Hip-hop releases this week include strong offerings from a pair of OGs and the third studio album from a breakout feminist star. With last week being dominated by the carefree soul of Anderson .Paak, this one also gets back to down-and-dirty, grittier raps from a selection of artists who have all proved that they’re among the best at the craft. Texas legend Bun B is putting out his first collaborative album since UGK with production from Statik Selektah, Kansas City’s independent rap kingpin Tech N9ne is back with his latest, Lizzo makes the most of her viral moment, and Shy Glizzy brings back the DMV flow for the second time in six months this week. Let’s get into it.
Bun B And Statik Selektah, TrillStatik
Texas rap pioneer Bun B linked up with Boston boom-bap technician Statik Selektah to create his latest album, his first collaborative effort post-UGK. In something of a first for Bun, the pair live streamed the marathon recording session via Youtube — in fact, they’re currently crafting a song with Fat Joe as I write this, with Talib Kweli in attendance. Statik has already used this creation process with three other artists of similar stature — Freeway (StatikFree), Freddie Gibbs (Lord Giveth, Lord Taketh Away), and his 1982 group partner, Termanology (The Evening News). While the unique process makes getting a preview stream impossible, it does offer a window into studio life for musicians. TrillStatik will also be pressed on a limited edition vinyl by Tuff Kong Records.
Lizzo, Cuz I Love You
The lead-up to Lizzo’s major label debut has been one of the best rollouts we’ve seen in recent memory. Over the last few months while we all wait for Cuz I Love You, she’s collaborated with the legendary Missy Elliott, twerked onstage at Coachella with Janelle Monae, and worked with the fabulous drag queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race on her latest music video. Cuz I Love You has also received glowing press for its embrace of unapologetic womanhood and Lizzo’s body positive, possibly NSFW cover.
Shy Glizzy, Covered N Blood
DC’s Shy Glizzy is only about six months removed from his 300 Entertainment debut album, Fully Loaded, but it looks like the work ethic he displayed over the past half-decade of machine-like productivity won’t let him rest on his laurels. Of course, he couldn’t have picked a better time to strike; the proverbial iron is as hot as it will ever get with debate swirling about Lil Uzi Vert’s adoption of the “DMV flow” on his own comeback track, “Free Uzi.” Now that the DMV area is squarely back in the national spotlight, he can put on for his city and prove that the capitol has something to say.
Tech N9ne, N9na
The legendary Kansas City indie rap stalwart may have been confused for a similarly-named rapper who died last month, but Tech N9ne is back to prove that not only is he still alive and kicking, he’s also better than ever and capable of holding together a full-length project by himself after a few years of feature-heavy projects that played his skills off collaborators like BOB, Hopsin, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Wiz Khalifa. He even made it a point to promise as much in the announcement for N9na last month, cracking on fans who had been “lightweight complaining about my feature heavy records.” The new album has a 21-song tracklist and mainly features his Strange Music artist Krizz Kaliko, who has always contributed as many hooks as verses. So, fans of hyper-lyrical, propulsive battle rap will likely want to keep an eye out for this one.
Lizzo is Cardi B a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.