The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Dame D.O.L.L.A., Trippie Redd, Young Thug, and more.
Another week has come and gone without an appearance Kanye’s oft-delayed Donda. Whether that’s throwing other release schedules out of whack remains to be seen (no one wants to compete for ears with the guy who effectively ended 50 Cent), there still seem to be a few artists willing to risk being overshadowed — which means that they can get our full, more-or-less undivided attention instead.
Meanwhile, Friday saw the releases of new singles from Young Thug (“Tick Tock” from the upcoming Punk), Swae Lee (“In The Dark” with Jhene Aiko), Don Toliver (who appears on Skrillex’s “Don’t Go” with Justin Bieber), Common (“When We Move” with Black Thought), and Rico Nasty (“Magic“) along with the releases listed below.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending August 20, 2021.
Blu X Mickey Factz X Nottz — The Narrative [EP]
The two former XXL Freshmen (they shared the inaugural cover in 2009, the height of the blog era) reunite after all this time for an EP of abstract raps and neck-cracking production provided by backpack rap mainstay Nottz. And hey, look! Asher Roth is here too! Remember him? Ah, nostalgia.
Chynna — Drug Opera
I hate writing this, yet I’ve had to do it way too many times in recent months: the late Chynna releases a posthumous album with a truly uncomfortable title, showcasing the talent that was taken way too soon. Collabs with Junglepussy and ASAP Ant prove she could flex alongside the best, making this one a double gut check.
Dame D.O.L.L.A. — Different On Levels The Lord Allowed
The Portland Trailblazers can breathe easy now that Dame’s more-or-less confined he’s hanging around, and his new album is also proof he’s been working just as hard on his pen game as his hoops one. This time around, he adds Blxst and Q-Tip to his growing list of high-profile co-signers along with frequent collaborators Mozzy and Lil Wayne. His “Kobe” collab with Snoop shows up here too.
Problem — Coffee Break [EP]
Presented as a “visual EP,” the Compton rapper’s latest continues to play on his “Coffe & Kush” concept as he takes on familiar-sounding production alongside Dom Kennedy while boasting his accomplishments and personal growth.
Rod Wave — SoulFly (Deluxe)
Look, man, the deluxe re-release trend has long since gotten out of hand, but since we can’t control it, we may as well roll with it, right? Here, the Floridian crooner adds nine new tracks to his most successful release, graciously eschewing the addition of any new guest stars. He sounds good and gives his fans more of a good thing.
Trippie Redd — Trip At Knight
Give the SoundCloud alum some credit; he’s probably been the most consistent member of his cohort, dropping an album a year since receiving XXL‘s cosign in 2018 — more than Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, or Ski Mask The Slump, all of whom also appear on this album, along with deceased members of their peer group, Juice WRLD and XXXTentacion.
Brittany B — “Confidence”
I can’t lie, I have a soft spot for Brittany B, a fellow Compton native who’s paid dues behind the scenes for half of the last decade, writing for and alongside John Legend, Kash Doll, Ty Dolla Sign, and even Bhad Bhabie. For the last few years she’s been part of the supporting cast of Love & Hip Hop, but re-christening herself Bee-B and adopting a Timbaland-esque beat, she reintroduces herself with a bold new look and I can’t help rooting for her.
Dro Kenji — “Kill Cupid” Feat. $not
A hazy banger with an anime-inspired video, “Kill Cupid” sets up the 10K Projects artist from Summerville, South Carolina for a potential breakout assisted by emo-rap fave $not.
Lute — “Myself”
Dreamville’s own Lute bounces back after 2020 slowed up the momentum from his single “GED (Gettin Every Dolla),” unleashing one of the hardest opening lines I’ve heard in a while.
Mo3 & Morray — “In My Blood”
Losing Mo3 in 2020 feels all the more devastating when his emotive flow is matched with Morray’s just as the latter is breaking out thanks to his own well-received debut and a co-sign from J. Cole. Under just slightly different circumstances, Mo3 could be here to celebrate both their success alongside his collaborator.
Rick Hyde — “Black Sinatra” Feat. Benny The Butcher
Benny’s BSF crew expands on the throwback sound espoused by the Griselda gang while embracing more of the mafioso rap posture of their NYC predecessors. Rick Hyde does a pretty serviceable job of painting the picture, while new Benny is always appreciated.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.