The Best New Hip-Hop This Week

The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Vince Staples, Cash Cobain, Don Toliver, and more.

You know what’s fun? Watching how, in the aftermath of the whole Drake/Kendrick kerfuffle, J. Cole has sort of gone the André 3000 route, taking on (well, returning to) his role as a sort of mythic and chill hip-hop Bigfoot, popping up on beaches and delivering unexpected guest verses like the one he does on Cash Cobain’s “Grippy.”

Some fans have determined that another aftereffect of the battle is rappers getting back to the gritty sound of the ’90s — y’know, “real hip-hop.” While I’m still skeptical about that being the motivating factor, I sure am glad to hear Common return to his Golden Era roots on “Wise Up” with Pete Rock.

Meanwhile, someone who rarely lets what’s going on in the wider world shake him is Don Toliver, who forged ahead in his Hardstone Psycho rollout with “Attitude” — also featuring Cash Cobain, who is clearly this week’s WINNER.

You know who else has determined he could take or leave all the nonsense going on outside? YG. The Compton veteran declared gossipy dudes (and a whole plethora of other violators) “Weird” in his latest.

Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending May 24, 2024.


Baby Jungle — Jungle Book

Baby Jungle

This one wasn’t on my radar, but after giving it a spin (largely on the basis of its DJ Drama intro), I found myself thoroughly enjoying the Atlanta rapper’s first major effort. His fried vocal tone and straightforward storytelling set him apart from other rappers in his lane, and his hard pivot midway through to wounded warbling keeps things fresh enough to warrant multiple play throughs.

Juicy J — Mental Trillness 2

Juicy J

Memphis trap rap pioneer Juicy J doesn’t have to do too much to produce a quality body of work. He’s been doing this long enough that you know what you’re getting, and he knows what you want. This sort of symbiosis between artists and their fans is getting eerily rare, so it’s nice when it happens.

Sexyy Red — In Sexyy We Trust

Sexyy Red

An underrated fun thing about Sexyy Red is that, despite her popularity, she’s still largely independent, meaning she gets to drop new music at her own pace, while her name is still hot in the streets. It certainly is that at the moment thanks to her proximity to a certain Canadian rapper and the success of her song of the summer candidate “Get It Sexyy,” so Memorial Day Weekend is probably the perfect time for her to drop a new project.

Vince Staples — Dark Times

Vince Staples

Dropping basically out of nowhere with little-to-no warning would be the death knell for many artists’ new albums, but Vince Staples is in the midst of one of hip-hop’s hottest hot streaks. If there really is a vacancy for a new Big Three, I would very quickly submit the Long Beacher’s name for contention. Dark Times is Vince’s final album for Def Jam — and somewhat improbably, considering the quality of the work he’s put out lately — one of his best.


Big Hit, Hit-Boy & Alchemist — “Gank Move” Feat. HitgirlLena

The family affair continues, with Big Hit, his son, and Alchemist maintaining the generation-spanning groove they’ve settled into. A new wrinkle here: The addition of HitgirlLena, who is, yes, Hit-Boy’s sister and Big Hit’s daughter. If anything, her verse here is even more assertive than her dad’s; rarely has rap nepotism hit such a sweet spot.

Blxst — “Risk Taker” Feat. Offset

Incorporating Afrobeats into his usual G-Funk-flushed rap-crooning formula, Blxst opens a whole new lane for himself — or, at least, a greater share of LA’s brunch scene setlists for the coming summer (it’s sunny outsiiiide). Offset acquits himself adequately, putting his experience as a go-to pop feature to subtle work.

Key Glock — “Q-Dogz”

Employing a ghostly loop and the familiar thump of Memphis’ signature trap drums, Key Glock delivers a short, but effective shout-out to historically Black fraternity Omega Psi Phi, relating their brotherhood to that of the streets.

Maiya The Don — “Frenzy”

WNBA mania is taking over, and Maiya The Don is catching the wave. The ostensible Liberty fan has already placed the track with the home team’s in-house DJ, meaning she’ll be soundtracking plenty of close games and 20-point beatdowns over the summer and stuffing a few more wins in her own Telfy.

Quavo — “Clear The Smoke”

For someone who hasn’t announced an album this year, Quavo sure has been busy as hell. Huncho’s collection of releases this year includes “Himothy,” “Potato Loaded,” and “Tender” so far, and here he is with another anthemic declaration of his own realness.