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.
Sauce Walka – Dat Boy Den
Deeming his rap career as more hobby than occupation, Sauce Walka’s carefree approach belies the fact that he happens to highly adept at the craft. The Texan picks up where he left off on Sauce Ghetto Gospel 3 with Dat Boy Den, which finds him flexing and flossing across the album’s 18 tracks. On the project’s titular track, he boasts about deploying his harem to do his bidding while presenting himself as a certified boss. “Bi**h got that hellcat, I got a Dodge/ Switch like a vibrator, it’s makin’ noise” he raps over a brooding beat produced by Iceman Chamberlain, making a strong impression out the gate.
Notorious for his management of adult content creators, Sauce waxes poetic about the profitable trade on “ONLY FANS,” laying his game flat about the recruitment process and accompanying rules of engagement. In terms of features, Dat Boy Den provides firepower in that department as well, as BIG30 (“Free Sanchie Free Shiesty”), Peezy (“Uh Uh”), Money Man (“PTSD”), and Freeway (“Switches & AR’s”) all turn in strong contributions. Flying solo on the additional highlights “Free The Drippers” and the raunchy “I Just Wanna,” Sauce Walka is back to his old ways on Dat Boy Den, which lives up to its name, as its contents serve as a reminder that he’s truly HIM. – Preezy Brown
Lil Yachty – “Tesla”
Lil Yachty’s “Tesla” joins the “Strike” and “Slide” family but embraces more electric guitars and synths. He embraces a slight baby-voiced autotune here and goes from rapping full lyrics to unintelligible murmurs. It sounds similar to something Playboi Carti would do and honestly, he might have helped to improve this record. Overall it’s not much to write home about it, and its predecessors are significantly better. But this alternative rap direction that Yachty has taken has been very enjoyable overall. – Armon Sadler
DJ Muggs – Soul Assassins 3: Death Valley
Few artists have been as active as DJ Muggs in recent memory, as the veteran boardsman has already released three projects within the span of months. After delivering the instrumental album Notes & Tones with Sun Ra, the collaborative album Champagne For Breakfast with Meyhem Lauren and Madlib, and Lofi Punk EP with 8tari Lofipunk, Muggs unleashes his fourth release of the year in Soul Assassins 3: Death Valley.
The third-installment in his acclaimed compilation series, and the first in over a decade, Death Valley finds the Cypress Hill member hooking up with a few familiar collaborators for an explosive long player filled with thumping instrumentals and epic rhyme spills. While brimming with bangers, key selections to take note of include Sicilian Gold,” “Street Made,” “Metropolis, “Skeleton,” and the album’s lead-single “Dump On Em.” Additional numbers by Boldy James, Jay Worthy, Rome Streetz, Roc Marciano, and CRIMEAPPLE only bolster the proceedings, resulting in Death Valley being a respectable extension of the Soul Assassins series. – PB
Gucci Mane, J. Cole, Mike Will Made-It – “There I Go”
J. Cole continued his lethal feature run on Gucci Mane’s “There I Go.” It’s always a jam when Mike Will Made-It is behind the boards. Cole opens the bass-heavy trap record by shouting out the producer before getting into a slimy verse, weaving in and out of the drums and hi-hats with a trade between whispering and his louder inflective tone. “Lowkey, only show up for a large fee,” he boasts. Gucci Mane jumps in, spitting another verse that could be called one of his best in a while. The pure ability to rhyme multi-syllabic words all while getting a flex off is impressive, he is aging like wine. This is for sure a “car test” record and it passes with flying colors. There they go, indeed. – AS
City Girls – “Face Down”
You can read the title of City Girls’ new song “Face Down” and know exactly where this is going. Still, it’s a very fun record. The Florida duo excels at these high-energy, twerk-ready records and captures that in their lyrics. “Fасе dоwn, а** uр, ѕl*t mе оut/ І dоn’t еvеn lеt а brоkе ni**а еаt mе оut/ Не knоw thіѕ рu**ѕу ѕtау wеt іn thе mіddlе оf drоughtѕ/ І mаkе hіm fасе mе, nаѕtу, ѕquіrt іn hіѕ mоuth,” Yung Miami spits. This a very good lyrical display for the popular duo. Reading their vulgarity on a computer screen doesn’t truly capture the essence or conviction of how willing they are to get freaky for the right suitor. This record has all the makings of a City Girls hit, something the streets have been missing for some time. – AS
Open Mike Eagle – Another Triumph Of Ghetto Engineering
With his previous effort, Component System with the Auto Reverse, accounting for one of last year’s stronger albums, Open Mike Eagle looks to extend that momentum into 2023 with his new release Another Triumph Of Ghetto Engineering. Expectancy when it comes to an artist such as Open Mike Eagle is an exercise in futility, as you never know what you’ll get upon pressing play. Yet, good things usually come following that leap of faith, as is the case with the album’s first selection “I bled on stage at first ave,” which finds the veteran clearing his head atop production by Quelle Chris.
