13 New Rap Songs Out This Week
It's a pretty huge week for hip hop with the anticipated new Freddie Gibbs & Madlib album and the surprise new Bad Bunny & J Balvin album (both of which I wrote about for Notable Releases), and this week also gave us the star-studded new Mustard album, the new Daniel Caesar album, and new singles from A$AP Ferg (ft. City Girls), Big K.R.I.T. (ft. Lil Wayne & Saweetie), H.E.R. (ft. YBN Cordae), Joell Ortiz (ft. Big K.R.I.T.), Saul Williams, serpentwithfeet/Ty Dolla $ign, Young M.A, and more. Read on for all the hip hop we posted on BV this week...
A$AP FERG - "WIGS" (ft. CITY GIRLS & ANTHA)
A$AP Ferg recently released a new single featuring A$AP Rocky, and now he's back with another new single, and this one features rising Miami duo City Girls and Ferg's Harlem neighbor ANTHA. Like the last single, it finds Ferg in total banger mode, and it's predictably great.
BIG K.R.I.T. - "ADDICTION" (ft. LIL WAYNE & SAWEETIE)
Big K.R.I.T.'s anticipated new album K.R.I.T. Iz Here comes out July 12, and toady he released its second single, which features Lil Wayne and the up-and-coming Saweetie. The more modern, electronic sounding production is slightly more outside of K.R.I.T.'s usual comfort zone than the soulful production of the last single, but he still navigates it expertly.
H.E.R. - "RACKS" (ft. YBN CORDAE)
H.E.R. is one of the biggest breakout R&B/soul singers of late, and today she returned with a new single featuring rising rapper YBN Cordae, whose anticipated debut project on the way. It's a nice, laid-back song, and Cordae's verse is great. H.E.R. is also throwing her own Lights On Festival this year.
JOELL ORTIZ - "LEARN YOU" (prod. & ft. BIG K.R.I.T.)
Brooklyn rap vet Joell Ortiz is releasing his new album Monday on August 30 via Mello Music Group, and the lead single is "Learn You," which was produced by and features Big K.R.I.T. It's a soulful rap ballad with an auto-tuned hook that kinda sounds like something Kanye would've made earlier this decade, and Ortiz and K.R.I.T. pull this kinda thing off pretty well.
SAUL WILLIAMS - "EXPERIMENT"
Spoken word/hip hop artist Saul Williams will release his new album Encrypted & Vulnerable on July 18 via Pirates Blend. It was mixed by Gonjasufi and it features contributions from Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah (whose new album features Saul), Dave Sitek, My Brightest Diamond, and more. The album also doubles as the score to Saul's directorial debut musical, Neptune Frost, which was executive produced by Lin Manuel and based on a graphic novel that Saul will release in 2020. He says the new album "is simultaneously a personal and intimately optimistic takedown on struggle, defiance, awareness, aloneness, and a takedown of heteronormative capitalistic patriarchal authoritarian politics in topics ranging from love, technology, religion, war, to migration." You can hear the head trip of a lead single and watch its 360° music video now.
SERPENTWITHFEET - "RECEIPTS" (ft. TY DOLLA $IGN)
serpentwithfeet and Ty Dolla $ign are both powerful crooners, but their music tends to be very different -- serpentwithfeet favors orchestral indie-R&B while Ty Dolla $ign has a soulful twist on mainstream rap. Here, they've met in the middle and made a song that speaks to both of their strengths.
FREDDIE GIBBS & MADLIB - "PALMOLIVE" (ft. KILLER MIKE & PUSHA T)
Freddie Gibbs and Madlib's first collaborative album in five years, Bandana, is out now (read our review), and one of the major highlights is this song with Killer Mike and Pusha T. All three rappers have made crucial music in the 2010s that stays true to the tradition of '90s hip hop, and the triple threat of hearing them all on the same song is truly menacing.
