After six long years, Christina Aguilera is coming back with a whole new vibe on “Accelerate,” her newest single and accompanying video, released May 3 off of an upcoming June 15 album.
Grammy-winning artist Aguilera, perhaps best known for classics like “Genie in a Bottle,” Mulan‘s “Reflection” and “Dirrty” (not to mention her later-era hits like “Ain’t No Other Man” and collaborations like “Lady Marmalade”) has been busy over the past few years as a coach on The Voice, grooming other wannabe stars for the spotlight. But no longer. “Accelerate,” featuring rappers Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz, is a major reintroduction that leans heavily hip-hop. It was produced by Kanye West and is a stylistic pivot from much of the pop she’s focused on creating over her career; in a Billboard interview, she explained that her whole new era will draw more from R&B and hip-hop influences.
“Accelerate, c’mon babe, pick up your speed,” she sing-raps over a spare beat. “Stamina, fill me up, that’s what I need.” Ty Dolla $ign assists on the chorus, while 2 Chainz gets a verse to himself. It’s a song that’s constantly switching it up, from the backing beat to the foregrounded vocals. The moody, stylized music video shows off Aguilera in minimal makeup and slicked-back platinum hair — a departure from her previous mode of full-on glamor.
This is just the first taste of Liberation, which includes 15 tracks with features from Demi Lovato and Keida and Shenseea. Aguilera executive produced it herself.