New Music Friday: Who Dropped What? (Rap/Hip Hop/R&B)

If you’re anything like me, you were fast asleep as the clock struck midnight last night. And upon waking up early this morning, the first thought that popped into your head was something along the lines of, “there’s new music out today.”

12:00 am on Friday morning is often the time in which a slew of new releases, singles, EPs and albums, are put out to the public. Last night was no exception, as many artists, both big and small, put out new music for the world to enjoy (and NBA superstar Damian Lillard put on another massive performance to keep the Portland Trail Blazer’s playoff hopes alive). Check out some details below about who released what last night.

New Albums

Boldy James, Jay Versace – The Versace Tape

Boldy is having one of hip hop’s strongest years, perhaps ever; the Detroit rapper started strong in February with the release of his gritty collaboration with The Alchemist, The Price of Tea in China, and continued to redefine modern hip hop with his free flowing project with Sterling Toles, Manger on McNichols. Now, on his third album of the year, and his first with Griselda Records, Boldy continues to paint a dark yet genuine picture of his hometown of Detroit over Jay Versace produced soulful beats, while revealing not just the negative but also the positive of life on the streets. Boldy was recently named to TREMG’s XXL Freshmen Class of 2020 Revisited list.

Kaash Paige – Teenage Fever

Dallas native Kaash Paige may not be a big name, but the nineteen year old is loaded with undeniable talent as a singer. Her velvety smooth voice combined with mellow electronic beats is reminiscent of an artist like SZA, but doesn’t sounds like anything familiar or copied. It is chock full of emotion and passion, and also provides steady doses of hip hop verses through its features, which includes Don Toliver, SSG Kobe, K CAMP, 42 Dugg and Isaiah Rashaad. Kaash may be young and relativley unknown, but Teenage Fever is a great display of the talent and the emotion that she is able to bring to an album.

Tom The Mail ManLiephas Evil

Another smaller name, Tom The Mail Man can deliver through strong rapping as well as tender singing. His style is nothing new to hip hop, as artists like Young Thug have paved the way for rapper/singers to succeed, but he brings a freshness to the style that has yet to be truly used. His rapping is strong lyrically and rhythmically, and his singing ability shows his ability to write catchy melodies with ease. Tom The Mail Man certainly has room to develop as an artist, but as far as raw talent goes he definitely has that, and his new album displays what he is capable of right now.

New EPs

Guapdad 4000 – Platinum Falcon Returns

Guapdad 4000 always provides high energy on his records, and his latest EP is no exception. With strong features from Denzel Curry, Deante’ Hitchcock, TyFontaine and Boogie, Guapdad manages to provide fans with an EP that is energetic and lively, while also containing versus full of substance and current relevance. Although the majority of the songs on the EP were released previously, listening to them as a cohesive project is sure to provide a different and more unique listening experience. Guapdad was recently named as an honorable mention on TREMG’s XXL Freshmen Class of 2020 Revisited list.

New Singles

Drake, Lil Durk – “Laugh Now Cry Later”

Drake is back doing Drake things in a new song and video, and is seemingly picking things up right where he left off as a consistent hitmaker. The video gives us a glimpse into an average night for Drake; pulling up to the Nike World Headquarters in Oregon in a futuristic looking Mercedez with a pretty girl in the passenger seat, playing some one on one basketball with Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant, and tossing a football around with Cleveland Browns superstar Odell Beckham Jr., before getting absolutely demolished by Beast Mode himself, Marshawn Lynch. The song shows Drake tap into his emotional and vulnerable side, which listeners are no strangers to, and even boasts some scenes of comic relief, as one of Drake’s boys calls out Drake in the video for crying, playing the role of every angry rap fan on Twitter. The video is fun and playful while the song is full of passion, and fans can expect more of that on his upcoming album, which will be called Certified Lover Boy.

Anderson .Paak, Rick Ross – “CUT EM IN”

Anderson .Paak doesn’t usually elect to focus on spitting pure bars; his immense musical talent as both a singer and drummer allows him to tap into such a wide variety of styles and sub genres that makes him one of the most well rounded and versatile artists of today. But when he does decide to spit bars, as he did on his single “Bubblin‘” in 2018, the result is stellar. .Paak brings an undeniable energy to his raps, and with Rick Ross on the track, there is no shortage of dope lyrics and self assertions of confidence. The only thing missing in this single is video treatment, but other than that this track delivers as a high intensity display of rapping from both .Paak and Ross.

Alicia Keys, Khalid – “So Done”

Keys’ and Khalid’s voices on their own are both silky smooth. Their voices in unison and in harmony are nothing short of pure ear candy. Keys and Khalid are both capable of packing so much emotion into each and every single lyric and line, and their collaboration is a masterful display of vocal abilities. The slow and empty beat provides plenty of room for Keys and Khalid to lyrically shine on the track, and the both deliver beautiful lyrical performances with ease. Keys and Khalid seem to always bring their best to their music, and their bests perfectly compliment one another on this track.

EARTHGANG – “Powered Up”

When looking for energetic acts, one needs to look no further than EARTHGANG. The Atlanta rap duo brings high energy and high intensity to nearly every one of their tracks, and this one is no exception. The high tempo production plays perfectly into the strengths of both Olu and WowGr8, as both of them are capable of spitting over high tempo beats with ease. The energy oozes through this track, and the lyrics are just as important to this track as the energy behind them. EARTHGANG is always able to inject their passions into their music an deliver for their fans, and this track shows that the duo doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all.

Nas, Hit-Boy – “Ultra Black”

Officially into his fourth decade of rapping, Nas begins his next musical journey on a strong note. The Hit-Boy produced beat is new territory for Nas, and the seasoned rapper is able to spit powerful lyrics over the melodic, non boom-bap beat with ease. As always, Nas provides important lyrics that reflect the current state of society, and with a new style of production behind him, Nas seems rejuvenated and somewhat revived, not that he was ever gone to begin with. His full album with Hit-Boy is set to drop next Friday, and if this single is a sign of what is to come from that project, then Nas could be set to make a seemingly improbable comeback into current rap relevancy.

Lute, Blakk Soul – “Get It And Go”

Lute is an extremely versatile rapper who is able to deliver high intensity tracks, as well as introspective and reflective ones. Lute elects to bring the fire on this track, as he is backed by Houston-style production that boasts low horns. His flow is as precise as some of the best in the game, and his lyrics boast a self confidence that can only be achieved through spitting as crisply and cleanly as Lute does. He may not be Dreamville’s most prominent artist, but there is no denying Lute’s force as a rapper, and this track is clear evidence of his talent and prowess.

Smino, Monte Booker, The Drums – “Backstage Pass”

This track sees Smino taking a stylistically different approach than fans are used to. The St. Louis based rapper/singer usually favors electronic based production, but this single shows him rapping over a beat that features a guitar riff and somewhat acoustic style drums, although the hi hats are still electronic sounding. Smino still delivers lyrically and melodically, and his versatility as an artist is on full display on this track. Smino has kept busy this year, dropping various singles and even a mixtape, and is continuing to keep his fans busy now. But this track doesn’t just bring the heat, it allows Smino to stretch his artistic limbs and venture into new territory.

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