Justin Timberlake, “Take Back the Night”

Justin Timberlake is keeping the momentum he started with The 20/20 Experience going with “Take Back the Night,” a new song from his next album, The 20/20 Experience (2 of 2), due out in the fall. “Take Back the Night” is funk, pop and everything that we’ve grown accustomed to from solo JT but not in a redundant way. This is truly a case of not needing to fix what isn’t broken. “Take Back the Night,” reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s early solo career, is a jam session about a fun night out on the town without holding back and no regrets. It’s a much needed feel-good anthem in light of solemn times.

Listen here.

Pharoahe Monch, “Stand Your Ground”

Pharoahe Monch isn’t one to bite his tongue when it comes to slanging rhymes about America’s love affair with guns and violence, and struggles with racism and inequality. Enter “Stand Your Ground,” a frantic ironic commentary about how we must still stand our ground even when the system fails us. Monch raps on the short but effective song, “That could’ve been my mother/That could’ve been my brother/As sure as we rotate the sun and the earth revolves, get involved!” The track was originally intended for Monch’s upcoming PTSD LP, but he instead chose to release it early in light of the recent George Zimmerman verdict.  

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Dawn Richard, “Meteors”

Dawn Richard has been riding a musical wave that’s electric and sensual, and that’s exactly how I’d describe “Meteors.” Either that or I’d call it fembot music. If that doesn’t make sense, think of it as what the pop soundtrack to an epic sci-fi love story might sound like. This is her latest offering from her forthcoming album, BlackHeart. The concept is simple, as she sings, “Your love is coming down like meteors”—an intense reception of affection. Take that however you want, innuendo or not. BlackHeart is the second album in Dawn’s intended trilogy of music, which started with GoldenHeart. The third installment will be RedemptionHeart, to be released shortly after part two.

Listen here.

Laura Mvula, “She”  

UK singer/songwriter Laura Mvula released some visuals to “She,” an inspiring song from her debut ep, Sing to the Moon. The enchanting and emotional song tells the story of women who keep moving forward despite the struggles they face in life, so it’s only right that the video complements the lyrics. Mvula will make her way to the United States on a North American tour coming in September.  

Watch 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.