.I.A’s fourth proper album is named after a tantric goddess who governs speech, music, knowledge and the arts. Those who worship the goddess are said to acquire knowledge mastery of the arts, and attract masses of people to themselves. It all makes sense after you listen to a few tracks. This is M.I.A.’s attempt to deviate from her grittier, in-your-face, electronica-meets-hip-hop sound. Matangi’s tracks embody previous elements of M.I.A.’s eclectic grit, but the sound is a lot more seductive and hypnotic. M.I.A. handled a lot of the production herself, but she did enlist longtime collaborator Switch, Danja and Hit-Boy to lend a helping hand.

Available today at iTunes