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Preorder:Apple Music | Rough Trade

Alicia Keys: ALICIA


Since Alicia Keys’ last album, ’s HERE, the piano-playing R&B singer has hosted the Grammy Awards(twice!), published a best-selling memoir, and even launched her own skincare brand. ALICIA, postponed from an earlier release due to the pandemic, features collaborations with Miguel (“Show Me Love”) and Khalid (“So Done”), while Ed Sheeran co-wrote the socially conscious acoustic pick-me-up “Underdog,” which you can safely strum beside an autumn campfire while social distancing. –Marc Hogan

Preorder:Apple Music | Rough Trade

Autechre: SIGN

October 16

Autechre’s new album SIGN will be the first proper studio LP from the enigmatic electronic group in seven years, but that’s not to say that the IDM veterans have stayed quiet since the double album Exai. Earlier this year, Autechre shared seven (!) live albums, and, in , they released their landmark NTS Sessions—an eight-hour exploration of generative electronic composition. In classic Autechre fashion, little information has been announced about SIGN beyond the tracklist and minimal album artwork. –Noah Yoo

Preorder:Rough Trade

beabadoobee: Fake It Flowers

October 16

Last year, Bea Kristi (who performs under the name beabadoobee) paid tribute to Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus on the straightforwardly titled “I Wish I Was Stephen Malkmus.” The London artist’s full-length debut, Fake It Flowers, her first for the ’s label Dirty Hit, asserts that Kristi is a rock star in her own right. Led by fuzzy singles “Care” and “Sorry,” Fake It Flowers is “pretty much my whole life in one album,” Krisi told i-D. –Quinn Moreland

Preorder:Apple Music | Rough Trade


October 2

Over the past four years, BLACKPINK have become the most popular K-pop girl group in the United States. The band’s debut, The Album, follows last year’s Kill This Love EP, as well as a collaboration with Lady Gaga. The Album includes the Selena Gomez collaboration “Ice Cream” as well as the single “How You Like That.” –Noah Yoo

Black Thought: Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Able

September 18

Since Black Thought’s freestyle on Funk Flex’s radio show in , the longtime lead emcee of the Roots has felt re-energized. In between his time providing the music for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, he’s used that newfound energy to contribute standout verses on projects from Benny the Butcher, Roc Marciano, and Freddie Gibbs. He’s also released two EPs, and his upcoming Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Able will be the third in the series. It features appearances from PUSHA-T, Killer Mike, Swizz Beatz, Portugal. The Man, ScHoolboy Q, and more. As evidenced by the single “Thought vs. Everybody,” the Philly rapper refuses to let his flame burn out. –Alphonse Pierre



BTS have not officially announced a follow-up to February’s MAP OF THE SOUL : 7, but according to an August corporate briefing from their label Big Hit, a new album is in the works for a Q4 release. Coronavirus may have derailed their world tour plans, but when it comes to new music, BTS have not shown any signs of slowing down. The music video for their latest single “Dynamite”—a possible first look at their next project—racked up over million views in the first 24 hours after its release, smashing YouTube’s records. It also became the first K-pop song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot –Noah Yoo

Cardi B


If Cardi B’s Megan Thee Stallion–assisted hit single “WAP” indicates anything, it’s that Cardi’s upcoming second album will be an event. If it’s anything like ’s Invasion of Privacy, the records will be big, but Cardi’s personality will shine even bigger. Undoubtedly, she will remain a lightning rod for controversy as she transitions into a higher level of superstardom. –Alphonse Pierre

Conway the Machine: From King to a GOD

September 11

The rappers of the Buffalo-based Griselda Records have stayed busy this year, dropping albums at steady clips. Conway the Machine’s From King to a GOD is one of the most anticipated, as his only releases up to this point have been brief—his EP with the Alchemist, LULU, was seven tracks, and May’s Big Ghost Ltd. collaboration No One Mourns the Wicked had nine songs. The album features fellow Griselda figureheads Westside Gunn and Benny the Butcher, plus Freddie Gibbs, Method Man, and more. Griselda will soon be more visible than ever. –Alphonse Pierre

Cut Worms: Nobody Lives Here Anymore

October 9

Cut Worms, the alias of Brooklyn designer and musician Max Clarke, draws from the jangling stride of early Americana while keeping his perspective grounded in the present. On the double album Nobody Lives Here Anymore, Clarke reflects on the ephemerality of modern American life, as heard on songs like “Sold My Soul” and “God Bless the Day.” –Will Miller


“Rumors” [ft. Cardi B]

In the two years since Lizzo released her Grammy-winning debut, Cuz I Love You, she’s become an occasional target for irate social media mobs. The self-assured pop star often responds to heated criticisms in kind—regardless of whether the backlash seems uncalled-for (over a juice cleanse, for example) or warranted (such as for putting a Postmates courier on blast). Apparently fed up, Lizzo delivers her latest clapback to the never-ending noise in the form of “Rumors,” a collaboration with Cardi B and her first single since Cuz I Love You, choosing to revel in gossip rather than shut it down. But the song’s cool nonchalance is underwhelming at best.

