When I refer to an artist “blessing” the Booth with a new record, I'm usually being metaphorical. Not this time; August Alsina's new single, the second off his debut set, is quite literally a Benediction. Whereas Jeezy-assisted lead effort Make It Home addressed the R&B singer's past struggles with poverty and street violence—including his own brother's shooting death—this cut is a joyous celebration of the present. Backed by Eric Hudson's lush, organ-led grooves, he gives thanks that he made it out the hood, and asks God to forgive him for the mistakes he made along the way. While Rick Ross, unsurprisingly, leans heavier on the “riches” half of the “rags to riches” theme, his closing verse is an engaging complement to Alsina's narrative. Fans can pre-order Testimony now in anticipation of its April 15, release via Def Jam.
Update: We have added the Payne Lindsey-directed visuals for August's Benediction single.
“None of It Makes Sense”: An Interview With JELEEL!
Rapper JELEEL! has enough viral energy to power a city block. He breaks down the process of finding his voice for Audiomack.