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 mixed bag of releases, from vets like Juicy J and TI — who is delivering his Dave Chappelle-featuring Dime Trap album “freakishly soon” — to newcomers like IDK and YBN Cordae and busy bodies like Mozzy and “Preacherman” Lil Baby. There’s also heat from three Chicago MCs with cult followings in Mick Jenkins, Lil Durk and Open Mike Eagle.
Lil Durk Feat. Young Dolph & Lil Baby — “Downfall”
Three trap favorites connect on “Downfall,” a sobering declaration that just because the three artists are up doesn’t mean everyone is happy for them. They lament fakes and snakes over skittering hihats and melancholy synths.
T.I. Feat. Young Thug — “The Weekend”
T.I. is gearing up to drop album number ten “freakishly soon” and he decided to re-create magic with Young Thug, who he collaborated with on “About The Money.” This track also radiates a feel-good vibe but is a smoother, guitar-driven production that sounds perfect to hit the road with.
IDK Feat. Q Da Fool — “Electric”
Two DMV upstarts unite on “Electric,” an aptly-titled collaboration between IDK and Q Da Fool, a Roc Nation signee. The subwoofer may be taking up all the electric in your system on this one, as the two ride a thumping bass drum with finesse.
Lil Peep Feat. iLoveMakonnen — “Sunlight On Your Skin”
Last week, Lil Peep and XXXTentacion collaboration called “Falling Down” was released. This week, the original track has been released, which featured iLoveMakonnen. The song, titled “Sunlight On Your Skin” is an ode to his romantic relationship with Peep. What was a sad song last week gets even sadder with iLoveMakonnen’s mournful lines like, “Where I wanna be again and again, alone, you and me, skin to skin.”
Mick Jenkins, “Elephant In The Room”
Mick Jenkins’ latest single from his upcoming Pieces Of A Man album shows him in a full lyrical exercise, rhyming with a spoken word flow over a thumping kick drum with free-associative fervor. He works an impressive stop and start flow, weaving in and out of a rhyme scheme with lines like, “Edified exercised then eat my vegetables / If food for thought was vegetables / Then you gotta know it be pesticides.”
Juicy J Feat. Travis Scott — “Neighbor”
Travis Scott is taking his run from this summer into the fall, linking with Juicy J on “Neighbor.” The two take turns over a beguiling melody, with Juicy J switching up his classic flow for a more laid back sing songy delivery.
Open Mike Eagle — “Relatable (Peak OME)”
Open Mike Eagle just announced a new album called What Happens When I Try to Relax last week and dropped off the first single called “Relatable,” laden with self-reflective observations like “sometimes when I’m social I feel incompatible” over an enchanting, gradually building soundscape. Even if we can’t relate to Mike’s specific struggle, many of us share some of the different anxieties he explores here.
MadeinTYO — “Outstanding”
MadeinTYO is back with “Outstanding,” a self-affirming ode to his drip over some charging 808s produced by Ronny J. The track is the second single from his upcoming Sincerely, Tokyo project.
YBN Cordae — “Target”
YBN Cordae is making a name for himself as one of the few new school MCs earning his respect from traditionalists with impressive, thoughtful lyricism typified by his “1985” response. “Target” is another example of his skills, as he takes a potential banger and tells a winding story about an unwanted dustup with the police.
Mozzy — “Walk Up”
Mozzy is becoming a mainstay of the list as he prepares us for Gangland Landlord. His latest track is another trip through the Sacramento streets, as he melodically unleashes a brand of gritty bars that sound like unmistakably frontline perspectives.
Radamiz — “NYNYNYNY”
Brooklyn rapper and new Payday Records signee Radamiz dropped a fiery ode to his hometown, unleashing his volcanic flow over an eerie, pitched down vocal sample. The first single from the followup to his Writeous project, he explores his come-up through the rotten apple, ducking Latin Kings and the reality that “a pig just might shoot in my Yankee.” But as he triumphantly notes, “I’ll win yo, I’m in a mothaf*ckin’ Heaven-colored Benzo.” Jump along for the ride with Radamiz.