Today is Friday, which means there are a ton of new releases to look forward to from some of your favorite Hip-Hop artists. To help you unwind and enjoy the weekend, check out VIBE’s picks of songs and albums you should hear and add to your soundtrack of weekend festivities.
Drake & 21 Savage – Her Loss
Drake and 21 Savage’s chemistry has been something to marvel at since their first connection on 2016’s “Sneakin,” and the subsequent collaborations “Mr. Right Now,” “Knife Talk,” and “Jimmy Cooks.” Thus, it was fair to expect their collaborative project, Her Loss, to deliver, and it did. The Six God played quarterback across the 16 tracks, employing his usual hybrid of rapping and singing, but playing to the Slaughter Gang CEO’s strengths with jarring beat switches.
Records like “Major Distribution,” “Spin Bout U,” “Hours In Silence,” and “Circo Loco” display the versatility we’d expect from Drizzy and the progression of 21 over the course of his career. Sole feature Travis Scott truly did not add anything to the overall fun, braggadocious experience on “Pu**y & Millions,” but there’s enough quality on here to overlook his unnecessary presence. One of the most endearing aspects of this project is Drake figuratively giving 21 the keys by allowing him to have the solo performance on “3AM on Glenwood,” a timestamp record that would normally be a memorable addition to Drake’s canon.
Boi-1da, Tay Keith, and all of the producers brought their A-game. One would be hard-pressed to find an issue with the music itself. As for the supposed reference to Megan Thee Stallion—the big elephant in the room on this major drop day—the line shouldn’t have been said. Drake is clever in allowing the wordplay to be left to interpretation, but given the uncertainty of her case against Tory Lanez and the emotions involved, it was not needed. People viewing it as tasteless and misogynistic certainly have a basis for their perspective.
It will overshadow how good the music is for however long social media decides to be up in arms. For clarity, this is not said to support the line or the view that Meg is lying about what happened to her. That is up to the courts to decide, but shooting anyone is not okay. Overall, Her Loss was our musical gain. — Armon Sadler
Lecrae – Church Clothes 4
Two years removed from his last solo set, with an acclaimed collaborative project with 1K Phew under his belt, Lecrae has been setting the stage for his reemergence with a string of single releases throughout 2022. Now, the Houston wordsmith comes forth with his latest musical testament in the form of Church Clothes 4, which finds reprising his popular mixtape series for the first time since 2016. Immediately removing any doubts that the downtime led to diminishing returns, Lecrae zones out on the opener “CC4,” littering the uptempo production with quotables aplenty. Known for conjuring uplifting and contemplative moments of thought, he delves deep into the additional “Still In America,” “Good Lord,” “Take Me Up,” and “Fear Not,” rounding out a body of work that adds to his impressive catalog. — Preezy Brown
Mac Phipps – Son of the City
After serving 21 years behind bars, former No Limit Records artist Mac has returned to the music scene with Son of the City, his first full-length effort since 1999’s World War III. Now rhyming under the moniker Mac Phipps, the New Orleans spitter kicks off his comeback effort with fervor on its introductory titular cut. Declaring “Mac is nothing like your favorite rapper,” he goes about proving that declaration true throughout the course of this 10-track offering, which includes highlights like the jazzy “Proverbs (If Forever Comes)” and “Big Easy,” as well as the piano-laden “Dry Snitching.” Featuring appearances from Curren$y, Fiend, Dee-1, 3d Na’tee, Cognac, and more, Son of the City is a solid collection from Mac and doubles as one of the more compelling, feel-good releases of the fourth quarter. — P.B.
