Written by Aidan Werder
1) French Montana – ‘CB5‘
On Friday, French Montana released the fifth installment of his legendary ‘Coke Boys’ series, ‘CB5’. Ten years from the release of the original ‘Coke Boys’ mixtape in 2010 and 6 years since number 4, CB5 is yet another classic project from one of NY hip hop’s greatest characters. As to be expected, the album showcases an array of catchy, radio-friendly hits with broad appeal and is jam packed with top-tier features from NY hip hop royalty like A$AP Rocky, Jim Jones, Benny the Butcher and of course Max B, late legends Chinx and Pop Smoke. Not to forget the impressive list of out of town talent including Lil Durk, NBA Youngboy, Curren$y, Lil Mosey, and Jack Harlow – and even shining a light on fierce emcee, viral hit, and Philly’s favorite youngbull, LGP Qua, as well as a talented young melodic artist out of Brookyln, Rafi Malice.
It’s also worth noting that French and the Coke Boys camp are seemingly looking to make the brand a little more commercially viable for the series’ first debut on the major DSPs – for the first time opting for the abbreviated title and with French lately pushing the new messaging of C.O.K.E. being an acronym for “Creation Of Kings Everywhere”. Additionally, this marks the end of a feud as old as the Coke Boys mixtape series itself between longtime mutual antagonists French Montana and Jim Jones, as evidenced by the Capo feature on the project leadoff track ‘Too Late’ and a warm-hearted IG video on Monday.
2) Lil Rekk – “Manhattan Vibes”
The newest member of Highbridge the Label, Lil Rekk dropped his much anticipated debut single since joining the Highbridge camp alongside A Boogie, Don Q, Trap Manny, and Enisa, “Manhattan Vibes.” During what looks like an expensive night out in Manhattan, Lil Rekk effortlessly showcases a series of impressive, diverse, melodic flows reminiscent of a certain label mate but clearly in his own, distinct lane. A strong debut from HBTL’s latest addition, we can surely expect to hear more music from Lil Rekk coming soon.
3) Lil Tjay – “Move On”
Lil Tjay drops another single “Move On” as part of his apparent new, single strategy. The approach seems to be working, with the video surpassing 2.1M views on Youtube in 3 days since dropping on Friday. “Move On” is a classic Lil Tjay song, with his signature fast-paced, dynamic sing-rap flow – standing strong in the face of a relationship that didn’t work out… as usual. The quality of the songs, the production value on the videos, and the outrageous numbers that every drop does is a testament to the young artists undeniable star power.
4) Russ feat Benny the Butcher & Black Thought – “Momentum”
Yes, Russ isn’t the most New York artist to ever exist – but Benny the Butcher might be (which is an impressive feat being from Buffalo and all) and Black Thought is close enough. Whatever your feelings are about Russ, you have to give the man credit for bringing together two of the most hard-hitting emcees currently doing it in… well let’s call it the Greater New York area. Again, despite your feelings about Russ, he puts in a solid verse over a dope beat and does a great job setting the stage for two really killer verses from two of the best in the game. This song is nothing but bars over bars ladies and gentlemen, and the people seem to agree – with over 1M views in under a week (on the Audio Only Youtube video no less) since his new project, ‘Chomp’ dropped. So buckle up and give Russ the props he deserves for this one (even if he makes it tough sometimes).
(Philly) YXNG K.A – “My Ways”
YXNG K.A continues to prove that he is here to stay with “My Ways.” With a signature sound so well developed for someone so young, at just 17-years-old YXNG K.A continues to live up to the high bar he set out of the gate with his hit track “It Is What It Is.” With not one bad song yet, the future looks exciting for the young Philly artist.
(Boston) JD Militant feat. Dtheflyest – “50X”
JD Militant came in hot on his debut single, “50X” – enlisting fellow Boston artist, Dtheflyest, most known for his 2018 smash hit, “Fugazi” feat Lil Baby – for an impressive first outing. The song features a simple beat, and is carried by JD’s relaxed, captivating flow with a variety of interesting melodies. The track seems to be a tribute to his fallen friend, Shizz – who appears to have unfortunately passed recently, may he rest in peace. Dtheflyest is an excellent addition to the track, his affected vocals making for interesting contrast – and not only being from the same city, but sitting in a similar pocket on the beat. All in all, a solid showing from Dtheflyest and a strong debut from JD Militiant – hopefully we’ll be hearing more from both of these Boston artists soon.