Megan Thee Stallion — Traumazine
Megan Thee Stallion posted a definition for “traumazine” on Instagram on August 4: “the chemical released in the brain when it is forced to deal with painful emotions caused by traumatic events and experiences,” leading to fans speculating on if a Meg album was on the horizon. Today, the Good News follow-up, Megan’s sophomore album, lands. Preceded by singles “Plan B” and “Pressurelicious,” this album is a rowdy display of Megan’s stomping energy. With Traumazine, Meg proves once again she perseveres through everything.
Rod Wave — Beautiful Mind
Florida bluesman Rod Wave returns with his fourth studio album, Beautiful Mind. The #UpNow artist teased the record with “Stone Rolling” and “Alone,” a pair of singles where the rapper plumbs the depths of his pain: “No more love means no more lies.” Rod Wave’s bleeding heart is the center of Beautiful Mind, from the pulpy imagery on “Pieces” to the ballad “Never Find Us.” When it comes to matters of the heart, betrayal, and general purpose sadness, Rod Wave remains at the apex.
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Young Nudy — EA Monster
After dropping two albums in 2021, Young Nudy returns as the EA Monster. The East Atlanta rapper’s surprise release continues his streak of suspending himself in a state of bass and streetwise lyrics. These 11 songs pack in productions from frequent collaborator Pi’erre Bourne, acting as a distressed playground for Nudy to bounce between elastic flows. From crumbly declarations (“Impala”) to plodding threats (“No Chaser”), EA Monster spans the best of Young Nudy. “When I go in the booth, I evolve–I turn into a rapper,” Nudy shared with Audiomack World in 2021.
King OT — Wisdom and Knowledge
King OT is a fast-rising Nigerian artist who broke in 2021 with his smash hit single, “Shameful.” The single featured King OT’s off-kilter flow, which lends itself to anthemic chants and earwormy verses and hooks. His debut project Wisdom and Knowledge packs the street edge of “Shameful,” mixing it with introspective tunes (“Nobi Competition”) and production helmed largely by Barmy Beats, who handled singles “Wicked & Evil” and “Real Men.”
Chris Patrick — X-Files
Chris Patrick raps from the heart. The New Jersey native left a job at Best Buy to pursue a rap career full-time during the height of the pandemic. “I was at the job with an AirPod in one ear trying to write to beats,” Patrick shared with Audiomack World in late 2020. Since then, the rapper has bolstered a dedicated fanbase and on August 10, he released his sophomore album X-Files. The album is deeply personal and self-aware, particularly the eviscerating “Useless,” where Patrick admits he’s considered suicide four times despite being close to his dreams.