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New Music Friday: Hot Takes

It's Thursday-night-into-Friday-morning and you know what that means: New music is being posted all over the internet!
I am giddy. I have my glass of red wine beside me and I'm ready to pass judgment on everything I hear. The first three new things I listened to were: Kendrick's "HUMBLE," Mary J Blige's "Love Yourself," and whatever the hell Ludacris just did.

Let's start with Kendrick. 

We got "The Heart Part 4" earlier, so let me mention that I love that Kendrick forces his new listeners to search out preceding Parts by releasing new chapters around each project. It's important to understand how his art has changed. It's like an abridged version of his discography.

OK, done with the praise. Because we know KDot is a genius. We know he completely flips it on each project, and it seems the album coming April 7 will continue that trend. But the big question is: Is he after Big Sean or Drake? My opinion: both or neither. If he's after them, "The Heart Part 4" is aimed at Sean. "HUMBLE" is for Drake. There are lines in both songs that could be calling out Sean and lines in both songs that could be calling out Drake. But "... Part 4" lays in Sean's catchphrase while "HUMBLE" seems to be throwing shade at Drake's entire crew and persona with the dig against a photoshop-perfect lifestyle, the request for "real" things like stretch marks on a woman's butt.

What's going to be completely amazing is when we find out he's not talking about Sean or Drake. LOL.

Mary J Blige ft. Kanye West

It might be because she rose to fame on covers and recognizable samples, but every time I hear a new song from Mary J I immediately try to determine who else's song it sounds like. Don't get me wrong, I love Mary. Amazing live. But she likes to borrow. And "Love Yourself" sounds like if "Hold On" by Sounds of Blackness was tossed into the dryer with Ghostface Killah's "Metal Lungies."

But what really gets me about "Love Yourself" is Kanye's verse. It's further proof that Kanye believes he's transcended race, class and maybe humanity itself. But then he raps about kids getting shot and making it out of Chicago. It's baffling.

Most importantly, his verse doesn't quite match the song. It's as if she sent the track to Kanye under the guise of a feature request in hopes that he'd listen and be healed. Good try, Mary. We acknowledge your effort. But we're never getting the old Kanye back. He might emulate his old flows, but the words he's speaking are his new mentality.

Ludacris ft. Ty Dolla $ign

Last and least is this bullshit.
OK, it's Ludacris. So we know the samples are just as obvious as the innuendos. That's part of his charm, I suppose. I think my biggest problem with this song is that it just makes me want to listen to the actual "Thong Song" because that song was a lot more fun. Ludacris is supposed to be fun. This song is ... not. I'd like to blame Ty Dolla $ign because I'm not a big fan of his, but he doesn't deserve it. The tempo is wrong, the vibe is off, the comedy is weak, it's just a bad play, Luda. Hope to see you in Fate of the Furious so you can redeem yourself.

Now it's time to go back to bumping Chris Stapleton (judge me, I dare you.)



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