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Cardi B — “Up”

Cardi B is turning “Up” with a new single. Following her Megan Thee Stallion collaboration “WAP,” the Bronx-bred rhymer unleashes a new solo joint for her fans. As if a new song wasn’t enough, Bardi also treated her supporters to a new video.

Boasting racks that stack up to Shaq’s height, Cardi showcases some of her signature raunchiness and confidence on the track. “If it’s up, then it’s stuck,” she rhymes. “I can make the party hot / I can make your body rock / Bitches said they fucking with me, chances are, they probably not.”

During a live Q&A on YouTube, Cardi spoke about what inspired the cut. “The biggest inspiration for this song was, I wanted a more hood song. My last song was too sexy,” she said. “Offset — I feel like this is more of an Atlanta thing, a Georgia thing — he kept saying ‘up and it’s stuck.’ That’s something I started saying this year…This is some gangsta shit. That’s what I like. And I wanted to do something more gangsta, more cocky.”

The song’s visual was content directed by Tanu Muino. It features tons of choreography, a graveyard, and Barbie doll heads in Bardi’s hair. It’s filled with vibrant, colorful scenes and daring wardrobe looks, as fans have come to expect from the “Bodak Yellow” star.

Beyond “Up,” Bardi has been diversifying. She recently starred in a Facebook mini-series, “Cardi Tries,” throwing her hat back into the reality realm. Plus, she joined Mike Myers and Dana Carvey for a special “Wayne’s World”-inspired ad for Uber Eats, where she donned the classic Wayne and Garth looks.

But even with those different side hustles, Cardi has maintained a focus on her musical career. “I don’t want to just put out a single and have people buy it because I’m Cardi,” she told Elle in an interview last year. “I want to put out really good music.”

Listen to “Up” and watch the visual below.

D Smoke — Black Habits (Deluxe)

A year after dropping his Black Habits LP, D Smoke unleashes the critically-acclaimed album’s deluxe edition. The “Rhythm + Flow” champion’s newest drop includes four new tracks to accompany the original 16 from the Grammy-nominated LP.

The original Black Habits was a star-studded affair and this one adds to that star power. The first featured Jill Scott, Snoop Dogg, Ari Lennox, and Smoke’s brother, Top Dawg Entertainment’s SiR. This one arrives with contributions from E-40 (“Dreams”) and Snow Tha Product (“Deebo”).

The Inglewood wordsmith has been vocal about how much his musical family inspired the LP. “Black Habits follows my family story through being raised by a single mother while my pops was locked up,” he told BET last year. “The album goes on that journey from aggression to introspection dealing with family, love and relationships to political ideas and experiences connected to our Blackness.”

Stream the Black Habits deluxe below.

Lil Durk feat. Kehlani — “Love You Too”

Hot off his The Voice deluxe release, Lil Durk keeps the music rolling. This week, he unveils his Kehlani collaboration, “Love You Too,” which arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day.

“Please don’t tell your friends my business / Want you to be my girl, no friendship / I gave her the code to the mansion,” Durk rhymes on the track before breaking down into a spoken word section. “I ain’t been in love this deep,” he confides. “My past is my past. I regret it. But I think we’re made for each other, for real.”

Kehlani jumps in and doesn’t bite her tongue on the track. “Give me all your kids and fuck me good so I can snap back,” she sings. “You the type to say that if I want it, I could bag that / Deserve it all ‘cause you be getting to it / You deserve a bitch who will hold you down through it.”

“Love You Too” is the sequel to Durkio’s “Love You,” which originally featured Sydny August. Listen to the new iteration of the cut below.

VIC MENSA feat. Chance the Rapper & Wyclef — “Shelter”

VIC MENSA links up with Wyclef Jean and reunites with longtime friend Chance The Rapper for a new anthemic track, “Shelter.”

Produced by Wyclef, Papi Beatz, Johan Lenox, Ali Shaheed Muhammed, Smoko Ono, and Peter CottonTale, the new track focuses on current events, including references to Kenneth Walker, Philando Castile, and Elijah McClain.

The Fugees star highlights the troubles around the world in a haunting hook that pulls inspiration from Mobb Deep’s classic, “Survival of the Fittest.” “There’s a war going on outside nobody’s safe from / But here in my arms, I’ll keep you from harm,” Clef sings in the chorus. “I’ll be your superhero when danger arrives / I’ll be by your side.”

MENSA sheds light on inequality throughout his two verses. “Hospital workers in scrubs with no P.P.E. / But they got money for riot gear? My nigga, we dyin’ here,” he raps. “They tell me not to move with my gun / But they got more funeral homes than schools where I’m from.”

Meanwhile, Chance poetically observes the pandemic’s impact on education, among other issues of today. “It’s a hundred bags under the underpass / Rumbling stomachs, cups jingle when Hummers pass / Brisk wind, summer’s done, winter is coming fast / And then the Zoom teacher wonder why they don’t come to class.”

Listen to “Shelter” below.

H.E.R. — “Fight For You”

H.E.R.’s “Fight For You” is now available for streaming. The moving, soulful track comes from the recently-released film, Judas And The Black Messiah.

Produced by H.E.R and Dernst “D’Mile” Emile II, the new track features some motivational and inspiration lyrics about freedom in the face of despair and smoke in the air. “Their guns don’t play fair,” H.E.R. sings. “All we got is a prayer.”

The powerful lyrics regarding freedom continue: “Freedom for my brothers / Freedom ‘cause they judge us / Freedom from the others…Freedom gon’ keep us strong / Freedom if you just hold on / Freedom ain’t free at all.”

Judas And The Black Messiah recently arrived to great critical acclaim. The motion picture stars Daniel Kaluuya as Fred Hampton and Lakeith Stanfield as William O’Neal.

STREAMED: Cardi B Returns With New Single “Up,” D Smoke Drops “Black Habits (Deluxe),” & More  was originally published on cassiuslife.com

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