“The wrong way on a one way/ I’m off base in a fun way,” he laments before highlighting his complexities within, admitting “Most days it’s the Wu-Tang/ Some days it’s OJ to Juice Mane” an acknowledgment of his different interest, moods and tastes. Running a sparse nine tracks, Another Triumph Of Ghetto Engineering includes guest spots by Young Zee (“BET’s rap city”), Video Dave and STILL RIFT (“WFLD 32”), Blu (“the wire s3 ep1”), and Eshu Tune. Yet, Open Mike Eagle never treads far from the orbit of the proceedings, as showcased on the standout salvos “we should have made otherground a thing” and “mad enough to aim a pyramid at you,” the latter closing the Chicago native’s latest long player in memorable fashion. – PB
Vic Mensa – “Blue Eyes”
With his long-awaited sophomore album due for release in September, Vic Mensa unleashes a new song from the project titled “Blue Eyes,” on which he tackles his struggles endured as a biracial man. Produced by Bongo ByTheWay, the track is one the Chicago native bills as “one of the most personal” he’s made to date and “illustrates the impact of European beauty standards on the mind of the African.” Inspired by his late Aunt, who passed away as a result of skin bleaching, “Blue Eyes” finds Mensa speaking his truths in a raw, vulnerable fashion that hits the heart while provoking the mind into thought. – PB
Peezy Feat. Key Glock – “No Amiris”
“I might just retire all my Amiris,” Preezy warns on this blistering cut featuring Key Glock, which finds the pair switching their style up while gliding over a pounding backdrop cooked up by CHASETHEMONEY, Noanalu, and CaseyProd. Manning the hook and the opening verse, Peezy shuns defeat while alluding to his status as one of the more respected paper chasers in his city.
Running up a check, Key Glock completes the Detroit to Memphis connection on the subsequent stanza, as he opts for Prada ‘fits while boasting about lavish pieces of jewelry. While Mike Amiri may be one of the more beloved designers in Hip-Hop today, Peezy and Glizzock decide to set their own trends with this collaboration, which doubles as a fashion statement. – PB
French Montana, Swae Lee – “Wish U Well”
French Montana and Swae Lee created the lost long brother to “Unforgettable” with “Wish U Well.” It contains a similar drum pattern and Afrobeats feel to the 2017 smash. Swae opens the record with his usual celestial croons before a fun filtered vocal break powered by Route 94 and Jess Glynne’s “My Love.” Swae then hits a higher vocal register on the song’s chorus, repeating “I wish u well” over and over. French Montana jumps in for his verse which is mostly rap but includes slight autotune. French really excels at finding pockets on these pop records. He mimics Swae’s high register on the song’s bridge before the record closes with more Glynne vocals. It’s beautiful and throws in some bold piano strokes for a proper conclusion. – AS
Cash Cobain Feat. Chow Lee – “Rump”
Cash Cobain and Chow Lee’s “Rump” immediately grabs the listeners’ attention due to a familiar, well-executed sample. While many may reduce it to flipping Drake’s “Dreams Money Can Buy,” the sexy drill innovator actually reimagined Jai Paul’s “BTSTU,” which The 6 God originally sampled. The result is a drill-EDM hybrid, dance-friendly record where the Bronx rapper expresses his lusty desires for a woman as per usual.
His high-pitched autotune and rapid flow match the production’s cadence seamlessly as he belts “I wanna rump like, I wanna rump like whoa/ Shawty wanna f**k like, Shawty wanna f**k, I know.” It’s unclear whether he is paying homage to Ice Spice with the “Like” ad-lib or not, but it works. Chow Lee jumps in for his verse and doubles up Cash Cobain’s already fast flow, showing off impressive breath control in the process. “I hate my reputation ‘cause the only bi**hes I get to f**k with is these h**s/ I feel like Hugh Hef, I let her live in my crib and I f**k this old bi**h in my robe.” This is the energy needed in the summer for sure. – AS