DJ Khaled, Shelley FKA DRAM, Morray and More – New Projects This Week
Summer is rolling in slowly, but the new releases from some of hip-hop's favorite seasoned and rising artists aren't. Take a look below to find some heat to help end your workweek and kick off the weekend.
DJ Khaled has been hinting at receiving artists' vocals for weeks on end. And now, his latest offering, Khaled Khaled, has arrived. The 14-track album features an iconic collaboration with New York City rap greats Jay-Z and Nas alongside singer-songwriter James Fauntleroy and Harmonies by the Hive for "Sorry Not Sorry." The Miami-based producer teased the sultry yet infectious offering and its accompanying video via Instagram on Wednesday (April 28). Last minute vocals from Cardi B made the LP as well for their joint effort called "Big Paper." Expect appearances from other heavy hitters like Drake, Lil Wayne, Jeremih, Migos, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, DaBaby, Big Sean, Meek Mill and more. Khaled Khaled is the charismatic beatmaker's 12th LP and the follow-up to Father of Asahd, named after his firstborn son, Asahd, which dropped in 2019.
Shelley, formerly known as DRAM, introduces his new moniker on Shelley FKA DRAM, his first album in about five years. The effort, which contains 10 tracks and features from Summer Walker, H.E.R., Erykah Badu and more, is the follow-up to his 2018 EP. That's a Girls Name, but is also his first LP since his debut, Big Baby DRAM, in 2016.
In the Spring 2021 issue of XXL magazine, on stands now, the Virginia-bred singer explained life within the span of years between his first solo album and his newly released sophomore album. He's experienced drug addiction—for which he got help—the death of his mother, weight gain and loss through fitness, and a return to the music. "When the debut album dropped, I was new, but I still was kind of around for a couple years, just doin’ 'Cha Cha' and 'Broccoli,'" he said. "I still wasn’t really hip to what life was like at a top-tier level, with that much exposure, that much attention, that much going on. Everything was good. It was goin’ right or whatever, but at the same time, all these other things just started coming in. The thing is, they don’t really present themselves as signs like, 'Hey, this is this issue coming right at you, move to the left or deal with it.' It just slides right in. And so, I just let things slide right in because I was on a roll."
North Carolina newcomer Morray also drops a new mixtape this week titled Street Sermons. The tape arrived on Wednesday (April 28) with 13 melodic and soulful tracks solely from Morray himself. The effort, which received a co-sign from J. Cole via social media, includes the songs "Trenches," "Can't Use Me" and his breakout hit, "Quicksand." This is the Fayetteville, N.C. native's first project, but prior to its release, he delivered a number of singles including "Switched Up," "Big Decisions" and "Kingdom."