Four words: featuring Ty Dolla $ign
These words have become a staple in the hip hop community over the past decade or so, as singer/rapper Ty Dolla $ign has made a name for himself largely due to the high quality features he has provided for countless artists during his stretch. Now, on his latest album, he is seemingly returning the favor, as Featuring Ty Dolla $ign contains more than 20 features across 25 songs. Ty is not the only big name who dropped an album last night, however; artists ranging from Joyner Lucas to the Gorillaz to Bruce Springsteen all released new albums today.
So without further ado, let’s dive into this new music Friday:
Ty Dolla $ign – Featring Ty Dolla $ign
Feeling more like a collection of songs rather than a cohesive album, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign is almost exactly what fans should expect it to be. Ty isn’t an artist who will blow fans away with introspective insight or profound lyricism, but his melodic hooks and undeniably charismatic voice shines throughout the project. The features, which range from Lil Durk to Kid Cudi to Thundercat and everyting in between, all highlight the strengths of the artists involved, and add a nice contrast to Ty’s vocals. The album is definitely a fun collection of songs, and taking the album at face value is the best way to enjoy the project for what it is.
Joyner Lucas – Evolution
The Massachusetts based rapper already dropped a well received project earlier this year in ADHD. Now, Lucas is back with a more mellow and introspective project. Lucas’ lyricism is on display on this album, as he clearly is more focused on the lyrical content of his music rather than the production. The production is still vibrant, but this album sees Lucas focusing more on the content of his rapping rather than the flash that shone through on ADHD. Lucas’s second album of the year might be better than his first, and both prove that he is among the best rappers in the game right now.
DeJ Loaf – Sell Sole II
Among females in the rap game, Loaf’s style is among the most unique, and her distinct musical style is on display on her latest project. Backed by a slew of features from Big Sean, Rick Ross, the Griselda crew and others, Loaf allows her lyrics to shine right along with her melodic vocal abilities. The Detroit rapper employs a variety of different styles on this album, but throughout she allows her lyrics and vocal abilities to take the forefront of the album. Loaf’s style continues to evolve, and her music has steadily improved as she has continued to find her sound as an artist.
Wesson Desir – Apollo Archives
Hailing from Atlanta, Wesson Desir is slowly but surely siring into the mainstream hip hop conversation, and his latest album validates the hype. Effortlessly blending vibrant lyricism with catchy vocal melodies and complex harmonies, Desir’s style is pretty unique, and he is capable of delivering his lines in a variety of different styles. Desir’s intensity can be felt on a song like “Dirty Dan,” while songs like “Destory Build Destroy” display Desir’s profound lyricism and introspective approach. Overall, the project is extremely song, and fans should start to keep an eye on Desir moving forward.
Xavier Omär – if You Feel
The San Antonio based r&b singer is back with his fourth studio album, and his first of the year. Omär’s luscious vocal harmonies are as vibrant as ever, and features from a variety of different artists help to add musical depth and contrasting styles to the album. The production is as intriguing and distinct as ever, and it allows Omär and the other artists to let their vocal performances shine. The album is spacious and ambient, and provides amazing r&b vibes to the forefront.
Gorillaz – Song Machine, Season One: Strange Timez
The Gorillaz can very well be the most unique band to ever have been conceived, and their latest album is a brilliant display of their lack of musical boundaries. The album, which contains a slew of features from ScHoolboy Q to Elton John, highlights the limits that the album pushes, as well as shows the complete lack of one style or genre that dominates the album. The band has always been somewhat experimental and has never fit into one box, and this album is a perfect display of how the band has constantly evolved and changed their sound.
Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You
The Boss is mostLY known for his power anthems that dominated 1980’s rock, but these days Bruce is much more focused on letting his emotions pour out through his music, as evident on his latest album. Bruce’s tender, soft voice fits perfectly with his new style that centers mostly around folk, and his dynamic contrast that he is able to provide vocally allows for his songs to be filled with emotion. Bruce is still capable of being the front man for a fun, simple rock song, but it is clear that Bruce is at his best when he is letting his voice and his emotion shine through. As Bruce enters his fifth decade of music making, his sound is as raw and genuine as it has ever been.
Flipp Dinero, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie – “No No No”
A Brooklyn and Queens collision, this song highlights Dinero’s and Boogie’s melodic ability as well as their rapping. Both artists are effortlessly able to blend their lyrics with melodic lines, which allows for some musical depth on the song. Although somewhat simple, the song highlights the talent of both artists, and the bouncy production gives the song some depth and bass. The song is certainly fun, but it will likely be forgotten about in a few weeks time.
Deante’ Hitchcock, Guapdad 4000 – “Déjà Vu”
Another rising rapper out of Atlanta, Deante’ Hitchcock already dropped one of the year’s most underrated albums in BETTER, and now he is back with Guapdad 4000 on another catchy dong. Hitchcock’s lyrical ability is matched with a melodic understanding, and collaborations with bigger artists like JID and Guapdad will continue to build Hitchcock’s fan base up. The chances of Hitchcock blowing up in the next few years seem to increase every month, and songs like this are clear examples of the talent he possesses.
Jack Harlow – “Tyler Herro”
Harlow has been blowing up this year thanks to his hit single “What’s Poppin’,” and he is back alongside NBA rookie sensation Tyler Herro. Not only does Harlow continue to flex his lyrical prowess and undeniable charisma, but he shows that he has a humorous side as well, as he is able to drop casual jokes both in the song and the video alike. Backed by the endless swag pouring out of Herro, Harlow is showing that he is no one hit wonder, but a constant force that will be part of the rap game for years to come.
Tobi Lou, MIA GLADSTONE – “Notice Me”
Fans have been pestering Tobi Lou to drop a new album, and for now they will have to settle with a new single. As always, Lou’s vibrant charisma is on full display, as his melodic ability shines through as well. Lou’s vocals are complimented perfectly by Gladstone’s, and the vocal harmonies she present add a beautiful layer of depth to the song. Lou is certainly one of the more unique blends of rapping and singing that exists in hip hop today, and as he releases more new music more people will notice his talent.
Abhi The Nomad, Kato On The Track – “Tom Cruise”
Abhi The Nomad’s vast and unique perspective translates to a highly unique music style, which is evident on his latest single. Kato provides a bumping beat that brings endless energy, and Abhi’s slower flow style is something he hasn’t employed much of, but like most other musical styles, he is able to adapt to it with ease. While Abhi doesn’t always go for the intense and energetic approach, he is able to knock it out of the park when he does, as indicated by his latest single.
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.