Drake — Honestly, Nevermind
Nothing like a Drake surprise-drop-fire-drill to get the thrill going. The rap superstar’s seventh studio album comes less than a year after 2021’s Certified Lover Boy and features Drake’s best slighted moments in a whole new light. He matches his tender singing with a series of jittering electronic productions and manages to throw in some classic Drizzy raps, too. Best of all, this is an album packed with Drake-isms for all your caption needs: “If I come around you, can I be myself”; “Could turn over a new leaf, for my love”; “Winter came, you leave me ‘round my favorite time.”
Kevin Gates — Khaza
A Kevin Gates song is a power statement. The bursting intro to his new album Khaza leaves no questions unanswered—and it’s so loaded with enthused Louisiana energy there’s a chance Kevin Gates caught fire while recording. Gates mixes the pain music (“Hard To Sleep”) with inspirational tunes (“Big Lyfe”). His syrupy singing works in unison with his thumping rap delivery to capture the “spirit of a jaguar” on the mic. We’ve come a long way from his breakout “2 Phones.”
Lakeyah — No Pressure Pt. 1
Whether she’s making feel-good anthems (“I Look Good”) or pulsing fight music (“Mind Yo Business”), Milwaukee rapper Lakeyah strives to send good energy into the world. From IG freestyles to Gangsta Grillz tapes, Lakeyah’s music is rich with rap tradition, while also breaking the mold for women in hip-hop. Her latest drop No Pressure Pt. 1 is a thumping five-pack where Lakeyah shows off her incredible breath control (“Record Straight”) mixed with her ability to make catchy bangers.
Duke Deuce — CRUNKSTAR
Duke Deuce is a CRUNKSTAR and he don’t give a fuck how a motherfucker feel about it. Duke’s undeniable Memphis energy carried 2019’s breakout “Crunk Ain’t Dead” and 2021’s Duke Nukem. A rapper who doesn’t fold, Duke’s newest album features him expanding his sound with more singing, more explosive energy, and sweet, sweet electric guitar riffs. Rico Nasty, Co Cash, Juicy J, and many more lend guest features.
Ambré — 3000°
Ambré is back with silky vibes on new album, 3000°. The songwriter-turned-solo artist first caught my attention with her steamy EP, Pulp. On her latest album, the NOLA artist takes all the textures and details of Pulp and amps them up. “Wild Life…” boasts the specificity that makes a song timeless. The lighter “Superstitious” revels in classic, pining tones. “Imagine a love story that takes place in a city like New Orleans,” the singer shared ahead of the album. “The poetry basically writes itself.”