21 and Metro have impeccable chemistry in the studio together, saving Savage Mode 2 from the many pesky dull moments that stick to the project like the ghosts of a time where the two were more amateur in their effort and product. While this album has a few highlights, including “Rich N***a Shit,” “Snitches and Rats,” and “Steppin on N***as.” Each of these tracks see 21 Savage at his best; effortlessly flowing on Metro’s signature basslines and snippy drums. It doesn’t appear to push many boundaries for either artist, rather opting to stick with the lane they’re comfortable in, and it works well – while it might not be remembered in the album of the year discussion, it’ll be part of a couple strong discographies of two artists that have made their mark in American music.
It’s only four songs, but damn it, its a hell of a lot more complete than whatever the fuck that 53-minute Yo Gatti garbage was. If you’re not a Giveon fan already, get ready to dive in, cus while this 25-year old’s project discography is limited to his two 2020 releases so far, it’s clear that there’s very little this man can’t do, and very little people who don’t want to do it with him ;). March’s TAKE TIME album has been on my repeat since it’s release, but after this sweet taste of what Giveon is capable of, I have been left so hungry for more after those gorgeous eight tracks. Altogether, “When It’s All Said and Done” provides affirmation of the hype this dude has raked in over the year, and now, especially after an extremely successful Snoh Aalegra feature, Giveon’s road for greatness has been paved.
YG’s ability to invoke classic gangsta rap in a 2020 context cannot be understated. MY LIFE 4HUNNID is a testament to his life coming up in Los Angeles, and is an arrangement of G-funk beats, trap drums, and unflinching social commentary. He’s never been afraid to put his personality at center stage, and this, more so than any of his other albums, airs out his demons, trials, and tribulations so that his fanbase can better understand him. As always, bumping beats and flexible delivery make YG’s music great for any occasion — you could play it just as well in the whip, while you’re getting turnt, or while you’re just chillen.
Bryson’s new project, if anything, affirms his one-of-a-kind R&B sound. For the casual listener, the sounds and the overall ambiance of the project might not necessarily sound unique to the whole of Tiller’s discography. However, through many listens Bryson conveys a deep level of vulnerability and recognition of his place in the industry. Notably, the intro to the 9th track, Keep Doing What You’re Doing, is a voicemail from his Grandma, Mamaw, who dedicated the track and album too. Not to mention, there is a solid Drake feature that Michael and Andrew are obsessed with. Favorite tracks are Inhale, Sorrows and Things Change.
If there’s one individual who defines Hit or Miss, it’s Chance the Rapper. But if there are two, Wiz Khalifa would have to be up there too. Fittingly, “The Saga of Wiz Khalifa” captures that perfectly, weaving in and out of good and bad, hot and not, and most of all, vintage Wiz and out-of-touch, new age nonsense. This project is packed with features, however, surprisingly, tracks with big names flopped more times than not. But while Wiz missed the mark alongside Maxo Kream, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Tyga, Logic, and Quavo, the dude went off with up-and-comers Rubi Rose, Saxl Rose, Young Deji, and K CAMP. Altogether, this project shows more about Wiz’s ear than his vocals, and if he continues highlighting young talent, he may pave himself an avenue to stay in the game for a bit longer.
The Alchemist has been on an absolute tear this 2020, and after releasing what feels like a hundred collaborative projects so far, the producer has dropped something for himself with this 10-song beat tape. It’s makeup is ethereal and distant, and the 17-minute listen flows like syrup on pancakes. While the project is largely instrumental with samples galore, it would be neglectful to not speak on the headlining track, “Stained Glass (feat. Westside Gunn).” This single-verse, 1-minute 50-second song does what every GRISELDA member does best: emit heat through the brick Winter of Buffalo. For a beautiful, yet withdrawn listen, go ahead and walk into this bar alongside a doctor, painter, and of course The Alchemist.
Fivio and Polo G’s dedication to the children’s toy is an unabashed anthem for their weapon collection, atop a trunk-knocking beat put together by the ever-eventful Kenny Beats. The track is little more than the fun idea that a Bop It is just like their strap, featuring three iterations of the chorus in two and a half minutes.
Megan’s just unstoppable. This collaboration may be new but it’s leaving many wanting more, especially with an Alice in Wonderland-inspired video full of bright colors and moves that’ll have you hopping right out of your chair.
Lupe versus Kendrick this, Lupe versus Kendrick, that. Can’t we all just get along? These two new tracks are a foray into a more auto-tuned version of Lupe that we haven’t seen a ton of before, and it works well. TAPE TAPE is more for the fans than those questioning whether he’s the greatest lyricist of all time. He is, and these singles aren’t going to prove it, and that’s fine.
Producer by Puerto Rican producer Tainy, “La Luz” is an homage to Latin Pop, a sound Kali Uchis said we might not be hearing on her upcoming album. While that’s a shame, as some of her best tracks are on bumping beats such as this one, it means this style is close to her heart and we’re sure to be hearing more of it on other albums or releases. The more exciting part of that quote is that she’s likely dropping an album in the coming months; welcome news after her taste-test EP To Feel Alive early this summer.
This string of singles Ari is on makes me feel like she’s dropping a new album soon, which should shake up the neo-soul/R&B landscape once again. “Chocolate Pomegranate” is a down-tempo track, paced by a lustful guitar riff that carries some insecurity into the sexual and romantic lyrics of the song. She’s one of the best singers out right now, and while this effort isn’t going to break the game the way other tracks of hers like “BMO” or “Yuengling” did, it’s just another reminder of her broad skillset.