At first, “Rumors” sounds like a re-up of “Truth Hurts,” with Lizzo talking her shit over a simple piano melody. It quickly warps into anonymous, stomping future funk, complete with rubbery synth, handclaps, and electric guitar. The production shapes an airless backdrop for Lizzo, who sing-talks lines that veer inexplicably from “I am body goals” to “Black people made rock’n’roll.” Despite some choice words from Cardi (“Last time I got freaky, the FCC sued me,” she boasts, though that definitely won’t be an issue here), Lizzo’s verses read as if they’ve been spat out of a self-empowerment phrase generator, leading to a weirdly resigned chorus: “Sick of rumors/But haters do what they do.” “Rumors” feels slapped together from different parts of Lizzo’s past hits: the bellowing horns, squealing guitar solos, and endless confidence are all here. This time, though, the formula feels strained.

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As dutifullyteased, Lizzo and Cardi B have released their new single “Rumors.” It’s Lizzo’s first song as the lead artist since she released Cuz I Love You in It’s also the first musical collaboration from Lizzo and Cardi B, who both appeared in the movie Hustlers. Check out the gilded, Ancient Greece–inspired visual for “Rumors” below.

Cuz I Love You and its tracks made Lizzo the most-nominated artist at the Grammy Awards, and, in addition to winning for Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Urban Contemporary Album, she performed a medley of songs from the album at the ceremony. In , she joined Charli XCX on “Blame It on Your Love” and appeared as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live when Eddie Murphy was the host.

Coming up, Lizzo has a first-look TV deal with Amazon Studios. She is also set to headline Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in September.

Cardi B recently hopped on Normani’s sophomore solo single “Wild Side.” Read about its accompanying music video in the interview “Choreographer Sean Bankhead Breaks Down Normani’s Logic-Defying ‘Wild Side’ Moves.”


Invasion of Privacy

Cardi B is the new American Dream. Her rags-to-riches story is a product of living life out in the open, the answer to the question of how to be famous in the modern age. The Bronx-born MC parlayed a stripping residency into a social media empire before landing on reality TV, where she soaked up the spotlight as an aspiring artist making the most of her face time. After taking her official rapper turn with a pair of mixtapes, she broke out with the world-conquering “Bodak Yellow.” It’s an open secret that strip clubs are a cultural hub in rap, and that strippers are often among the best rap A&Rs, and Cardi pairs that same intuition with punchy barbs. And yet there are still those who deny her obvious talent, who regard her success so far as a fluke—led by the close-minded few who still refuse to give a woman her due in rap.

Invasion of Privacy is an emphatic response to those skeptics. The album is showy and upfront, at once brazen and vulnerable. On her assured and outspoken debut, Cardi shuffles from pop-rap to designer trap to sing-song ballads and strutting promenades. She is rap’s answer to Tiffany Haddish: funny, curious, and absorbing. Cardi’s rants can be as biting as they are mesmerizing, as much an invasion of your space as they are an immersion into her world.

Forged in the same fires that wrought Meek Mill’s “Dreams and Nightmares” intro, the explosive “Get Up 10” sets the tone. The take-no-prisoners screed is an opening salvo of epic proportions, lining up foes to drop them, digging a stiletto heel into the throats of her challengers. Cardi raps with fire and force, a born star who's grown accustomed to being told to dim her light for the sake of others. Each new triumph rejects such a ridiculous premise, and each naysayer has seemingly only granted her more power.

Cardi is a great talker, but her voice itself is its own instrument. It wraps around each word; her accent and inflections forge each syllable into a snap, making every utterance feel novel. She wields her voice like a weapon, and she can make even the mundane seem glamorous with a particularly choice phrasing. This specific economy of language is the core of her appeal, and every verse is imbued with its impact. Some punchlines are laugh-out-loud funny, others are immensely clever. A few are both. “Write a verse while I twerk, I wear Off-White at church/Prolly make the preacher sweat/Read the Bible, Jesus wept,” she raps on “She Bad.” Cardi finds the soft center of a complex idea and then presents it in the most direct way possible.

Her writing is often convincingly diametrical: She is one thing and her beau/hater/adversary is another, but it’s the relationship between those two things that conjures the imagery: “This that collard greens, cornbread, neck bone, back fat/Get it from my mama, and you don’t know where your daddy at.” Her practiced abrasiveness is a defense mechanism constructed over time, so when she raps things like, “’Fore I fixed my teeth, man, those comments used to kill me/But never did I change, never been ashamed,” she’s showing you the inside of her armor.

In addition to honing her natural tendency toward pithiness, Cardi is becoming a complete MC. She plays clever word association games like mixtape Lil Wayne (“I came here to ball, is you nuts?”) and finds her place among New York’s more dynamic and prolific punchers like Cam’ron and Jadakiss. Cardi is quickly improving as a technician, closing the gaps in her writing and tightening up her flows. Even more impressive than her sharpened rap skills, though, is her rapidly expanding range.

