Editors’ Notes The title of Eric Bellinger’s Saved by the Bellinger could simply be a case of nostalgia-driven wordplay, but it’s more likely an allusion to the LA-based singer and songwriter’s penchant for helping R&B stars like Usher, Chris Brown, and Trey Songz uphold their respective reigns. Though Bellinger has in recent years made a name for himself as a focus artist, his track record—and latest project—prove almost counterproductively that he will always be someone our faves can call on. Saved by the Bellinger sort of splits the difference between his roles, showcasing an ability to build earworms from various origins. He dabbles effortlessly in Afrobeats (“Delicious AF”), hard-line flexing (“Champagne”), and trap-production-descendent R&B (“On My Back”), sounding like what we love to hear in the club, delivered by a voice fans of his more celebrated collaborators might not recognize. The respective vibes are familiar, but their author has yet to break in the way he deserves. Almost any of these songs would be hits if released by more established artists, but will they be for Bellinger? The answer is almost beside the point, because the kid is going to get his money either way.