In case you missed it, there have been some incredible album releases this Summer, primarily in the Rap/R&B genre. Just this week, we finally received the new Iggy Azalea EP, in addition to Travis Scott’s Astroworld. This doesn’t make the delay of Nicki Minaj’s album any easier to swallow, but here is a little piece of mind, that there are a few New Rap Albums You Need In Your Life Right Now.
Travis Scott: Astroworld
Since helping Kanye shape his punk-rap sound on Yeezus, Travis Scott has accrued fame more ways than one. He’s joined the Kardashian-Jenner clan, dropped a collab with Migos’ Quavo, released a positively reviewed sophomore album Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, and now, he’s released Astroworld. Scott’s urgent yet atmospheric LP includes features from Drake, Frank Ocean, production from Thundercat and Tame Impala’s Kevin parker, and instruments by Stevie Wonder and John Mayer.
Mac Miller: Swimming
Understandably, the new Mac Miller is less love-focused, as he’s reeling from a recent arrest and recent-ish break-up from famed singer Ariana Grande. Though reminiscent of 2016’s The Divine Feminine, this time, the wavy blues approach is muted and downtrodden, a meager attempt to explain away rumors and tabloid woes. But a few standouts exist on Swimming, including the funk-driven Snoop Dogg, Syd and Thundercat collab “What’s the Use”.
H.E.R: I Used To Know H.E.R: The Prelude
There are thousands of frustrated Lauryn Hill fans out there who are coming to realize the famed Fugees rapper might be off her game. Or rather, she just isn’t down to stand on stage and perform in 2018. But look no further, hope is in H.E.R, who immediately calls upon the miseducated cadences of 90’s rap, while maintaining her authentic voice. Poignant lyricism, solid beats, and gorgeously produced R&B, I Used To Know H.E.R: The Prelude is a sign of great things to come.
YG: Stay Dangerous
The L.A MC’s 2016 single “Fuck Donald Trump” quickly became a national battle cry, an impassioned and distilled entity born from this movement of politically-driven art. But on YG’s third LP Stay Dangerous, we have received something more personal and closer to the streets of L.A. “It was really something that the homies started saying a long time ago,” YG tells Rolling Stone. Like the Blood community — the homies just kept saying ‘Stay dangerous, stay dangerous, stay dangerous, stay dangerous.’ And that was like the lingo of the city. Now it’s bigger than the Bloods. The whole city’s saying it now.”
Iggy Azalea: Survive the Summer
It took a few delays, but the talented and resilient Australian MC is finally back with a new EP. The concise, 6-track Survive the Summer finds Iggy Azalea operating within darker sounds and tropes, a somber backdrop for her hard delivery and fortified attitude. Survive the Summer features Wiz Khalifa on “OMG” and Tyga on the previously-released cut, “Kream”.
The Internet: Hive Mind
Hive Mind, the fourth album from R&B collective The Internet, is a prime example of their combined powers. From lush and lilting melodies, to deep rigid jazz licks, to softly rendered blues, The Internet has returned with an intelligent, remarkable vengeance. It would be a useless exercise to try and extract standout tracks from Hive Mind, as the LP is wholly realized, and most compelling in its accumulation of 13, funky, rolling tracks.