Fridays mean new music, which for this past week meant new projects from Earl Sweatshirt, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, Ski Mask the Slump God, Key! and Kenny Beats, KAYTRANADA, The Alchemist, DaniLeigh, Larry June, Problem, Peewee Longway, and more. Someone, please help. I’m drowning in music.
In all seriousness, the streaming era is fucking exhausting. Luckily, nothing lifts spirits like wading through the vast ocean and digging up some gems.
Earl Sweatshirt — “Azucar”
“My cushion was a bosom on bad days / There's not a black woman I can't thank.” Earl came back from his musical hiatus with Some Rap Songs, 25 minutes of muffled bars and warped lo-fi, and one of the year’s best albums. As I wrote a few weeks ago, “'Nowhere2go' sounds like a whirlwind of warmth caught midway between our analog world and some digital realm” and I’d like to extend that out to the album as a whole. “Azucar” is my favorite.
Meek Mill — “What’s Free” ft. Rick Ross & JAY-Z
There seems to be an online narrative that Meek Mill is suddenly good, but for anyone who has actually been listening to the embattled Philly rapper for the last decade, the quality of his latest star-studded (if a bit too long) affair, Championships, should come as no surprise. Despite an ill-timed and unnecessary slur from Rozay, “What’s Free” is a true 2018 rap moment: show-stealing verse from Hov, “What’s Beef?” sample, otherwise pristine Ross raps, and impassioned verse from Meek.
KAYTRANADA — “NOTHIN LIKE U” ft. Ty Dolla $ign
My body is ready for a new KAYTRANADA album and hope further work with Ty Dolla $ign is included.
Lil Baby — “Pure Cocaine”
On his third (!) full-length of 2018, a mostly unnecessary project chock full of verses from established vets (Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Offset, Meek Mill, Young Thug), Lil Baby proves he needs no guest to firmly secure all attention.
Key! & Kenny Beats — “Remember Me” ft. Rico Nasty
Sooner or later, Key! and Rico Nasty—who both dropped a grip of acclaimed material with Kenny Beats—would unite over their mutual collaborator's booming production, and it's just as good as expected.
The Alchemist — “Mac 10 Wounds” ft. Conway
Bookended by verses by Roc Marciano, Black Thought, and Earl Sweatshirt, Griselda’s Conway forcefully wrestles the spotlight to himself on Alchemist’s excellent four-track Bread EP with the ice-cold shrug of a career killer. Here are just a few samples:
“Look, I got shot in the helmet, and I ain't feel a thing / Sold crack to my mama and I ain't feel ashamed”
“I'm just here to get the safe from you / If I don't get it then I'ma just take the bone out your face from you”
“I might drop you from the top of your projects, they'll have to scrape up you / Big Dutch and a dick suck what I wake up to / Fifth tuck when the shit buck, it'll break up you”
“Look, I don't fuck with a nigga if we ain't been cool / I ain't got shit for a nigga, but Mac 10 wounds / I spit the illest shit, I vision it before I even pen them sentences, I close my eyes and the pen move”
Obviously, it's one of the hardest songs of the year.
Young M.A — “Bleed”
“It's Young M.A, make sure that M and A is capital / Being broke is a joke that's why I'm never in a laughin' mood.” Not mentioned nearly enough when it comes to New York’s top MCs, Young M.A continues to churn out some of the city's premier rap bangers in the long wait for her official debut.
Ski Mask the Slump God — “Foot Fungus”
Aside from yet another deplorable instance of coleslaw slander, which is delicious and refreshing after a plateful of barbecue or fried foods, “Foot Fungus” is as primed for crossover appeal as a song named “Foot Fungus” could be. Ski Mask is spreading his wings, and makes you wonder why more haven’t tried to interpolate “Drop It Like It’s Hot” yet.
DaniLeigh — “Can’t Relate” ft. YBN Nahmir & YG
Def Jam's hyper-confident rapper, singer, and motivational singer DaniLeigh just dropped her debut album. The Florida artist is flanked by YBN Nahmir and YG on "Can't Relate," an instant standout.
Larry June — “Sausalito”
There is no one rapping about oranges and organic options as much or as well as Larry June.
Album of the Week:
Earl Sweatshirt — Some Rap Songs
Meme of the Week:
Click here to find more songs you need from last week from J.I.D, Armani White, Key Glock, and more.