Somebody must have said “Young Metro” in the mirror three times because he has reappeared with some FIRE. This was a great week for music, hip-hop mostly but music in general. These are the best releases and songs of the week, I stayed up all night last night so that you don’t have to sift through it all. I recommend you still listen to everything but I realize not everybody is as obsessive as me. Read my recap below and follow the links to listen and enrich your life.
Metro Boomin – Not All Heroes Wear Capes
After taking a much needed 1 year hiatus, Boominati is back with his sleekest, most experimental collection of trap beats he’s ever produced. Seriously, this album should have been instrumentals only. The guest list (Travis Scott, Swae Lee, Gucci Mane, 21 Savage, J. Balvin, and more) is incredible but unfortunately, the throwaway verses and half-assed performances hinder Metro’s production rather than elevating it. Still, the backing beats are so polished that even the shittiest verse sounds incredible. Tune out the lyrics and vibe on the best production you’ve heard since J Dilla.
Favorite Tracks: Don’t Come out the House (AKA the new whisper song), Dreamcatcher, Space Cadet, Up to Something
Takeoff – The Last Rocket
The forgotten Migos member’s album that nobody asked for is actually one of the more surprisingly good releases this week. It sounds like a more polished version of NO LABEL II and some of the older, most exciting Migos mixtapes. Instead of doing what Quavo did and letting his ambition get out of hand without the talent to back it up, Takeoff mostly sticks to what he knows. He picks the beats he knows he can excel on and does his thing. The choruses obviously aren’t on the Quavo level, and the lyricism becomes a repetitive chore towards the end but Takeoff knows his strengths and plays to them well.
Favorite Tracks: She Gon Wink, I Remember, Lead the Wave
Vince Staples – FM!
You never know what you’re going to get with Vince Staple releases, that’s part of what makes it so exciting. The rap industry’s best troll always embraces his creative impulses, regardless of what they are, and it results in unique, inspired, conceptually daring music. FM! follows this trend. It’s short but sweet, XX minutes and 7 actual songs (4 skits), and it’s presented as a 90s tinged California punk rock radio station (evidenced by Dookie! inspired album cover) that oscillates between different moods and sounds at will. The chaotic 22-minutes that left me wanting a lot more, which is probably the point.
Also, we get the first Earl Sweatshirt verse in over 3 years. It’s a 20-second tease but hey, what do you expect from these guys? This type of shit is what they’re known for.
Favorite Tracks: New earlsweatshirt, Don’t get Chipped, Run the Bands, No Bleedin
Fetti – Curren$y, Freddy Gibbs, The Alchemist
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. Absolutely floored by this project. This has been in the works for 6 years and the prospect of a Gibbs/Curren$y joint album at first did nothing for me. But add the Alchemist’s grimy, 90s NYC hip-hop production and holy shit does everything come together. This is an old school record with a new school aesthetic. There are some great bars “Switching rackets like I’m Djokovic” and, as I’ve said before and will say again, the production is fucking incredible. This also proves that Freddie can flow over absolutely any beat and is a criminally underrated rapper. I thought Madlib beats were his thing after Pinata! but he sounds just as fluid on this project. At an air tight 22-minutes, if you’re any kind of hip-hop fan you owe it to yourself to listen. Sheeeesh.
Favorite Tracks: THE WHOLE THING
Action Bronson – White Bronco
Action’s latest release is another collection of songs similar to Mr. Wonderful and Blue Chips 7000. That’s not a knock, I love Action, but it’s more of the same this time around. If you love him, you’ll love this. It’s more chilled out than Blue Chips 7000 was and Action sometimes has the same lazy, stoner, braggadocious flow at the same speed regardless of the beat. But there are some hilarious lines, some great beats, and one of the best A$AP Rocky features I’ve heard in years. It’s stoner music through and through.
Best Songs: Swerve on em (ft. A$AP Rocky), Mt. Etna, Telemundo