After a three-year break, Jennifer Lopez has returned with a new album, A.K.A. Although her hiatus was relatively brief (she has released 10 albums in 15 years, after all), a fair amount has changed. For one, female pop music has lost some of its gloss thanks to Beyoncé’s recent self-titled album, which was lush and dark and avoided the cheesiness that often comes with the genre’s big-name releases. Another change is that J.Lo is 44, which is ancient in pop years. Judging by her cover story in Billboard, that change hasn’t affected her much physically. But, some thought that it would lead to a more mature and sparse record.
Instead, we get an album cover with a vampire dominatrix on it and a track listing packed full of rappers. In fact, there are an astounding 8 songs on A.K.A. that include guest features from MCs. XXL decided to review those songs using our ranking system to see how they hold up.—Reed Jackson