Price Of Fame Brent Faiyaz
The wait for a new Brent Faiyaz project has finally neared its end. Ahead of WASTELAND, Faiyazs third studio album which is set to release on July eighth, the Maryland-born artist has released PRICE OF FAME, a sweeping six minute song which traverses through three distinct sonic palettes. It begins with the spare sounds of alternative percussion backed by Faiyazs delicate, distorted voice before transitioning into a 808s & Heartbreak-influenced symphony. By the time the track closes out with chaotic strings and airy vocals it seems like youve traveled a long distance. Faiyaz could so easily ascend the Billboard charts with accessible pop ballads, so its continually impressive that he pushes himself into new, experimental lanes with each release. David Brake
May 2022 New Music Releases
After a five-year album hiatus, Kendrick Lamar will finally return with his new Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers album on May 13. K-Dot announced the new album on April 18, via a press release published on his website. “The following statement was released today by oklama,” the statement started, referencing Kendrick’s new moniker. It went on to reveal the title and release date. “The factual information for this release will come directly from this source only,” the press release concluded. This will be Kendrick Lamar’s final album on his longtime label Top Dawg Entertainment before he moves on to head his own creative space titled pgLang. Mr. Morale and The Bigger Steppers is the follow-up to Kendrick’s Pulitzer prize-winning DAMN. album, which dropped in 2017.
After announcing the project back in February of 2022, Leikeli47 is gracing us with the release of Shape Up on May 13. The release is being boasted as the third and final album in her self-care-themed series, following Wash & Set and Acrylic, which dropped in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Shape Up is comprised of 14 tracks with a very limited amount of guest appearances and includes three previously released tracks “Chitty Bang,“”BITM” and “LL Cool J.”
Drones Terrace Martin F Kendrick Lamar James Fauntleroy Ty Dolla $ign Snoop Dogg
Terrace Martin has an unprecedented skill in getting the very best from his featured artists, and on the eponymous track on his latest project DRONES, the genre-bending artist wrangled excellent verses from Kendrick Lamar, James Fauntleroy, Snoop Dogg and Ty Dolla $ign. Grandiose, yet approachable, Drones is pure rap / R& B excellence.
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The Yellow Tape 2 Key Glock
Last years Yellow Tape was a harsh trap record with little reprieve. It was devoid of any potential radio hits, and completely entrenched listeners in the stifling world Key Glock grew up in. But Glock possessed a talent for writing lyrics sprinkled with earnest brevity, and in turn, Yellow Tape was a surprise hit that peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard 200. On the sequel, Yellow Tape 2, Glock flexes his success and financial independence with exuberance. The tape embodies southern rap of the past and present.
Lex Lucent This Is For My Pretty Bitches
At a local night hub, a packed-out crowd sways under the soft glows of pink and red during the Lex Lucent This Is For My Pretty Bitches listening party. Lucent stands at the center, anticipating listeners all around her. Their expectations were in no time exceeded by alluring hums, jazzy features and lucid beats that sway between past nostalgia and now. It seemed This Is For My Pretty Bitches had something for everybody to enjoy. Adore clever sampling? Pretty Lil Bish falls into a low-pitched version of Beyoncés Signs before clicking over to Lucent and fellow Virginia artist MACKs teeming performance of the 2003 bop. Signs is a refreshing modern twist featuring shuffling drums and vexed bars able to heat up any dancefloor. She elivers Playboi Carti rage anthems on So What!? over looming keys and claps. Her last project, In Case You Forgotsparked an inner child again with smooth house beats that fueled last summers cookouts and backyard shows. This Is For My Pretty Bitches is a roll call to the bold and confident sisters through rage, trap and R& B and a testament to Lucents strong writing abilities. Lauren Floyd
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Plentiful Alicia Keys F Pusha T
Alicia Keys new double-LP sits at 26-tracks, but perhaps no song stands out as much as the intro. Plentiful is a perfect blend of silky piano chords, hard drums courtesy of Swizz Beatz and standout melodies from Keys. Pusha T and Alicia Keys arent necessarily the two names that come to mind when you think of your dream musical duos, but the duality of Keys heart wrenching vocals and Pushas menacing bars leaves you hoping for a joint EP .
Best Hip Hop Collab Of 2021
The nominations for 2021 Collaboration of the Year showcased different styles that meshed together to create new and refreshing results. From Kendrick Lamar and Baby Keem trading flows or NBA Youngboy singing sultry bars alongside Tyler, the Creator, to Kanye West helping to bring out the best in Fivio Foreign, these were some collabs that stood out this year.
The Best Hip Hop Collab of 2021 award goes to
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Bo Jackson Boldy James & Alchemist
Boldy James and The Alchemist have ascended up the ranks of best rapper-producer combination in rap history with their second full-length collaboration. If their previous album, The Price Of Tea In China, was an announcement of Boldys prowess and the duos untapped potential for greatness, Bo Jackson is their coronation. Its an entrenchment of the very formula that endeared them to rap fans on the first installment. The Alchemists soul-stirring, nostalgia-fueled sample loops exist as a perfect background for Boldys deadpan delivery, one that forces the lyrics to become the star of each song, avoiding gimmicky inflections and ad-libs completely. Boldy is a rappers rapper, bouncing in and out of tightly woven pockets in Alchemists production with expert precision. Each word is enunciated fully, where his stories of street life and redemption refuse to get lost in the flow of the album.
