Hip-hop is moving as fast 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. Though no superstar dropped a track, there was plenty of quality. Amine dropped off his surprise OnePointFive project, Houston artist Fat Tony let us hear the first single from his upcoming 10,000 Hours album, and XXL Freshman Stefflon Don dropped off a video from her upcoming Secure mixtape. This week features several hungry, upcoming artists paying inadvertent tribute to the late “Queen Of Soul” Aretha Franklin in their quest for that timeless commodity: R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Amine decided to spring a whole album on us Wednesday. Or, we think it’s an album. Amine deemed his OnePointFive project an “EpLpMixtapeAlbum,” which defies convention. Whatever it is, it’s damn good. “Tonight” is one of the standout tracks on OnePointFive, perhaps because it’s tailormade for summer nights that are dwindling lower than many of us would like. The optimistic jam shows Amine dead set on getting himself on track not just for him, but for others in his life. “I don’t wanna be at your wedding, I wanna be in your wedding, Matter of fact, call Donnell Jones so he can ‘sweedle-dee’ at your wedding,” he hilariously rhymes.
Kaytranada, Sade & A Tribe Called Quest Remixes
The gifted Kaytranada decided to put his own twist on a pair of beloved classics. He had been playing his groovy, jazzy reincarnation of Sade’s “Kiss Of Life” at shows throughout North America, but he decided to share it with everyone else on Soundcloud on Wednesday. He also retouched another classic, adding upbeat drums to the funky sample behind A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Night Is On My Mind.” You don’t have to wait until midnight to get your two-step on to Kaytranada’s latest impressive offerings.
Ghostface Killah Feat. LA The Dark Man, Snoop Dogg & E-40, “Saigon Velour”
Writer/producer Big Ghost LTD parlayed his satirical, spot-on mimicry of Ghostface Killah’s imaginative, New York-bred vernacular in music reviews into a joint album with the original Ghost Deini. Big Ghost will be producing the entire Lost Tapes album, which will drop this Fall. They gave us the first single this week. “Saigon Velour” is a funky, horn-fueled collaboration of hip-hop icons with Snoop, E-40, as well as LA The Dark Man. Ghost leads off the track with his trademark stream of consciousness flow, and E-40 delivered a sterling, free-flowing verse to close it out. It makes you wonder why the two slangologists haven’t collaborated more over the course of their 20-year career.
Mozzy Feat. 03 Greedo & Internet Money, “Free Greedo”
West Coast favorites Mozzy and 03 Greedo connected on what is one of the most clever — yet moreso disheartening — song concepts in a minute. The recently incarcerated 03 Greedo delivers the melodic hook to “Free Greedo,” where Mozzy muses on his lifestyle and reflects on the unforgiving grooming that young men like he and Greedo faced in California and elsewhere. Through Mozzy’s reflection, we hear a contemplative explanation for why Greedo and men like him find themselves on their treacherous paths despite the legal consequences.
Lil Durk Feat. Valee, “Do The Most”
A pair of Chicago talents team up on “Do The Most,” where each melodically-inclined artist does their best to show off on a churning track co-produced by Chicago production stalwarts Young Chop, DJ L and Chase Davis. Lil Durk has called “Juice & Gin” artist Valee one of his top 3 favorite Chicago artists, and with the way Valee held his own next to Durk on the braggadocious, thumping track it won’t be long until even more people feel that way about the GOOD music signee.
ASAP Ant Feat. ASAP Rocky, “Mario Kart”
ASAP Ant has been playing the back a bit as his comrades like ASAP Rocky, ASAP Ferg, and ASAP Twelvy have been striving and prospering on a major level. But he’s riding out for his, as the title to his “Mario Kart” track indicates. The pair take turns dropping bars over a sinister, lo-fi beat that doesn’t harken to Mario Kart as much as lurking down a hallway in Resident Evil — but we’ll take it either way.
Stefflon Don Feat. Future, “What You Want”
London MC Stefflon Don dropped her Secure tape today — but many of her fans are just now coming down from the charging high from her “Lil Bitch,” where she spits her bassy snarls over an impossibly nasty loop crafted by 54 London. Turn the XXL Freshman’s latest one up and you’ll go from 0 past 54 straight to 100.
Lil Skies, “No Rest”
Take Lil Skies’ “No Rest” song title literally. The Atlantic signee has hit the ground running since dropping his Life Of A Dark Rose album earlier this year. Even after illness befell him, he’s been still out on the road putting on an exciting live show and dropping new music. He reflects on his crazy ride this year over a Menoh Beats’ banger, letting the competition know, “I’mma take the trophy and go put it in a case.”
Fat Tony, “Texas”
Houston artist Fat Tony is set to drop his Malcolm Gladwell-inspired 10,000 Hours project at the end of September and stoked our anticipation with his “Texas” track, a buoyant production belied by incisive social commentary and an unabashed slam of the NRA. But even with a progressive, synth-heavy soundscape, he finds the space to shoutout Houston rap legend Pimp C. The subtle dynamism is at play on “Texas.”