This week in hip-hop, Logic returns with a surprise album release and underground favorites stake their claim with lyrically-focused, independent album drops of their own.
After shocking the world with his Eminem-featuring collaboration “Homicide” (which also featured a clip from comedian Chris D’Elia’s hilarious impression of an Eminem freestyle), Logic followed up with the jaw-dropping announcement that his newest album would be coming out just days later. Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind hits only a little over six months after his last project, YSIV, adding him to the growing ranks of artists who’ve released multiple projects in a similar span — a list that also includes Anderson .Paak, City Girls, and Quality Control labelmates Lil Baby and Lil Yachty.
Meanwhile, Brampton, Ontario, Canada’s feminist flexer Haviah Mighty seeks to build on the growing wave of goodwill women have received in hip-hop this year with her own independent release, her first since 2017 EP Flower City. Her name will become one to watch as she sets her sights on breaking through to American audiences and raising her profile even higher by expanding her musical palette and embracing more popular sounds, even as she remains locked-in lyrically.
Finally, Brooklyn-based Kota The Friend will share his autobiographical album Foto on Wednesday, May 15 after steadily climbing the ranks of some of Spotify’s more popular underground hip-hop playlists (see: Pollen) and dropping buzzy Youtube singles like “Colorado” (currently at 2.6 million plays). The album’s Wednesday release will continue a burgeoning trend of independent artists fighting the Friday churn with midweek releases.
Collectively, all three albums help combat the sentiment that “lyrical” rappers have disappeared from hip-hop, but their success is contingent on fans who exalt cerebral, complex lyrics actually buying and streaming those albums. Don’t just talk about it — be about it, rap fans. There’s plenty of dope, rhymes-first hip-hop being put into the world, but if you don’t support it, you can’t complain about “mumble rappers” taking over — and no, complaining about mumble rappers doesn’t count as support.
Haviah Mighty, 13th Floor
Haviah Mighty’s lead single “Wishy Washy” sets the tone for an album that shows both a polished pen game, and an increasing gift for crafting catchy hits using Canada’s diverse backdrop of cultural sounds. Mighty switches from upbeat dancehall to high-velocity, emotive rhyming throughout her latest album, on which she produced and wrote every song. Mighty packs a lot of power in her compact frame, utilizing both her vulnerability and awe-inspiring technical skill to address heavy topics from racism and sexism to her own unique autobiography.
Kota The Friend, Foto
Foto clocks in at 19 tracks, including a feature from Chicago rising star Saba. Kota leans into the jazzy backdrops that the Brooklyn underground is best known for, embracing unconventional melodies and smart, intricately-constructed rhymes on uplifting, insightful, and observant tracks that will appeal to traditionalists and those looking for a change of pace from the bombastic bite of the aggro-rap that claims no one is doing what he’s doing.
Logic, Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind
But hey, if high-speed delivery and confrontational battle rap are your thing, Logic’s got you covered with his latest — at least, judging from the lead single with Eminem. Coming off the alternative soundtrack of his bestselling novel Supermarket, you can bet Logic will have a fully reloaded chamber of armor-piercing bars to go to war with complacent rappers, and positive bursts of exuberant, encouraging energy for the fans who love his upbeat personality.