Best Comeback Of 2021
After a tumultuous 2020, 2021 felt like a time to get back on the horse and take baby steps forward to the dreams that were deferred. In rap music, this made for some beautiful comebacks. There were changes in public perception, music quality, artistic output, importance and even a reminder of the legends we take for granted. Isaiah Rashad turned his whole life around, Jadakiss reminded fans why hes one of the greatest to ever grab a mic, Kanye returned to form on his latest album, Lil Yachty had one of his best projects in years. Its time to take a look at the nominees for HipHopDXs Comeback Of The Year in 2021.
HipHopDX would also like to send condolences to the family and friends of Drakeo The Ruler, who was tragically killed in Los Angeles before the end of 2021. His impact will forever be felt.
The Best Comeback of 2021 award goes to
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Its Almost Dry Pusha T
Its Almost Dry is the result of a paranoid new dad and quarantining from COVID-19. I wasnt going anywhere, Pusha T told Charlamagne Tha God in a recent interview with a twinge of anxiety in his voice. He went on to explain he tapped into his creativity to elevate his pen game. Pushs writing has only sharpened after 20 years. The storytelling has become more meticulous and wit behind the bars heightened. The way Push flips different terms and definitions surrounding cocaine is almost mastery of the English language. Even though it lacks the bite of past releases, Its Almost Dry is a good rap record that delivers a few hard hitting tracks, some great production and bar-for-bar excellence by one of the best rappers in the game.
Drill Music In Zion Lupe Fiasco
Four years removed from his previous release Drogas Wave aside from some loosies and two EPs Lupe is back with a project he dubbed his Illmatic. While it remains to be seen whether he can match that classics cultural influence and inspire a new generation, DRILL MUSIC IN ZION is arguably his most accessible album in years, with Lupe showing himself to be in impeccable lyrical shape. Produced entirely by Soundtrakk the beatmaker behind highly acclaimed singles such as Kick, Push and Superstar and his recent Tape Tape EP and recorded in mere days late last summer, the album has an incredibly cohesive and, at times, jazzy feel, with Lupe staying in his pocket throughout. While unabashed in its sometimes subtle, sometimes heavy-handed criticism of the culture, theres something so alluring and easy-going about DRILL MUSIC IN ZION. With no filler or fluff, this album is bound to satisfy those who like their bars bountiful and Lupe Fiasco in peak form.
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Brown Eyes And Backwoods Tom The Mailman
Tom The Mail Man is impossible to pin down. His sound is ever evolving, and though it takes influence from emo, pop and hip hop, the result is always unique. Brown Eyes and Backwoods finds Tom reminiscing on a love that wasnt meant to be, lacing stunning vocals over a simple guitar refrain which cuts straight to the heart. David Brake
God Hour A$ap Ant F A$ap Rocky
The Marino Infantry popup show in Los Angeles brought out throngs of fans eager to pay $80 for a t-shirt. At the center of it all was A$AP Ant, ensconced in security, palling around with Casey Veggies and Shoreline Mafias OhGeesy. The highest profile guest was none other than Rihanna baby daddy A$AP Rocky, and the two took a moment to preview a new collaboration outside the popup, as the Marino Infantry Skate Team fluttered down Fairfax Ave like four-wheeled doves on grip tape. Waiting for an official release over the past year has been nothing short of excruciating, but God Hour proves anticipation breeds results. Rocky takes his time reminding listeners he might be a gentle guy/but no im not feminine, over ascending strings and a squeaky little synth line. Producers Mannyvelli and Spizzledoe provide a lush, melodic foundation for Ant & Rocky to rap about the travails of chasing money, although Ant remains unbothered: Im on the beach, I got sand on my feet. God Hour is a showcase of the brilliance of A$AP Ant, one of AWGEs most prolific members his ongoing work with Marino Infantry remains one of the coziest corners of underground rap. Vivian Medithi
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Tana Talk 4 Benny The Butcher
In the three years since, Benny and Griselda as a whole have more than come into their own, gaining widespread recognition. Thereve been a lot of projects in between, but theres something special about Tana Talk, the 2004 series that started it all . This is a more than worthy follow-up to its predecessor further solidifying his status as pound for pound, one of the better MCs breathing. The album fits snugly into the Griselda Music Universe and makes it more challenging than ever to deny Benny The Butcher of his roses.
Range Brothers Baby Keem & Kendrick Lamar
The alleged familial bonds between Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar produced the most electrifying five minutes in Rap this year. Capitalizing off the momentum from their lead single family ties, the duo ratchet up the energy and the absurdity with every word on range brothers. Theres a jarring switch from elite rapping backed by cinematic overtures to the unhinged last minute of the track. The finales captivating back and forth is stuffed with quotables and ad-libs that rattle in your head for weeks, leaving you muttering rollie gang like a madman.
