JAY-Z & Nipsey Hussle — “What It Feels Like”
JAY-Z and Nipsey Hussle join forces for a powerful and highly-anticipated duet, “What It Feels Like.” The song is a breakout from the just-released Judas and the Black Messiah: The Inspired Album (more on the full project later).
Horns blow as the late great Hussle exclaims, “You get successful, then it gets stressful,” over production from Larrance “Rance” Dopson, 1500 or Nothin, Mike & Keys, and LaMar “MYGUYSMARS” Edwards. “This is what it feels like / Reach a level, make you question, is this real life?”
Hov enters the scene with a moving verse that references tax audits, the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, and the deaths of Michael Jackson, Fred Hampton, and Nipsey Hussle. “Black stones on my neck, y’all can’t kill Christ,” he raps. “Black Messiah is what I feel like / Shit ain’t gon’ stop ‘cause y’all spilled blood / We gon’ turn up even more since y’all killed cuz.”
Hov and Hussle shared a great deal of mutual respect before the latter’s tragic passing. Jay famously purchased 100 copies of Nip’s $100 Crenshaw mixtape. Later, Nip said Jigga helped him clear a sample for “Hussle & Motivate” off Victory Lap.
Listen to their much-discussed collaboration, “What It Feels Like,” below.
Various Artists — Judas and the Black Messiah
There’s big news at the intersection of movies and music this week, as the star-studded soundtrack to Judas and the Black Messiah rolls out.
Executive produced by Hit-Boy, Ryan Coogler, Dash Sherrod, and Archie Davis, the new album features the aforementioned JAY-Z and Nipsey Hussle collaboration “What It Feels Like.” But it also includes high-profile contributions from Nas, Black Thought, and more.
Nas brings forth “EPMD,” an obvious nod to the legendary rap duo. “EMPD, we back in business,” he announces in the opening line over Hit-Boy‘s production. “I visualize what it is, not what it isn’t.”
Black Thought’s “Welcome to America” is another standout from this effort. “They sold some of us down the river / Such a broad level of fraud; I get the shivers,” he raps. “It’s insidious and it’s always been hideous / I had to tread water and run, be amphibious.”
Smino, Masego, BJ The Chicago Kid, Raposdy, Lil Durk, Hit-Boy, Pooh Sheisty, Dom Kennedy, SiR, and A$AP Rocky lend their voices to the project. The soundtrack also features H.E.R. on the previously-released “Fight For You.”
Judas and the Black Messiah is out now. It stars Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, Lil Rel Howery, and Martin Sheen.
Listen to the full Inspired album below.
Lil Tjay & 6LACK — “Calling My Phone”
Lil Tjay taps 6LACK for his latest single about the end of a relationship. G. Ry, Bordeaux, and Non Native produced the cut, which finds the duo reflecting on past romances over a mellow vibe.
“Steady calling my phone / I done told you before that it’s over, leave me alone,” Tjay sings on the hook. “Know it’s hurting to see me gone / Dark clouds, you won’t see me storm.”
Tjay opens up about the heartbreak elsewhere on the cut. “Traumatized, hoping it don’t rain no more,” he sings. “You done put me through some things that changed my aura / Now all around the world, I explore, no Dora.”
6LACK adds his own rumination regarding romance. “I ain’t trying to play your game no more / Babe can’t wear my change no more / We are not a thang, can’t take no more,” he sings. “Waiting on a king? You can wait some more.”
Directed by Cam Busby, the song’s music video finds Tjay and 6LACK speaking about these issues on a dark street and inside of a smoke-filled warehouse as dream-like images flash across the screen.
“Sometimes u gotta switch it up,” Tjay said of the track on Twitter. “Hit emm with something they never expected.” Listen to “Calling My Phone” and watch the visual below.
Erica Banks & Travis Scott — “Buss It (Remix)”
Erica Banks has become quite the viral sensation thanks to the “Buss It” challenge. Now the song that inspired the social media craze gets new life with a Travis Scott-assisted remix.
“Buss it, pop it, lock it, drop it / We going up like the stock-it,” Scott raps. “Outside and inside the Lambo, it’s chocolate / Throw it, watch it, cake it, profit / Bands getting big, it might bust out her pockets.”
“Buss It” prominently features a portion of Nelly’s “Hot In Herre” and was produced by SGT J.
The song became a smash due to the “Buss It Challenge,” which has been done by many social media users, including celebrities like Iggy Azalea, Jordyn Woods, Chloe Bailey, Gabrielle Union, and more.
Scott lent his voice to the remix after seeing Banks’ rise. “He said, himself, that he’d just been seeing me do my thing and he’d been seeing me work hard. He loved it. He loves my work ethic, so he just wanted to come in and bless me with that,” Banks told Complex. “I’m so grateful. He didn’t have to do that.”
Stream the “Buss It” remix below.
Kelly Rowland — Black Magic
Kelly Rowland is back with “Black Magic.” Produced by SAK PASE, the new track is a celebration of life, creativity, and more.
“When it all goes down, they gon’ write their books about us,” she sings. “When it all goes down, how would their world look without us?”
She continues: “I’ll bleed love for you, Black magic, baby / We bring the glow to the sun / We bring the life to the fun.”
“Black Magic” also comes with a music video. Directed by Mayowa and Emanuele Pica, the visual works as a moving collage that includes a smiling Rowland with her children.
Listen to and watch “Black Magic” below.