For today's New Music Fridays, New York City hip-hop from past and present both represent heavy in the release schedule, while one of rap's rookies of the year and a new Young Money artist also make strong impressions.
Skyzoo and Pete Rock – Retropolitan
Rappers have spoken for years about wanting to "bring New York back," but Skyzoo and Pete Rock take the task personally on their new album Retropolitan. Skyzoo said that joint album “came from a feeling of necessity. The album is both a love letter and a wakeup call to the city of New York. In an age where hype dominates reality, FOMO supersedes integrity and gentrification has supplanted tradition, this album is screaming for NYC to wake TF up---even as Pete & myself thank the city for all it’s done for us at the same time." Their single "Eastern Conference All-Stars" with Conway The Machine, Benny The Butcher, Westside Gunn and Conway has been getting obsessive listens over here, so we're excited to hear the rest of the album by the elite Brooklyn wordsmith and the GOAT level producer. Apple Music | TIDAL
Kemba – Gilda
Since changing his name from YC The Cynic, Kemba has built much of his buzz in recent years with stunning freestyles – namely an impromptu performance with and cosign from Kendrick Lamar in Brooklyn, and a bar-heavy freestyle on Hot 97 with host Peter Rosenberg. But his Republic debut Gilda – named after his recently deceased mother – showcases both his exquisite bar work, a vulnerable singing voice, and a willingness to distort his vocals to convey the whirlwind of emotions that comes with such painful loss. The album features appearances by Jagged Edge, RL of Next, Smino, Chris Scholar and Portugal, The Man, along with production by Black Milk, Brasstracks, and Kemba himself. Apple Music | TIDAL
Boosie Badazz and Zaytoven – Bad Azz Zay
Boosie Badazz released two projects in 2018 – Boosie Blues Cafe and Savage Holidays – and he's taking time away from his hilarious IG live appearances to drop another album, Bad Azz Zay, produced by Zaytoven, the Atlanta producer known for his collaborations with Gucci Mane, Usher, and Future. The album clocks in at 13 tracks and 41 minutes, with one feature from Tokyo Vanity. Apple Music | TIDAL
Gashi – Gashi
Libyan lyricist Gashi has spent the last few years racking up streams and building up his fan base with songs like "Safety" with DJ Snake and "Creep On Me" with French Montana and DJ Snake. This week, off the momentum of the G-Eazy-assisted single "My Year" performing in the top 40, Gashi releases his self-titled debut with RCA Records. He showcases his various musical influences across 16 tracks and 51 minutes. Apple Music | TIDAL
Euro – Don't Expect Nothing
Providence, Rhode Island rapper Euro first introduced himself to the masses with an appearance on "Live Life," a song from Lil Wayne's Dedication 5 mixtape. After paying dues and dropping loosies over the years, he's releasing his debut album Don't Expect Nothing under Secret Weapon Entertainment and Empire, with Young Money's backing. He reunites with Tunechi on "Talk 2 Me Crazy," and other album highlights include "A Billion Dollars," "Georgia" and "More Life, More Luv." Apple Music | TIDAL
Gang Starr featuring J. Cole – "Family and Loyalty"
It's been more than 15 years since Gang Starr's last album, and nine years since the rap half of the group, Guru, died of cancer. But after a cryptic voicemail from Nas on DJ Premier's phone surfaced earlier this week, DJ Premier has released a brand new single from the legendary duo. "Family and Loyalty" features DJ Premier's timeless scratches and focused, thematic lyrics by a posthumous Guru. And after a year and a half of bodying every guest appearance in sight, J. Cole continues his run with another passionate, multisyllabic 16 that he says will be his last feature. Apple Music | TIDAL
DaBaby – "INTRO"
DaBaby has had a hell of a year in 2019: his hit "Suge" has made him a star, and guest appearances with the likes of Megan the Stallion and J. Cole. But after dropping his solo album Baby On Baby earlier this year, it appears that another is on the horizon with the release of "INTRO" this week. Over a soulful beat by DJ Kid, DaBaby gives a heartfelt breakdown of his humble beginnings, his rise to success, and his continued aspirations. Spotify | Apple Music | TIDAL
Casanova "Stay Wit It"
Casanova has had a hot summer: "Coming Home" showed his romantic side with a cameo from Chris Brown, and the Fabolous-assisted "So Brooklyn" has taken his hometown by storm, inspiring rappers around the world to rap over it in the #SoBrooklynChallenge. Now, he's released a new song called "Stay Wit It," announcing an Oct. 11 release date for his album Behind These Scars. Apple Music | TIDAL
Lucky Daye – "Buying Time"
With his The Painted Tour beginning tonight (Sept. 20) in Portland, Ore., Lucky Daye released "Buying Time," a smooth, guitar-tinged song outside of his album Painted that was released earlier this year. Apple Music | TIDAL
Aaron Rose – "Pyramids"
Pro Era lyricist Aaron Rose, formerly known as A La $ole, has released his new single "Pyramids" with a knocking, atmospheric backdrop by A Silent K and high-energy bars by Aaron. The song appears on Aaron Rose's upcoming album Rozart, which will be released through Pro Era Records.
Th1rt3en - "Palindrome"
Th1rt3en is the trio of Pharaohe Monch, Daru Jones and Marcus Machado – and in preparation for their upcoming performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on Saturday, Sept. 21, they've released the song "Palindrome." The record showcases Monch's unreal lyrical abilities, as he plays with palindromes – words that read the same backward and forward. Watch the video below to keep up.
Mickey Factz - Enigma
"Y'all know what I do to lyrics. Why I gotta do a gimmick just for you to get it?" On the self-titled song from this three-song EP, Bronx lyricist Mickey Factz ponders that, sick loved ones, and other pressing issues. Mickey is a rapper's rapper, and that's clear from these songs: the wit, wordplay and flows are always precise, and this is a solid sampling of his skill set. Apple Music | TIDAL
Cantrell – "I’m So Georgia YAKWTFGO"
After impressing us with his video for Devil Never Even Lived single "WaY BaCK," Mass Appeal lyricst Cantrell has continued his #FreeShxtFriday series with his take on Casanova and Fabolous' "So Brooklyn."
I’m So Georgia YAKWTFGO - #SoBrooklynChallenge #FreeShxtFriday @CASANOVA_2X pic.twitter.com/i0jN5lmw5L
— Cantrell (@iamcantrell) September 20, 2019