This Thing Called Life by August Alsina on Apple Music

15 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s depth to August Alsina’s R&B. Informed by personal struggle—he lost his brother in a 2010 shooting, underwent surgery to stave off a serious eye condition, and fell into a coma after collapsing on stage—his second album injects some rugged, hard-earned attitude to his gorgeous croon and glossy hooks. “Job” bristles with intent and “Why I Do It” is a Lil Wayne-assisted raised middle finger, while “Hip Hop” rolls through with menace. But his soulful instincts remain undimmed. The entrancing “Dreamer” is a bittersweet paean to his adolescence and “The Encore” finishes an arresting album on a joyful, triumphant note.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There’s depth to August Alsina’s R&B. Informed by personal struggle—he lost his brother in a 2010 shooting, underwent surgery to stave off a serious eye condition, and fell into a coma after collapsing on stage—his second album injects some rugged, hard-earned attitude to his gorgeous croon and glossy hooks. “Job” bristles with intent and “Why I Do It” is a Lil Wayne-assisted raised middle finger, while “Hip Hop” rolls through with menace. But his soulful instincts remain undimmed. The entrancing “Dreamer” is a bittersweet paean to his adolescence and “The Encore” finishes an arresting album on a joyful, triumphant note.

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About August Alsina

R&B singer August Alsina spent the first several years of his life in New Orleans, Louisiana, but his mother moved his family to Houston, Texas to gain distance from the troubled lives led by his crack-addicted father and stepfather. In 2007, as a young teenager, Alsina uploaded covers of songs by Musiq Soulchild and Lyfe Jennings, which racked up thousands of views on YouTube. His home situation deteriorated, and he moved back to New Orleans, where he turned to dealing drugs. The shooting death of his brother was a wake-up call; motivated to develop his talent as a singer, he moved to Atlanta, Georgia and recorded a 2012 mixtape, The Product, which featured Lloyd on the track "Sucka."

Early in 2013, Alsina released "I Luv This Shit" as the first single from his second mixtape, The Product 2. An EP, Downtown: Life Under the Gun, followed in August 2013. "I Luv This Shit" subsequently peaked at number 13 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart and crossed into the Hot 100, where it reached number 48. Alsina's proper debut album, Testimony, was released in April 2014. It featured appearances from Rick Ross, Pusha T, and Fabolous, and reached number two on the overall albums chart. The same year, he was hospitalized for seizures and was diagnosed with degenerative eye disease, but he continued to record. This Thing Called Life, his second proper album, was released in December 2015.

Over the next year, Alsina stayed largely quiet, briefly popping up as a guest on DJ Khaled's "Do You Mind" single. In 2017, he reemerged with "Drugs," the lead single off his third full-length album of the same name. Tentatively slated for release in August of that year, Drugs also features the singles "Lonely" and "Wait." ~ Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    New Orleans, LA
  • BORN
    Sep 3, 1992

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