Indie rappers reign supreme in hip-hop releases this week, with offerings from Dave B, Jean Deaux, and Rittz accompanying majors Blocboy JB and Lil Keed. As we ease into the warmer months of the year, it looks like the higher profile artists who gridlocked 2018’s summer schedule are taking a well-deserved rest and making room for newer artists to make a mark.
Earlier this year, this practice yielded standouts from the likes of Beast Coast, Denzel Curry, Kota The Friend, Megan Thee Stallion, and Polo G, and it appears there are plenty of potential hits among this week’s releases as well.
Blocboy JB, I Am Me
Blocboy is one of the more recognizable names releasing this week, as well as one of the two artists signed to a major label, Interscope Records. The Memphis rapper made his debut last year with his first album for the label, Don’t Think That, after exploding onto the scene earlier in the year with the Drake-featuring “Look Alive” from his mixtape Simi and the massively popular “Shoot” dance. The title of his latest release, I Am Me, relates back to his series of mixtapes titled Who Am I. Hopefully, the 23-year-old really has figured out his musical identity on the new tape, which features the bass-heavy banger, “No Chorus, Pt. 12.”
Dave B, Bleu
Dropping Wednesday afternoon with very little fanfare, it’d be easy to overlook this self-released project from the Seattle rapper who has previously worked with Macklemore and appeared on popular Youtube show COLORS. Don’t do that, though, because you’ll be missing a real gem. While the Pacific Northwest has been quietly percolating as a hotspot for progressive, soulful hip-hop music, Dave B. has been at the forefront of that movement and Bleu is a clear-eyed example of why. Dave rides the line between melody and rhythm as deftly as a tightrope walker struts through air on their chosen conveyance, putting on for his city and asking himself the sort of introspective questions that make an album worth digging into.