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2023 MTV Video Music Awards

Source: Udo Salters / Getty

Megan Thee Stallion — “Cobra”

Megan Thee Stallion sheds skin and slithers into a new era with “Cobra.”

The Texas superstar hisses mightily and turns the page on her career with this newly-released introspective banger. “Breaking down and I had the whole world watching,” she exclaims in the song’s opening line. “Every night, I cried / I almost died / and nobody close tried to stop it.”

Douglas Bernardt directed the track’s Cobra-themed music video. “Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again,” Megan narrates. Soon, a metaphor for metamorphosis seems to unravel onscreen.

As she explains on the track, Megan is “back outside and back in motion.” Also, she says this portion of her story is going to be self-funded. “I have no label right now,” she recently told fans on Instagram Live. “We’re doing everything funded straight out of Megan Thee Stallion’s pockets so the budget is coming from me.”

She also adds: “I’m so excited to be doing something for the first time, independent since it was just me and my mama.”

Kid Cudi f. Pharrell & Travis Scott — “At The Party”

It’s a celebration as Kid Cudi taps Travis Scott and Pharrell Williams for his newest single, “At The Party.” Here, Skateboard P produces the track while the aforementioned trio share vocal duties.

Firstly, Cudi goes through a journey and bigs up the late Virgil Abloh in his verse. “Never playing / Walked and I fell, then I crumbled and thought I was a broken man,” he raps. “Bleed ’til I seen I can achieve what I dream / Full steam on the humble / Always think of Virgil.”

Following Pharrell’s hook, Travis Scott takes over with a second verse. “Just need you to remember four letters,” he raps. “It’s fake and the love, that’s why the rage live forever.”

After releasing the song, Cudder also took to X, formerly known as Twitter, to say that this is a taste of things to come. “I hope it’s clear now,” he wrote. “INSANO JAN 2024.”

Benny The Butcher f. Lil Wayne — “Big Dog”

Don’t bark up the wrong tree with Benny The Butcher and Lil Wayne as the critically-lauded spitters join forces over The Alchemist’s production on the Griselda rhymer’s newest single “Big Dogs.”

“I hear you rappers claiming the crown,” Benny raps on the song. “If you want it, you gotta come get it.” Later, Weezy adds: “New Orleans to Buffalo / Big dog, Siberian Husky flow / I’ve been a big dog since a puppy though / My kennel is a bungalow / You could walk the dog, I still run this so / Run from me / [Those] that be barking turn to hush puppies.”

Benny also says this marks an important transition in his career. “I always felt like an underdog but [I’m] a big dog now,” he tells Rap Radar. “And with the hook, Diddy told me this: ‘The difference between Nas and Jay is the melodies. Not saying that one is better than the other.’ I took certain things from that. I didn’t want to be trying to rap people to death. I’m Benny The Butcher from Griselda. I feel like I’ve done that already.”

Lloyd Banks — Halloween Havoc IV: The 72nd Hr

Back in 2008, Lloyd Banks began his Halloween Havoc series. He then delivered new editions in 2015 and 2016 and now, the Punchline King returns with the fourth installment this year.

Halloween Havoc IV: The 72nd Hour delivers 15 new tracks. Vado and Sy Ari Da Kid show up to lend their vocals while George Getson, Cartune Beatz and Wes King are among the album’s producers. PLK says this is “100% independent.”

Banks recently claimed he was looking forward to fans analyzing his bars on social media upon the album’s release. “These are the best days for me to sit and read the reactions to my work,” he tweeted. “Can’t wait for y’all to hear this body of work!”

Rapsody — “Asteroids”

Allow Rapsody to reintroduce herself. The acclaimed North Carolina rhymer finally unleashes a new song this week in the form of her Hit-Boy-produced single, “Asteroids.”

“First name Marlanna, last name Evans / Under-appreciated but I’m still the most respected / My insecurity is the fear of being rejected.” She continues to describe her perspective on her career: “If I went basic I’d be in the Wraith / If I had a d—k, I’d be in the greatest debates.”

Rapsody also carries that theme into her second verse. “They don’t pay me at the level that I rap at, crazy / If they can’t benefit off you then they act shady / I thought most the love would come back from my ladies.”

Patrick Lincoln directed the song’s Matrix-inspired music video. “We’re unplugging from the Matrix,” Rapsody explained.

Streamed: Megan Thee Stallion Hints At Pardison Fontaine’s Infidelity On “Cobra,” Kid Cudi Taps Pharrell & Travis Scott For “At The Party” & More  was originally published on cassiuslife.com