Cassie makes another welcome return, this time with a murder’s row of popular rappers (and a couple of her fellow R&B singers).
Last year, Cassie — who’d gone on to a string of disappointments following 2006’s chilly club-R&B gem “Me & U” — returned with “King of Hearts,” an intoxicating post-Robyn dance-pop stomper in a 2012 comeback class that also included great records from Solange and Sky Ferreira. But Cassie’s latest round of successes also included hip-hop collaborations, such as Young Jeezy-assisted slow burner “Balcony” and hypercolor Nicki Minaj team-up “The Boys.”
Cassie’s newly released RockaByeBaby mixtape offers more of both worlds — Cassie’s icy digital soul and her no-holds-barred vision of hip-hop — and on early listens it’s thrillingly audacious. Rick Ross, French Montana, Pusha T, Fabolous, Too Short, Meek Mill, Ester Dean, and Jeremih guest on occasionally violent tracks that split the difference between trap’s sinister clatter and bedroom slinkiness. From the ill-timed gun-themed cover art to the vivid and matter-of-fact sex talk (to the ill-timed Rick Ross feature), it’s not for prudes. But whether rap, R&B, or anything else, when the music’s good enough, no one will complain.