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Cardi B, Bobby Sessions with Megan Thee Stallion, Ice Cube drop new music: Listen

Elise Brisco, USA TODAY
·4 min read
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Fridays bring the start of the weekend, paychecks and new music – and this Friday is an especially good one for for hip-hop lovers.

Genre pioneer Ice Cube returns to the rap scene with "Trying to Maintain," while new-kid-on-the-block Bobby Sessions teams with Grammy-nominated rapper Megan Thee Stallion on "I'm a King," plus a cherry-on-top release from Cardi B with "Up." All three songs share a message of separating yourself from the pack by rising to the top.

We rounded up the three new songs from some of the best in the game:

Cardi B, 'Up'

Coming off the massive summer success of "WAP," Cardi B gives fans a new anthem for the winter with "Up." Like most of Cardi's songs, she raps on the track about how she is "up" and everyone else is, well, down bad. The song features a catchy chorus seemingly made for TikTok – "If it's up, then it's up, then it's up, then it's stuck" – and its pre-chorus could be the next contender for most popular tongue twister ("Big bag bussin' out the Bentley Bentayga").

The Bronx native also released a music video for the single, complete with scenes of Cardi at the gravesite of 2020, riding on a car as hood ornament and a cascading hairstyle with singing Barbie heads. With a bubble gum pink-colored dance scene featuring ladders and champagnesurrounding Cardi at the bottom of a spiraling staircase, the video's scenes symbolize its title.

Cardi also nods to late rapper Left Eye in the video with an all leather outfit, topped with an almost identical hairstyle worn by the TLC member in the "No Scrubs" video.

Cardi B was desperate for acne help and asked Twitter: Why her honest post is 'empowering'

Bobby Sessions and Megan Thee Stallion, 'I Am King'

Texas-born rappers Sessions and Megan Thee Stallion have been tapped to satiate audiences with the first single off of the upcoming "Coming 2 America" soundtrack.

The confidence-boosting anthem, "I'm A King," pairs the rappers on the family-friendly soundtrack single ahead of the movie's release on March 5.

The song starts with a rhythmic cadence and chorus full of affirmation: "I'm a king, I'm a king, I'm a king." When the Houston Hottie hits the track, the king becomes queen.

Sessions and Thee Stallion rap that their royalty wasn't given to them through a royal bloodline – they worked for it. "Everyone can do it with hard work and honesty/ When you reach the top, just bring up the company," Sessions raps.

This isn't the first time the two have collaborated on a project. The duo co-wrote Megan's hit song "Savage," which went on to be nominated for best rap song for the 2021 Grammy Awards.

'Good News': Megan Thee Stallion speaks her truth on debut album

Ice Cube, 'Trying to Maintain'

Ice Cube is defending his decision to work with President Donald Trump on a plan for Black Americans.
Ice Cube is defending his decision to work with President Donald Trump on a plan for Black Americans.

The original member of N.W.A kicks off 2021 with new single "Trying to Maintain."

"Trying to Maintain" spreads lyrics over a laid back beat that the rapper is above all the social media whisperings and opinions of his values with lyrics like, "(expletive) your cancel culture, (expletive) / You can't cancel a soldier, quit" and "Checkmate if you trick me / Out here lookin' for that clickbait / You need to hustle on that computer / I'm a rooster always thinkin' 'bout the future."

Ice Cube clarifies why he's working with Trump: 'I'm not playing no more of these political games'

The song follows backlash Ice Cube received when fans discovered he was working with former President Donald Trump on his "Contract With Black America" project. Ice Cube had long been critical of Trump, even releasing the 2018 song "Arrest the President." "Trying to Maintain" seems to be the rapper's response: You can't cancel a veteran in hip-hop culture.

"I'm not playing no more of these political games," Ice Cube said in an interview with Chris Cuomo about the meeting with Trump. "I'm going to whoever's in power and I'm going to speak to them about our problems."

More: Ice Cube is working with Trump and Black women are calling him out

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Cardi B's 'Up,' Megan Thee Stallion feature, Ice Cube: New in music