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.
Roddy Ricch – Feed Tha Streets 3
In many people’s eyes, Roddy Ricch’s next project after Live Life Fast had high stakes to it. The decline in quality following 2019’s smash LP Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial despite the 24-year-old’s assertion that Live Life Fast would blow all of 2021’s music out of the water was dumbfounding. With his back against the wall and many people ready to write him off in this microwave era of music, the Compton, Calif. artist returned to a place of comfort with Feed The Streets III, the latest addition to his popular mixtape series.
The passion that was lacking in Live Life Fast comes through tenfold on this project, and it makes his boisterous flexes sound a lot more believable. In the face of heavy critique, he counters by throwing his luxuries in everyone’s faces. Roddy reminds listeners how well he can blend melody and lyricism over high-energy production on records like “Twin” featuring Lil Durk, “King Size,” and “No Rest.” He unites with Ty Dolla $ign again for a ballad-type cut on “#1 Freak,” catering to the ladies as much as he caters to the male fanbase looking for ego-boosting tunes.
He even gets introspective on the album closer “Letter To My Son,” showing that his assertions about wanting to live life and have new experiences to put into the music have some merit. This shouldn’t be considered a comeback album because he’s only missed once project-wise, but since that’s the narrative, this is a welcome reminder of how talented the young star is. Consider the streets fed. — Armon Sadler
Saweetie – The Single Life
Saweetie has spent most of her time in the last few years showing off her unconventional cooking abilities, but the 29-year-old has finally tapped back into the music with her latest project The Single Life.
After a public breakup with Quavo and rumors of a romance with Lil Baby, the Santa Clara, Calif. artist uses the six-song effort to set the record straight. On “Handle My Truth,” she’s healing and happy. She asserts the power of her loins over a “Juicy” sample on “P.U.S.S.Y (Powerful, Utopia, Supreme, Sacred, Yummy)”, and reminds the world she is unforgettable on “Memorable.”
Regardless of who plays with her name or the men that don’t measure up, she is standing in her power. The West Coast influence oozes through the production, and she employs her usual catchy lines. Overall, it is a fun 16-minute listen. — AS
Busta Rhymes – The Fuse Is Lit
After pushing back the project in a show of respect to late rap star Takeoff, Busta Rhymes comes through with his quick-strike offering, The Fuse Is Lit.
Comprised of five selections, while relatively sparse, the EP is plentiful in moments that attest to the Flatbush native’s legendry. A master in the art of getting the party started, Busta does just that on “Break This Bi**h Up,” an introductory number featuring Swizz Beatz. Noting his decades-long run while urging listeners to shut the spot down,” the 50-year-old Hip-Hop vet proves that time hasn’t affected his penchant for creating celebratory vibes. Big Daddy Kane and Conway the Machine connect with Busta on “Slap,” as the formidable trio up the ante with each verse dropped. Rounded out by “Hot Sex Pt. 2,” the Skillibeng-assisted “Bulletproof Skin” and “Run It Up” featuring Capella Grey, Busta provides evidence that the creative fire inside continues to burn, with a fuse that appears far from being snuffed out anytime soon. — PB
Pharrell Williams & Travis Scott – “Down In Atlanta”
“Down In Atlanta” has a cinematic feel production-wise, thanks to the efforts of Pharrell Williams. It sounds like the type of song one would hear on the radio when driving in Grand Theft Auto or watching a protagonist run through the streets in an action film. Travis Scott employs his usual vibrant autotune-tinged vocals, fusing with the synths and drum kicks seamlessly. This is one of La Flame’s better musical outings over the last few years, which definitely increases the hype on the road to his next album Utopia. — AS
Rod Wave – Jupiter’s Diary: 7 Day Theory
Having extended his streak of chart-topping releases with his Beautiful Mind album, Rod Wave shows no relent, unleashing his new Jupiter’s Diary: 7 Day Theory EP. A few months removed from his previous effort, Wave continues to shine on his latest outing, conveying vulnerability on the twangy album opener “Break My Heart.” Other inclusions on the eight-song project that are particularly enticing are “The Answer Is No,” the melodic “Just Sing,” and its title track, making the release a welcome addition to his catalog for his longtime fans. It’s worthy of consideration by those looking to get familiar with the Florida native’s sound. — PB
Key Glock – PRE5L
Key Glock unveils his latest release, PRE5L, his first musical project since the murder of his CEO and partner-in-rhyme Young Dolph. Dropped on the one-year anniversary of Dolph’s passing, the EP includes various nods to Glock’s late comrade but finds the Memphis titan spending much of the tape grinding and shining and focused on the matter at hand. Led by the single “Jigsaw,’ PRE5L is devoid of features, allowing Glizzock to take center stage for the duration of the proceedings. Key selections on the tape include “Forgive Me” and “Die Trying,” a motivational anthem in the vein of the heaters we’ve come to know him for over the years. — PB
Dave East – Book of David
After dropping his HDIGH EP and its deluxe version earlier this year, Dave East doubles back with his latest project Book of David. Hosted by DJ Drama, the Harlem rapper’s Gangsta Grillz edition finds him linking with longtime collaborators Buda & Grandz. The production duo cooks up 16 heat rocks on the tape, as well as the bonus cut, lacing East with a bevy of sound beds to run roughshod over.
A student of the culture, the FTD spitter pays homage to classics like Lil Kim’s Queen Bi**h” (“Seen A Lot), Busta Rhymes’ “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” (“Eyes Can See”), and Ma$e’s “Wanna Hurt Mase” (“Disrespectful”), as Buda & Grandz incorporate samples of the original into East’s renditions. Additional standouts on Book of David include “Trouble,” “FTWTD,” “Rules,” and “Eternal,” which includes a posthumous appearance by late Queens rapper, collaborator and friend Kiing Shooter. — PB
Westside Boogie – More Black Superheroes (Deluxe)
If dropping one of the more critically-acclaimed efforts this year wasn’t enough, Westside Boogie decided to bless the fans with a stimulus package in the form of the deluxe version of his More Black Superheroes album. Instead of opting to bolster the tracklist and streams with B-Side material, the Cali rep puts his best foot forward on new songs like “Float,” “Contradictions,” and “Halfway Right” featuring Rapsody and Alex Isley. With Album of the Year conversations ramping up, Boogie slyly strengthens his campaign with this limited edition retread, which also includes live versions of the fan-favorites “Killa Mode,” “Nonchalant,” and “Can’t Even Lie.” — PB
Don Toliver – “Do It Right”
Don Toliver dials back the clock on “Do It Right” with a sample of The S.O.S. Band’s classic record “Take Your Time (Do It Right).” The Houston rapper puts a slight drill and trap hybrid twist on the record, flexing about securing bags and having the stamina to party all night. As the 28-year-old is equipped with a charming melodic voice, he creates an earworm that is equally enjoyable to sing along to and dance to. All in all, the Life Of A Don artist does the legendary song justice. — AS
Lola Brooke – “Here I Come”
Lola Brooke is taking the rap game by storm. “Here I Come” is as much of a warning as it is about the Brooklyn lyricist planting her flag firmly in the current music landscape. The confidence, conviction, and haymaker flow make “Here I Come” a burst of energy. “Instead of you worrying about me, go keep busy,” she raps. “Sometimes I like my ni**a then I don’t, a bi**h is iffy.”
Sorry to that man, but it is clear the 23-year-old is looking upward with every move she makes, and no distractions are allowed. This is another great effort from the “Don’t Play With It” rapper. — AS