Trippie Redd — Trip At Knight
Since breaking through in 2017, Trippie Redd has been one of rap’s most colorful and prolific characters, experimenting with his alt-rap sound across a steady feed of full-length projects. Trip At Knight dials back the sprawl of last year’s Pegasus, which in its final form reached 40 tracks after being expanded to include both “spooky sounds” and a full Travis Barker-presented rock album. The album’s production rides a high of stabbing, neon synths, and frizzled 808 jabs, and includes posthumous features from Juice WRLD and XXXTENTACION. Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Polo G, Lil Durk, Ski Mask the Slump God, SoFaygo, Babyface Ray, Sada Baby, and Icewear Vezzo round out the guest list.
Oxlade — Eclipse
Oxlade has wielded his undeniable voice to the forefront of Nigeria’s new guard. A run of standout singles and collaborations led to a breakout 2020 smash in “AWAY” and its accompanying OXYGENE EP, while “DKT” followed a few months later. “Ojuju,” his much-anticipated first single of 2021, set the stage for another filler-free EP from the Afro-fusion singer. Eclipse’s four tracks are produced by veteran Nigerian producer Coublon.
Shaybo — Queen of the South
“I don’t catch feelings, I lack empathy.” Queen of the South is an apt moniker for Shaybo, who rattles off crippling of would-be suitors and rivals so casually the only recourse is to get laughed out of the room. The Nigeria-born, South London-raised rapper is influenced by Nicki Minaj, evident from her colorful punchlines and outsized personality. Her long-awaited debut project adds versatility to her verbal assaults as she stretches her vocal range, sound, and subject matter.
Amaria — Bittersweet
Listening to Amaria can feel like stumbling into an intimate venue and basking in the warmth of velvet and incense smoke. Though her sound is seductively low-key, The Tampa, Florida-based R&B artist captures the space and ambiance of a live performance, her airy vocals floating above the room. Amaria only released her first song a little over a year ago, but her debut EP Bittersweet is intoxicating, languid to the point of hypnosis in all the best ways.
Butch Dawson — Stardust
Rapper, producer, director, Telfar model—Butch Dawson does it all. The 27-year-old artist is a veteran of Baltimore’s underground scene, garnering attention for an experimental sound blending hip-hop and punk. Stardust is his first major-label release and third project since 2018. The seven-track EP includes payday anthem and Re-Upped single “Get Money,” along with other minimal, industrial bangers like “Hummer” and “Sutter Home.”
Read more about Butch Dawson in our 10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now column.