Yung Bleu feat. Drake, “You’re Mines Still”
Yung Bleu, a.k.a. Bleu Vandross, finally earned that long-awaited Drizzy stamp he yearned for after the 6 God asked to appear on “You’re Mines Still.” The rap lotharios vow to trade in their playboy lifestyles after losing out on past relationships: “I took you to the club and you hugged on somebody that I know,” sings Drizzy on the love-drunk anthem.
Pop Smoke feat. Lil Wayne, “Iced Out Audemars (Remix)”
Pop Smoke‘s musical dominance continues with the thunderous remix of “Iced Out Audemars” featuring Lil Wayne. Pop floats over the drill soundscape, and shortly after, a frantic Weezy floods the track with a series of haymakers. With “Iced Out Audemars,” New York’s rap scene gets another sterling Pop Smoke track as we approach winter.
Ty Dolla $ign feat. Jhene Aiko & Mustard, “By Yourself”
Ty Dolla $ign season is officially here: with “By Yourself,” the features savant whips up an empowering ode for single, independent women who don’t need a man to get the job done. Sampling Changing Faces’ “G.H.E.T.T.O.U.T.,” the West Coast trio instills faith for Black women in need of reassurance. The bouncy anthem will reside on Ty’s forthcoming album Featuring Ty Dolla $ign.
Benny The Butcher, Burden of Proof
After slicing through the competition with his bruising delivery on 2019’s The Plugs I Met, Benny The Butcher opted to tag-team with producer of the year candidate Hit-Boy for his new album, Burden The Proof. With his gritty demeanor still serving as his calling card, Benny’s tenacity, coupled with Hit-Boy’s versatility, makes BTP a ferocious 1-2 punch, as proven on “Famous” and “Legend.”
T.I., The L.I.B.R.A.
For his 11th album, The L.I.B.R.A., T.I. once again places his flag down on Atlanta rap with a commanding performance. Whether he’s grateful for his wins (“Thank God”) or exuding a militant swagger (“Ring”), T.I.’s versatility never wavers on this 20-track collection, which is studded with appearances by hometown heroes such as Lil Baby, 21 Savage, and Young Thug.
Statik Selektah feat. Nas, Joey Bada$$ & Gary Clark Jr., “Keep It Moving”
Statik Selektah’s penchant for soul-stirring samples returns with his jazzy collaboration alongside Nas, Joey Bada$$, and Gary Clark Jr. On “Keep It Moving,” Statik bridges the generational gap between the MCs as they spar over the soothing soundscape. “I rock with my young Gs, that’s just common sense,” Nas declares at the end of his verse.
Jaalid, “Dios Mio”
This year, Jaalid severed ties with Alamo Records and became an independent artist. With his latest release, the Boston-based hybrid trucks through the trap-laden track with precision. Typically bashful, Jaalid does a complete 180 on “Dios Mio,” especially when the beat switches halfway through the record.