January is just blowing by. Some of your favorite artists are off to a fast start too, like Nipsey Hussle and Young M.A, dropping songs that will keep them in the conversation for the rest of the year.

Nipsey Hussle's long-teased debut album, Victory Lap, arrives next week, and his second single sets the tone for what he has in store. "Last Time That I Checc'd" brings Compton to Crenshaw, as Nip brings YG into the mix. Nipsey bounces all over the track with ease, rapping, "I been self-made from the dribble/I was been sayin' I'm a killer/Playin' no games with you niggas" in his prominent California accent.

When it's YG's turn, he shares how far he's come in his career: "Fuck wearin' their clothes, I wear my own shit/Y'all can own y'all label, I own my own, bitch!"

Brooklyn's Young M.A was in the mood for a lyrical exercise, and chose Gucci Mane and Migos "I Get The Bag" as her beat of choice. She sounds crisp over the Metro Boomin and Southside-produced beat, rattling off "Double cuppin' it, no lean, just the red punch with the rum in it/Silky on, Fresh white tee, with the Constructs on, thuggin' it" with ease. Closing the 4-minute freestyle out with "We need more spittas/Less funny looking niggas" was also a crafty subliminal shot.

Carnage has been behind quite a few quality hip-hop-leaning singles, even though he broke into the game as an EDM DJ. His latest marriage of EDM and rap is "iShyne" a collab with Lil Pump, who's star is shining brighter than ever now. Pump isn't out of place at all, jumping between flows. "Gucci goggles on so I got four eyes, yeah/Smokin' on gelato, yeah I got it from Dubai/Fendi on, bitch, Louis all on bowtie," he raps. "Cold, so you know who I am, chyeah/Left wrist cost a hunnid bands, ooh," he brags near the end of the track.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is an important historical figure, with his national holiday taking place earlier this week on Monday (Jan. 15). Young Thug showed his appreciation for the lauded civil rights leader with his new track, "MLK," which also features Bankroll Mafia's Shad Da God and the recently freed Trouble. Thugger takes over the chorus, singing over church keys, "I was havin' a dream/I was whippin' a Rolls Royce/ And I bought everything that I want/Turned to Martin Luther King overnight."

Never came for the fame, no (no)/I'm the same nigga, the same goals (same one)/Niggas hatin' for these lame hoes," Trouble quickly rhymes, showing that he'll never switch up on his people.

Dave East is one of New York City's most loved young rappers, and he won't let his grip go anytime soon. The Paranoia 2 track "Talk to Big," is a two verse-long vent session over a V Don beat. East kicks the song off with "I got niggas that's never coming home/Bitches say they love my music, don't know none of my songs." "Youngins got the block sewed up like rugby patches," Dave raps, sharing a glimpse into life in his Harlem 'hood. "They hate you when you go get it yourself, they love you askin'/Know you starving, they throw you rations."

Closing out the list this week is Berner, California rapper and marijuana enthusiast. His album, The Big Pescado, released days ago, and one of the catchiest songs on it is "Busy Body," a meeting of Cali legends and newer talent. Bay Area stalwarts E-40 and Too $hort drop verses, and South Central, Los Angeles crooner TeeFLii handles the hook. "She get wild, hella loud, when I’m deep in her/ She get mad just ‘cause I want options," Berner raps, sharing his dating issues. He finishes with "And nah, I ain't finna take the lil’ bitch shoppin' (hell nah)/I’m young and I’m poppin’, you know I’m but a problem (but a problem)."

Check out the best songs of the week below.

See New Music Releases for January 2018

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