While last week’s bunch of rap releases included the return of one of rap’s modern classics and plethora of Valentine’s Day-oriented projects, this week gets back to the grind. The motherlode of modern trap arrives on release day this week, with debuts from Gunna, and Lil Pump, Offset.
The two debuts this week have a lot of pressure to live up to. Offset’s as-yet-untitled project arrives on the heels of a whole mess of relationship drama between the ATL trapper and his wife Cardi B, as well as completing the trilogy of solo Migos releases kicked off by his cousin Quavo in October of last year. While Quavo’s album largely proved that the three Migos are at their best as a trio and Takeoff delivered a solid but ephemeral debut, Offset’s much-anticipated capstone was delayed without an explanation from Offset or Quality Control. While some of his fans blamed the breakup with Cardi, now that the couple have seemingly repaired their fractured relationship, Offset may well be back on track and ready to prove that the third time really is the charm.
Meanwhile, Lil Pump has juiced his own expectations since his 2017 Soundcloud hit “Gucci Gang” went from hot single to genuine pop culture sensation. While some of his more recent offerings have had the air of grasping for another algorithm-optimized it, they have also portended some serious skills on the part of the 18-year-old phenom. Unlike some of his South Floridian compatriots, he managed to stay out of serious trouble in the intervening year and a half after blowing up — albeit with some difficulty — and the time has come to see if he pays off on his potential or is really just a one-hit wonder.
Lastly, Gunna hopes to trade on his solid entry into the mainstream with last year’s standout Drip Season 3 and Drip Harder with Lil Baby. The YSL rapper’s slippery flow attracted plenty of attention from high places which netted him conspicuous appearances on Drake’s Instagram and Travis Scott’s Astroworld album. All that positive buzz culminates with his official debut studio album, named after the 2017 EP that preceded his precipitous rise to stardom.