Written by Aidan Werder
1) Melvoni – “Chrome“
Easily one of the hottest young artists rising out of Brooklyn, Melvoni is back with “Chrome” – yet another top quality single in his signature, captivating sing-rap style. The 17-year-old phenom premiered the audio and visual for his latest single on Friday – continuing an impressive 2020 with numerous big records including “Big Rocks,” “No Man’s Land,” and “NY”.
2) French Montana feat. Pop Smoke – “Double G“
French Montana pays tribute to NYC with a posthumous feature from Pop Smoke (RIP) on the 808Melo produced “Double G”. French does our fallen icon justice with Pop prominently featured on the track and the Eif Rivera directed-visual – with behind-the-scenes footage in the studio and on the basketball court, and a classic Pop Smoke hook focused around astrology. (He’s a cancer by the way). A testament to the power of the late legend… the video is pushing 4M views on Youtube in 3 days.
3) Lil Tjay – “Losses“
Lil Tjay returns with “Losses”. The 19-year old ‘sing-rapper’ from the Bronx has been fairly quiet since dropping his last project “State of Emergency’ in May, but is back with a strong single and accompanying visual for ‘Losses” – breaking 2M views over the weekend since dropping on Friday.
4) Busta Rhymes – ‘Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God‘ (Album)
Busta is back. A true elder statesman of hip hop originally from Flatbush, Busta Rhymes dropped his first album in 8 years on Friday. The sequel to his classic album that first debuted in 1998, ‘Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God” is a dazzling display of lyricism, outrageous visuals (like the one for ‘Czar’ with M.O.P.) and star-studded features – including Kendrick Lamar, Q-Tip, ODB, Vybz Kartel, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Rakim, and more. There is literally too much to say about this album and too many insane features and tracks – so you’ll just have to listen for yourself.
5) Jay Gwuapo feat. Pop Smoke – “Black Mask“
Jay Gwuapo dropped his own track with his longtime friend, the late great Pop Smoke, “Black Mask.” A catchy hook, a great verse from Pop Smoke, and a well-produced visual incorporating cell phone footage of the two together make this a solid entry from the East New York artist. Another testament to the power of Pop, the video for “Black Mask” is already approaching 1M views on Youtube.
6) Smoke DZA – “143“
Smoke DZA dropped the visual for “143,” a standout track of his recent project “Homegrown.” The nostalgic visual directed by Frankie Fire features throwback footage of DZA among dozens of rap legends and fellow kush gods including Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Snoop Dogg, Action Bronson, Jadakiss, Ty Dolla $ign, and many more – and opens with a Mac Miller clip that will tug at your heartstrings.
7) JR Writer – ‘I Really Rap Too‘ (Album)
The legendary JR Writer returns with ‘I Really Rap Too.’ The Harlem legend does just that on every single bar of this 13-track masterclass in golden-era, New York City bars. His third project since an infamous 2-year bid in 2014-15, JR enlists fellow NY lyricists Fred Money and Dave East on “Tryna Tell em,” and 38 Spesh for a killer verse on “Nothing Means Nothing” – as well as Royce Da 5’9” on “This Is Not Now.”
Tierra Whack – “Dora” (Philly)
Paying respect to our sister city to the south, Tierra Whack yet again proves she is a worthy ambassador for Philly with “Dora”. After dropping her debut album and visual masterpiece ‘Whack World’ in 2018, it’s been nothing but up for this insanely talented artist. The latest from Whack, “Dora” is a super fun, bouncy track that comes with an out-of-the-box, animated visual (and even a bit of stop motion) the likes of which you’ve definitely never seen before – directed by Alex da Corte. Definitely worth watching.
Millyz feat. Jim Jones – “Heightened Senses” (Boston)
Millyz dropped the visual for “Heightened Senses” featuring Jim Jones on Friday off his latest project ‘Blanco III”. While in fact being from Boston, Millyz spends a lot of time in New York and is pretty closely affiliated with New York – specifically Yonkers – legend, Jadakiss and SoRaspy. Not to mention the feature from the larger than life, Harlem icon and Dipset cornerstone, Jim Jones who walks all over the Rey Beatz (@reybeatzig) produced track – an impressive 16-year-old producer from Albania that Millyz found and ended up with multiple placements on his recent album.
Daidough – “Distractions” (Jersey)
Finally, “Distractions” by Daidough, one of the hottest artists out of Jersey and one of the only ones really making a name for ‘Jersey Drill’. An impressively versatile artist, switching effortlessly between his own hard-hitting, lightning-fast take on the popular Brooklyn Drill sound – heard on bangers like “Wop 4 Wop” (3M views and climbing) and “A Hood Near You” – and a softer, more autotuned melodic vibe heard on “Ghetto Melodies.” On “Distractions”, we hear a really successful hybrid of the two styles – with a catchy, melodic hook and strong verses that manage to deliver hard-hitting bars and still carry a dope melody. Another impressive entry from the young Jersey artist – stay tuned for more from Daidough.