If you’re anything like us, we see an interesting headline during our daily scroll—pause to read it—but then keep scrolling without reading the actual story. So at the end of each week, we’re rounding up all the buzziest, news-worthy headlines you might have missed. Think of it like the “saved” feature on Instagram but for news instead of aesthetically pleasing photos. Rihanna releases a new song co-written with Tems, SZA drops “Shirt” two years after teasing it, and Baby Keem surprises fans with a deluxe version of The Melodic Blue—this is what you missed.
Rihanna Returns With First New Song in 6 Years, “Lift Me Up”
It’s a great day for Rihanna fans as they finally leave the music waiting room and Frank Ocean fans behind because after six long years she released a new song. No this is not a false alarm, and if you’re still in shock I’ll repeat: Rihanna…released….new….music. The song in question, “Lift Me Up”, is part of the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack which will arrive on November 4th—a week before the film’s arrival in theatres. Brace yourselves because it gets better, Rihanna wrote the song with Tems, producer Ludwig Göransson, and the movie’s director, Ryan Coogler. Aside from the fact that the Rihanna x Tems collaboration has been rumored for way too long, and is hopefully the first of more to come, the song pays tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman whose presence continues to be missed. Boseman’s influence in the success of the first Black Panther is undeniable, so much so that he could not be recast and the death of his character, King T’Challa, plays a major role in the sequel’s story and subsequently, the soundtrack. Speaking about the intent of the song in a press release, Tems said, “After speaking with Ryan and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life. I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them. Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
SZA Finally Drops “Shirt” Two Years After She First Teased It
The R&B girlies truly blessed us on this new music Friday with SZA releasing her song “Shirt”. It’s been a long time coming for SZA fans as a snippet of the track was teased on Instagram in 2020 and then went viral on TikTok. Begs, pleas, demands, and praise in the comments section tried to convince SZA to release the full song to no avail. The teasing continued in the outro to her “Good Days” music video where she’s seen pole dancing to the snippet. Two years later, “Shirt” is here and she’s not alone. The music video, directed by Dave Meyers, stars SZA with actor LaKeith Stanfield who was also in the “I Hate U” visuals. Shot in a movie-like style with special effects, SZA and LaKeith play a Bonnie and Clyde-esque couple creating chaos everywhere from a pizza shop to a church before meeting their fatal ends and haunting each other from the past. As the credits roll, SZA teases us yet again with a snippet of her unreleased track “Blind”. Will either appear on her forthcoming album? Will we actually get an album? Only SZA knows but in the meantime here’s hoping she keeps the music coming.
Baby Keem Delivers ‘The Melodic Blue’ Deluxe Edition
It’s truly been a great year for Baby Keem, his song “Family Ties” with tourmate and cousin, Kendrick Lamar, won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance. It’s also a highly-anticipated song on the setlist for Kendrick Lamar’s The Big Steppers tour, for which Keem is a supporting act, proven by the videos of mosh pits going crazy worldwide. While he continues to tour Europe with Lamar, he decided to release a deluxe version of his Grammy-winning album The Melodic Blue. The deluxe comes over a year after the initial release but given Keem’s growing fanbase and spotlight it’s also the perfect time to release new music. There are seven new songs including “bank account” featuring Lil Uzi Vert and “killstreaks” featuring Don Toliver and PinkPantheress. Keem made the announcement on social media, a few hours before the release, and K-Dot Kenny hinted at one of the new tracks by commenting “I get to hear life of pain again?? *heart emojis*” which is indeed on the album. As 2022 wraps up, dare I say, find me a better duo than Keem and Kendrick.
Jamaican MC and Lyricist King Cruff Releases Label Debut Single “Samurai Chop”
The captivating and introspective songwriter that is King Cruff recently announced his major label debut signing to Universal Music Canada in partnership with Tuff Gong Collective. The news comes with the release of a new single, “Samurai Chop”, and an accompanying music video. The 25-year-old artist lives in Toronto but was raised in Kingston, Jamaica, and naturally has reggae ingrained in his DNA. Equally inspired by contemporary artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Chronixx, and André 3000, King Cruff’s music is layered with vibrant soundscapes and thought-provoking lyrics. “Samurai Chop” is backdropped by upbeat Caribbean-flavored rhythms while he raps in his smooth patois-laced style about the perils of social dynamics creating a contrast between the lyrics and sound. Speaking about the intent and inspiration of the song, King Cruff says “I’m a big fan of songs that have one vibe but the lyrics tell a different story. ‘Samurai Chop’ is about the party lifestyle and how chatter and drama can bleed into it. The line that really influenced the song was ‘Words cut deep like a samurai chop’. My mom always said that words have power and I believe in that.”
Frank Ocean Returns With New ‘Homer Radio’ Show on Apple Music
Do you ever wonder what gets played in Frank Ocean’s office after hours? Now you can find out with the new Homer Radio show on Apple Music. Not to be confused with Blonded Radio, which the artist released on the same platform, Homer Radio is the follow-up to the project and is described as an “office soundtrack.” What does that mean? Imagine this: “Twin line array speakers hold court, they’re only a little loud. Someone’s vacuuming the carpets in another room adding white noise to the song. A security guard coming back up from a cigarette break can hear it all from inside the elevator. Magnified eyes see through a headset loaded with grids of light and lenses and loupes. Skulls on swivels make no sudden movements, helicoptering over paperwork, pens, blades, vices, metals and gems.” If that is not an accurate description of the stereotypical office environment, I don’t know what is. Considering that the Blonde singer’s focus for the last two years has been his Homer jewelry line, it makes sense for an office space to become a regular visit for him. I would be very intrigued to find out the soundtrack that was playing in the background when the design for the Homer cock ring was laid out, but I mean, who wouldn’t? The first episode of the radio show was released on Thursday with producer Crystallmess and brb while I go listen to it and screen the entire playlist in the hope of finding hints of new Frank Ocean music.