SOUR. After years of delays, stalled singles and shifting release dates, Ashanti’s finally issuing her fifth album, “BraveHeart,” in March. A fresh cover doesn’t cover up the expired set of club stompers and ballads that lack the sass and inspiration of her earlier work.
SOUR. Mariah Carey’s new single, “You’re Mine (Eternal),” showed the singer attempting a throwback to tour de force smash “We Belong Together.” The fluffy piano ballad was sweet enough, but Carey then issued a syrupy remix with R&B heartthrob Trey Songz and a pair of videos powered by wind-blown hair and blinding glitter flurries.
BITTERSWEET. Nicki Minaj continues to remind critics and fans that despite her recent pop trolling, she’s still a gritty rapper. Her new single, “Lookin Ass N¿,” is a raw lyrical assault complete with heavy usage of the N-word. In a controversy over the latter and the single’s cover art, which features a 1964 Ebony magazine photo of Malcolm X looking out a window while clutching an M-1 rifle, she issued a Minaj-style apology/retort on Instagram: “This is a conversation. Not a single.”-