Solange, “Cash In”

This low-key, organ-driven ditty features Solange tapping into the upper register of her typically mid-range alto. The previously unreleased track has an airy yet emotional feel, as Solange sings blissfully about being in love. You can snag this gem alone or as part of Solo’s recently released compilation album Saint Heron, the official introduction to her new independent label, Saint Records.     

The Godfathers (Kool G Rap and Necro), Once Upon a Crime

The legendary Kool G Rap (credited with inspiring the likes of Nas, Jay-Z and more) has teamed with Necro, a Brooklyn-based MC steadily building his own rep over the past few years for a unique style of rugged metal-inspired hip-hop. (Note: Necro also credits G Rap with inspiring his rhyme structure and cadence.) Together, the pair brings us Once Upon a Crime.

This collection of tracks is most likely going to be one of those really good albums that misses a lot of people—actually, more like it’ll miss those who have a more vapid taste in hip-hop. (No shots intended.) But if you’re about the rugged and raw 1990s-style hip-hop life, then this is for you. This entire album is sure to induce a head-nodding frenzy with rhymes galore and soulful, experimental beats. 

Available at iTunes.

Yo Gotti, I Am

This Memphis MC presents his Epic Records debut (via Cocaine Muzik Group). I Am, available today, marks Yo Gotti’s fourth studio album overall, but his second on a mainstream platform—although he’s been doing fine on his own for the past few years. I Am is the perfect audio story for what Yo Gotti’s journey in the music industry has been thus far. He went from trapping in Tennessee to an independent music slinger, to officially crossed over with his solid fan base in tow.

T.I., Ne-Yo, Wale, Rich Homie Quan, J. Cole, Jeezy, Meek Mill and others lent their various talents to assist Yo Gotti over the course of these 13 radio-friendly tracks, detailing the usual stories of haters, overcoming the struggle, fronters, biters and material possessions galore.

Timbaland ft. Drake and Jay Z, “Know About Me”

Admittedly, this isn’t Timbaland’s best work. But he’s definitely trying to let us know that he’s still in the game. Drake and Jay Z (who more so ad libs than raps) assist the rapper-producer in this sinister braggadocio tale about being the dopest to ever do it… you know, rapper ish. At the very least, throw it in on right before a night out. 

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 or at