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New Music Friday: 4 albums to stream today

Swedish rapper Jireel kicks off the year with a fourth album, while West Coast producer Myka 9 stuns with restless burst of hip-hop, and Jazmine Sullivan’s long-awaited release is an ode to female empowerment

It’s only been a few days since the beginning of 2021, yet it’s already beginning to feel like a fever dream. As the new strain of coronavirus continues to run laps across Britain, over in America, MAGA rioters are storming the US Capitol and the CIA is disguising itself as a minimal techno night – if its latest rebrand is anything to go by, that is. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are splitting up and TikTok’s convinced it’s because of Jeffree Star, while Denmark has launched a children’s TV show about a man with a giant penis.

While you let that soak in, R&B artist Jazmine Sullivan has dropped her first album in five years. Like the didactic concept albums of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and the visual version of Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Heaux Tales is about “today’s women standing in their power and owning who they are,” as the Philadelphia singer put it in a press release. Spoken-word interludes from six women are followed by songs that flesh them out as character studies to magical effect. Elsewhere, Swedish rap prodigy Jireel drops his fourth studio album, while West Coast producer Myka 9 stuns with a restless burst of off-beat conscious hip-hop on Teleported 2.

JAZMINE SULLIVAN, HEAUX TALES

RAKIYAH, INTO THE COSMOS

JIREEL, 1953

MYKA 9, TELEPORTED 2