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New Pop Jams: Gwen Stefani, Azealia Banks + More

Somebody alert Nicki please, because Lil’ Kim just dropped a new mixtape. She announced the release of Lil Kim Season last week via Twitter, because nobody announces anything via something that is not Twitter anymore, and she dropped the bomb on us yesterday. Lil Kim Season marks the self-proclaimed Queen of Rap’s fourth mixtape, and her first since 2014’s Hard Core 2k14.

Lil Kim’s mixtape adds another item to the list of amazing music we’ve been blessed with in 2016, alongside Yeezy’s Life of Pablo, Zayn’s debut effort, and Riri’s swiftly delivered Anti. But as usual, some of the most incredible music always flies under the radar. But we always have your best interest in mind at Milk, so we compiled the best songs of late that you may have missed, because we know it sucks to be out of the loop.

Azealia Banks – Slay-Z

Speaking of iconic female rappers, multi-talented spitfire and Iggy Azalea’s biggest fear Azealia Banks added a new mixtape to her already excellent music repertoire last week. Slay-Z proves Banks’ versatility in only eight tracks, jumping from fresh hip-hop beats to 2012 EDM to her signature ’90s hip-house seamlessly. Banks also proves her incredible vocal chops on “Used to Being Alone,” which samples the same beat as Azalea’s “My World” and multiplies it tenfold. Shady. The mixtape also features Maybach master Rick Ross and R&B duo Nina Sky in what is the most random mid-2000s throwback, because why not.

Kanye West – “Ultralight Prayer” 

What did you do on your Easter Sunday? Did you get your life at Rihanna’s Anti World Tour at Barclays like some of us at Milk (screw you, Rachel)? Did you just sleep all day, which is what we all should be doing? Well, you probably didn’t hear Kanye‘s Easter version of “Ultralight Beam.” It certainly put us in the proper Easter mood, without the bunnies or candy. The short track is Kirk Franklin’s sermon from the original Life of Pablo track backed by a powerful gospel choir, in typical Kanye style. He also dressed as the Easter Bunny, because nothing says the Easter Bunny like Kanye West.

Katy B – “I Wanna Be”

British artist Katy B is one of those rare and precious singers who knows exactly how to make you cry on the dance floor, also known as a normal Thursday night, and she does it masterfully every time. Her newest offering, “I Wanna Be,” is no exception. The 90’s house-inspired track, co-produced with Chris Lorenzo, bops likes the perfect warm-up song to jam to before the DJ plays that song, but its sentimental lyrics and melancholic undertones may send you to the bathroom in tears before the night begins.

Gwen Stefani – This Is What The Truth Feels Like

This may be the number one album in the country right now, but frankly, we doubt you have actually listed to it and that is simply unacceptable. The Queen of Cool released her first solo album in almost a decade, and it’s her most emotional to date. The record is virtually her personal diary, containing scathing rage toward ex Gavin Rosedale on ballads like “Used to Love You” and declarations of love to Blake Shelton on roller disco anthems like “Make Me Love You”. The album constantly jumps in sound, from summary reggae-pop to icy hip-hop, but it’s all tied together with Stefani’s stellar melodies and distinctive vocals. This shit is seriously bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

Wiz Khalifa – “Electric Relaxation” 

Although he already mastered the art of the tribute track with “See You Again”, and then wore it out because of how many damn times we heard it over the summer, Wiz Khalifa is back at it again. His latest rhymes come courtesy of a twist on A Tribe Called Quest’s classic track, “Electric Relaxation”, in tribute of late member Phife Dawg. Khalifa adds his own raps amidst Phife Dawg’s recognizable bars, allowing for a faithful but unique tribute to a sad loss in rap music.

Stay tuned to Milk for more Top 40 tunes–nothing is a guilty pleasure if you refuse to feel guilty about it.

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