Seven years after the release of her debut album, Cassie has dropped her first proper follow up with a mixtape called RockaByeBaby.
The mixtape is filled with features from some major hip hop heavyweights, including Pusha T, Rick Ross, Fabolous, and even Too $hort.
But the rappers are an afterthought on RockaByeBaby – this is Cassie's tape and she proves why she's still the queen of icy R&B.
"Numb," featuring Rick Ross
"Numb," featuring Rick Ross is a gem (no thanks to the Boss, who just phones in a boring and essentially pointless verse), and a reminder that Cassie was dominating icy deadpan well before Rihanna. "I make music to numb your brain (numb...numb...numb)," she sings over dark, rumbly synths made by Toronto producer Ncadastre. Cassie's crystal-clear monotone is detached but sweet, the perfect counter to the nightmarish, hazy production.
There's a tension between Cassie's vocals and her production; her songs aren't melodically accessible like "Super Bass;" you'd probably have a hard time singing along to it in your car. That feeling of distance and unease from the music is part of what makes the record so intriguing – it's arresting, musically complex.
Cassie first announced that she'd begun work on her mixtape and album on Twitter last July, acknowledging the many delays and false starts that her music had endured over the past several years.
But although her second album has been delayed, leaked, and tossed out many times, girl hasn't been completely out of the game.