On Invasion of Privacy, Cardi emerges as a first-rate song-maker, crafting mousy indictments and cautionary tales as easily as club gyrators and flex anthems. She effortlessly covers quite a bit of ground, dressing down no-good boyfriends, considering her come-up from pissy elevators to walking red carpets in tailored gowns, or rallying twerkers everywhere to spontaneously pussy pop for guap. She raps with the transparency of someone who has shared the ugliest aspects of her life with strangers online, but her songs now have the curatorial instincts of a specialized Instagram feed. The Chance the Rapper-assisted “Best Life” rehashes early career controversies and remixes an iconic Tupac poem into an origin story. “Be Careful” fires warning shots for a cheating boyfriend. Amid the larger-than-life showboating on “Money Bag”—where she, among many other things, parks a Bentley truck in a Versace driveway—Cardi lets slip the lingering effects of poverty: “I been broke my whole life, I have no clue what to do with these racks.” Everyone dreams of a life on top, but there’s no guidebook for how to handle it when you get there.

If there was ever any pressure to live up to “Bodak,” though, Cardi never shows it. Instead, she takes every opportunity to force-feed her doubters crow. “I like proving niggas wrong, I do what they say I can’t,” she raps gleefully on “I Like It,” as she flips boogaloo into Latin trap. Cardi’s raps have always exuded confidence and charm, but with Invasion of Privacy she seizes her seat on the rap throne through punishing, unrelenting taunts. She’s fully self-aware and seemingly unstoppable. “The coupe is roofless, but I get top in it/I’m provocative, it’s my prerogative/80K just to know what time is it/Cardi rockin’ it, go buy stock in it,” she proposes on “I Do,” a freeing Murda Beatz-produced closer with SZA that champions independence. She exceeds her hype and does so casually.

The production on the album is sumptuous and varying. A record daring enough to produce the buzzing “Bartier Cardi,” the R&B-infused “Ring,” and the quiet prowler “Thru Your Phone,” Invasion of Privacy never shrinks away from a potential risk, delivering hugely satisfying payoffs. With Latin trap sensation Bad Bunny and reggaeton star J Balvin in tow on “I Like It,” Cardi reworks Pete Rodriguez’s classic into a cross-cultural block party, bilingual and welcoming. Similarly, the Project Pat-sampling “Bickenhead” reimagines the original as a get-money anthem, leaning into the same inflections and cadences, but with a female-focused Cardi spin.

“I started winning when the whole world was doubting on me! Think imma lose with my little baby counting on me?” she tweeted after she revealed she was pregnant on last week’s“Saturday Night Live.” It’s a bar that could’ve easily found a home on this album. Invasion of Privacy embodies that tenacity and that relentlessness; plainspoken and raw, with just enough polish. Such a fighter’s spirit is endearing, and, to a certain extent, galvanizing. She took an unconventional path to get here, and yet everything seems to be going according to plan. Cardi never had any interest in converting her haters to fans; she’d rather just show them all up, and her debut is her greatest and grandest kiss-off yet. Bet against her at your own peril.

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By the looks of it, Cardi B’s sky-high production budget has stayed intact since “W.A.P.” That titanic single was parental-advisory-warning-required tribute to female sexuality, accompanied by a music video in which she and co-conspirator Megan Thee Stallion strut in a gated mansion. Her follow-up, “Up,” features equally opulent displays. It begins with Cardi as a “grieving” widow, stamping her Louboutins on a statue’s chest—“R.I.P. ,” a placard reads—then dancing in cheerleader-like formation and swapping tongues with other hot women in a giant silver oyster. In a wink, perhaps, to “W.A.P,” she flaunts a vibrator while licking her lips. But for “Up,” Cardi wanted to return to the original inspiration behind her debut mixtape, “gangster violence” and Chicago drill. If “W.A.P.” was “too sexy,” in her own words, this is her “hood song.”

“Up”’s very catchy main refrain—which Cardi B has been accused of ripping off—is not a sexual innuendo; it’s about having unsettled beef. “If it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s up, then it’s stuck,” Cardi repeats in the chorus. The track is a tight and unsurprisingly funny dismissal of detractors, “bitches” whose “breath smell like horse sex,” who call her ugly while their boyfriends are secretly trying to seduce her. Cardi is skilled at these types of brusque taunts. She raps over a foreboding bassline and the clinks of what sounds like the Triggerman beat, but her taut delivery drives the song: “I said my face bomb, ass tight/Racks stack up Shaq height.” “Up” has Cardi’s characteristic self-assurance and instantly quotable one-liners—it’s a solid showing.

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Normani - Wild Side (Official Video) ft. Cardi B

And it doesn't matter that his girlfriend Gerda would be there. Jem, under the influence of Cerberus, was like a madman. And she just wanted to love, love her beloved Vic.

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It's good that I have a robe, I hope she won't notice it, "she thought, this is the first time I've given an enema. To such a young lady. only grannies or children.

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