K CAMP — FLOAT
“I ain’t never been on Ellen or Jimmy Fallon, but I’m locked-in in the culture dealing with this madness.” For over a decade, K CAMP has been one of Atlanta’s most consistent and underrated voices. He’s dropped at least one project every year since 2011, racking up 90 million streams on Audiomack alone, and hits whose Billboard peaks belie their cultural impact (“Lottery,” “Comfortable,” “Cut Her Off”). True to its name, FLOAT often leans on easygoing bliss, whether it’s the gentle guitar strums of “Tables Turn” and “Rare Film” or the dreamy melodics of “Privacy” and “Rain On Your Skin.” Per usual, K CAMP comes through with an addictive blend of rap and R&B for the club and the afterparty.
Rio Da Yung OG & RMC Mike — Dum N Dumbber 3
Rio Da Yung OG and RMC Mike are two world-class shit-talkers with innate chemistry and a compulsion to outdo one another when it comes to saying the most outrageous and offensive shit possible; think Jadakiss and Styles P with lean habits and degenerative sexual kinks. On Dum N Dumbber 3, the two Flint, MI rappers go bar-for-bar across 14 breakneck tracks, Mike’s grizzled bark the perfect foil for Rio’s matter-of-fact smugness. #FreeRio.
Boldy James & The Alchemist — Bo Jackson
Despite a renaissance year in 2020 for Boldy James that saw four albums released to critical acclaim, the Detroit rapper’s worldview remains bleak and suspicious. “Maybe if I wasn’t in the street full-time, woulda been signed,” he raps on “Flight Risk” without a trace of bitterness or yearning. To be fair, last year’s brightened spotlight wasn’t a result of him expanding outward but rather digging deeper into his sound and refining his no-frills formula. Bo Jackson, like Price of Tea in China, is a full-length collaboration with producer The Alchemist, whose fractured psychedelia is the perfect canvas for the Detroit rapper’s cold, calculated precision. Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y, Earl Sweatshirt, Benny the Butcher, Roc Marciano, and Stove God Cooks round out the guest list.
Chavo & Pi’erre Bourne — Chavo’s World 2
Chavo enjoys the finer things in life: Runtz and lemonade, a woman with an attitude to match his own, packs in the mail. The Atlanta-based rapper is signed to Pi’erre Bourne’s Sosshouse label, and Pi’erre blesses his collective with the zany beats and continuous listening experience of his own projects. Chavo’s World 2 includes “American Deli,” a collab with Chavo’s younger sister Coi Leray, and remixes two of the rapper’s standouts, “Michigan” and “Had a Feeling,” adding verses from Babyface Ray and Bourne, respectively. It’s further proof of the synergy that exists between artist and producer.
Kevin Holliday — OMNI
“stank but beautiful.” Kevin Holliday’s social media bio is an apt description of OMNI, his new EP, and your late-summer soundtrack. On it, the Brooklyn-based artist captures the sweat, heat, and euphoria of dusk, when afternoon sun melts into night moves. In his 2020 Bubbling interview, Holliday told Audiomack, “I wanna be the type of artist where people look back on a generation, and they’re just like, ‘Yo, like, this person was pivotal in this movement. They started this sound.’” With OMNI, his blend of funk, pop, indie, punk, R&B, and more takes a big leap forward.