Kelis, “Call on Me”

Kelis, always experimental and always a chameleon, is back with a new sound, produced by Dave Sitek. “Call Me” is a groovy tune—heavy on the drums, synths and horns in an Afrobeat-meets-house music kind of way. Kelis sings, “Feels just like it should/I wake up and this is what it looks like/So don’t miss this/This is what it looks like/So call on me/It feels just like it should,” on the abstract but infectious hook. My guess is she’s in a happy place all around: solid, secure and content, as she should be.

Listen here.  

Snoop Lion, Reincarnated

I know I’m not the only one who had jokes when the MC formerly known as Snoop Dogg announced he changed his name to Snoop Lion due to a spiritual awakening. The iconic rapper said that a trip to Jamaica changed his life, and subsequently his music. Apparently he’s serious. Snoop really went reggae, and his first Snoop Lion album, Reincarnated, is the fruit of that labor.

His first single, “No Guns Allowed” (featuring Drake and Cori B) is part of one of his initiatives to bring awareness to ending gun violence. Snoop Lion enlisted the help of Diplo, Major Lazer, Mr. Vegas, Busta Rhymes, Miley Cyrus (strangely) and more for this project, which also adopts a softer, more sing-songy inflection to effect his message of love and peace.

Reincarnated can best be described as pop-reggae, but with a nice touch of dub-step and dancehall added to the mix. Dancehall enthusiasts will most likely check for “Lighters Up” (with Mavado and Popcaan) and “Fruit Juice.” Admittedly, I’m still getting used to the idea of Snoop Lion and wasn’t sure what to expect, but Reincarnation isn’t bad. It’s a solid try for a reformed gangsta who found new faith.

Available now where music is sold.

Etana, “Reggae”

It’s appropriate that reggae vet Etana recorded the video for her latest single at Bob Marley’s legendary Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica. Keeping true to her socially conscious, vintage sound, “Reggae” looks, feels and sounds exactly like a song that would make Marley proud. It’s a double-entendre ode to the music she loves, but also to the one she loves. She sings, “You’re just like reggae, you hit me like a drum/Play cords and I will strum,” on the hook. It’s a romantic and soothing ode to lovers rock, and I can dig it. The video visuals, directed by Kerrin McLean, feature Etana and her band jammin’ on the one as this roots-and-soul powerhouse belts out the tune. “Reggae” is from her latest studio album, Better Tomorrow, out now on iTunes.

 Watch/listen here.

Teedra Moses, “Can’t Be Luv”

Teedra Moses is one of the most underrated contemporary female artists ever, but those who know her love her. And she’s back with “Can’t Be Love!” Produced by Thaddeus Dixon, it’s a soulful, acoustic ode to falling in love (but not being sure if that’s exactly what it is). Teedra’s signature soprano successfully carries the sultry tune—as she sings about not wanting to overthink things—to the end. There’s even a guitar interlude where she gives a sensual speech about her ambivalence.

Listen 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 love. Follow her on Twitter @GangStarrGirl.