English singer-songwriter and musician Ed Sheeran is back in action with his newest release “No. 6 Collaborations Project.” His new compilation features several guest artists including Cardi B. Eminem, Stormzy, Chance the Rapper, 50 Cent and more. While some critics claim it’s an obvious attempt at a crossover into hip-hop, others see it as a worthy attempt to expand his horizons. This is due, in part, to his relatively recent marriage.
Here are some highlights of this guest-laden release. The lead-in is ‘Beautiful People.’ It features Khalid and is just catchy enough to make it on the charts.
While ‘South of the Border,’ featuring Cardi B and Camila Cabello, initially seems odd in its Latin-pop fashion, the accompanying race play capriciously addresses the obvious elephant in the room. Sheeran digs black music and wants everyone to know. ‘Cross Me,’ includes Chance the Rapper and a memorable hook derived from a sampling of PnB Rock’s popular 2017 XXL Freshman cypher.
One of the best collaborations is ‘Take Me Back to London’ which caught grime star Stormzy at his greatest notoriety in a reference to his Glastonbury gig. There’s also ‘I Don’t Care’ which was chosen as an early single. It includes an appearance by fellow newlywed Justin Bieber and the dancehall rhythms similar to those from Sheeran’s 2017 work. Overall, the PR push Sheeran is getting from this new ambitious audio effort overflowing with esteemed musical guests undoubtedly adds another facet to all of his folk, pop and rap routines.