The Best New Hip-Hop This Week

The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Rapsody, Kamaiyah, Saweetie, and more.

After the last few weeks, I think it’s fair to say that we all agree hip-hop needed to settle down a bit. The energy was getting too negative, and honestly, a lot of really great releases were being overshadowed. Fortunately, white flags were waved, so we have plenty of room to take in and appreciate new releases this week, including:

Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge’s latest foray as NxWorries, “FromHere,” which features a fascinating monologue from the one and only Snoop Dogg.

Chance The Rapper’s impassioned plea for housing justice, “Together,” which finds DJ Premier sampling one of his own classics with another Chicago star.

Lupe Fiasco’s new comeback single “Samurai,” which turned out to be alarmingly timely thanks to some video game news this week.

And Saweetie’s new single “Nani,” whose release sees the Bay Area baddie overcome a lot of label reluctance to bring her dream to fruition.

Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending May 17, 2024.


A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie — Better Off Alone

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

The Bronx native returns after two years with a 21-song collection of hood harmonies and emotional, melodic rap. A strong guest list including fellow New York breakout Cash Cobain, Atlanta trap luminaries Future and Young Thug, and Chicago drill pioneer Lil Durk bolsters A Boogie’s latest, but he remains the star on what turns out to be a breezy listen despite the hefty tracklist.

Courtney Bell — Microdose

Courtney Bell

Courtney Bell has been rolling out his latest project for some weeks, and the full project lives up to the hype. Teaming up with fellow Detroit native Royce Da 5’9, who contributes a handful of verses in addition to executive producing, the underground firecracker displays his credentials and heady concepts across 14 tracks with contributions from Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, LaRussell, Symba, and more.

Kamaiyah — Figuring Out My Emotions


The Bay is on this week. Kamaiyah, who we last heard from on her 2023 release Another Summer Night, gets in her vulnerability bag (another common strain in this week’s releases). Over bass-heavy, slow funk instrumentals, Kamaiyah explores themes of romance and loss — not an entirely unknown concept in her music — while delivering on the same party-ready grooves.

Rapsody — Please Don’t Cry

rapsody please don't cry album cover
We Each Other/Jamia Records

Over the years, Rapsody has kind of become an emblem of the anti-“pussy” rap, “real hip-hop” proponents who tut-tut Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion in favor of Rap’s no-frills, all-bars approach to the form. However, on her latest, Rap takes more time to introduce us to Marlanna Evans, the person behind the persona, revealing all the human complexities such critiques usually miss. The result is not only her best album, but perhaps the best rap album of the year so far.

ShooterGang Kony — Opps Can’t Have Fun

ShooterGang Kony

The Sacramento rapper fuses spacious, introspective samples with thumping, West Coast beats to remind listeners that for some, the street rhymes stem from a real lifestyle, not just commercial viability. He’s also got some of the wittiest bars from a street rapper I’ve heard all year including a WILD Anne Frank reference that almost made me spit out my coffee.


Chow Lee — “Swag It!” Feat. Flo Milli

Sexy drill is a thing now, and the world has both Cash Cobain and Chow Lee to thank. Lee is an amusing presence, but Flo Milli continues her run of show-stealing performances here, which warrants a listen.

DJ Quik & JasonMartin — “Two Hi (Waves)” Feat. Channel Tres, Free Nationals & George Clinton

If you saw the two names involved and thought you knew exactly how this song would sound, have I got some news for you. It’s certainly a Quik groove, but it’s also a mellow, jazzy vibe, courtesy of its guests. The song will appear on Quik and Problem’s second joint project, Chupacabra, which is coming soon via Empire.

Dreamville & Red Bull — “Spiral Freestyle”

If there was any rap crew that deserved to hit Red Bull’s long-running performance series, I can’t think of too many who would make as much of the opportunity as J. Cole’s posse. Cozz, Earthgang, and Lute have been beyond solid for the label, even if much of the attention is reserved for Bas, JID, and the founder, and this freestyle gives them the chance to shine on their own terms.

Mutant Academy — “Make A Wish”

The Virginia rap collective’s new EP, Talk Soon, is out now, and in finding a representative starting point for listeners, I decided the best place is the beginning. The EP’s intro is also a solid introduction to the group’s respective members and their freewheeling, cipher-esque sound.