Cuffing Season: 10 R&B Songs To Dedicate To Your New Boo

Ah, summer! Hot weather, buzzing beaches, sizzling summer parties and no time for serious love. Now, summer is slowly, but surely, passing away as fall quickly approaches. As the weather changes, those relationship statuses on Facebook tend to change from “single” or “it’s complicated” to “in a relationship” and everyone starts to tweet about their new boo.  Yes, I believe it is cuffing season.

Whether you’ve already snagged your boo  or  you’re in the process of drafting a potential partner for this year’s cuff season, we have a range of R&B songs to dedicate to that special person (even if they’re just seasonal).

“The Way” – Ariana Grande

Once you have made the first move to begin anew with your fall love interest, Ariana Grande’s s summer jam, “The Way,” is the perfect song to describe the feelings you are experiencing with new love. In “The Way,” Grande sings of how her man swept her off her feet (“You got my heart, don’t know how you did it”) and now she is loving the way he makes her feel.

Show your partner you’re genuinely feeling them by reciting Ariana: “Be your lover, your friend, you’ll find it all in me/Stay by your side, I’ll never leave you/And I ain’t going nowhere ’cause you’re a keeper.”

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Top 5 Tracks from Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’ Album

Rihanna Unapologetic album

Rihanna has been, is, and will always be a hit maker; There’s a reason why she has fourteen No. 1 singles spanning all the way back to her second album (and just for the record, her debut single “Pon de Replay” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.) Coming off her Talk That Talk album in 2011, which featured international hits “We Found Love” and “Where Have You Been,” it was time for Rihanna to take it up another notch when it came to her next album. Working with fresh blood in producers Mike-Will-Made-IT and Labyrinth while enlisting pop mainstays David Guetta and Stargate, the result was Unapologetic: an eclectic mix of EDM, trap, dance, R&B, and pop songs that scaled the musical and lyrical landscape. If this album was an avatar, it’d be “The Last Genre-Bender.”

Unapologetic marked two things: Rihanna’s first artistically complete album and first No. 1 album. While Rated R and Talk That Talk had some “woah” moments, this album found Rihanna elevating her musical core to new heights. She’s still Bad Gal RiRi, but with more wisdom, more vocal strength, and with a newfound sense of artistic confidence. It’s no wonder why it won a Grammy award for “Best Urban Contemporary Album.”

Here at Rated R&B, we’ve compiled what we consider as the best tracks from Rihanna’s seventh studio album. Check out the list below:

“Loveeeeeee Song” (feat. Future)

Future always shines when paired with female artists, but his “Loveeeeeee Song” collaboration with Rihanna might be his best duet to date. The Luney Tunez-produced cut finds the two artists flirting with idea commitment, but being temporarily satisfied with the current arrangement of keeping things purely physical. “I don’t wanna give you the wrong impression / I need love and affection / And I hope I’m not sounding too desperate / I need love and affection,” they sing. On this album full of hard-hitting choruses and club-ready bass drops, this smooth late-night thumper stands out in the best way. Rihanna’s verses and Future’s bridge eventually explodes into a lush, beautifully crafted final chorus between the two of them. If you think “Kiss it Better” is Rihanna’s best bedroom banger, then “Loveeeeeee Song” definitely gives it a run for its money.

“Get It Over With”

While the album spotlights an array of emotional lows and insecurities, there’s a silver lining thanks to this instrument-laden track. Written by Ms. Fenty, Brian Kennedy, and the ever-talented James Fauntleroy, “Get It Over With” is the ballad of broken dreams, but also a song of hope. “It’s dark in the day / I’ll say now don’t complain / Look up the sun is just a cloud away / You’re so afraid to cry / But your heart be feeling dry / It’s time to change,” Rihanna sings in the first verse. Fauntleroy is a master of stacking vocals, so it’s no surprise that we find Rihanna’s background vocals more than on point here. Paired with snaps and solemn violins, this song is the perfect mixture of resilience, strength, and sadness, which is why it makes this list.

“What Now”

Rihanna has mastered the art of emoting over the years, and “What Now” is just one flash of brilliance in her extensive discography. Co-written by fellow Bajan Livvi Franc and British producers Nathan Cassells and Parker Ighile, the song explores the dissatisfaction one feels when they’ve settled, whether that be in love, career, or life in general. “Whatever it is/It feels like it’s laughing at me through the glass of a two-sided mirror/Whatever it is/It’s just laughing at me/And I just wanna scream,” she sings. The lyrics cut just as deep as its smashing chorus, but what really elevates this song is its climax where Rihanna repeats the cadence “I don’t know where to go/I don’t know what to feel/I don’t know how to cry/I don’t know, oh-oh, why!” The winding guitar, raw emotion, and pounding bass culminates into one of the best musical moments on the album.

