JUNGLE gives off the impression of a soliloquy turned into a life cinematic experience. Anonymuz, the rapper producer from Florida is well known for pouring out his emotions. In the verse of the song he delves into the complexities of living in a country that claims to be free but still grapples with rooted inequalities. The second verse takes a turn exploring his fears; "What are my plans? What if my fans overlook it? What if I face criticism for it? What if it harms me?" The heightened drums and synthesized sounds intensify the anxiety as Anonymuz transitions, between singing and hard hitting rap verses navigating through contrasting emotional states without fully succumbing to either one. –Dylan Green
Asian Doll; "Get Jumped" featuring Bandmanrill
Presenting a song that truly justifies enduring all the trends, in club rap beyond the boundaries of Jersey and Philly this year. Asian Doll, a rapper from Dallas teams up with the beat making duo Bankroll Got It hailing from the Bay Area. Although their musical influences may differ, the vibrant energy of their production resonates perfectly. Asian Doll, who has found her place in New York's drill scene exudes a vibe as if she grew up grooving to DJ Jayhoods beats at parties in Newark. Bandmanrill, a rapper from Jersey known for spreading the club rap sound, adds a punch with his opening verse. This collaboration is not about riding waves but paying homage to a genre. – Alphonse Pierre
Azealia Banks; New Bottega
On "New Bottega " Azealia Banks delves into the distinction between fashion (what you wear) and style (what you possess) showcasing her awareness of her uniqueness. While many popular albums this year have incorporated elements of club sounds as a move, Banks hailing from Harlem has always found solace within house music.
In an Italian accent she starts mentioning the designers she admires and those she isn't fond of.. Like that "New Bottega" becomes a part of the Banksian capsule collection, which is a common feature in the work of discontented designers.. Mina Tavakoli
Slut Him Out Again by Baby Tate featuring Kali
In this provocative version of Baby Tates catchy and daring single Slut Him Out the talented rapper from Atlanta seeks guidance from influential figures like Lil' Kim, Nicki Minaj and Khia to test a new lover's abilities. Rest assured he is in hands as Tate proudly boasts about her skills acquired while listening to Trina. The playful lyrics and infectious beat bring out the sex appeal effortlessly making this collaboration with Georgia rapper Kali a hotter sensation for all audiences.. Anna Gaca
Babyface Ray: Sincerely Face
While many local rap scenes across the country attempted to recreate the magic of Michigan rap this year none were able to capture the essence found in Detroit's own Babyface Ray. Sincerely Face showcases why Ray has become such a figure; his chilled delivery transforms flexes about luxury items, like Rolexes, courtside seats and steakhouse dinners into something extraordinary. Over a captivating beat he effortlessly shares life lessons with a coolness that cannot be replicated. It's the kind of song that leaves you feeling fly every time you play it.
This kind of thing is unique to Michigan.. Alphonse Pierre
Bad Bunny; Tití Me Preguntó
Bad Bunny sees his side as a part of his sensitive nature. This is how he expresses his complexity. The music arrangement reflects Bad Bunnys attitude towards monogamy. Producer MAG treats Bad Bunnys attempt at dembow music as a celebration showering him with playful keyboard melodies, sampled camera effects, an unexpected beat change towards the end and even a stern reprimand from his aunt. But he doesn't need to be asked for details; Benito will willingly share them. He chuckles at his confessions. Like many others before him admits that deep down what he truly desires is... Love.. Alfred Soto
BandGang Lonnie Bands; Scorpion Eyes
Eyes of a Scorpion serves as an experience for the soul or at least strives to be one. BandGang Lonnie Bands, a member of the Detroit group BandGang confronts his fears and regrets in a manner that becomes increasingly unsettling as he continues on this journey. It's like being hit with a series of blows that're strangely captivating. Inspired in part by real life tragedies and the fatalistic tone found in Tupac's "All Eyez On Me " Lonnie struggles to convey these confessions through his delivery.
He is worn out not from the struggle itself but from the effort of suppressing it.
Bandmanrill: Real Hips
Bandmanrill never lets a good sample go to waste. In his song Real Hips this energetic rapper, from Newark brings the enthusiasm of a trainer turning a classic Jersey club track into a high intensity interval training (HIIT) session that targets your abductors. DJ Bake and KilSoSouth ensure the beat is both lively and flexible, striking the balance for Bandmanrill to touch upon topics like parents, success and paranoia. However he always circles back to that catchy hook about putting hands on hips because it serves as a reminder that amidst life's chaos having a time should always be prioritized. – Joshua Minsoo Kim
Billy woods: “Heavy Water” [ft. Breeze Brewin and El-P]
Billy woods rap lyrics are intricately crafted at a level delving deep into research rabbit holes and delivered with sharp wit. In his track "Heavy Water" featuring El P and Breeze Brewin he trades quickly. Mind boggling verses characterized by alliteration that can be better appreciated with some accompanying reading material. Set against a string loop sprinkled with samples and effects, Woods effortlessly references Greek mythology, The Source magazine, the Nation of Islam and cutting edge genetic research, within mere seconds.
