Childish Gambino a.k.a. Donald Glover, “3005”

Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino, has been in an introspective mood lately and decided to record how he’s been feeling (beyond Instagram, this time). Gambino sings the hook, which complements his rhymes about the new person he’s evolving into, flaws and all. He raps about a “house full of homies but feeling the opposite,” and phrases like, “I used to care what people thought, but now I care more” express that he is, after all, human and prone to insecurities. “3005” is the newest song from his forthcoming sophomore release, The Internet

Lady Gaga, “Do What U Want” ft. R. Kelly

Lady Gaga and R. Kelly channel 1980s electro dance music with a dash of soul in this sassy, sexy and empowering song about conceding to love (and/or sex) without losing your identity. Gaga sings, “You can have my heart but you won’t use my mind/Do what you want with my body,” and R. Kelly trades flirtatious verses back and forth, willing to be the backbone while allowing her to thrive in her life as an individual. This is a funky, unexpected collaboration that definitely should have happened sooner. Lady Gaga’s next album, ARTPOP, is due out on November 11, and R. Kelly’s Black Panties is scheduled for a December 10 release. 

Yuna, “Someone Who Can”

Yuna’s sweet wispy voice was made for love songs, even sad reflective ones. Here, she channels self-love, crooning about a lover who can step up to the plate because her current isn’t “playing his part well.” Due to the latter shortcomings of her lover, she’ll find someone who can… hence the title. The mid-tempo beat is laced with harps and violin strings, which play the perfect backdrop for Yuna’s yearning and angst amid self-empowerment. The Malaysian-born singer is gearing up to release her sophomore album, Nocturnal, on October 29. 

Ne-Yo, “I Want to Come Home for Christmas”

Ne-Yo got a jumpstart on caroling, with holiday season looming in the not-so-far-away distance. Here, he takes on Marvin Gaye’s 1972 classic, “I Want to Come Home for Christmas,” for The Best Man Holiday soundtrack. Ne-Yo does the song wonderful justice with his take on a non-cheesy Christmas classic. Caution: There will be a spike in holiday conceptions. 

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.