“Nobody’s Business” (feat. Chris Brown)

Although this collaboration didn’t make as much of a splash as their “Birthday Cake” remix, Chris Brown and Rihanna still shocked fans by linking up on this groovy duet. Co-written by Rihanna and long-time collaborator The-Dream, the song finds the ex-lovers proclaiming their love for each other, and telling off nay-sayers in the process. “You’ll always be mine / Sing it to the world / You’ll always be my boy / I’ll always be your girl / Ain’t nobody’s business / Ain’t nobody’s business / Ain’t nobody’s business / But mine and my baby,” they sing. It’s no surprise that this track contains an interpolation from “The Way You Make Me Feel,” because this euro-dance joint feels like a new-age Michael Jackson record. Breezy and Rih trade parts effortlessly; their natural chemistry is apparent. Even five years later, this song feels fresh, yet timeless, which is why it lands on this list.

“Stay” (feat. Mikky Ekko)

There’s always something special about an artist’s voice over a grand piano, which is more than clear on this tender ballad. Written largely in part by featured artist Mikky Ekko, “Stay” is almost like the continuation of “Loveeeeeee Song,” except with more feelings and time invested. “Not really sure how to feel about it / Something in the way you move / Makes me feel like I can’t live without you / And it takes me all the way / I want you to stay,” Rihanna sings. Even though the song is obviously brilliant, the reason it makes this list is because of Rihanna’s vocal showing. While her voice holds the same type of raw emotion as “What Now,” Rih wields it quite differently, drawing the audience in and pulling away with each sharp breath, vocal crack and sustained note. This all lends itself to the push-and-pull of the actual relationship that the song speaks of, which really speaks to her growth artistically and dedication to the edgier, tougher vision for Unapologetic. Major props go to Kuk Harrell, who is the vocal engineer and producer on this song as well as the entire album.

Stream Unapologetic on Spotify below.

What’s your favorite song on Unapologetic? Let us know in the comment section below!

Miguel Announces Fourth Album ‘War & Leisure’

Miguel War & Leisure Told You So

Miguel has a new album on the way!

The singer-songwriter has announced his fourth project, War & Leisure, will release on December 1 on RCA Records. The album will arrive just a day after the seventh anniversary of his debut album, All I Want is You, which was released on November 30, 2010.

In an interview with Billboard, Miguel discussed the thematic and musical direction for his new album. “With my albums, I always try to take a picture of what’s going on in my life,” he said. “War & Leisure has political undertones, because that’s what life feels like right now. This album is intentionally about the ethos right now, that we are right in the middle of all this. We’re trying to flourish in the middle of all this.”

With the announcement of the album title and release date came a new single, titled “Told You So,” with an accompanying video. On the Prince-esque track, which plays from the rock, soul, and funk sounds from his last album Wildheart, Miguel warns his lover of his zest for danger and his addictive charm.

“Oh, and I know, yeah/I know you sense a pleasure in my eye/As long as you know, baby/Every pleasure you taste has its price, babe/Oh, I don’t wanna say I told you so,” he sings.

War & Leisure has twelve tracks, including lead single “Sky Walker,” which features rapper Travis Scott. The single currently sits at No. 85 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Stream “Told You So” below.

Watch the video for “Told You So” below.

Stream Lyrica Anderson’s New Album ‘Adia’

Lyrica Anderson Adia

Singer-songwriter Lyrica Anderson has released her latest project titled Adia.

In an Instagram post detailing what the album means to her, she said “This ALBUM Is dedicated to my twin Sister!!! #ADIA Thank You for giving me the strength to get through this Season of life and face everything I’ve been suppressing with that thank you for walking with me and helping me have the strength to share with the world on this season of #Lhhh !! This album is dedicated to you and for YOU!!! Your name means a gift from God in Swahili and you are my gift from God and this is my gift to you!!!!!”

Lyrica’s music career spans back to 2009, but notably begins in 2012 with the release of her “King Me” mixtape in 2012. Over the years, the “Love and Hip Hop: Hollywood” star has written songs for Demi Lovato, Tinashe, and Beyonce. In 2014, she released her debut EP King Me and eventually released her debut album Hello in 2015.

Adia is Lyrica’s second project this year, after releases her Nasha Pearl EP in May. The album is preceded by singles “Don’t Take it Personal,” “Dolla Bills” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, and “Somebody.”

Stream Adia in full below.