The Pulse is the Uproxx Music guide to the best new albums, mixtapes, and other music releases that matter this week. Find our complete list of the records coming out in December here.
Counting today, there are only three Fridays of new music left before Christmas. Most media outlets have already started publishing their year-end top albums lists (like Uproxx, for example). That said, the year’s not over. There’s still time to release a new project before we’re into 2019, and as 2018 approaches the finish line, there are still some notable releases to be had.
For instance, Gucci Mane just dropped Evil Genius, his first project since last December’s El Gato: The Human Glacier. Meanwhile, the second XXXTentacion album of the year, Skins, is out today, and it’s also the late rapper’s first posthumous release (interestingly, the record includes a Kanye West feature).
As for Van Morrison, he’s 73 years old and just as productive as any Soundcloud rapper dropping mixtapes in his sleep. He just released The Prophet Speaks, which is his second album of the year and his fourth in the last 15 months. If the uber-active Morrison doesn’t motivate you to get up off your posterior and do that thing you’ve been meaning to do, it’s doubtful that anything else will.
Gucci Mane — Evil Genius
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Mane has been productive since getting out of prison in 2016, as this his his fifth album since then. The record also features appearances from Bruno Mars, 21 Savage, Quavo, Lil Yachty, and others.
XXXTentacion — Skins
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The controversial rapper had some material floating around when he passed away, and now his first posthumous record has been released. Perhaps most notably, it has only one featured artist, and it’s Kanye West with a controversial verse.
Van Morrison — The Prophet Speaks
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Morrison loves making music, and he hasn’t lost a step on his second album of the year. On The Prophet Speaks, the legendary performer bears his Irish soul as clearly as he ever has, taking his time on patient songs like the title track and “Ain’t Gonna Moan No More.”
Brett Young — Ticket To L.A.
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The rising country star made a splash with his self-titled debut album last year, and now he’s back with his sophomore effort. He touches all the bases here, from the emotional balladry of “Catch” to the sunshine-y fun of “Reason To Stay.”
Ice Cube — Everythang’s Corrupt
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The NWA co-founder has been more of a media figure than a rapper over the past couple decades, but he can still rhyme on this, his first album since 2010. It might not be surprising, but he boasts an old-school sound on songs like “That New Funkadelic.”
Say Sue Me — Christmas, It’s Not A Biggie EP
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If you’ve been waiting for some South Korean indie rock Christmas music, congratulations: It’s here! The holidays are about enjoying yourself, and it sounds like Say Sue Me are doing just that on upbeat tracks like “Christmas, It’s Not A Biggie” and “Too Expensive Christmas Tree.”