DMX — Exodus
DMX was born Earl Simmons in Yonkers, New York. His life was chaotic, and he channeled that energy into some of the rawest rap music ever created. He rode a volatile amalgam of the sacred and the profane to the peak of success. His legacy was cemented long before his fifth straight number-one album, yet the odds always seemed stacked against him, addiction and legal troubles ever-present.
According to Swizz Beatz, Exodus, DMX’s first posthumous release and eighth album, fully realizes its author’s vision. “Every song on that album, he was here for,” Swizz, who handled nearly all the production and brought the project to the finish line after the rapper’s tragic early passing in April, told GQ. Arriving nine years after its predecessor, Exodus features fellow rap icons (JAY-Z, Nas, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg), newcomers (Moneybagg Yo, Griselda), and one last, bittersweet look into the mind of one of hip-hop’s most tragic heroes.
Natanael Cano — A Mis 20
Regional Mexican music has seen an uptick in popularity over the last couple of years, powered by young artists mixing the genre’s traditional sounds with influences from música urbana, hip-hop, and more. Sonora, Mexico native Natanael Cano has been at the forefront of the hybrid style dubbed “corridos tumbados,” or “trap corridos,” through a steady stream of releases that have put him on the level of streaming popularity of Latin peers like Bad Bunny and Ozuna. A Mis 20 is the sophomore solo album from the singer-guitarist and breakout star of the Rancho Humilde label.
Skillibeng — The Prodigy: Ladies Only Edition
Breaking through with his 2019 money-stacking anthem “Brik Pan Brik,” Skillibeng has since become arguably the hottest name in dancehall. Two even bigger singles—“Crocodile Teeth” and “Coke”—have cemented his rise, and the former received a further international boost with a Nicki Minaj remix. The Jamaican artist’s latest project is a “Ladies Only” edition of his 2020 album The Prodigy, paring down its predecessor’s daunting 35 tracks to a slightly more manageable 21. The project sees an official, tracked-out release after its mixtape incarnation dropped earlier this month, while Skilli sets his sights on lust and sex alongside fellow rising dancehall star Projexx, US rappers Rich The Kid and Jay Critch, and more.
Mereba — AZEB
Mereba’s music floats and swirls through space like incense smoke. AZEB, her new EP, titled after the ATL-bred, LA-based singer-songwriter’s middle name, is meant to be a guiding light out of darkness and arrives two years after the release of her full-length major label debut, The Jungle Is the Only Way Out. Its seven tracks are a healing balm of lush and soulful R&B.
wifisfuneral — Smoking Mirrors
wifisfuneral has proven to be one of the most consistent artists to emerge from South Florida’s underground rap of the late ‘10s, refining and expanding his brooding style across a steadily-growing catalog of projects. Production-wise, the Smoking Mirrors EP spans the gruff 808s of JetsonMade and Harry Fraud’s unpolished boom-bap, while wifisfuneral works through various flows across seven tracks.