Best Songs of the Week Featuring Kanye West, Pusha-T and More
Welcome to June! It's actually summer now, a historically big time of year for hip-hop fans. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as all the big albums are starting to drop. There's jams to soundtrack your trips to the beach and nights out with friends, and tunes to get you through your work week. Check out the latest edition of XXL's best songs of the week.
As you've heard, Kanye West's highly-anticipated album, Ye, has touched down, complete with an 11th-hour listening session right before it came out. One of the songs, "Yikes," will likely catch on. Kanye rapping over trap drum patterns and talking about himself in the third person will certainly garner a lot of attention.
Keeping it on the G.O.O.D Music theme, Pusha-T definitely responded to Drake's "Duppy Freestyle" with the brutal "The Story of Adidon." From accusing Drake of hiding a child, to take a vicious swipe at OVO's head producer 40's health, Push pulled out all the stops. This war of words will be interesting.
Past Pusha T collaborator Future is the producer of the forthcoming film Superfly, and also gets to curate the soundtrack. Of course, he drops a song for the movie, which is "Bag," featuring young Atlanta rapper Yung Bans. Future follows the upstart's lead on this one, and the song turns out perfectly.
Heading back up North, New York City rap holds it down almost every summer, and 2018 is no different. This week, we get the return of Harlem-born, Brooklyn-raised Lil Mama with the extremely catchy "Shoe Game," a nod to the dance songs of the city in the early 2000s. Fan favorite and Harlem native A$AP Ferg also has a new joint this week. The 1970's funk-influenced "Harlem Anthem" is a different sound for him, but Ferg snaps on it.
This was also a solid week for producer/rapper duos. Curren$y and Harry Fraud reunite again after their 2012 project, Cigarette Boats, (which won XXL's EP of the Year award) for the eight-track offering The Marina. For one of the songs, Spitta meets up with his old friend Wiz Khalifa for "The Count," a smoothed-out bar exchange. A Curren$y/Wiz/Harry Fraud tape might need to happen.
Waka Flocka Flame also surprised everyone with a new tape, which has a couple of Lex Luger beats. Big Homie Flocka brings back memories of the old days, but "Flava," is modern, with Lex using a warped production style as Flocka brags like crazy.
Another high-level rapping and production combo went live today: Black Thought's Streams of Thought Vol. 1 featuring 9th Wonder (and the Soul Council). The track "Dostoyevsky" is crazy, placing the Roots frontman alongside Rapsody, who demolishes her verse with a few very clever pop culture references sprinkled in.
Adding to the stack of lyrical rap that dropped this week, one of Mac Miller's three new songs brings back the feel of his previous eras, when he was making hip-hop that feels just as right in 2018 as it would have in the 1990s. "Buttons" is that track, where he tries to re-establish normalcy after a rough few weeks in the public eye.
Closing the show out is one of Madeintyo's two new songs, the A$AP Ferg-assisted, K Swisha-produced "Ned Flanders." The bounce and strings play off of each other well; this may be a track you hear a lot going forward.
Give the best songs of the week a listen, below.
See New Music Releases for June 2018