Last Friday, there were a ton of new releases from some of your favorite Hip-Hop artists. To help you through this week, VIBE compiled 10 songs and albums you should hear and add to your soundtrack of your hustle and bustle.
Mount Westmore – Snoop, Cube, 40, $hort
Four pillars of West Coast Hip-Hop join forces, as Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40 and Too $hort deliver Snoop, Cube, 40, $hort, their debut as the supergroup Mount Westmore. All hailing from The Golden State, the quartet of legends immediately represent for their territory on the album opener “California.” Produced by Rick Rock, the track finds the group setting the stage, with Snoop acknowledging their strength in numbers. “I hooked up with more hoggs/Cube, 40 and Short Dawg/Representin’ Cali, we back on it boy,” he raps atop the bouncy backdrop.
Paying homage to their respective locales, all parties put forth strong performances, kicking off the proceedings on a high note. The previously released singles “Big Subwoofer” and “Too Big” featuring P-Lo keeps the vibes afloat, while standouts like the Fredwreck and Dem Jointz-produced “Have A Nice Day,” and the Soopafly scored “Do My Best,” find the crew hitting on all cylinders. The album hits a slight lull during its middle portion due to a brief string of offerings that border on underwhelming, but finishes strong, as the cuts “Lace You Up,” and “How Many” prove to be more than serviceable. With over a century worth of skin in the game combined, Snoop, Cube, 40 and $hort linking for an album is a monumental occasion in itself. But the music actually being good makes the listen that more enjoyable. – Preezy Brown
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – Me Vs. Myself
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s new album Me Vs. Myself is aptly named as the 27-year-old details his internal struggles navigating life and loving. Though his tales are relatable and hit home as he croons over upbeat production, there is a strong air of familiarity in this project. The Highbridge, NY rapper has hit a ceiling. When he was new, this was a fresh sound. He provided a masculine view of romance coupled with vulnerability and courage that was laudable. Now, the sounds he provides here on his fourth studio album come off repetitive and, admittedly, a bit boring. The album shines when he interpolates classic records like Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” on “Turn Off The Radio” or “Miss Independent” on “February.”
Unfortunately, being a sample merchant cannot save this 22-song chore. The beat switch on “Last Time” followed by a lackluster G Herbo verse feels misplaced. Artist’s attempt to restore the feeling with the part two to his hit record “Drowning” with Kodak Black felt like a desperate attempt to remind people of his better output years ago. Lil Durk carries his two appearances on “Damn Homie” and “24 Hours” but overall this album feels as though the man who gave us “My Sh*t,” “Still Think About You,” and “Jungle” years ago has run out of gas. Now it is simply a matter of whether he will sit in his motionless vehicle and call for help, or try to push toward the nearest gas station to try and continue on this path. The latter is not advised. – Armon Sadler
Icewear Vezzo Ad DJ Drama – Paint the City (Gangsta Grillz)
Detroit rhyme slinger Icewear Vezzo drops off his DJ Drama-hosted mixtape Paint the City, the rapper’s first Gangsta Grillz edition. Offering an array of scorching solo outings and high-powered collaborations, the tape finds Vezzo celebrating the season of the hustlers on “RNS” and presenting words of motivation for the trenches on the booming number “Ain’t No Turning Back.” Bolstered by guest spots from Jeezy (“One Time”), Future (“Certified”), Peezy & G.T. (“No Talking”) and Kodak Black (“It’s All on U”), Paint the City marks another quality longplayer from Vezzo. Shining on the additional highlights “Ghost Music,” “Nobody” and “Trippin'” featuring 2 Chainz, the release continues the Motor City native’s trajectory up the rap ranks. – PB
Bun B & Statik Selektah – TrillStatik 2
Bun B reunites with Statik Selektah for the second installment in their TrillStatik series, in which the Massachussettes-bred producer provides the southern legend with a bevy of boom-bap-powered soundscapes to lyrically spill on. Following the defacto coronation of the introductory number, which finds Bun and Statik get “Right Back At It,” the pair revert to “Building Bridges” alongside costars Paul Wall and Termanology.
Big K.R.I.T. and Cal Wayne appear on the soulful ditty “In My Hand,” while Styles P broods over a spellbinding instrumental on the sample-driven heater “Devastating.” A psychedelic-sounding backdrop is presented on “Only Life I Know” before the UGK member closes out the project with the solemn finale “There Comes a Time.” Announcing plans for a third release in the TrillStatik collection, Bun and Statik ride off into the sunset until their next collaborative effort, which, according to Bun, was recorded in the span of 12 hours.
Blxst featuring Larry June – “Keep Calling”
Blxst and Larry June coming together on “Keep Calling” is a linkup of epic proportions. As two of the premier “car music” makers, they mesh seamlessly. The record is West Coast vibes galore, and the duo is confident as ever reflecting on a past lover still calling them despite things seemingly being over. “They keep calling, I keep on balling / Baby I’m standing on business, I’m flawless / Baby, my diamonds still hitting, they flawless,” Blxst croons in the hook. With their international mindsets and work ethics, they rightfully choose not to focus on any distractions. With that, comes a great record. – AS
Polo G – “My All”
Polo G’s “My All” doesn’t deviate much from his normal formula. Steady-paced drums, guitars, and his melodic rap flow get the job done, but this record isn’t too memorable. He’s jaded by women from his past and resolves that he won’t pursue relationships with any of them. “I gave that ungrateful bi**h my all, that wouldn’t enough for her,” he says in the chorus, but the verses don’t necessarily align with that concept. Musically, the song is fine but conceptually it is a bit disjointed. – AS
Kool G Rap – Last of a Dying Breed
Renowned rhyme novelist Kool G Rap pens his latest chapters on his new album, Last of a Dying Breed, a project that finds the Corona, Queens native flexing his verbal cleverness throughout the course of its 11 tracks.
Setting the tempo with the triumphant “Dying Breed,” the former Juice Crew member presents a slew of impressive offerings, including the piano-driven “Never Be,” and the cinematic Big Daddy Kane reunion “Fly Till I Die.” Coney Island’s Nems pops up on the rock-ish groove “Critical,” while Giancana runs roughshod by his lonely on the Domingo-produced bruiser “Official.” Bookending the album with the highlights “Million Reasons” and “Born N Raised,” Kool G shows that his ability to string together top-tier raps remains intact, even in his latter years and with dozens of releases under his belt. – PB
Shy Glizzy ft. 21 Savage – “Slime-U-Out”
Shy Glizzy and 21 Savage ping pong high energy flows on “Slime U Out.” The Hitmaka-produced record details their spending habits and accuracy in aiming out the opps. There’s a fun ying-yang element to Shy’s uniquely pitched voice and Savage’s menacing tone. The latter continues his successful year with yet another strong guest appearance, though this verse ends a bit abruptly. Still, this is an exciting collaboration and a burst of adrenaline that could soundtrack any college athlete’s highlight tape. – AS