Dope Aural: Recent Reverb

Once upon a time, when physical CD’s were actually bought and sold, this would generally be the time of year when record companies began releasing new music leading into the holiday season. Like all other sectors of retail, the music industry understood that consumers would buy CD’s, vinyl and cassette tapes as holiday gifts or impulse items for themselves.

Times have changed; in 2018, we are almost fully immersed in the digital realm of downloading or streaming music. For record companies, overall album sales have been on the decline for years, and with retail giants like Best Buy opting out of carrying CD’s, record companies are taking even more of a hit.

In spite of the decline in music sales, record companies are continuing the tradition of dumping tons of new music prior to the holiday season. I invite you to indulge in these 17 albums and EP’s that have dropped in the run up to Black Friday.

There’s the long-awaited release of Ella Mai’s self-titled album led by the summer single “Trippin” as well as two surprise EP’s from Amerie: 4AM Mulholland and After 4AM. Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen more R&B entries from Mario, H.E.R., Summer Walker and Usher.  If you’re into the Atlanta hip-hop sound, then you will want to sit with releases from T.I., Future & Juice WRLD, and two-thirds of the Migos (Quavo and Takeoff).  Don’t forget to check out solid releases from Swizz Beatz and The Black Eyes Peas, with a return to their pre-Fergie, hip-hop roots. Just click the album art below to have a listen and possibly find your new fave.


H.E.R. – I Used to Know Her – Part 2 – EP
Khalid – Suncity EP
Mario – Dancing Shadows
Ella Mai – Ella Mai
Amerie – 4AM Mulholland EP & After 4AM EP
Usher – “A”
The Black Eyed Peas – Masters of the Sun Vol. 1
Summer Walker – Last Day of Summer
Tory Lanez – LoVE me NOw
Swizz Beatz – Poison
Metro Boomin – Not All Heroes Wear Capes
Quavo – Quavo Huncho
Takeoff – The Last Rocket
T.I. – Dime Trap
Future & Juice WRLD Present… WRLD on Drugs
Kodie Shane – Young HeartThrob

Check out this video playlist for new singles from our featured artists.


Trey Payadue is a contributing blogger and curator of music for The Black Unicorn Project. He was raised on the west bank of the New Orleans Metropolitan Area in the small town of Marrero, Louisiana. Brought up in the Black Catholic church, Trey was completely immersed in New Orleans music and Black culture through local fairs and famous celebrations like Mardi Gras, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the Essence Fest. He was also exposed to various styles of music, such as gospel, pop, rock, funk, hip-hop, bounce and his first love, rhythm & blues, at a young age. His inherent love and appreciation, paired with his exposure to New Orleans Culture and events, ignited an infectious passion for music. Trey quickly became known as “The Music Man”, amateur house party DJ and the mixtape go-to guy for new music. Currently, Trey juggles a 9-5 while moonlighting as a curator of good music, a patron of popular music and Black culture, and a student of where all three intersect. Follow him on Instagram & Twitter @SumthinSevere and get access to shared playlists on Spotify.

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