Friday, July 19, 2024
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Doja Cat, Yo Gotti, Cordae, And More Fresh New Music Friday Releases

Today is Friday, which means there are a ton of new releases to look forward to from some of your favorite Hip-Hop artists. To help you unwind and enjoy the weekend, check out VIBE’s picks of songs and albums you should hear and add to your soundtrack of weekend festivities.

Doja Cat – “Paint The Town Red”

Doja Cat “Paint The Town Red” cover art

2023 Kemosabe Records/RCA Records

Doja Cat samples Dionne Warwick’s “Walk On By” for a hotel lobby-sounding bar fest on “Paint the Town Red.” It seems like a response to her latest controversy with fans, as she raps: “Bi**h I said what I said/ I’d rather be famous instead/ I let all that get to my head/ I don’t care, I paint the town red.” The Hip-Hop-leaning pop star quotes her naysayers as she refers to herself as the devil, a “bad lil’ bi**h,” and a rebel. Though the harp-filled beat is more mid-tempo, her pace of flow is a bit faster. This is a real stream of consciousness and a double-down of everything she has said via Twitter. “Said my happiness is all of your misery/ I put good d**k all in my kidneys/ This Margiel’ don’t come with no jealousy/ My illness don’t come with no remedy,” Doja spits.

Verse two is even more pointed: “Said pop make money, now you try, bi**h/ You could use a revamp with a new vibe, sis/ I don’t need a big feature or a new sidekick/ I don’t need a new fan ‘cause my boo like it.” This campaign to alienate the people that love her is odd, but providing a quality song like this seems counterproductive. Just another instance of Doja Cat operating unconventionally. – Armon Sadler

Yo Gotti & DJ Drama I Showed U So

Yo Gotti & DJ Drama 'I Showed U So" Album Cover

Inevitable Productions/Interscope Records

After the release of his 10th studio album CM10: Free Game and announcing his retirement, Yo Gotti has returned to the kitchen and cooked up his latest package I Showed U So. The sequel to his 2006 Gangsta Grillz release alongside DJ Drama. I Showed U So captures the Memphis trapper-turned-CEO retaining the form that made him a favorite of the streets while showing the eight-figure contracts haven’t displaced his hunger for more.

“G.I. certified, two carats in my tennis chain/ 3.5, that new Chiron inside my business name,” he boasts on “Driveway Furniture,” a celebratory cut where he revels in excess. Expressing his desire to cater to his core base, Gotti addresses his brief hiatus from the game, noting his plans to dominate the mixtape circuit while shunning any aspirations for mainstream success. “It’s like Universal, Mexico and Interscope my trap house,” he brags, referencing the plethora of deals brokered through his Cinematic Music Group label.

Speaking of CMG, Moneybagg Yo makes an appearance alongside his label boss on “Mind My Business,” with Gotti assuming a neutral stance on the violence that’s engulfed his hometown of Memphis. “I should sit down with the mayor, I should try to save my city/ Then I think back to myself, I should mind my f**king business,” he raps on the booming soundscape—produced by Yung Dee, Godboydinero, Carter—before connecting with Rich Homie Quan on “Mandarin.”

Doling out advisories on “POV” and showing solidarity with incarcerated rap star Young Thug on the closing number “I’m Out,” I Showed U So makes it clear Yo Gotti’s runway as an emcee is far from ending. – Preezy Brown

Cordae – “Make Up Your Mind”

Cordae “Make Up Your Mind” cover art

2023 Atlantic Recording Corporation

Cordae is in a dancing mood on the upbeat “Make Up Your Mind.” There is a sense of urgency conveyed through the fast drums, hi-hats, and bass strums paired with his hook of “I said she love me/ She love me not/ But she don’t got no damn clue about what she wants/ Bi**h make up your mind/ Figure it out.” It’s like he’s meeting the woman for the first time, but in reality, they have been involved for an extended period of time, and he doesn’t know exactly how she feels. While Cordae raps his verse, he sings on the chorus, amplifying his emotional ties to the situation.

His rap verse is braggadocious, and perhaps the switch to belting is because he recognizes this woman isn’t impressed by the things he can offer on the surface. Even with all the uncertainty, they have some great sex and he’s urging the lady to go tell her friends about it. The desire to be known by her friends is a classic smitten move, but at least he goes about it in a smooth way. – AS

EZ Mil Feat. Eminem – “Realest”

EZ Mil Featuring Eminem "Realest" Single Cover Art

To receive a Dr. Dre and Eminem cosign has long been considered an indicator for an artist’s potential success. West Coast triple-threat EZ Mil is their latest find and the newest member of the Shady/Aftermath/Interscope family who they tout as a “special talent” with a multifaceted sound tailor-made for the airwaves. Em joins EZ on “Realest,” the first official release under their new union, which presents the rhymer as a cocksure creative aiming to make a seismic impact upon arrival. The first single from the deluxe edition of his 2022 album DU4LI7Y, “Realest” coaxes a strong showing from Eminem, who anchors the track with an epic stanza that sends chills and goosebumps by verse’s end. – PB

Lil YachtySlide

Lil Yachty ‘Slide’ cover art

2023 Quality Control Music, LLC, under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Inc.

Lil Yachty continues the momentum from “Strike (Holster)” with his new single Slide, which is accompanied by a dual release and music video. The title track features his static autotune voice, trap drums, and a synthy melody. He gets off concise, truncated bars: “Sippin’ on drank, swingin’ a rack/ Stealin’ a rack, pullin’ a track.” “Slide” is a similar offering to “Strike,” utilizing the word “slide” in its various meanings both in the Webster dictionary and colloquially. That is the power of Lil Yachty’s rapping ability, his ability to rhyme and display the versatility of the English language all while sounding good.

