The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Kanye West, Lil Nas X, and more.
… Technically. While Lil Nas X’s new song “Industry Baby” with Jack Harlow did drop as scheduled — and more than lived up to his warning that it was not for kids — Kanye added yet another anticipated project to his ever-growing list of pump fakes. Despite renting out a whole ass arena for a listening event for Donda (for which he was two hours late), he neglected to actually put the album out, surprising virtually no one in the process.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending July 23, 2021.
Childish Major — Thank You, God. For It All
The Atlanta producer turned solo artist invites Schoolboy Q and Yung Baby Tate for this bubbly set of seven songs, addressing his rough-and-tumble upbringing and showcasing his lyrical growth. JetsonMade and Hollywood Cole provide beats, while Childish delves into both TikTok and backpack rap song structures with a deft touch.
Dave — We’re All Alone In This Together
Ever since popping up in the mid-2010s, Dave has distinguished himself as one of the most magnetic MCs Britain has to offer. Now, two years after releasing his debut album Psychodrama, the 23-year-old delivers a confidently grown-up grime meditation featuring fellow scene standout Stormzy on the electrifying “Clash,” Afropop sensation Wizkid, and James Blake. Sheesh.
EST Gee — Bigger Than Life Or Death
Paying off the faith shown by big-name co-signers like fellow Louisvillian Jack Harlow, initial benefactor Lil Baby, and CMG label boss Yo Gotti, EST Gee’s first mainstream effort is a slick blend of solo trap and high-speed collaborations with some of rap’s hottest. It’s a solid body of work that establishes his footing as a potential breakout star.
Yung Bleu — Moon Boy
It’s fitting, but no less disappointing, that Yung Bleu’s debut album is such a feature-filled affair — he pretty much owes his current level of exposure to a timely feature from kingmaker Drake. He’s proven that he can stand on his own, as well as coming into the game with a compelling enough narrative to hold up over the course of a full-length project, but clearly, there’s a lot of investment in the success of his melodic first outing, so he’s brought plenty of backup for maximum algorithmic coverage. Fortunately, he’s developed enough that they sound like guests, never overwhelming him or skewing the gravity of songs away from exactly what he wants to do.
Asian Doll — “Nunnadet Sh*t Remix” Feat. Dream Doll, Dreezy, Ivorian Doll, and Rubi Rose
Look, man. Say what you want about how many “Dolls” are on this track (there’s a new one?!), but it’s fun to hear all these women bouncing off each other’s flows, each taking their own approach to a sneering, swaggering posse cut. Plus, anytime we get more Dreezy is appreciated.
Damu The Fudgemunk — “God Speed” Feat. Blu
Dope beats, dope rhymes, what more do y’all want? There aren’t so many bells or whistles here, just good old-fashioned, lyrically focused underground hip-hop from two of the scene’s most clever creators.
Jordan Hollywood — “The Ugly Song”
So, as an unapologetic fan of Bubba Sparxxx, one of the 2000s most criminally underrated rap acts, this unabashed homage/remake strikes me as very endearing… Then, there’s the obvious parallel between the two rappers that shows Hollywood knows his history and doesn’t shy away from it. I love it.
Rexx Life Raj — “Turn Her Up”
At this point, Raj and Russ are both fixtures of this column, with weekly releases that highlight the value of independent hustle. Raj’s latest offering praises a female companion, reeling off all her impressive qualifications and promising to always play hype man.
Russ — “Lake Como”
Meanwhile, Russ’s contribution to the week’s newest hip-hop is similar, a mellow reflection on a paramour he’s finally ready to take seriously. He sings for about half the track, then spits a melodic verse to finish it off.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.