We're not sure why, but it feels like this next week is going to be a really important one for new music. It could be Kanye's upcoming appearance on SNL, where he's rumored to be premiering a brand-new single ("I Am God"?), or maybe it's the release of Daft Punk's anxiously awaited Random Access Memories (we've heard it on the low, and it's awesome), but something's definitely in the air and it's got us excited.

This past week saw some interesting releases, including new mixtapes from Soulja Boy and Gilbere Forte, as well as the premieres of a new single from Gucci Mane's upcoming Trap House III and a "new" EP from retired Queens MC Big Baby Gandhi. On the news side, rapper Tim Dog is alleged to have faked his own death and Diddy managed to troll the Internet by pretending to be a new cast member on Downton Abbey (in reality he was working on a Funny or Die skit called Downton Diddy, which you can watch here).

In our weekly column called In The Cut, the diversely opinionated XXL staff celebrates another lively week in hip-hop and picks some of their favorite releases from the past week. Until next week—keep it crispy, rap fans.