The second track of the pair, “Solo Steppin Crete Boy,” is affectionately known as his “AMP Freestyle.” With that in mind, it’s no shock that Lil Boat goes a lyrical barrage. “All my bi**hes been official, even tote a pistol/ Even blow up like a whistle, lie to officials/ I’ll drip you down in crystals if I know you’re real/ How you geekin’ out your body off a pink pill?” he raps. He brags about his friendship with Drake, flying on his plane, and reminds listeners that “YOLO” is still the motto. For all the criticism Yachty received earlier this year for his alternative album Let’s Start Here, he has been that much more committed to showing he can spit with the best of them. – AS

Giggs ft. Diddy – “Mandem”

Giggs ft. Diddy “Mandem” cover art

2023 No BS Music Limited

Giggs sets a threatening tone on “Mandem,” boosted by Diddy’s signature ad-libs. The beat sounds like the backing track for when a gang rolls up to a crew of people they’re looking to beat up. On this track, the London artist lyrically pushes that theme even further with “I’m with the gang and it’s hazardous/ Gang signs, 45s, and big calibers.” The dark synth paired with the heart-pounding hi-hats also makes this sound like music that could play when a villain traps an innocent victim and is about to go for the kill. Giggs spends the entirety of the record reflecting on the luxurious life he lives and how he will always be well-protected by the people he surrounds himself with. In the end, we should all want some mandem. We are stronger alone, but better together. – AS

DJ Premier Feat. Westside Gunn & Rome Streetz – “Runway”

DJ Premier

DJ Premier attends the Vh1 The Breaks premiere party at Red Rooster Restaurant on December 14, 2015 in New York City.

D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Vh1

DJ Premier blesses rap fiends with a lethal fix in the form of “Runway,” the production wizard’s new single featuring Griselda reps Rome Streetz and Westside Gunn. Crafting an indelible instrumental with an upbeat vibe, Premo employs his signature scratching techniques and late Mobb Deep member Prodigy’s vocals across the track. Released in anticipation of DJ Premier’s collaboration with fashion designer Mike Amiri, who created the single’s artwork, for a forthcoming capsule collection releasing later this month, “Runway” is a wonderful slice of boom-bap featuring two of the Empire State’s finest. – PB

Homeboy SandmanRich

Homeboy Sandman 'Rich' Album Cover

Dirty Looks

After delivering a bit of holiday cheer with his compilation project 12 Days of Christmas & Dia de Los Reyes, Homeboy Sandman resumes his onslaught of releases with Rich, an album filled with analytical observations of self and the world around him. Vowing that everything’s gonna be “Fine” on the soulful introductory cut, the New Yorker reflects on the “confines” that prompted him to train his brain to navigate his native surroundings. A vicious rhyme spill is spewed on “Therapy,” a brisk offering that finds him flexing his lyrical first-step. “Hip-Hop is such a weenie scene/ Make me wanna summon the Candy Man from Cabrini Green,” he raps atop the groovy backdrop provided by Momo En Stereo. Recounting a romance gone sour on “Then We Broke Up,” the Sandman closes the proceedings amid cascading drums on “He Didn’t Do Anything,” a stream of consciousness filled with motivational affirmations. – PB

Trippie Redd – “Left 4 Dead”

Trippie Redd “Left 4 Dead” cover art

2023 1400 Entertainment, Inc. / 10K Projects

Trippie Redd’s “Left 4 Dead” is a ballad-like reflection of how love is to be carefully explored—the highs are high but the lows are devastating. He belts over guitar strums and soft drums about clouds raining down on him, and no matter how hard he tries to repair a broken love, it’s never the same the second go around. “I miss the tricks you used to do in my bed/ You switched so quick I couldn’t comprehend/ You show me why I can’t be f**king around with love,” Trippie emotes.

While he was supposed to deliver a full album on Friday (Aug. 4), this is enough to know the Canton, Ohio native has some #feelingsmusic on the way and he is still one of the better acts of the new generation at conveying them. Trippie Redd holds nothing back, even when he’s got nothing left. – AS

Rick HydeLupara

Rick Hyde 'Lupara' Album Cover

Black Soprano Family, LLC

Black Soprano Family rapper Rick Hyde presents his new album LUPARA, serving up a collection of hard-boiled bangers that bring listeners to the thick of Buffalo’s fearsome streets. Setting the album off with a nod to late wrestling icon Scott Hall on the opener “Rick Rhude,” Hyde attacks the guitar-driven track aggressively, rhyming, “My mom told me that the world’s greatest fear is a praying man/ We was close together like the praying hands.” While the lyricist is showcased individually on the standout “Change My Life,” Hyde’s finest moments on LUPARA happen alongside his stable of costars. Benny The Butcher, Boldy James, ElCamino, Heem, and Fuego Base all lend their talents, with tracks like “Weight Watchers,” “One Brick Minimum,” and “Knock Down” making the album essential listening. – PB

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