Alas, we have reached another month. June was full of surprises, and July definitely came with a few heavy hitters leading into the 4th of July celebrations (or Juneteenth Deluxe for those not so patriotic). While this week may feel light in the mainstream, of course, I’ve got to give you some gems worth your spins.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending July 1, 2022.
Earthgang — Ghetto Gods (Deluxe)
Earthgang’s February release of Ghetto Gods was well-received, so they decided to up the ante with the deluxe version arriving today (July 1). With six new tracks and features from Smino, Wiz Khalifa, Currensy and Blxckie added into the mix, the Atlanta duo continues to show they can bend genres and break barriers with their versatile sound. The highlight for me is “Ambeyonce” with Smino Grigio.
Strick — The Machine, Vol. 3
Strick is a special talent, like many of his YSL peers. The Machine, Vol. 3 showcases this to its fullest with contributions from Lancey Foux, Idris Elba, Denham and Marty. Free YSL.
Gucci Mane ft. Lil Baby — All Dz Chains”
Yet another example of the Atlanta family tree supporting one another comes this week in the form of rap OG Gucci Mane and young star Lil Baby linking up for “All Dz Chains.” This is one of the best Gucci verses in quite some time, which says a lot because he’s aged gracefully when it comes to the bars. Perhaps it’s the competitive energy Baby brings to every song he’s placed on.
Wynne — “Ex Boyfriend”
Wynne is fun to cover so often in this column because she gets better with each entry. On “Ex Boyfriend,” she flexes her singing pipes with a rap flow over an uptempo beat, generating an overall fun hybrid track. It’s a pivot from the “Churchill Downs” freestyle she posted to Twitter earlier this week, but just further proof she can do a lot of different things well.
G Perico — “Confessions”
G Perico has the type of rap voice I would enjoy hearing from a stand up comedian I go see, but his flow and punchlines solidify he is in the right profession. “I ain’t do it for the hood, I did it for myself” is an affirmation coming from a man who recognizes focusing on everyone else may be to his detriment. Right on.
Ray Vaughn — “Mannequin”
There’s a lot of concern about the future of TDE as Kendrick Lamar is headed on his way out, but Ray Vaughn shows the future is bright on “Mannequin.” He, too, utilizes fun voice inflections and punchlines like K Dot and Baby Keem, but thankfully he sets himself apart. The internet is quick with the copycat allegations, but Ray Vaughn is not that.
Gabby Gabanna — “Pretty Girls Still Love Trap Music”
Have no fear 2 Chainz, your claim from 2017 stands firm with Gabby Gabanna’s latest record “Pretty Girls Still Love Trap Music.” She raps circles around the beat, beaming with confidence and a focus that will do her well in the long-run. It’s the cadence switches for me.
Headie One ft. Frenna — “Bigger Than Life”
Headie One is one of the best spitters overseas and “Bigger Than Life” adds an air of luxury to his usual lyrical barrage. Frenna’s melodic hook is the icing on the cake.
Lola Brooke — “On My Mind”
Lola Brooke is Brooklyn’s finest, and while Brooklyn women rappers have usually struck fear in listeners, Brooke opts for a hood love song. She dismisses strangers and yearns to be close to her lover, so much so that their “heart becomes her neighbor.” Who is cutting onions?
Lloyd Banks ft. Conway The Machine — “Menace”
Lloyd Banks is a seasoned veteran, and Conway The Machine carries himself as such though the world has only known about him for a few years. “Menace” functions as a generational collaboration in terms of Hip-Hop eras, and it’s the bar fest one would expect when seeing these names. Just another example of the fact some rappers do get better with time when locked in. Conway especially goes off and it really is crazy, looking at his output, how consistent he is.
Kai Ca$h, Niko Brim and K Wales — “Sunday Service”
Kai Ca$h, Niko Brim, and K Wales are special talents. Every time any of the three links up, the repeat button is mandatory, and “Sunday Service” adds to that collection. They find a way to be three very different performers yet mesh together seamlessly. It’s like the first person who decided to combine bacon, eggs, and cheese. Three very different flavors make magic together and now you want one every day.
Mic Strong and Anoyd — “Talk Different”
Who doesn’t love a good soul sample and powerful rap voices? “Talk Different” shows Mic Strong is aptly named and I’m far from *Anoyd listening to this record. “See the boy bubble like a tablet in water when it dissolve” is a face-scrunch-worthy bar, and that’s just one of many. These are two gentlemen you ought to pay attention to.
Gucci Mane is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.