Hip-hop is moving as quickly as ever. Luckily, we’re doing the work to compile the best singles of the past week and highlight them in one space for you. This week was a solid week of releases anchored by a Gucci Mane single featuring Kevin Gates, another Tyler, The Creator holiday-inspired song, a Pharell – Kendrick Lamar collaboration for the Creed II soundtrack, a two-song 2 Chainz EP and what’s believed to be the last recorded verse from the late, great Prodigy:
Gucci Mane Feat. Kevin Gates, “I’m Not Goin”
Gucci Mane has seemingly collaborated with everyone, but “I’m Not Goin” with Kevin Gates is a long-awaited first, especially after the two met this summer. We’re not quite sure if the happier-than-ever Gucci should be qualified as an Evil Genius (the title of his upcoming album) anymore, but we do believe him when he drops lines like “they love my drip you know I’m statin’ facts.” Gates splits up Gucci’s braggadocios refrain with a flashy verse of his own.
Pharell and Kendrick Lamar, “The Mantra”
Pharell and Kendrick Lamar delivered a long-awaited collaboration for the Creed II soundtrack. The two trade philosophical verses Mike Will’s cavernous production, which work together to parallel the aspirational themes of Creed II and set a lofty standard for the rest of the prizefighter flick.
Tyler, The Creator Feat. Santigold And Ryan Beatty, “Lights On”
Kendrick Lamar curated the Black Panther soundtrack, Future was involved in theSuperfly soundtrack, Mike Will Made-It is doing Creed II. Now Tyler, The Creator has delivered Music Inspired by Illumination & Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch. After breathing new life into “I Am The Grinch” and “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” Tyler released “Lights On,” a cheerful, romantic single from the EP with Santigold and Ryan Beatty. We’ll give Tyler a pass for the very early Christmas vibes because this one could rock any time of the year.
2 Chainz, Hot Wings Are A Girl’s Best Friend EP
2 Chainz sure loves his hilarious project titles — and so do we. After announcing earlier in the week that he had something coming, he dropped a 2-song EP entitled Hot Wings Are A Girl’s Best Friend. The two tracks radiate different vibes. “Hot Wings” is dominated by a mysterious synth melody, whereas “Girl’s Best Friend” featuring Ty Dolla Sign is a smoother affair.
Mick Jenkins, “Reginald”
Mick Jenkins is heralded as one of the most thoughtful lyricists in the game, but he has a sense of humor too. He shows it off in the 70’s cop show-themed video for “Reginald” off of his recently released Pieces Of A Man gem.
Warhol.$$ Feat. Rico Nasty, “Keep Heat”
Kenny Beats is on fire. The talented producer gave Chicago upstart Warhol.$$ some fire, which he aptly called “Keep Heat.” He then got DMV star — and previous collaborator — Rico Nasty to match his intensify with a characteristically energetic verse over snapping 808s.
Brasstracks Feat. Pell, “Vibrant”
Right after releasing the lauded Good Kid, Brass City, New York production team Brasstracks got with Pell for “Vibrant,” a lush, energetic track feauring nimble keys ripe for Pell to tongue-twist some alluring bars to the woman in his eye.
Big Twins Feat. Prodigy, “Loyalty Over Love”
Last week, Big Twins shared memories of his time with late, legendary MC Prodigy of Mobb Deep. This week he gave us what’s believe to be the last verse that P recorded before his death at 42 last June. His verse on “Loyalty Over Love” showed that he still had more in the tank, which we’re eager to hear when the time is right on his two Hegelian Dialectic series follow-ups.
Benny The Butcher, “Joe Pesci 38”
Benny The Butcher of Griselda is a rugged MC in the mold of acts like Mobb Deep, and he and the Buffalo-based Griselda crew have been making their name on the underground scene for a couple years now. If you’re a fan of gritty lyricism over mesmerizing samples, get familiar with Benny. His latest track “Joe Pesci 38,” from his upcoming Tana Talk album, is a good start.
The Suicide Boys are back with their latest single, delivering intense bars on the short-but-potent “Scrape.” This track is meant to be blasted and recited passionately to the top of your lungs while the 808 quakes the ground you’re standing on.