We've done it. We've officially reached the end of Kanye's five-album run of album releases and Wyoming's biggest-ever moment in the hip-hop spotlight, and we can finally take a deep breath and relax (and rank all 36 songs, of course).
Along with Teyana Taylor's maybe-not-even-finished new album, it was a good week for music fans, complete with a surprise drop from Freddie Gibbs, 51 minutes of grimy opulence from Westside Gunn, and a score of excellent singles to listen to during an overload of Drake think pieces in preparation for Scorpion.
So, like we do it every Tuesday, here are the 10 Songs You Need This Week, your weekly distillation of music's unfettered blast of newness.
Freddie Gibbs — “Automatic”
As the wait for Bandana stretches on, Gangsta Gibbs has blessed us with Freddie, a 10-track sprint which has all of the jovial enthusiasm and (outside of a brief, fuck-focused interlude) none of the tenderness its Teddy P-inspired cover art might possibly indicate. Kenny Beats—in the midst of a creative hot streak—powers half the tracklist, none as bluntly menacing as “Automatic.”
Teyana Taylor — “Hurry” ft. Kanye West
You mean to tell me that someone rapped “Jimmy Neutron” with “Jimmy Choos on” and it wasn’t Kanye?
Westside Gunn — “Brutus” ft. Benny & Conway
Westside Gunn’s music plays like a weed nap in front of a broken TV set—surreal, restless, winding through a sedated maze of fuzzy wrestling sound bites, dusty vocal loops stretched to their decipherable limits, an onslaught of demented yelps, grunts, and machine-gun barks, and uncompromising raps from a madman with a taste for high-end streetwear and naming projects after murderers. Gunn usually sounds best trying to outrap fellow Griselda goons Benny and Conway, and “Brutus”—laced by Pete Rock—is proof.
Skepta & Wizkid — “Energy (Stay Far Away)”
Two of Drake’s most admired mans link up to dispel bad energy and it sounds beautifully triumphant.
Peter CottonTale — “Forever Always” ft. Rex Orange County, Chance The Rapper, Daniel Caesar, Madison Ryann Ward & YEBBA
“Forever Always” is soulful enough to warrant writing out all of the names of the artists involved.
Buddy — “Hey Up There” ft. Ty Dolla $ign
I refuse to believe Ty Dolla $ign could be tapped for a guest verse and not create magic.
Meek Mill — “Stay Woke” ft. Miguel
All eyes have been on Meek since his release from prison, and “Stay Woke” lives up to expectations as a thoughtful outpouring of critiques of a system broken on all sides.
Bas — “Boca Raton” ft. A$AP Ferg
I hadn't quite penciled in Bas as a supplier of tropical summer anthems to be paired with pool parties and Patron, but I'll take it. Music never fails to surprise.
Yung Bans & Gunna — “Easter Pink”
Yung Bans floats with Gunna, who has been on an absolute tear in 2018.
Yhung T.O. — “Referee” ft. DaBoii
Yhung T.O.'s silky melodies and DaBoii's raspy aggression over an addictive Hi-Five sample. More heat from SOB X RBE.
Album of the Week:
Westside Gunn — Supreme Blientele