The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Dame D.O.L.L.A., Quavo, Russ and more.
New releases this week came from Mike Will Made It and Lil Uzi Vert (“Blood Moon“), Polo G (“Barely Holdin’ On“), Doechii (“Booty Drop“), Flo Milli (“Hot Box“), Sexyy Red and Sukihana (“Hood Rats“), and Latto, who double dipped with releases alongside Davido (“Unavailable“) and Rakim (“Technique“).
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending August 18, 2023.
Dame D.O.L.L.A. — Don D.O.L.L.A.
The NBA star continues his impressive streak of releases as a rapper, spitting scintillating punchlines alongside luminaries like Lil Wayne, Mozzy, Rexx Life Raj, Rick Ross, and Tobe Nwigwe (no Steph Curry, though, sadly) on this mellow effort. Dame’s mastered the fundamentals and doesn’t step too far outside his comfort zone, producing as consistently on the mic as he does on the court.
EST Gee — El Toro 2
EST Gee’s raspy voice is the draw here, as his crackling delivery makes every bar feel as visceral and potent as a hit of the stuff he talks about selling throughout his latest release’s 20 tracks. He receives support here from 42 Dugg, Lil Baby, Rylo Rodriguez, his ESG mentor Yo Gotti, and somewhat surprisingly, fellow Louisvillian Static Major.
Mick Jenkins — The Patience
Employing some jazzy production and an impressive list of barred-up collaborators like Benny The Butcher, Freddie Gibbs, JID, and Vic Mensa, the Chicago rapper returns with a new project that’s equal parts introspection and chest beating. It’s a departure from his more heady, conceptual recent projects but no less impactful.
Quavo — Rocket Power
Driven by a desire to pay homage to his late nephew Takeoff, Quavo goes solo for the first time in five years. He does what he does best here, swapping smoothly between a pain-tinged wail and his usual triplet flows over thundering beats that could knock the speakers out of their frames at the right volume. He certainly sounds more focused than ever, while limiting features to fellow Atlantans like Future, Young Thug, and, of course, Takeoff himself.
Russ — Santiago
Russ’ latest might not turn too many heads — if you’ve heard his stuff in the past, you know almost exactly what to expect — but one big step he’s taken on Santiago is a leap in production. Opener “Smooth” features one of the lushest beats he’s ever used and his subtle introduction of a Memphis trap sample in “Empty” underlines his growth. He’s still at his best when the energy goes up a notch, as it does on “Enough.”
Blu & Real Bad Man — “Aladdin”
The hyperprolific California teamed up with with the avant-garde producer Real Bad Man for a fascinating display of lyrical showmanship. Blu hot dogs all over Bad Man’s spooky, skeletal beat, showing the sort of chemistry listeners can expect when they drop their collab project Bad News on September 1.
Draft Day — “Summer Superstars” Feat. Lil Yachty
It seems like it’s been a while since we last heard Draft Day and Lil Yachty on a track together (it has — their last joint release was a year ago with “How Far Will I Go”), but they’re back. “Summer Superstars” is a straightforward display of each rapper’s gift of gab over a simple, soulful loop. It’s always great when Boat gets back to rapping, and Draft complements him well.
Gucci Mane — “Broken Hearted”
Gucci’s latest Breath Of Fresh Air single finds him doing a little singing on the chorus and ruminating on the ups and downs of his past year. There are some scriptural observations here, among them: “Say ‘only God can judge me,’ but that’s a facade / ‘Cause if you live by the sword, you get judged by the judge.”
Jayson Cash — “Like It’s 99”
The Carson kid continues to deliver his updated take on G-funk, dropping off a smooth summertime anthem, reminiscing about showing up free before 11 and playing new Dom K and old Eastsidaz. The blend of nostalgia and contemporary aesthetics is designed to appeal to a very specific demographic — of which this Compton native is a proud part.
Larry June — “The Good Kind” Feat. Cardo
Speaking of laid-back cruising anthems… Is there any more perfect combination of aesthetics than Larry June and Cardo? If there is, I want someone to tell me immediately. In the meantime, pardon me while I bump this in the Southern California coastal breeze and contemplate a palm tree.
Lou Phelps — “I Dunno”
Kaytranada and his brother make beautiful — if underrated and relatively underground — music together. If Kay’s collaboration with Aminé tickled your sensibilities, this track will do more of the same, combining millennial-era T-Dot rap vibes (think K-OS and Choclair) with old-school house sounds. It’s a smooth invite to do ya dance. Get down.
That Mexican OT — “Opp Or 2” Feat. Maxo Kream
I’m not gonna lie; I keep forgetting to put That Mexican OT on this list, even though tracks like “Johnny Dang” with Paul Wall and “Cowboy Killer” have straight-up taken over my remaining timelines (RIP @AaronSmarter on Twitter, good luck with that whole “disabling the block function,” Elon). With a stylistic sensibility straight out of 2005 Houston, an undeniably charismatic presentation, and a spit take-inducing sense of humor, That Mexican OT is a star in the making. Check out his mixtape Lonestar Luchador ASAP.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.