Hip-hop is moving as quickly 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. Eminem left smoke in his trail after his surprise Kamikaze release that jolted a relatively slow week of rap music — but that doesn’t mean Air Unit 313 was the only one to pay attention to this week.
E-40 Feat. Vince Staples & G Perico “Ain’t Talkin’ About Nothing”
Pardon the irony of a track called “Ain’t Talkin’ About Nothing” on an album called Gift Of Gab. After the minimalist groove drops, you’ll be too busy two-stepping to E-40’s bouncy collaboration with Vince Staples and G Perico to even care. Gift Of Gab is E-40’s twenty-fifth album, and he still sounds as spry as ever over the buzzing synth and slapping drums. He hung with Vince and Perico, who both seem well on their way to having their own lengthy careers while being true to the west coast sound.
Boogie, “Deja Vu”
Speaking of west coast upstarts, Boogie recently delivered a track called “Deja Vu,” which is a short but potent preview of what the hardworking Compton rhymer has been up to while crafting his big debut album. He hinted on Twitter that he may have something in the works for October, and if the bluesy, harmonious “Deja Vu” is any indication, it’s going to be one of the best albums of the fall.
Mick Jenkins, “What Am I To Do?”
Speaking of best albums of the fall, it feels like Chicago’s Mick Jenkins is trending in that direction. After touting his lyrical supremacy on “Bruce Banner,” he doubled back with “What Am I To Do,” a glorious Kaytranada-produced track where Mick rhymes free associatively on wack rappers, corrupt politicians, and how dedicated he is to his craft. He delves into a speedy flow toward the end of the sterling track before pondering, “what’s a n—- to do?” Keep dropping fire, that’s what.
Logic, “YSIV Freestyle”
Logic isn’t going to stop until the world recognizes his lyrical ability as he gears up to release his new album, Young Sinatra IV. On the heels of his “The Return” track comes “YSIV Freestyle,” where he gets busy with a dizzying display over Method Man’s classic “I Bring The Pain” instrumental. Logic has an image as a good guy, but he resolved to dispense some lyrical pain of his own while questioning his critics:
“They say they want the old Logic, the one that flow like a faucet
I’m still the same me, they just don’t believe it like they agnostic
If I spit over the boom bap, they perceive it as nostalgic
But the truth is my subject matter is still the same
Production selection is still flame
But they love you on the come-up ’cause you ain’t tainted by fame”