This week in hip-hop is highlighted by some highly-anticipated releases that have had rough productions, from Brockhamption and their constantly-shifting release schedule to Lil Wayne and his long, long, long-delayed latest installment to his Carter series. There are also some interesting collaborations on the way, as two of Atlanta’s rising stars connect after having a breakout year courtesy of some high-profile guest spots and a pair of introductory releases that have fans scrambling for more.
With a cover swiped right out of a Predator film and only one of their recent singles, “Tonya,” making an appearance on the track list, the hip-hop supergroup has fiddled with their musical direction all year. First, they pushed one album back for another, which they apparently either canceled or retitled to Iridescence, they dropped a longtime group member amid rumors of abuse, and endured a truly grueling touring schedule through it all, bouncing back and forth between America and Europe on an endless series of tours. Somehow or another, they still found time to stop by London’s famed Abbey Road studios to record Iridescence, which frontman Kevin Abstract says won’t sound anything like their Saturation series.
Lil Baby And Gunna, Drip Harder
It doesn’t look like collaborative mixtapes are going away anytime soon. This time around, two of Atlanta’s hottest up-and-coming trap stars are hooking up to deliver more tales of illicit product marketing and late-night club flexing. Initially slated for a July release, Drip Harder was pushed back, but finally arrives this week, with both rappers’ profiles riding higher than ever. Gunna’s Drip Season 3 was Drake-approved in the wake of Scorpion‘s release, while Gunna himself landed verses all over Young Thug’s Slime Language compilation last month as well as on Travis Scott’s groundbreaking Astroworld. Meanwhile, Lil Baby’s Harder Than Ever also picked up the Drake co-sign, as well as featuring Gunna on the standout track “Life Goes On” with Lil Uzi Vert.
Lil Wayne, Carter V
It’s anyone’s guess whether this album finally sees the light of day after a gestation process that has lasted over seven years and included what feels like dozens of false starts and pump fakes as Weezy F. Baby sorted out his legal issues with Birdman. From threats by Wayne to have “crazy Weezy fans waiting in the lobby,” to Rick Ross reaching out to shame Brian Williams on “Idols Become Rivals” from his 2017 album Rather You Than Me, it seems like we know more about why Carter V hasn’t come out than when — or if — it ever actually will. However, Wayne teased the cover through the Young Money Twitter and New York radio station Hot 97 reported that the album would release this week, so maybe, with all the legal disputes squared away and behind Wayne, he can get this album out and start producing more of punchline-packed stream of consciousness rap that has clearly influenced multiple generations of rappers.
Tory Lanez, Love Me Now
Featuring appearances from Gunna, Lil Baby, 2 Chainz, Bryson Tiller, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, among others, this project — which was announced via PR release, but hasn’t been promoted by Tory or his label — comes on the heels of his sophomore album, Memories Don’t Die, which came out just over six months ago. It’s a bold gamble on the part of the Toronto producer/rapper/singer, but judging from his recent social media reset (he deleted all his Instagram photos and tweets), it seems he’s eager to move past Memories and try to push forward with his next phase as completely as possible.