Happy First Friday in June! It’s my birthday month so I’m especially paying attention to what’s sounding good and will be played on June 25. There are a lot of great raps, namely Cyhi and Ncognita, and some fun tracks to bump in the car or on the big speakers. Don’t just take my word for it though, read up and press play on this week’s offering.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending June 3, 2022.
Post Malone — Twelve Carat Toothache
Despite all of his success, Post Malone has also seen the downfalls that come with fame. He returns this week with his fourth studio album Twelve Carat Toothache to address it all. “Reputation” is a somber, introspective opener that immediately transports you into Posty’s psyche. The album features Roddy Ricch, Doja Cat, Gunna, Fleet Foxes, The Kid Laroi, and The Weeknd. He may call himself “White Iverson” but here he gets as many assists as points he scores over the LP’s 14 songs.
Vory — Lost Souls
Vory’s gotten a lot of big looks over the years, namely co-signs from Meek Mill and Kanye West. Now, the Houston talent is here with his debut album Lost Souls where the 24-year-old bears his own over 17 tracks. Features include Ye, NAV, Yung Bleu, Landstrip Chip, Fresco Trey, and Beam. The title track opener and “Lesson Learned” are the gems here.
Big Moochie Grape — East Haiti Baby
Who can deny an album that opens with a clean sample of Blackstreets’ “No Diggity” featuring Dr. Dre and Queen Pen? Let me know when you know. Big Moochie Grape is here with his second project East Haiti Baby with features from the late Young Dolph, Key Glock, and Kenny Muney. The singles “I’m The One,” “Never Had Sh**,” and “Uncut & Raw” provided a glimpse of what to expect from the album, but tracks like “Rick Flair,” “Christopher Wallace,” and “Joe Biden” may end up being what gets repeated the most.
KayCyy — Get Used To It
KayCyy is here with his latest EP and he wants you to Get Used To It. Embracing a variety of sounds, the Kenyan 24-year-old gets meta on the standout “Replay,” raises the adrenaline up on “Shoutouts” and brings along Lancey Foux, 070 Shake, Annahstasia, and Steven Bamidele for the ride. The album title and message are clear across its 9 songs: everyone ought to get accustomed to solid music like this.
Lil Tracy — Saturn Child
Lil Tracy’s Saturn Child is a solo galactic exploration, acknowledging the hedonistic nature of the women in his life on “Voodoo” and the king in his mirror’s reflection on “Touche.” The 26-year-old New Jersey native opts for no guest appearances here, but with a delivery like his, they aren’t necessary this time around.
Babyface Ray — “Spending Spree” Feat. Veeze
“Spending Spree” shows Babyface Ray and Veeze rapping in a garage and a control room. The fish eye effect adds a uniqueness to this video in addition to the various filters they use with it. Though the rappers flash money, there isn’t much spending here. Perhaps they just got back from cashing out? Either way, it’s a fun song and Babyface Ray never disappoints.
Choosey — “Reminded”
Choosey “plays for commas, you can keep the comments” in his new piano-laced track “Reminded.” He calls out people who make it to the blogs but still aren’t hot, and likens moments not lasting to episodes of television shows. His deep vocal tone in conjunction with the pianos and drum kicks make this the type of record best experienced through headphones.
Payroll Giovanni — “Back 2 The Basics”
Payroll Giovanni lives up to his name in the new video for “Back 2 The Basics.” With a blunt in hand and homie to his side, the visual opens with him arranging a transaction for his watch. He tasks his partner with making the drop, and it all goes well as another associate returns with a bookbag full of money in between scenes flashing money counters or the rapper delivering his verses with his crew backing him. Business as usual for Mr. Giovanni.
NCognita — “2x Freestyle” Feat. Tundra
The video for “2x Freestyle” shows NCognita kicking things off, passionately rapping at the top of a staircase at what either appears to be a house party. She gets the outside crowd rocking even though there is a function going on inside. In a nod to classic comedies, there is a cutscene of an angry neighbor yelling upstairs to quiet down and threatening to come upstairs. Nothing changes and Tundra opts to join the crowd as he raps and dances along to his verse. It’s safe to say the neighbors know their name, but that just may not be a good thing in this instance.
