Strick — The Machine, Vol. 3
From the Air Force to the booth, Strick’s loose music is a byproduct of an intense self-discipline. There are a handful of inflection points in the artist’s career—signing to YSL, dropping Strick Land with some massive features, releasing “Nelly Furtado.” The Machine, Vol. 3 is the most recent upswing for Strick. A tape packed with trap hits (“Gucci Stroller” and “Bag Talk” are particularly sticky), when Strick says he’s made it, you believe him. “Not only is it the last installment of one of my first mixtape series but it also symbolizes the growth I’ve made over the years as a recording artist,” Strick shared ahead of the tape.
Muni Long — Public Displays of Affection Too
Muni Long went from celebrated songwriter to chart-topping solo artist thanks to years of grinding and the success of Re-Upped single “Hrs and Hrs” from her EP Public Displays of Affection. Now, it’s time for the sequel in Public Displays of Affection Too. These five tracks feature Muni Long’s mesmerizing singing, punchy writing, and classic productions. “Baby Boo” with Saweetie feels like a giddy summertime love, while slow-paced closer “Cartier” slinks and coils before the punchline.
Ibraah — The King Of New School
Tanzanian musician Ibraah releases his debut album on Harmonize’s label, The King Of New School. The album blends Afropop and Bongo Flava, with features from Maud Elka, L.A.X, Waje, and more. Easy-listening “Kusudi” and “Wanita” contrast nicely against the uptempo “Duveti” and “Body.” Each record flows into the next and you don’t feel the full hour-long runtime. With this album, Ibraah continues to establish himself as a crucial player in East Africa’s musical canon.
Highway — Highway
Seattle-born rapper Highway takes big swings with his music, going for sweeping emotions overtop evocative beats. On his self-titled album Highway, he takes the emotional fringes of 2021’s The Way and makes them more concise and approachable. There is no meandering on this album—every feeling lands and reverberates from song to song. Re-Upped single “Next Weekend” shows the rapper taking risks with his flow. “2009Muttering” is a slurred interlude planted early in the tracklist to make Highway’s intentions clear: he’s gonna be hurt for a little while longer.
Shoy & UCLÃ — Rico Bem Novin
Brazilian trap is effortlessly fly. Rapper Shoy’s debut work with label and collective UCLÃ—which stands for Unindo Culturas Liricamente Argumentando, which translates from Portuguese as a doctrine to “unite cultures” with lyrics—on Rico Bem Novin continues to codify Brazil’s rap scene. These songs are sinister and hard. They creep up and feel like a bad trip you don’t want to escape. “When you throw feeling into the lyrics, it also becomes real for those who are listening,” Shoy shares with the album release.