This week saw a lot of rumors and internet buzz surrounding Los Angeles label TDE; between Reason’s highly anticipated debut album release and the rumors surrounding Kendrick Lamar possibly leaving TDE to start his own label, people were talking about what was going on with the label once regarded as one of the most prestigious in all of hip hop. After Lamar refuted the rumors, eyes were once again on Reason and high debut album as a TDE signee.
In addition to TDE’s Reason, a slew of artists mainstream and underground have released music today, on yet another new music Friday. Let’s dive into who dropped what below:
Reason – New Beginnings
Reason’s TDE debut highlights his many strengths as a rapper, as it showcases his raw intensity, his endless passion, tender emotion and vibrant awareness all at once. The production is varied, which allows Reason to show off his many different stylistic abilities he is able to touch on. His lyrics provide thoughts on everything from am important reflection of the music industry’s and society’s perceptions of artists, to getting hype in a mosh pit, and everything in between. Although TDE will not provide fans with the sheer volume of music that a label like Griselda will, there is no denying the sheer quality of the music that comes out of the label, as Reason most recently demonstrates.
Trey Songz – Back Home
Back Home marks Trey Songz’s third album of the year, and while he no longer dominates the r&b charts, his tender vocals and and vibrant energy still provide a pleasant listening experience. Although the album is a tad too long, the vocal performances across the album are velvety smooth, and the pleasant and slow production across the album provides a great backdrop for Trey to sing beautifully over. Features from Ty Dolla $ign, Summer Walker, Swae Lee and DaVito add vocal contrast to the songs that they appear on, while the vocal harmonies shine throughout the album. Those looking for some tender r&b can start with Trey Songz’s Back Home.
BlocBoy JB – FatBoy
Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB first rose into the mainstream hip hop scene when he appeared with Drake in his song “Look Alive.” He has remained somewhat of a one dimensional trap rapper since then, and this album is no indication that he will be branching off and trying anything different soon. His flow is not the most precise among the trap scene, and his lyrics are nothing that hasn’t been explained before, but the production allows for some variation while also highlighting the Memphis music scene. While some of the album provides for some fun moments, it overall feels too redundant to be anything memorable.
Tony Shhnow – Da World Is Ours 3
Atlanta trap rapper Tony Shhnow is raw explosion of unrefined talent, as evident in his newest album. Although the production is heavy and melodic, the mixing and mastering was not done as properly as it should have been done, and the vocals do not blend well with the production. However, one can hear what a refined finish product could be if Shhnow’s vocals were perfectly mastered with the production. Additionally, Shhnow raps over a varied style of production, showing off his versatility as a vocalist. The album is a fun listen for those looking for new talent.
Body Language – Travel Guide
Brooklyn based indy pop group Body Language is not quite like many other bands currently making music. Their synth-heavy lo-fi approach almost sounds like it could be favored by some indie hip hop artists, but it also makes for a great backdrop for the vocals of Body Language. The musicality of the band is immaculate, as they are able to pair high level musical approaches with electronically driven instrumentals, allowing for a unique vibe and sound. Those looking for a fresh, new sound need to look no further than Travel Guide.
Freddy Fargo – freddyflips, vol.1
Freddy Fargo is not a known name among hip hop heads, but this tape is evidence of undiscovered talent. Combining original production over classic new school raps, such as the classic XXL 2016 freestyle with Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage and Denzel Curry, Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “WAP,” and Benny the Butcher, this tape shows someone who possesses clear musical talent with awesome production over a great variety of different. Production will always be one of hip hop’s most important aspects, and Freddie Fargo is showing people what a great ear for music, hip hop and production can do.
Benny the Butcher, Lil Wayne, Big Sean – “Timeless”
Benny the Butcher and Griselda have already had an insanely productive 2020, and it appears they are not quite finished yet with Benny dropping the lead single for his next album. With the help of Lil Wayne and Big Sean, the three rappers all provide different stylistic approaches to the Hit-Boy produced track. All three rappers have been staples of the game in their respective cities for decades, and the three of them on a track together are a force to be reckoned with.
YRN Lingo, Takeoff – “All Time High”
The Migos have not been on top of the rap game since they dropped Culture back in 2016, but the rappers as individuals still possess great talent. Joining YRN Lingo, Takeoff reminds listeners of his ultra precise flow and rhythmic precision, while Lingo shows that he is yet another asset under the YRN umbrella. The track is relatively mellow and a pleasant listen for trap fans and chill hip hop heads alike.
Trippie Redd – “Sleepy Hollow”
Clearly gearing up for Halloween, Trippie’s first single of his upcoming album with an eerie track and music video. Trippie’s style is certainly polarizing, and while he’s rapping over some cool production, the sheer intensity of the song and video will likely not appeal to all hip hop fans. Regardless, those who are here for Trippie and his brand will not be disappointed with his latest single, as he prepares for the release of his upcoming album.
Anderson .Paak – “JEWELZ”
Collaborating with his sun, .Paak is back with an endlessly fun and energetic single. .Paak’s funky vibes are contagious across all of his music, and listening to “JEWELZ” once is just tempted to get up and dance. The funky bass lines, crips guitar chords and west coast voice box piano synths are all classic .Paak sounds, and they all add to the funky flavor of the song. .Paak is clearly someone who lives on top of the music world, and his style and sound will continue to influence everyone following his path.
Karlae, Young Thug, Gunna – “Jimmy Choo”
Karlae, who is also Young Thug’s fiancee, showcase the glamour and riches of the rap game on this vibe of a song. Karlae’s lyrical approach contrasts Young Thug’s more melodic style, which provides for some nice variety over the song. Gunna is able to walk along the line between the two styles, and provide both lyrical and melodic aspects. The song is fun and its energy is contagious, and the spacious production brings the entire song together.
I have just completed my senior year at the University of Michigan majoring in international studies with an emphasis in political economics and development, with a minor in Chinese language and culture, and I have recently been accepted into the Berklee School of Music’s masters of music business program. Although economics, politics and history are all academic interests of mine, I consider music to be my true passion.
Music has always been my passion, and it is a driving force for the way I think, act, and conduct myself on a daily basis. I have been playing the clarinet and saxophone since the age of ten, and the ability to play music at a high level has allowed me to embrace music on a multitude of levels. I am both an avid player and listener of music, and I find myself constantly in search of new artists who bring something new and different to the art form, and writing about new music has become a new outlet for me to explore what is going on in the musical world.