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As the anxious online crowd swelled to more than 400,000 for the Verzuz battle between Ludacris and Nelly on Instagram Live, Luda surprised the throngs of fans with a new track that included some barbed-wire topics. Nelly had to figuratively go backstage to reconcile his Teddy Riley-type technical issues that inspired hilarious memes. Meanwhile, in…

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Carol Maraj refuses to just lay back in the cut and live vicariously through her superstar daughter Nicki Minaj. The rap queen’s mom is determined to live her best life by realizing her own dreams as a recording artist. Looking like a duplicate of her famous daughter as she stunts charismatically in the promotional artwork,…

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Gladys Knight, aka “The Empress of Soul,” has a new song, and it definitely has the makings of a hit. Rolling Out had the pleasure of attending an intimate listening party in Chicago last week where her new single, “Just a Little” was debuted. The self-proclaimed balladeer shared that “I have wanted to do a…

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Lil B celebrates the beauty of blackness and the uplifting of people in his latest video, “No Black Person Is Ugly.” The controversial Bay Area rapper rhymes over a subdued backdrop of muted percussion and guitar lines. “Sometimes my skin is the reason I’m alive today,” he raps as he references police harassment and the marginalization of black people.

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With the announcement of the new deal with Warner Bros. and the promise of reissues and new releases forthcoming, Prince also debuted a new song. “The Breakdown” was released to iTunes this week and it’s classic Prince: a dramatic, shifting ballad that sounds like a lost track from the Around the World In A Day or Parade sessions.

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You may have forgotten Jay Electronica was an artist on Jay Z’s Roc Nation label. You may have forgotten Jay Electronica was at one time, the most highly-anticipated new rhymer in hip-hop. You may have even forgotten that Jay Z, when motivated, when flip words better than almost anyone who’s ever picked up a microphone. This morning, Jay & Jay offered a little reminder.

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Beyoncé debuted her new video for the first single, “Girls Run the World,” from her new album, 4, last night on “American Idol,” which has the largest viewing audience at one time in her demo. The song was leaked to decidedly poor reviews while the video was still in production, so fans and haters alike…

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