Every month columnists Lorena Cupcake and Torry Threadcraft compile a listing of probably the most noteworthy rap releases for The Rap Round-up. Up this month, Asian Doll, Shy Glizzy, Kevin Gates and the divisive artist behind ‘Mo Bamba’, Sheck Wes, plus way more.
Following the multi-platinum success of songs like ‘Bad and Boujee’ and ‘Broccoli’, Quavo and Lil Yachty had cachet to burn. As these flames flutter and die, nonetheless, their respective latest outputs — Quavo’s first solo endeavor Quavo Huncho and Nuthin’ 2 Prove — did not spark a lot dialog. Given the unstoppable pursuit of newness, and dealing with years of over-saturation, how lengthy can one rapper stay at their peak?
Perhaps this month’s most inspiring moments got here when the division between the previous guard and the newest crop of MCs blurred sufficient to virtually disappear. Rap sport godfather Gucci Mane devoted Bricksmas to the discharge of 1017’s hottest younger artist, the expectation-defying Asian Doll. Teen crew LOWFI launched a debut that hearkened again to touchstones like Bone Thugs and Wu-Tang. And Future, assured to have even his most mid launch hyped and debated, teamed up with a rapper 15 years his junior for a shock drop nobody was anticipating.
So Icy Princess
Asian Doll comes into battle together with her grill bared and claws prepared for fight. The princess of the 1017 household, lately noticed actually tucked beneath the wing of Gucci Mane together with queen Keyshia Ka’oir Davis on crimson carpets, delivers on the promise of the regal cosign with 16 tracks that breeze previous with a cool chill.
Asian Doll limits the juvenile sing-song circulate presently fashionable to at least one track — the lipgloss-smacking earworm ‘Talk’ — setting her aside from a panorama of comparable artists all attempting to flex the identical belongings and aesthetics. “Ain’t no bitch like me, I promise,” she swears. It’s a promise she will again up. LC
Technically, this tape got here out in late September, however we will make exceptions for eccentricity. Like most rappers with this distinction, Blueface is an acquired style. He raps in run-on paragraphs and veers out of the traditional pocket virtually each different line — a acutely aware resolution on his half, although generally it appears like he’s too excited to get the phrases out to thoughts the drum sample. His rap profession began on a whim and his freewheeling method to track craft displays it. TT
Future & Juice WRLD Present…
WRLD on Drugs
As the uncommon chicken who nonetheless bumps Lil Uzi Vert and Gucci Mane’s 1017 Vs the World, I can recognize an oddball matchup. On the floor, that’s all this challenge seems to supply. Chicago’s Juice WRLD, a wide-eyed emo-rap crooner, brings a melodic vulnerability to the acquainted Future sound, updating it for hundreds of thousands of younger followers whose touchstones run shallow.
A deeper appreciation solely occurs when you think about the 2 rappers’ similarities, moderately than their variations: each artists make emotional revelations about combating addictions and put on their heartbreak on their sleeve, two themes at play over the course of the album. LC
Luca Brasi three
It’s conflicting to quote the state of Louisiana’s carceral legacy in a music column — particularly when it could possibly be seen as absolving an artist as reprehensible as Gates has been — but it surely’s value pondering the diploma to which such harrowing and autobiographical artwork will be separated from the local weather that made it, one which led the world’s most prison-happy nation in incarceration stats for practically twenty years.
For higher or worse, Gates’ music and interviews alike supply no respite from such traumatic subjects, and like his different tasks, Luca Brasi three is full of the clear content material that units him aside. On the intro, ‘Discussion’, he explains his resolution to plead responsible to a felony gun possession cost, not out of real guilt however merely as a way to forgo years of authorized proceedings. On the frantic ‘Find You Again’, he particulars the valleys of his marriage — from miscarriage and incarceration to disapproving in-laws. Considering tracks like these carry the burden of most Gates tasks, it’s a surprise Atlantic even sends him on the traditional press run. TT
Lil Baby & Gunna
After years of bouncing off one another’s mixtapes, Lil Baby and Gunna appeared collectively on Slime Language standout ‘Chanel (Go Get It)’, foreshadowing the discharge of a collaborative album that surpasses expectations.
Years of orbiting Young Thug and shadowing his type don’t assure a profession or charisma — simply ask Duke. While a few of Gunna’s solo work has pale within the recollections of all however probably the most ardent supporters, he’s all the time dazzled on options. Lil Baby gives not solely his distinct, melodic voice that may be noticed all around the Hot 100, however elevates each Gunna verse to characteristic degree. The interaction permits sufficient distinction to deliver every character out in reduction. LC
Sacramento’s Mozzy has been on a three-year tear, cresting with a placement on the finish of Marvel’s Black Panther and a shoutout from Kendrick Lamar throughout his Grammy acceptance speech. On his first full-length effort since, he re-states his case to face amongst regional greats. Beyond his revamps of ‘Thugz Mansion’ and ‘I Got 5 On It’, Mozzy’s lineage shines upon additional inspection of stanzas like the primary verse of ‘Who Want Problems’; a routine showcase of fever dream imagery and consonance worthy of dissection in junior excessive English lessons.
Even the tracks that could possibly be referred to as chart-chasing really feel pure — when the vibe will get too solemn, Ty Dolla $ign, Yhung T.O. and Schoolboy Q present up and add levity. When it will get too glitzy, Blac Youngsta, Yo Gotti and E. Mozzy are there to maintain issues grounded. TT
The permeation of ‘Mo Bamba’ into the cultural consciousness might need come as a shock to some; from the start, nonetheless, there have been clues to Sheck Wes’ future. He modeled — naked chested and open mouthed — for trend home Gucci, posted throwaway tracks to SoundCloud clamors, then deleted all of them when he signed with each Ye and Travis Scott.
On his debut album, the Harlem rapper does extra with the adverse area between ad-libs than much less promising novices can do with a breathless, borrowed circulate. It’s a Sheck Wes world, and we’re all simply residing Sheck Wes in it. LC
On his fifth challenge, 2012’s Fxck Rap, Shy Glizzy referred to as himself a “massive canine with just a little voice,” boasting that if guys like Eazy E and Lil’ Boosie might make a residing with it, why not him? In the seven-or-so tasks since then, Glizzy wields his pitchy timbre to exude each urgency and concord at a quietly constant clip.
Fully Loaded is comparatively stacked, feature-wise however feels much less dense than the common collab-laden rap tape. The visitor spots don’t appear misplaced, and the vary of sonic themes assist lighten the load resulting from Glizzy’s malleable circulate and inflection. ‘Where We Come From’ is one such instance of the unlikely chemistry: a gleaming oddball out of Zaytoven’s catalog that Glizzy leans proper into. TT
Lorena Cupcake writes about each aspect of tradition. Find their insightful protection on music, meals and extra at lorenacupcake.com.
Torry Threadcraft is a Brooklyn-based breakfast meals fanatic, moonlighting as a contract author from South Georgia.