#NewMusicFriday: Raphael Saadiq drops off 'Jimmy Lee,' Rapsody celebrates Black women on 'Eve,' and Jeezy delivers his final album 'TM104: The Legend of the Snowman'

Columbia RecordsThis week’s new music releases are loaded with star-studded contributions as Raphael Saadiq makes an epic return, Rapsody offers a concept album and Jeezy gifts fans his swan song. 

Serving as a follow up to her Grammy-nominated album, Laila’s Wisdom, Rapsody continues delivering  conceptual wit on her new record, Eve. At 16 tracks, each of the songs is inspired by and named after a culturally significant black woman. The project boasts guest features from D’AngeloGZAJ.Cole, Queen LatifahLeikeli47Elle VarnerSiR and more. Eve is less a lesson in black history, and more of Rapsody channeling the spirits of her elders into the skill set she has already harnessed so well. 

It’s been nearly 15 years since Jeezy’s timeless debut, Let’s Get It: Thug Motivation 101, and now the snowman is closing the curtain on his rap career. TM104: Legend of the Snowman is the fourth installment of the Thug Motivation series, and the eighth and final album for the Atlanta phenom. Among the track list is a top-tier roster of collaborations from CeeLo Green, Rick Ross, Queen Naija, Ty Dolla $ign, John Legend and Meek Mill, who appears on the single “MLK Blvd.”Time will tell if Jeezy actually sticks to his retirement plans.

As one veteran artist hangs up his hat another is making a long-awaited return to music. A decade has nearly come and gone since Raphael Saadiq last dropped a solo album, but with Jimmy Lee the R&B crooner has arrived just on time. The effort finds Saadiq being extremely candid and conscious with fans as he addresses his brother’s drug addiction, which ultimately took his life, as well as social injustice. The compelling subject matter is paired with guest spots from Ernest Turner and Daniel J. Watts.

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