Juice WRLD — Fighting Demons
The late, great Juice WRLD made a career of openly battling his demons. Hits like “Lucid Dreams” and “All Girls Are The Same” propelled his rise, while 2018’s Goodbye & Good Riddance made him into a mainstay. His sophomore album Death Race For Love expanded his sonic palette even further. Losing Juice was a blow to the emo-rap landscape, and to hip-hop overall—his first posthumous release Legends Never Die telegraphed the sheer magnitude of what we lost. Just a few days past his second death anniversary, the estate released Fighting Demons, Juice’s second posthumous album. It’s a bittersweet moment where we gather to remember Juice WRLD’s unbridled talent and wonder what could have been.
Seyi Shay — Big Girl
Seyi Shay has been in the entertainment industry for two decades—working in acting as well as music professionally since 14. The London-born singer-songwriter has secured critical acclaim in the form of Headie Awards and released her debut album Seyi Or Shay in 2015. Today, Seyi Shay returns with Big Girl, a sublime 12-track project fusing Afropop with R&B. After years of cutting her teeth on the touring circuit, at one point touring with Beyoncé, Seyi sounds paid up and swimming in luxury. Her flaunts feel welcoming like we’re just on the cusp of getting to the same lifestyle. Features include Backroad Gee, Simi, Wande Coal, Yemi Alade, and more.
Hotboii — Life Of A Hotboii
Hotboii turns pain into fuel. The Florida rapper blew up in 2020 with “Don’t Need Time” and his two projects Kut Da Fan On and Double O Baby, the latter his major label debut. Greatly inspired by Future (who features on previously released “Nobody Special”), the longtime Audiomack favorite delivers hyperrealistic and melodic takes on his life in the trenches—the losses and triumphs that come with his lifestyle. His latest Life Of A Hotboii features 42 Dugg, Moneybagg Yo, Lil Tjay, and more. “I hope to inspire anybody who’s been down, feeling depressed,” he said last year. “I hope my music uplifts others. I hope my music does the right things for people.”
2KBABY — First Quarter
2KBABY moved to Atlanta from Louisville, scored a viral hit in “Old Streets,” nabbed influence Lil Durk on the remix, and dropped his 2020 debut Pregame Rituals all while remaining true to his flavor of pain music. Re-Upped single “Luigi” teased First Quarter, which takes the melodic and aching sound 2KBABY is known for and amps up the streetwise charisma bubbling beneath Pregame Rituals’ surface. From the classic sample to cheeky writing, “Postman” is 2K at his most starry-eyed. “Something On My Mind” sees 2K tapping into his loverboy status, too. It’s a varied project, all held together by the syrupy quality of 2KBABY’s voice.
Mach-Hommy — Balens Cho
After releasing a must-hear album in Pray For Haiti this May, Mach-Hommy returned with Balens Cho. Known for his prolific nature and stamping deliveries, Balens Cho sees Mach stepping into a melodic-for-him light, with him taking on hook duty with half-sung bars about getting out the mud. Closer “SELF LUH” features some of Mach’s most measured bars to date, making Balens Cho a distinct set-piece for anyone looking to discover more about the interior world of the enigmatic rapper.