Anything not covered in this article is either in the process of review or we haven’t thought of it… if what you want reviewed becomes the latter please let us know.
- Escape Plan by Travis Scott (B): One of two new singles from the rap icon Travis Scott, his first since last year. Over a simple beat with his signature over-distortion, Scott raps straight bars for the entire song and it works (although he could switch up his flow). There’s nothing brand new on this track but its more concerted than his last songs “Highest in the Room” and “Franchise” as well as much of his Astroworld album.
- Smokin Out the Window by Silk Sonic (B-): A new track from the upcoming LP by Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, this loose-feeling groove uses all their strengths but doesn’t settle into a satisfying structure. As a result, the song feels rather aimless, even with the amazing instrumentals, mixing, and vocals.
- Mafia by Travis Scott and J Cole (B-): This track is an atmospheric slow-rap that incorporates Scott’s autotune-heavy vocals over a rolling piano beat. As a concept this song works, but the interspersed background vocals and the J. Cole feature do not work very well with Travis’s sound.
- Splash by Bobby Shmurda (C+): The third Bobby single in a month, this track uses hushed vocals and repetitive lyrics to intersperse the straight bars with a sense of structure. In order for Shmurda’s songs to live up to his potential on his debut Shmoney Shmurda he needs to incorporate some structure or hook into his songs.
- Murder Music by Snoop Dogg, Benny the Butcher, Busta Rhymes, and Jadakiss (C+): A collaborative single from four immense figures in rap. The bars are exactly as good as you would expect (except Jadakiss’ which seem lazy), but the hook and beat are not all that good and the song feels more like a cypher than any kind of finished product.
- HIGH by PnB Rock and DJ Luke Nasty (C): Anyone who frequents TikTok will be familiar with this track from the dancing trend, but it really does not expand beyond the popular clip (even sampling the audio throughout). The result sounds like it was not meant to be a full song.
- DRONES by Terrace Martin (B+): This project from Los Angeles’s Terrace Martin, is bursting with potential and star-studded features. By use of clever spoken-word segments and raucous melodic fragments, Martin incorporates many of west-coast raps’ largest names into cohesive, catchy, and poignant tracks. On a first listen, this album seems unwieldy but that may be just the sheer amount of material presented in a short time.
- Yellow Tape 2 by Key Glock (B): It’s hard to believe that Key Glock has only gained popularity in the last two years, his ability and consistency is impressive. On this mixtape, Glock raps over more polished beats than ever and he delivers on track after track. For what it is, a mixtape of bangers about drugs, sex, and cars, it definitely lands. Main area that could be improved is switching up flow and feel between songs.
- TWOPOINTFIVE by Amine (C+): A new album from Portland hiphop artist Amine. This record continues Amine’s blend of rap and catchy melodies that playfully dance around the tropes of both genres. Some great songs, bars, and beats on this one (“Charmander” and “Mad Funny”) but the overall product is very short and has very little content to fill that space.
- The Future by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (C+): A new project by the indie band Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, this project, like their previous three, deals with themes of addiction and healing but less effectively than before.