Boldy James And Futurewave – Mr. Ten08
Despite running roughshod alongside producer Nicolas Craven on their Fair Exchange No Robbery album, Boldy James shows no signs of wear and tear on Mr. Ten08, which arrives roughly one month after his previous outing. Teaming up with boardsman Futurewave, James sticks to his tried-and-true formula of dropping soul-splintering Motor City parable atop barebones, sample-driven soundscapes with guile and efficiency. 2100 Bagz accounts for the album’s lone guest spot on the lyrical duel “Dormin’s,” while Boldy all but walks on water on “The Whole Hundro” and “Mortermir Milestone,” key cuts that serve as a mere sample of the rawness on the Detroiter’s third release of the year. — P.B.
JID – The Forever Story (Deluxe)
JID dropped off “2007” earlier this week, a record he originally wanted on The Forever Story but could not clear in time, so it had to live on YouTube. The one-record addition to the extended version of Forever Story is over seven minutes in length, and an emotional journey. J. Cole, Ibrahim Hamad, and JID’s father all appear on the record to speak about the 32-year-old. The family affair is loaded with soulful production and beat changes, high-level bars, and one of the most personal offerings from the Atlanta rapper. It is another addition to an album that adds some strength to the perspective that he can one day take the lead for Dreamville when Cole steps away from rap. — AS
9th Wonder – ZION VII
Producer 9th Wonder continues his ZION beat compilation series with its seventh installment, which doubles as the Carolina rep’s second musical project of the year following his The Don & Eye album with The Musalini. Yet, drum kicks and loops aren’t the only options on the course, as 9th Wonder shares the spotlight with Jamla Records signees Swank and King Draft, who hold court for the first several tracks, including on the standouts “All Good!!!,” “The Chase!!!,” and “Know I!!!” And when you add in banging instrumentals like “Been Changed!!!,” “TriedEverythang!!!,” “AbyssJam!!!,” and “TooMuch!!!,” the result is a layered listen with an array of quality selections to rhyme along to and others to simply vibe to. — P.B.
Dusty Locane – Nightmare on Da Fifth
Dusty Locane has built a considerable buzz as one of the more popular rap artists out of the streets of Brooklyn, but his success has not whetted his appetite for more wins. The Canarsie boss looks to close out the year strong with his Nightmare on Da Fifth project, which finds him leading the charge while being backed by costars SFIV5, 3Kizzy, and Kajun Waters. Reeling off a string of high-octane salvos, including “ROLL DA DICE,” “JIGSAW,” and “2ND AMMEDMENT,” Nightmare on Da Fifth is evidence of Locane’s upside growing evermore scary with each effort dropped, making its title even more appropriate. — P.B.
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – “Ballin”
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is gearing up for his next album and wants the world to know he’s standing firm in his triple threat position on “Ballin.” The crooner makes a clever reference to the Curry brothers with “Two 30’s on my hip, I call ‘em Steph and Seth.” Of course, he couldn’t leave out Bronny James with “I’m ballin’ like LeBron’s son” or New York’s own Carmelo Anthony with “Got my hoodie on like Melo in the Garden.” It’s a light 30-point game from one of New York’s brightest young stars. — AS
NLE Choppa – “Ice Spice”
One should wonder if Ice Spice is flattered at getting a tribute track so early into her run, but NLE Choppa spends more time flexing his riches on this record than actually talking about the Bronx drill rapper. “Rich young ni**a can’t get in no scuffle / I’m ‘quipped with the blick, that’s on my brother / Take a risk everyday with my life, I’ma roll that dice like it’s ten of folks / Go to the bank, deposit money every weekend and bi**h ’til I break that ho.” It’s an impressive performance, with the use of “real munch” to put the icing on the cake. — AS
Brockhampton – “Big Pu**y”
Brockhampton’s new single “Big Pu**y” is as vulgar as it is exciting. There’s an element of old-school rap, with a slight rock feel. Kevin Abstract shines in this solo endeavor, manipulating his vocals to sound as if the group is spitting certain bars together, and weaving in and out of each other’s verses in other instances. The musicality is top-notch, so much so that the record ending in just two minutes and 20 seconds feels like listeners got duped. If this is the energy Brockhampton is bringing heading into their last hurrah, fans may be in for something very special. — AS