The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Conway The Machine, Earthgang, and more.
Obviously, the week’s biggest release was an album that fans can’t even stream, but not to be lost in the mix were new videos from Lil Durk (“AHHH HA“), Yo Gotti (“Dolla Fo’ Dolla“), Baby Keem (“16“), Denzel Curry (“Zatoichi“), and D Smoke (“Say Go“).
Friday saw the releases of Tyga and Doja Cat’s “Freaky Deaky,” Polo G and Lil Baby’s “Don’t Play,” Flo Milli’s “PBC,” Rubi Rose’s “I Like,” Leikeli47’s “BITM,” Russ’ “What Are Y’all,” and Rexx Life Raj’s “Balance,” along with the releases listed below.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending February 25, 2021.
Central Cee — 23
The UK rapper arrived with a splash in 2021 with his first mixtape, Wild West, earning impressive chart placements and critical accolades. This year, he looks to keep that momentum going with his second mixtape, 23, which is already off to a great start with tracks like “Khabib” and “Straight Back To It.”
Conway The Machine — God Don’t Make Mistakes
After a year’s worth of delays, Conway’s long-awaited Shady Records debut has arrived, bringing with it more of the ghostly Griselda production that has made the Buffalo trio the standard-bearers for the modern underground rap movement.
Earthgang — Ghetto Gods
Wowgr8 and Johnny Venus disappointed their fans by pushing back the follow-up to Mirrorland, but it appears the additional wait might have been worth it. The Atlanta duo continues to push the boundaries of Southern rap — this time alongside no less than three generations of Dungeon Family affiliates, which could make dodging those pesky Outkast comparisons even harder to do.
Kanye West — Donda 2
It’s weird that an album can arrive with so much fanfare and seemingly so little impact but I guess that’s what happens when you decide to price much of your loyal fanbase out with release day stunts designed more to sell merch than music. However, when fans are so determined to get their hands on the new tunes that they defy the artist’s wishes, maybe the strategy is more effective than it looks on the surface — at least, in terms of self-promotion.
Ace Hood — “Free”
Coming from the Florida native’s newly released EP, M.I.N.D., the new single finds him trying out new lanes. It’s a little Lupe Fiasco Lasers, but Ace deserves some credit for trying to evolve after such an illustrious career.
Dusty Locane — “Big Woos” feat. Rah Swish
New York drill isn’t going anywhere and Dusty Locane is one of the torchbearers who remains worth giving a listen whenever he drops. New York’s new mayor can continue to try to squelch the movement but he may only end up lending it more fuel for the fire.
Erica Banks — “Slim Waist”
The Texan hasn’t quite found the smash follow-up to her TikTok favorite, “Buss It,” yet, but she’s made some pretty entertaining music in the meantime.
Smoke DZA — “Run It” feat. Real Bad Man
Smoke DZA deserves more attention, if only for his consistency if nothing else. He’s like the East Coast version of rappers like Larry June or LE$, if they made region-specific boom-bap. “Run It” comes off DZA and Real Bad Man’s joint project Mood Swings on the same day Smoke announces Driplomatic Immunity with Nym Lo & 183rd.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.