Tanna Leone — “Picasso”
“And my name not sex at all, but a n**** came from nothin’” is hilarious. Tanna Leone croons about money, women, and success in his new track “Picasso,” but it’s the video that truly makes the experience. The visual’s appeal begins with the time lapsed reverse zoom into Leone’s shades, and continues on with the slowly deteriorating phone booth he raps in. Then we find him lying on a couch while a woman dances next to him, only the floor elevated to where she is almost perpendicular to the pgLang artist. It’s all very well executed.
Blk Odyssey — “Benny’s Got A Gun” Feat. Benny The Butcher and George Clinton
Blk Odyssey’s song and video for “Benny’s Got A Gun” featuring Benny The Butcher and George Clinton is both a tough listen and watch, but the storytelling is excellent. A young man is trying to get tougher, runs into a situation where he can’t defend himself and is driven to up the ante by using a gun for his comeuppance. It is certainly a relatable narrative for some, and an unfortunate reality of a position many young Black men are put in. Odyssey and Benny appear in multiple scenes, watching over the young man who is bloodied, pensive, and vengeful. George Clinton’s soulful vocals make this even more of an immersive experience.
Cyhi — “LA Leakers Freestyle”
Cyhi stopped by LA Leakers and absolutely blew it out of the water. He first spit a load of metaphors over 42 Dugg’s “Maybach” beat before following Jeezy’s instructions and going berserk over the “Go Crazy” beat. The breath control and myriad of flow switches were eye-opening, and him confidently claiming himself as everyone’s inspiration due to all of his songwriter credits should earn Cyhi’s June 1 visit a spot in the LA Leakers canon. We can debate.
CMG The Label (Yo Gotti, Moneybagg Yo, Mozzy, Lil Poppa — “Big League”
CMG The Label’s artists Yo Gotti, Moneybagg Yo, Mozzy, and Lil Poppa reimagine themselves as a basketball team on “Big League” and everyone hits their shots here with Murda Beatz calling the plays on the production side. This could easily be synced in an NBA Finals commercial with all of the NBA references, but it also serves as a victory lap for CMG which has had a successful last few years due to its popular roster. More years of this and there may need to be a serious dynasty talk.
Quando Rondo — “War Baby”
Quando Rondo is iced out and pushing a Benz in the “War Baby” video, but simultaneously sticks to his roots. Scenes show him among what appears to be his hometown homies from Savannah, Georgia. He raps about difficult situations they’ve worked their way out of and how those experiences have turned him into a “War Baby.” Rondo doesn’t run away from the trauma but rather uses it to fuel how he moves forward in life. Obviously, autotune is not a new concept, but there is a conversation to be had about introspective songs like these sounding better at times when the artist half-sings with autotune’s assistance.
Rowdy Rebel — “Woo Nina”
Rowdy Rebel’s “Woo Nina” follows the NYC drill production starter pack to a T, but he sets himself apart with a few clever, funny, or ridiculous bars. “Catch me geekin’ off these meds like I’m Urkel” yielded a chuckle, the “Woo” chant was well-executed, but the Black Lives Matter bar is where things got wild. Among a crew of his people, some ski-masked up, he says “They say Black Lives Matter / Let me catch my opp lackin’, see if that sh** matter.” Oh, Rowdy. In any event, this will pass the car test with flying colors and the Brooklyn enigma will always be a fun listen.
Audrey Nuna x Deb Never — “Sardines”
“Sardines” gives college house party energy. Audrey Nuna and Deb Never are in high spirits and won’t allow anything to bring them down. “If you really want me gotta show me what you got / Like ‘Okay!’ / I’m feeling really good.” And while the internet often makes jokes about songs with a similar boom-bap feel “scaring the h***,” this is an example of that type of record that can exist in a fun, social space. Nuna and Never did well.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.