Happy holidays! It looks like there will be a few gifts in our proverbial stockings this week in hip-hop, as a stacked lineup is headlined by the return of Gucci Mane in the guise of East Atlanta Santa. In fact, there are a few sequel projects coming out, including one from another well-respected street veteran, Cam’ron, and some of the game’s hottest up-and-coming neophytes.
While Cam, Gucci, and newcomer NLE Choppa headline this week’s releases, the undercard rappers shouldn’t be overlooked. A SoundCloud standout, a pair of underground vets, and a West Coast party crew are all on the “nice” list for the pre-Christmas drop, so make some room in your holiday playlists. These are all the best hip-hop albums coming out this week.
Cam’ron — Purple Haze 2
Named for Cam’s hood classic 2004 album (itself named for Jimi Hendrix’s 1967 psych-rock single), Purple Haze 2 has been heavily anticipated since the Harlem rapper announced he would be making a sequel. Coming in at 16 tracks — two of which feature Max B and another two featuring Jim Jones — the album looks to be a return to Cam’s ’70s soul-sampling ways. Check out lead single “Big Deal” for a taste.
Doe Boy — Streetz Need Me 2
Doe Boy may be signed to Future’s Freebandz record label, but the Cleveland-born rapper has a sound that diverges wildly from that of his mentor’s. His yelp of a voice is closer to Eazy-E’s than Future Hendrix’s and he favors more sparse, early-’90s-inspired beats to Future’s airy, ghostly sounds. But Doe Boy’s flow has just as much bite as it does bark, and when he does link up with his label head — as he does on single “Most Wanted” — the contrast between them blends like peanut butter and chocolate.
Gucci Mane — East Atlanta Santa 3
“Jingle Bales” kicks off Guwop’s third project of 2019, on which the godfather of modern trap flexes and threatens his way through twisted versions of Christmas classics. Gucci’s been consistently nice all year, so you’ll know what to expect on his latest.
NLE Choppa — Cottonwood
The 17-year-old Memphian breakout drops off this nine-piece table setter before the release of his debut album in 2020. The EP will be accompanied by a short film featuring each of its eight tracks, one of which, “Side,” has already been released as a standalone music video. Check out the trailer for the film here.
Sean Price and Lil Fame — Price Of Fame
Hip-hop has far too many posthumous albums coming out lately, but here’s one that fans can look forward to with as much excitement as melancholy. A joint effort between the late Sean Price and Lil Fame of M.O.P., Price Of Fame should be a treat for fans of rugged backpack rap, putting brolic, brawling bars on “Center Stage.” Play this on Boxing Day while you rob people returning their unwanted gifts, just like Sean P would have wanted.
SOB X RBE — Strictly Only Brothers
SOB X RBE has been through multiple lineup changes over the past few years, but they’re finally ready to make their major label debut as a trio. Kicking things off with “Ain’t Got Time,” the Bay Area party rap crew are only getting started.
Wifisfuneral — Everything Sucks 3
A criminally overlooked stalwart of the South Florida SoundCloud rap scene, Wifisfuneral has yet to break out in the way XXXTentacion, Lil Pump, and Ski Mask The Slump God have, but he’s certainly one of the more polished technicians from the movement, more akin to Denzel Curry than some of his slurrier country cousins. He’s proven just as capable of making emotive tunes as ripping through uptempo party songs like “Peace Sign” with YBN Nahmir, so his latest project, which dropped Tuesday, should be an engaging listen.
Some of the artists mentioned are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.