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Whole Lotta Marr Grey
Baltimores Marr Grey, with his soulful autotuned hybrid of rap and R& B music, has been striving for stardom ever since Drake was seen on video taking a midnight jog to his song Safe House. An obvious student of both Drizzy and Young Thug, the crooner has been toying with his formula since at least 2018, but seeing that video supercharged him and has since changed everything. On Whole Lotta, the opener off his latest effort Double Cup Love, Marr Grey seems to have finally mastered this hybrid. Warbling over a sleek molasses-thick concoction of steel drums and explosive 808s, the rappers sing-song approach is fully realized as he bobs back and forth about whether success is in his future. You might not get success, you might be tone deaf, I might be wrong about you, but I havent been wrong yet, he raps, taking a moment of pause to let it sink in. If Whole Lottas playful nuances are any indication, Marr Grey might get what hes looking for. Mackenzie Cummings-Grady
Givons Debut Album Give Or Take Is Here Roddy Ricch Lets The Music Do The Talking On His Latest The Big 3 Lupe Fiascos Latest Drill Music In Zion Arrived On Friday
BLK ODYSSY releases BLK VINTAGE: THE REPRISE featuring George Clinton, Benny The Butcher, and a few others. Lil Durk also shares a deluxe edition of 7720 with appearances from Moneybagg Yo, EST Gee, Ella Mai, and more. And Roddy Ricch returns to share The Big 3 EP.
Theres also more new hip-hop: Juicy J and Pierre Bourne team up for Space Age Pimpin. Elcaminos ElCamino 3 surfaces. French Montana also releases Montega featuring production by Harry Fraud.
Lastly, Givon finally reveals his debut album Give Or Take.
Take a look at the rest of this weeks drops below.
Lupe Fiasco DRILL MUSIC IN ZION
BLK ODYSSY BLK VINTAGE: THE REPRISE
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Kota The Friend Lyrics To Go Vol 3
Independent Brooklyn-artist Kota the Friend released a 10-song project titled Lyrics to Go, Vol. 3. Kota makes tantalizingly chill music, his delivery and beats are infectiously smooth. If youre looking for well-written lyrics and beats thatll make your head knock check out New Yorks Kota the Friend.
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Sl*t Him Out Baby Tate
2022 HipHopDX Rising Star Baby Tate knows how to go viral. Months before the release of Sl*t Him Out, the sound was already trending heavily on TikTok. Now officially unveiled, fans are able to enjoy the full braggadocious and sensual shit-talking of one of Atlantas best. Tate still hasnt cooled from the enormous highs of her 2021, but it seems like the ascent has only just begun. David Brake
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Last Ones Left Est Gee & 42 Dugg
CMG stars 42 Dugg and EST Gee make the most of their proximity-based partnership, producing natural chemistry and avoiding the pitfalls of cheap collaborative albums on their team-up project Last Ones Left. Its clear Dugg and EST Gee didnt set out to reinvent the wheel. Their respective strengths, which hinge on Duggs high-pitched quips and EST Gees snarling threats, creates enough moments that bring satisfaction, setting the standard for what one-off duos should aim for in the future.
Biggie: I Got A Story To Tell
Throughout its history Hip Hop has had some mythical figures, but perhaps none more intriguing than The Notorious B.I.G. From his early life to his untimely and mysterious death , every aspect of Biggies life deserves to be analyzed. In the Netflix documentary I Got A Story To Tell, director Emmett Malloy and crew explore who Biggie was as a person, how he dealt with fame and the impact he had on New York City and Hip Hop as a whole. From start to finish, this documentary was a must watch for any rap fan and was an easy pick for HipHopDXs Movie of the Year award.
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Paper Route Empire Long Live Young Dolph
Young Dolph was the hallmark of independent success and building generational wealth through music. A beloved figure in his hometown of Memphis and abroad, the rap world is still processing his tragic murder in November 2021. Long Live Young Dolph from Paper Route Empire is a fitting tribute to an artist gone way too soon. From Key Glocks Proud to Kenny Muneys Role Model, the PRE rappers show Young Dolphs undeniable influence and promise to continue pushing forward in his honor. RIP Dolph. David Brake
Nobody Nas F Lauryn Hill
Social media entered a frenzy when people noticed Lauryn Hill was featured on the tracklist to Nas Kings Disease II. Ms. Hills return to rhyming was met with excitement and a healthy dose of uncertainty as nearly 25 years have passed since the two bards of Hip Hop first joined forces on It Wass lead single If I Ruled The World. Luckily, both legendary MCs have plenty of fuel left in the tank. Nas head-nodding flow on Nobody exhibits the same dexterous flow he forged in his youth, but its Ms. Hills explosive verse that truly steals the show.
Contributing writers: David Brake, Trent Clark, Kyle Eustice, Jeremy Hecht, Devon Jefferson, Dana Scott, Ben Brutocao, Anthony Malone, Kia Turner, Matthew Ritchie & Josh Svetz.
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