He delivers a performance that surpasses two figures from the New York underground scene who also embody his poetic and social scientific style. – Matthew Ismael Ruiz
CEO Trayle: “Alter Ego 2” [ft. C4]
On his 2020 release "Alter Ego " CEO Trayle, an Atlanta based rapper introduces C4 as the voice that urges him to act on his instincts. The song's piano melody carries both smoothness and tension reflecting Trayles struggle as he grapples with his personal demons.
Chief Keef: “Bitch Where”
Chief Keef finds himself at a crossroads. Despite maintaining his irreverent nature ("At the gun range sound checkin' it sounds clear") he expresses a sense of gratitude, for still being alive and actively creating after a decade in the music industry. In "Bitch Where " Keef juxtaposes shifts against a triumphant beat that resembles a king returning from war. However once everything settles down a heartfelt message from Keef's grandmother serves as a reminder of gratitude; Keep going baby. Keep going. Granny loves how you stay true to yourself and navigate through life.
Danger Mouse / Black Thought: “Belize” [ft. MF DOOM]
The inclusion of MF DOOM on Cheat Codes holds significance as it marks business; originally Danger Mouse had intended for the track to feature Black Thought from The Roots. What could have been a collaboration between two rap artists turned into a poignant encounter across realms, with DOOMs untimely passing in 2020.
The villain's sarcastic epitaph ("They were aware of his background. There was no need to reveal their faces") cuts deep like the never ending Erik Estrada joke. Meanwhile Black Thoughts eloquent yet lighthearted verse pays homage to DOOMs ability to stir up chaos whether he was physically present or not. –Brad Shoup
In an album that often gives the impression of him searching for something ( if we're being generous; maybe relevant if we're not) "Sticky" is where Drake expresses his desires; more guests, at the Met Gala, police escorts and a kiss requested in soft French Canadian. Like the Drake tracks "Sticky" simmers his urges until they meld into something tender
Duke Deuce; Just Say That [featuring Glorilla]
It was a known fact; If you included Glorilla in your song during 2022 regardless of who you were your song instantly became 1) a million times better and 2) no longer yours. Duke Deuce, a crunk revivalist jester of sorts isn't easily overshadowed—he dresses in 18th century attire and rocks a Beethoven wig for his music videos—but soon as Glorilla joins in on "Just Say That " the standout track from Junes CRUNKSTAR album it's game, over.
Earl Sweatshirt; Tabula Rasa [featuring Armand Hammer]
After delivering a pair of laid back records that seemed designed to confuse or obscure meaning Earl Sweatshirt returned this year with SICK! an album filled with songs that cut through the noise.The focal point of the album is a piano track called "Tabula Rasa," which features Elucid collaborating with the raw and unfiltered New York duo Armand Hammer.
Elucid: Nostrand [ft. billy woods]
Euclid's verses on "Nostrand" read like enchanting incantations conveying messages to our ancestors. Although they weave a narrative it may not be readily comprehensible to listeners.
FKA twigs: honda [ft. Pa Salieu]
FKA twigs latest mixtape, CAPRISONGS showcases a sense of joy compared to the raw emotional pain explored in her previous album, MAGDALENE. In the song "honda " she collaborates with English artist Pa Salieu to create an infused duet that fully embraces the embodiment of movement and sensation
Flo Milli: Big Steppa
Flo Millis track Big Steppa exudes confidence as she struts in her Louboutins and metaphorically transforms her haters into a runway. Taking inspiration from Tiffany "New York" Pollard's persona Flo Milli showcases her arrogance, on her debut album You Still Here Ho?. The production matches her ego perfectly.
Glorilla / Hitkidd: F.N.F. (Let’s Go)
"Glorilla / Hitkidd; "F.N.F. (Lets Go)" bursts onto the scene like a crunk inspired version of Trina's hit "Single Again." With Lil Phat adding energy on the chorus this flashy tune turns a breakup into an exhilarating riot. Of wallowing in solitude with ice cream Glo and her crew seek out debauchery as they lead an invigorating charge, onto the streets shouting, "Lets goooo!!!!"
Glorilla: Tomorrow 2 (Remix) [ft. Cardi B]
In Glorillas remix track Tomorrow 2 we witness a continuation of their journey.[featuring Cardi B] Glorilla, a rapper from Memphis successfully achieved her objective of dealing with friends and exes in her track "Tomorrow." Adding to the fierceness Cardi B's appearance on the remix adds a layer of intimidation. However in her anger Cardi manages to infuse humor into her lyrics. Her cutting remark about having "condos in that bitch head" is cleverly sandwiched between a reference to scissoring and a sound effect mimicking slurping.