Keeping up with the best new music can be exhausting, even impossible. From the weekly album releases to standalone singles dropping on a daily basis, the amount of music is so vast it’s easy for something to slip through the cracks. Even following along with the Uproxx recommendations on a daily basis can be a lot to ask, so every Monday we’re offering up this rundown of the best new music this week.
This week saw a much-needed (and highly anticipated) new record from Run The Jewels, and a similarly relevant mass of new hip-hop dealing with current events. Yeah, it was a great week for new music. Check out the highlights below.
Run The Jewels — RTJ4
Killer Mike and El-P released their fourth album as a duo a couple days earlier than expected, but either way, it could not have come at a better time. Its political themes are perfect for the times for the times we’re living in, and even aside from that, Run The Jewels just go super hard here. It’s easily the best new music we heard last week.
Meek Mill — “Otherside Of America”
Meek Mill is one of the latest rappers to address the current climate through music, having done so last week with “Otherside Of America.” He kicks the track off with a Donald Trump speech sample before tackling politics and race: “Reporting live from the other side / Same corner where my brothers died / Livin’ like we ain’t got care / Told my mama I ain’t dying here.”
YG — “FTP”
YG was another artist to discuss the post-George-Floyd-death country we’re living in, and he did so on “FTP.” On the track, he certainly doesn’t hide his feelings: “F*ck the police, that’s how I feel / Buy a Glock, break down the block, that’s how I feel / Murder after murder after all these years / Buy a strap, bust back after all these tears.”
Phoebe Bridgers — Inner Demos and “First Day Of My Life”
It was a busy week for the indie favorite. She covered “First Day Of My Life,” a career highlight from her frequent collaborator Conor Oberst. Then, she wrapped up the week by taking advantage of a Bandcamp fee-waiving day to share a collection of “first draft” versions of songs to benefit bail funds.
Drakeo The Ruler — Thank You For Using GTL
Technology makes it possible to record music in a variety of ways, but the way Drakeo The Ruler made his latest is different than how most projects come together. The rapper is in jail at the moment, and he was when he created this album, so he and his producer figured out how to record the whole thing over the phone.
Flatbush Zombies — Now, More Than Ever
The trio spent much of 2019 tending to Beast Coast affairs, but now they’re back with their first three-man effort since 2018. They previewed the six-track EP with “Iamlegend,” and brought things back to basics.
Terrace Martin — “Pig Feet” Feat. Denzel Curry, Daylyt, Kamasi Washington, and G Perico
Joining the flock of protest songs that dropped last week was Terrace Martin’s collaborative “Pig Feet,” which includes assists from Denzel Curry, Kamasi Washington, G Perico, and Daylyt. Martin said of the song, “Someone asked, how do I feel? I told them hurt, fearless, angry, aware, and fully ready to protect me, my family, and my people at all cost. I got together with Black men that felt the same way and created a work of truth.”
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever — Sideways To New Italy
The latest from the Australian group is a dose of optimism in a time when people could use just that. The band’s Fran Keaney says of the album, “I wanted to write songs that I could use as some sort of bedrock of hopefulness to stand on, something to be proud of. A lot of the songs on the new record are reaching forward and trying to imagine an idyll of home and love.”
Conway The Machine — “Front Lines”
Conway’s contribution to the group of timely songs last week starts braggadocios, but he eventually gets into what’s happening in the US right now: “We ain’t takin’ no more, we ain’t just pressin’ record / Can’t watch you kill my brother, you gon’ have to kill us all.”
Lil B — I Am George Floyd
To reiterate once again, hip-hop responded to current events in a big way last week. Lil B chimed in as well with “I Am George Floyd,” on which the rapper name-checks an upsettingly long list of victims of police brutality.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.