The best new hip-hop albums coming out this week include projects from 2 Chainz, Aesop Rock, Blac Youngsta, Danileigh, Davido, Father, Fly Anakin, and Octavian.
After what was possibly the most important election in American politics in a century, this week’s releases are a multi-national extravaganza of unorthodox sounds, pushing the boundaries of what hip-hop can and should sound like in the future. From bass-heavy Memphis trap to glitchy UK grime to effervescent Nigerian pop (we don’t believe in “Afrobeats” as nomenclature, it’s too similar to Afrobeat, which Fela Kuti defined and certified), this week is proof that hip-hop is a global language. Future and Lil Uzi Vert are also rumored to have a release coming, but there’s no confirmation yet whether it’s a single or a full project.
Here are all the best new hip-hop albums coming out this week.
2 Chainz — So Help Me God
After a few delays and an impressive buildup involving the singles “Money Maker” and “Quarantine Thick” and an early preview of five songs on NBA 2K21, 2 Chainz’s sixth studio album arrives with art created by the man himself.
Aesop Rock — Spirit World Field Guide
It’s been a while since we last heard from the backpack hip-hop herald — 2016’s The Impossible Kid, to be exact. I can’t lie, the polish and craftsmanship in the tracks I’ve heard surprised me. Rock, like his late-’90s contemporaries El-P and the rest of the Rhymesayers clique, has always looked for new angles on hip-hop but in recent years, the palette for the genre has expanded in so many ways, Rock suddenly fits in better than he ever has — good thing his quirky, highly visual lyrics will always let him stand out.
Blac Youngsta — F*ck Everybody 3
After dropping Code Red with Moneybagg Yo earlier this year, Blac Youngsta is back on his solo grind with the latest edition of his F*ck Everybody mixtape series. Longtime fans of the Memphis mainstay will know exactly what to expect here: Thunderous beats, gruff rhymes, and a boulder-sized chip on Blac’s shoulder.
Danileigh — Movie
Forgive me for stretching the definition of hip-hop on this one and don’t be surprised to find this one popping up on Cherise’s Best R&B roundup this week as well. That’s just Danileigh’s gift; she smoothly switches lanes between pretty, emotion-baring singing and chin-jutting, swaggering rap. On her latest, she finds a balance that makes it a marked improvement over her 2018 debut The Plan, striking a solid balance between her strengths and adding a smooth layer of confident polish.
Davido — A Better Time
The Nigerian pop star has spent the better part of the last few months away from social media as he involved himself in his nation’s ongoing protests to end the Special Anti-Robbery Squad which has brutalized young men since its inception in 2017. While some of his contemporaries like Burna Boy have addressed the unrest head-on, Davido’s gone in the other way on his new album, projecting good vibes and positivity for those weary of the struggle.
Father — Come Outside, We Not Gone Jump You
Awful Records’ leader has returned after a two-year hiatus (broken up by the 2019 EP Hu$Band) to continue upending rap conventions. His off-kilter sense of humor has remained intact on social media, so it’s pretty much a given that his anime-influenced tracks (there’s one here named after Fist Of The North Star, which has become a sudden favorite within the last few years despite being 30 years old) will continue to reflect his mischievous energy.
Fly Anakin & Pink Siifu — Flysiifu’s
If you spend a lot of time bumping “lo-fi” playlists on YouTube (and you don’t even want to know how old typing that phrase makes me feel) but wishing that someone would rap on those downtempo, dusty-sounding beats, have I got the perfect project for you. A potent blend of ’90s-era boom-bap and diamond-sharp lyricism, Flysiifu is an aural palate cleanser from the busier-sounding hip-hop currently dominating the mainstream.
Octavian — Alpha
Octavian is part of an exciting new wave of grime artists from the UK underground, receiving co-signs from the likes of Drake, Gorillaz, ASAP Ferg, and more. Unfortunately for Octavian, he’s also being accused of abuse by his ex-girlfriend, which could put a damper on his release.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.