Alicia Keys Debuts New Song ‘Not Even A King’

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    Alicia Keys MTV Upfront TheLavaLizard
    Alicia Keys performs a new song at MTV Upfront.

    Alicia Keys has been working on the followup to her ‘Element of Freedom’ since 2010 so it was only a matter of time before we heard some of her new material. Indeed, the singer hit the stage at MTV Upfront last evening and debut a new song called ‘Not Even A King’.

    Belting from behind her trusty piano, Keys shared ‘Not Even A King’ for the first time with the Beacon Theatre crowd. There is still no word regarding when she will release her new album, if the song will be issued as a single or if her playmate Mariah Carey will be a part of the project.

    Watch Keys perform ‘Not Even A King’ below:

    Honestly, what makes ‘Not Even A King’ different from every other Keys song since 2007? This tune could have easily fit in on ‘As I Am’ or ‘The Element of Freedom’ so it’s difficult to see how her experiences of marriage or motherhood inspired artistic growth.

    With R&B currently being in a very unfavourable position, Keys needs to push herself to try new sounds. Of course, by that I don’t mean copy Sade’s catalogue and claim that it is  something innovative.

    Thanks Hip-Hop N More!

    Thoughts?

    • B

      It was a live performance, how do you know the song does not have a ‘different sound’. At least wait till you hear the studio version to pass judgement.

      Lets support artists who actually take the time to write their music, not dismiss them from a live performance which is not even the full song anyway.

    • B

      why should she dramatically change her sound anyway? She’s still the most consistent R&B singer and although her sales were down in the US, the last album she’s still went platinum with ease and went 3x Platinum in the UK.

      Artists like MARIAH CAREY (who i love) should be evaluating their sound because SHE in particular is not selling in the US let alone anywhere else in the world.

      Trent stop downing artists who pose a threat to Mariah and stop transparently praising artists who are flops because they are no threat to her.

    • Girrrl

      I don’t care what Alicia sings about at this point. She needs voice lessons or I’m not buying the album. How did her voice deteriorate so much? And what the hell was she singing about. I’m over the cliche lyrics.

    • LOL, Trent I’m new to your site and all, I love your commentary! But you ain’t gonna try my girl! LOL! nah but I feel you, not sure if this new song will sound differently on the album, if it makes it to the album, but I am excited for Alicia, been a fan since day one. She tried switchin up her style some with that failed Put It In A Love Song track, lol, but she’s still my girl. I like the lane she’s in, but I do too want her to experiment more. yes this song sounds like it could have been on As I Am! Yet, I’m anxiously waiting for the new album, I hope she taps into motherhood and marriage as artistic inspiration, but who knows. Good work sir, keep it up! 🙂

    • DRB

      It has nothing to do with Alicia being a threat to Mariah…which she isn’t. She’s been doing the same thing for so long now, you have to change it up and evolve or people become ambivalent. Doing the same shit and then a replacement comes along is why artists lose their popularity and only last for up to 7 years in general.

      R&B is dead b/c they ran it into the grown doing the same thing and no one came with anything innovative. It can be revived if it takes on a new life and becomes fresh again.

      She doesn’t need to lose who she is but she needs a new sound. Mariah does too for various reasons. *Insert R&B chick barely hanging on*

      Her last album did ok but it underperformed and the next one will too if she doesn’t bring it, remind people why she is who she is and bring in new fans. I have my few AK albums that I (mostly) love, I need another incarnation of them. Great music should stand on its own, not in the shadow of what you’ve already done and moved past.

    • DRB

      *I don’t need another incarnation and rehash of those albums*

    • DOMOdotSCORE

      I will wait to hear the studio version before I judge it fully. It sounds alright, nothing special.

      In regards to Alicia experimenting with her sound, I believe that every artist needs to change it up after a while so that the audience doesn’t become jaded. It will be great to hear Alicia step out of her comfort zone.

    • Emanuel

      The lyrics are so beautiful and so much more mature. In terms of the music and it’s sound, bear in mind that alicia is the type of artist who will always make songs that she can play on the piano; it’s who she is. But I’m sure that the music she is creating now is dynamic and able to be played many different ways, as almost all of her songs are. “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” is a perfect example of how dynamic her sound is. The studio version sounds completely different from the version she performed on tour which could have easily been a hit in the dance scene. The song had a few different acoustic versions which were both beautiful.

      Alicia has always been a musician with a broad mind and musical taste. I have no doubt that the music she creating now will travel and trascend. It’s more of an issue of marketing, how will she execute this project and truly connect it to the masses…

    • larry

      i like this alot!! Lyrically its very different, something similar to her prior work. who knows it could be better with track!

    • Aye Britt

      She is so boring now. She needs to just stop and become a motivational speaker (shaded intended) and a marriage counselor to couple experience difficulties within their marriage (shade intended)

    • Marie

      This probaly isn’t even a single so calm down folks! You can’t judge a whole album off of ONE SONG.

    • meaningful <3

    • I love Alicia. I just think this is an acapella version. Probably there’s more beats on te studio album, anyway… She doesn’t sound so fresh but THANK the lord someone is singing. The game is just her, Adele and just a few others now. I mean singers, NO GagLo Rihspears or Keshit Perrys

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    • Donavan

      I don’t care what she sells. She’s rich. just keep making that timeless music. Next you’ll claim bob marley should have done some thrash metal to switch it up! We will still be playing her albums 20 and 30 years from now. If she wisely avoids music fashions.