Alicia Keys has never fallen short of creating beautiful, emotional, and vulnerable art for her fans. So when the singer announced her new album Here
last night and called it her "most raw and honest creation yet," we knew we were in for a treat. With the first single, "Blended Family (What You Do For Love)," released with the announcement last night, we got just that. The heartfelt track is dedicated to Kasseem Dean, Jr., the son of Keys' husband Swizz Beatz and R&B singer Mashonda. Keys speaks about the nature of her "blended family" and celebrates the work that she, her husband, and the child's mother have put into creating a loving environment. The verses play like what may be a bedtime story - gentle, almost spoken lyrics over a gentle beat accented with guitar and piano. And the chorus brings us classic Alicia Keys, belting out her message "it may not be easy, this blended family, but baby, that's what you do for love." You can hear the pure joy in her voice; you can feel a powerful love coursing through this song. Check out what Keys said about the song on her Instagram.
A$AP Rocky also contributes a short verse - a testament to all kinds of extended and blended families. Rocky even puts a spin on a famed Tupac rhyme from "Keep Ya Head Up": the original "I give a holla to my sisters on welfare, 2Pac cares if don't nobody else care" is flipped into "shoutout to my sisters on welfare, Flacko care if nobody else care." After Rocky's verse, Keys belts out one last hook and a fading outro.
It's a feel-good song at it's core, but the kind that could make you cry all the same. With honest, emotional music like this coming out, Alicia Keys is definitely giving us something to look forward to with Here
. The upcoming album, which will be out November 4th, will be the first from Keys since 2012's Girl on Fire
. It still seems unknown whether her other 2016 releases, "In Common," "Hallelujah," and "Back to Life" will appear on Here
. Regardless, we're excited to hear more from Keys and fellow superstars like A$AP Rocky soon. Listen to "Blended Family (What You Do For Love)" above. And here's the beautiful album announcement from Instagram.