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Sidney Madden

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

A conflicted mind can cause utter chaos. For Saba Abraha, a D.C.-area R&B singer, music is her outlet to unpack her thoughts to keep from spiraling. Abraha's writing process for her latest track "Do's & Don'ts," occurred after the death of her father and a sudden immersion into circles the music industry, a sequence of events that left her reeling in confusion.

The South Florida rapper XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was shot near a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Fla., this afternoon and later was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital, the Broward Sheriff's Office has confirmed. According to a statement provided to NPR by the Broward Sheriff's Office, at 3:57 p.m.

Happy hours with your crew that last until first light. Summer Fridays observed on Tuesdays. Staggered text threads with unsaved numbers. Fizzy, incessantly-sugared libations. Awkward tan lines in the name of an intricate beach slay. BYOB house parties (and sappy, inconsequential flirtations at said parties). Dance-offs at open-air bars. Egregious swipe-rights in the name of carpe diem. And wine. So much wine.

Updated 8:13 a.m., June 1 with an embedded stream of ye.

After much anticipation, Pusha T's third studio album has arrived. And though it was years in the making and is, according to the rapper, a study in having the luxury of taking your time, the last week leading up to the project's release was a haphazard race to the finish line as much as it was a celebration of the long-awaited music.

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