MUSTARD - "PERFECT TEN" (ft. NIPSEY HUSSLE)
Super producer Mustard's star-studded new album Perfect Ten is out now. We've already posted some of the singles, like "On God" (ft. A$AP Ferg, YG, Tyga & A$AP Rocky), "100 Bands" (ft. Quavo, 21 Savage, YG & Meek Mill), and "Pure Water" (ft. Migos), and here's another key track: the title track featuring the late Nipsey Hussle. It's a sentimental, drumless ballad, and it reminds you that Nipsey was taken from us way too soon.
DANIEL CAESAR - CASE STUDY 01 ft. BRANDY, PHARRELL & MORE (ALBUM STREAM)
R&B/soul singer Daniel Caesar continues to rise, and he's nabbed some pretty huge guests for his just-released sophomore album, CASE STUDY 01.
YOUNG M.A - "BIG"
We're still waiting on "OOOUUU" hitmaker Young M.A's long-awaited, much-anticipated debut album, but meanwhile she continues to drop new singles and this one is very much in the hard-edged, classic New York rap mode that she won us all over with.
FAT JOE, DRE & LIL WAYNE - "PULLIN"
Three rap lifers -- New York beast Fat Joe, New Orleans martian Lil Wayne, and Dre of production duo Cool & Dre -- teamed up for this new song which revolves around a sample of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." It's just as fun as it sounds on paper.
DANITY KANE - "NEON LIGHTS"
Danity Kane are back in action with the lineup of Dawn Richard, Aubrey O'Day and Shannon Bex, and they've now shared the new single "NEON LIGHTS," which injects their usual R&B with a little modern EDM. They're also touring with Aubrey and Shannon's Dumblonde project, including a NYC show on Thursday (6/27) at Irving Plaza. All dates here.
CASSIE - "MOMENTS" (with THE CODE)
Speaking of R&B comebacks, the great, elusive Cassie is back with a very fine new single that's cut from the same minimalist, downtempo R&B cloth that much of her 2010s work has been cut from.
THE UNDERACHIEVERS - LORDS OF FLATBUSH 3 (MIXTAPE STREAM)
The Underachievers have been busy this year as members of the Beast Coast supergroup, but they're also staying active on their own and released the 9-song mixtape Lords of Flatbush 3.
N.A.O. QUELLY - "MO BETTA"
Speaking of Beast Coast, Joey Bada$$ now has his own record label called Badmind and the first act he signed to the label is N.A.O. Quelly. His debut project Myk'Quel is coming soon but first the high-voiced rapper's new single "Mo Betta" is out now. It was produced by Pro Era/Beast Coast member Powers Pleasant, and it's a very cool offering from this new artist. N.A.O. Quelly plays his first headlining show on August 14 at Knitting Factory Brooklyn.
SHENSEEA - "BEST LIFE"
Rising dancehall singer Shenseea recently signed to Interscope and released the song "Blessed" (ft. Tyga), and now she's back with another addictive new single, "Best Life." She'll be in NYC this summer for Warm Up.
RAYLAND BAXTER - "OBJECTS IN SPACE" & "2009" (MAC MILLER COVERS)
The late Mac Miller's influence went far beyond just hip hop, as evidenced by Americana artist Rayland Baxter's new EP of Mac Miller covers. He recorded these seven songs with keyboardist/guitarist Aaron Embry (Elliott Smith, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), drummer Eric Slick (Dr. Dog), and his own father, famed pedal steel guitarist Bucky Baxter (Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, R.E.M.), and the first two are out now. It might seem unexpected on paper, but the covers sound pretty great.
MORE NEW-ISH STUFF
The music industry may have strict, weekly release schedules but music fandom is more complicated than that. Here are some more new-ish songs not from this week that we recommend.
POLO G - DIE A LEGEND
Chicago rapper Polo G has been stirring up a lot of buzz for his new album Die A Legend, which has gotten acclaim from Pitchfork, Stereogum, UPROXX, and more. It's not hard to see why; Polo G is a clearly skilled rapper and his new album is a lot of fun. If you haven't already, stream the whole thing and check out the video for "Dyin Breed" below.