Sidney Madden

Anderson .Paak is in album mode. Yes, lawd!

After years in proverbial hip-hop purgatory, Lil Wayne has finally released his long-awaited album Tha Carter V, just after his 36th birthday.

CV, the fifth installment of Wayne's chart-topping, Grammy-winning series that started in 2004, nearly became a pop culture fable about the perils of music industry politics, following years of legal battles with his Cash Money Records boss and musical father figure, Birdman.

After years of successfully operating as an independent entity, 14-member hip-hop boy band Brockhampton unveiled its major label debut, iridescence, late Thursday night.

It might sound hard to believe, but being a Beatle doesn't necessarily assure chart-topping success — but never underestimate the pull of Paul McCartney.

Ray BLK is here to hold it down for the ladies. The U.K. artist shines in her new video for "Empress," a cool, calm and vivaciously confident anthem about this woman's worth.

As the seasons change, the melancholy of losing summer deserves its own soundtrack. Atlanta crooner 6LACK (pronounced "black") — who dropped a sleeper hit of a debut album in 2016 with Free 6LACK and in the time since has toured the world with The Weeknd and become a first-time father — has returned with his sophomore album, East Atlanta Love Letter, for just such a time.

Last Friday, rapper and producer Mac Miller, born Malcolm James McCormick, was found dead in his San Fernando Valley home. His fans, who had heard Miller openly address drug use in interviews and in his music for years, immediately speculated that the cause was an overdose, though postmortem toxicology tests have not been released.

Octavian is taking off. Nearly a year after the woozy and infectious unpredictability of "Party Here" perked ears and raised his profile, the U.K. artist has shared his latest mixtape SPACEMAN, out now via Black Butter.

The mic-stand tango and primal scream of Charles Bradley lives on. The posthumous final album from the legendary soul singer, who died last year, has been announced. Bradley's final album, Black Velvet, is due out Nov. 9 via Dunham and Daptone Records.

Masego is one of music's most promising chameleons. The Virginia-hailing multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of all things traphousejazz (a subgenre he coined in the beginning of his career) is gearing up to release a funky debut album this fall.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died last week. In her wake, Franklin has left a musical legacy few other artists will ever touch — and, as expected, hits from the legendary R&B singer's catalog have shot back up the music charts following her death.

Janet Jackson knows exactly what she's doing. After finishing a summer of festival stops, the musical trendsetter has teamed up with Daddy Yankee for a new single to remind us all to take advantage of every last drop of summer fun imaginable.

Just the mention of Aretha Franklin's name conjures up the memory of her undeniable voice. And with a career spanning more than five decades, touching gospel, R&B and pop, Franklin has earned her place in the history books and in the hearts of music fans.

Though the Detroit-raised powerhouse is known for chart-topping hits like "Respect," "Think" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," true fans know there's just as much beauty in the Franklin songs with a couple of fewer spins in the jukebox.

At the start of the summer, BJ The Chicago Kid gave fans the three-track project as a short-and-sweet sampler of what to expect on his upcoming sophomore major label album. Today, the In My Mind-crooner unveils a short film to string the story of his latest three songs together with an NPR Music premiere.

"KeKe, do you love me? Are you riding?"

Aussie psych project Tame Impala and electronic star Zhu have given their collaboration "My Life" the video treatment and enlisted Willow Smith as its bittersweet protagonist.

Success is relative. And for Berhana, the gluttonous trappings of music success don't actually make you happy once you get them. The Atlanta upstart premieres the song and music video for "Wildin'" on NPR Music, a divergent stance on defining your accomplishments by the industry's standards.

"There's a lot of things around success that can distract you and you forget what it is you're even doing this for," the singer says. "All this stuff around you kind of means nothing."

Tiny Desk concerts usually take place in the afternoon.

It might come as a surprise for a 1990s-era hip-hop artist and composer to deliver a sultry set of jazz fusion — one that seems better suited for midnight hours in a smoky club than late afternoon in a newsroom office — but keep in mind, the Tiny Desk itself was a surprise at its inception.

Since being released from prison on bail in April 2018 following a highly publicized (and still ongoing) legal fight, Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill has become an strident spokesperson for prison reform.

When the rest of the music world rests, Future keeps working. Just days after the Fourth of July holiday, Nayvadius releases Beast Mode 2.

At the end of 2017's More Life, Drake mulled over the idea of staying mum in order to protect his creative process. "Maybe gettin' back to regular life will humble me / I'll be back in 2018 with the summary," he calmly mused on "Do Not Disturb." Now, music fans have once again found themselves amidst the summer Nor'easter of a Drake album rollout. After dropping No.

MorMor positions himself as Toronto's newest enigmatic self-starter with the release of his debut EP Heaven's Only Wishful. Seth Nyquist, 26, has been playing piano since childhood. As a singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, he revels in exploring sound outside the confines of genre. The five-song EP teeters between melancholy and benevolently quiet joy, the kind to be cherished with the solace of an empty living room sway session.

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