Sparking just as much controversy as it does appeal, with Billboard forced to rethink its rules for artists promoting merchandise bundlesJACKBOYS, the debut compilation album from the Travis Scott-led rap collective JackBoys, is undoubtedly, a must-listen.

American rapper-singer and songwriter, Travis Scott, proves far beyond a musical talent, he’s also an astounding marketer; heavily wielding his prowess as a social influencer with over 20 million followers, to boost his personal brand – and JACKBOYS is instrumental to that growth.

JACKBOYS delivers the alternative hip-hop trap that Scott fans ride with, while selling just as many merchandise bundles as it does streams. The compilation album is a debut for Scott’s new record label Cactus Jack Records, promoting a new wave of emerging artists, notably including JackBoys‘ members Don Toliver, Sheck West, and Chase B.

The seven-track EP also features Lil Baby, ROSALÍAQuavo, Offset, and Young Thug.

Listen now below.

– SZA’s highly anticipated album, Ctrl, proves to have been worth the wait following her 2014 EP, Z

Released on June 9th, Ctrl opens with a voice recording of SZA’s mother telling a story about control.  In the first of a few album framing interludes, she explains that she has always feared that a loss of control in her life would be damning, going so far as to call it fatal. The voice recording set the tone for the entire album, which finds SZA running down all the mishaps, ain’t shit tactics, and bad decisions she’s made while grappling for control in her life. All of this is played out up against a musical backdrop of acoustic strings, haunting voice samples, and old school video game effects.

Ctrl delivers a lot of the angst, recklessness, and moody indecision that SZA fans have come to love and look for in her alternative R&B, but this album is overflowing with growth and truth. Unlike past works, it sees SZA confronting her issues in a beautifully direct and honest way leaving a lot of the metaphors behind on her last EP. Ctrl features collaborations from Travis Scott, James Fauntleroy, and SZA’s TDE label mates Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad. Ctrl also includes production credits ranging from Pharrell Williams to The Antydote. Sonically, Ctrl is in a league of it’s own, with each track melting into the next giving you no reason to skip around the album but I’ve picked out a few stand out tracks down below.

The Weekend (Produced by THANKGOD4CODY)

Arguably the sexiest track on the album, The Weekend is all about making time share love work. I’m thinking this will be the side shorty anthem of 2017.

Notable lyrics:

You’re like 9 to 5, I’m the weekend
Make him lose his mind every weekend
You take Wednesday, Thursday
Then just send him my way
Think I got it covered for the weekend

 

Doves in the Wind ft. Kendrick Lamar (Produced by Cam O’bi)

An ode to the Pussy. SZA says it best: real niggas deserve so much more. Hearing her crooning “pusssyyyyy” between Kendrick’s bars is a vibe in and of itself.

Notable lyrics:

Niggas’ll lose they mind for it
Wine for it, dine for it (pussy)
Spend time for it, see no colored line for it (pussy)
Double back handicap and go blind for it (pussy)

 

20 Something (Produced by Carter Lang and The Antydote)

Like I said, there’s no SZA work without angst. SZA uses the most vulnerable track about being a 20 something with none of her stuff together to close out an album named Ctrl, but it makes sense.

Notable lyrics:

Stuck in them 20 somethings, stuck in them 20 somethings
Good luck on them 20 somethings, good luck on them 20 somethings
But God bless these 20 somethings
(God bless, oh God bless, oh God bless, oh God bless, oh)
Hopin’ my 20 somethings won’t end
Hopin’ to keep the rest of my friends
Prayin’ the 20 somethings don’t kill me, don’t kill me

Written by ViV

SZA has now officially started her album release campaign and she has done so with a bang. Roughly 3 weeks after strongly suggesting that the album would be coming in 2017, SZA has already renamed the project, previewed a few songs at an intimate NYC show (including a Travis Scott collab), released a new single, and performed that same single on the Jimmy Kimmel Live. Yeah, she’s been putting some work in . . .

SZA’s performance of “Drew Barrymore” was her late night TV debut and she crushed it. The song itself is receiving excellent reviews, SZA’s live voice was far from disappointing, and the live band did a great job bringing the studio production to life.

SZA has also retitled the album CTRL and will be the long-awaited sequel to Z. So far, we know that CTRL will feature two singles, “Drew Barrymore” and “twoAM”, her rendition of PartyNextDoor’s “Come and See Me” that she released back in May 2016.

We do not yet have a release date, but judging by SZA’s swift, but seemingly well-planned, campaign we should keep a close eye on her moves.

Check out the clips below of her small NYC show:

 

Written by Devin Robinson Jr.