DRAM Announces His New Album ‘What Had Happened Was’ And Shares Its Release Date

DRAM is back. After experimenting with a name change — I sense some music industry rights issues behind that — the Virginia crooner has returned to the persona that first made him a playlist while carrying over the straight-soul trappings of his last album. Today, he released a new single, “Let Me See Your Phone,” and announced his third studio album, What Had Happened Was, coming on October 27 via Waver Records.

“Let Me See Your Phone” is a slow-burning ballad in the vein of tracks like “Exposure” and “Cooking With Grease” from his 2021 album Shelley FKA DRAM, which should have absolutely killed that tired “R&B is dead” argument in its cradle. The new track is produced by Rory Farrell — that’s right, Rory from the New Rory & Mal Podcast actually makes music too — and finds the Hampton, Virginia native making a plaintive request to confirm his suspicions about a disengaged lover. It’s reminiscent of the Erykah Badu duet “WiFi” from his 2016 debut Big Baby DRAM, only from the perspective of the end of the relationship rather than its potential beginning.

In a press release, DRAM calls What Had Happened Was his most “raw and open album yet.” It’s described as “both a review of personal traumas he had to overcome, and how he’s been able to evolve as a person.” You can pre-save it here, listen to “Let Me See Your Phone” above, and see the tracklist below.

1. “Vibe of the Year”
2. “Ride Or Die”
3. “Wham
4. “3s Company”
5. “Let Me See Your Phone”
6. “Where’s My Sunshine”
7. “Best That I Got”
8. “Can’t Hold You Down”
9. “Bad News”
10. “Angry”
11. “A Mother’s Love”
12. “Note To Self”
13. “Soul to Take”
14. “Big Baby DRAM”
15. “Ppl”
16. “Reflections”
17. “First Time Again”
18. “Wwyd”
19. “Wham (Remix)”