Happy new year! So, uhh… Yeah. It’s been a rough week, right?
And unfortunately, it’s not a week that offered up much relief in the form of a whole bunch of great new music. Sorry. In the space of a week (yes, just one) we found out about the loss of a rap hero in MF DOOM and had to watch jerks on the internet pretend not to know the difference between an armed insurrection and protests for Black lives. But, hey, here’s some good news: The Best New Hip-Hop This Week column has been on hold for a couple of weeks to observe the holidays, which means we’ve got some catching up to do.
So, this week, as the music industry spins back up and all of us try to figure out exactly what the hell happened on Wednesday — where’s Boots Riley when you need him, amirite? — we’ll take a look back at the last couple of weeks of releases to highlight the joints our favorite rappers delivered for us on Christmas and those few late gifts that arrived on New Year’s Day. Blame the USPS, I guess.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week, last week, and the week before.
24Heavy — Now Or Never
Quality Control rapper 24Heavy started off 2020 with his pandemic mixtape and ended it with this collection of 12 tracks featuring appearances from labelmates Marlo and Quavo, and fellow Atlanta rising star Lil Keed.
Lil Durk — The Voice
Capping off his incredible 2020, Durk followed through on his longstanding promise to share The Voice, his sixth studio album which was pushed back in the late summer. Album standouts include “Stay Down” with 6lack and Young Thug, and “Still Trappin” with the late King Von.
Popp Hunna — Mud Baby
Philadelphian TikTok favorite Popp Hunna struck while the iron was hot, capitalizing on the runaway success of his October single “Adderall” to drop a body of work that sees him collaborating with his hometown’s hottest star Lil Uzi Vert and fellow TikTok veteran Toosii.
Rubi Rose — For The Streets
After driving up her stock price with standout singles like “Big Mouth,” “He In His Feelings,” and her appearance on Rico Nasty’s “Smack A Bitch” remix, Rubi made a triumphant debut with this eight-song EP featuring a cosign from Cardi B and features from Future and PartyNextDoor.
TheHxliday — Batbxy
Hailing from Perry Hall, Maryland, TheHxliday kicked off the new year with six tracks of singsong heartbreak.
Tink — A Gift And A Curse
Tink’s Christmas present for her fans was yet another polished EP of soulful trap&B sounds, as she once again poured out her heart with some loose nods to the holiday like album opener “Silent Nite.”
Key Glock — “Off The Porch”
Open Mike Eagle — “For DOOM”
While tributes to MF DOOM poured in from all corners of hip-hop, Open Mike Eagle’s was perhaps the best, encapsulating what made the villain so fascinating and paying homage to his one-of-a-kind flow.
PAP Chanel — “Nobody”
After making a splash on Future’s “Gucci Bucket Hat” last year, the rap newcomer delivers a nostalgic video to accompany a heartfelt hip-hop love-letter and stake her claim as an artist that deserves some attention.
Pooh Shiesty — “Back In Blood” Feat. Lil Durk
Despite being a relative newcomer to the rap game, it looks like just about anything with Memphis rapper Pooh Shiesty’s name on it is practically guaranteed to go gangbusters. With a laconic delivery and chilly street narratives, he justifies the attention, especially alongside one of the originators of the drill sound that permeates his latest.
Pop Smoke — “What You Know Bout Love”
The late Brooklyn drill breakout’s lovey-dovey single is one of the home runs from his posthumous album and gets a touching video featuring archival footage showing just how much fun he was having being his burgeoning beacon.
Saweetie Feat. Doja Cat — “Best Friend”
Saweetie may have ripped her label for dropping the ball on her anticipated single’s release, but it doesn’t look like the faux pas put much of a damper on this duo’s energetic collab — nor the exuberant fan response, which accumulated over a million plays in about six hours.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.