Ed Sheeran is no stranger to the Billboard top 100 chart or the rap community. With his latest album he checks off both boxes by collaborating with various rap, pop and R&B artists.
Sheeran has had a quiet two years after the release of his previous album, “Divide.” Earlier this year he teased the name of this project without much else in terms of background information. He even released a picture of the track list, but blurred out the features, opting to keep fans in suspense.
It was only until about a few weeks before the album release that the entire track list was released with the features shown visibly. This added more hype to the already heavily anticipated album. A few singles later, and here we are with Sheeran’s latest album, “No.6 Collaborations Project.”
Sheeran has always been a particularly unique face in the world of pop music, as he toes the line between indie and pop with ease. He also has the special talent of singing at a high pace that reminds one of rapping, but it is still singing. Nowadays, this form of composition is widely recognized, but the Suffolk native did his part to move the needle as well.
The album itself is tremendous. The features are perfectly-placed and very well-performed. Each song seems like its in its own different room within a large, sprawling mansion. The album doesn’t seem to have a consistent theme, which is great for a collaborative album. This could be heard on last week’s “Revenge of the Dreamers III,” which debuted at No. 1. One song can have you feeling the urge to get up and dance, while another makes you want to relax and chill.
The versatility of this album not only is accredited to Sheeran but to all of the featured artists who were willing to venture outside of their own specific genre. The album is a testament to the brave, passionate and renaissance-like era of music that we are currently flourishing in.
Features on this album include: Khalid, Camilla Cabello, Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, Young Thug, J Hus, PnB Rock, Stormzy, YEBBA, Justin Beiber, Eminem, 50 Cent, London’s Ella Mai, Paulo Londra, H.E.R., Meek Mill, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Skrillex, Chris Stapleton and Bruno Mars.
1) “I Don’t Want Your Money” – ft. H.E.R.
“I Don’t Want Your Money” plays like a classic R&B song ripped straight out of the early 2000s. A song about love and not wanting to love for any other reason, H.E.R. puts on a vocal showcase throughout the entirety of the song that is matched by Sheeran’s consistently-effortless lyricism and harmonization. H.E.R.’s chorus is as catchy as a chorus can be. Combine that with a wonderful stretch of song filled with the sounds of a big brass band and you’ve got a summer classic. The entire song has a sort of merengue feel to it — like something you would hear at a festival or an amusement park.
2) “Cross Me” – Ft. Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock
“Cross Me” has somewhat of a nightclub vibe to it. The beat sounds like something you would hear during a night out on the town. The lyrics from Sheeran show just how tight he is with his significant other, and why you should not even attempt to try her. The verse from Chance the Rapper is further praise to his wife Kristen Corley, whom he consistently posts with on social media. His warning is very specific, detailing that his wife can handle herself physically, and you should definitely treat her with the highest level of respect possible.
3) “I Don’t Care” – ft. Justin Bieber
“I Don’t Care” has a very simple premise, an introverted couple is at a party that they don’t exactly fit into. Even though they do not fit in, as long as they have each other the loud craziness of a party cannot distract them from each other. This song has a beautiful story that is very catchy with a great chorus.
4) “Remember the Name” – ft. Eminem & 50 Cent
“Remember the Name” is Sheeran reflecting on his rise to the top and how he made fools out of all his doubters by getting people to “remember his name.” Eminem’s verse does much of the same — reflecting and acknowledging that while so many people want him to retire, he will not. 50 Cent’s verse is simply him talking his talk and providing us with a classic 50 verse to remind us that he is still here, even without releasing singles every other week.