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, a couple hip-hop superstars double backed and released some new music. J. Cole dropped a freestyle and announced an upcoming project called The Offseason, while Quavo gave us a 3-track EP entitled Huncho Bubba. Elsewhere we have Mick Jenkins coming for the crown, a new TDE member, a track from coulda been 1017 partners Gucci Mane and Lil Pump, and the hottest remix of the week — period.
J. Cole, “Album Of The Year” (Freestyle)
J. Cole has been a pretty reclusive artist in the past couple years — but 2018 is different. He’s not going to rest on the laurels of K.O.D., his successful Spring album. After making an impromptu call for beats on Twitter, he decided to jump on Nas’ “Oochie Wallie” classic for his “Album Of The Year” freestyle. He rode the beat with ease, showing off a slick flow, shouting out his Dreamville comrades, and giving a preview of the mode we can expect him to be in on his upcoming The Offseason project.
Quavo, Huncho Bubba
On the day that his highly-anticipated Three Amigos tour began with his Migos comrades and Drake, Quavo decided to drop off a small appetizer with this Huncho Bubba EP. The tracks show Quavo at his best, rhyming melody and forcefully over a trio of trap burners. People have long clamored for a Quavo solo album – and while that may still be a distance away, his latest three tracks are something to chew on in the meantime.
Gucci Mane, “Kept Back” Feat. Lil Pump
I guess Gucci Mane has no hard feelings after Lil Pump decided to spurn 1017’s overtures and re-sign with Warner Bros. Records. Gucci has always been about seeing young artists flourish on their own terms, which is why the title of their “Kept Back” single is pretty ironic. Over a piano-dominated soundscape, Gucci and Pump trade flashy verses. Pump holds his own with Gucci, delivering an impassioned verse.
City Girls, “In My Feelings” (Remix) Feat. Drake
No, the #InMyFeelings challenge isn’t over. In fact, it may have been given a shot in the arm as the buzzing City Girls dropped their official remix to the track. Keeping Drake’s earworm of a chorus on the song, the Miami duo spit characteristically raunchy, self-empowering verses over the track’s frenetic drums. City Girls are set to drop a documentary to introduce themselves to the world, but the brashness they displayed on the “In My Feelings” remix should be enough. Period.
Mick Jenkins, “Bruce Banner”
This week, Mick Jenkins announced his upcoming Pieces Of A Man project, which he says will boast Corinne Bailey Rae and other “big collaborators” tagging along. But the album is about him, as lead single “Bruce Banner” set forth. Over a pensive piano loop, Jenkins lets loose, showing off his lyrical supremacy that he believes is so advanced only that “can’t nobody come for me except Kendrick.” Time will tell if Pieces Of A Man lives up to that lofty line, but his fans will surely be excited to find out.
Skepta, “ Stay With It” Feat. Suspect and Shailan
When Drake gave his recent freestyle with London’s Link UPTV, he paid homage to UK Drill artists with his melodic, cocksure flow. Drake keeps his eye on London’s brimming music scene — for good reason. With tracks like Skepta’s latest “Stay With It,” it’s safe to say the Trap genre sounds right at home across the pond. Over a hypnotic melody, Skepta and fellow UK artists Suspect and Shailan trade braggadocious verses.
Stefflon Don, “Pretty Girls” Feat. Tiggs Da Author
XXL Freshman Stefflon Don made waves this week with the Lil Kim-inspired cover of her upcoming Secure mixtape– and then showed that her come up is about more than just being a pretty girl with a song called…“Pretty Girl.” The Secure single is an intriguing international affair, as Stefflon showed off her versatility on the Dancehall track which features Tanzanian artist Tiggs Da Author.
Reason, “The Soul”
The Warriors aren’t the only dynasty in California. Ab-Soul may have been right about TDE having it locked for the foreseeable future — and new signee Reason may become an integral part of the equation. The talented MC has been grinding for years, delivering introspective music such as his recently released “The Soul” track. The soulful, atmospheric canvas was ideal for the Carson, California native to unleash his hunger, rhyming “I’ll get murder before I not make it.” Looks like he doesn’t have to worry about anything but murdering beats now.