With so many new rap albums, mixtapes, EPs and songs dropping every week; knowing which ones are worth your time can be a challenge. But no worries, we’ll help smooth out the process with “Now N’ Laters,” a column that highlights the hottest new releases of the week and the songs you’ll want to listen to now — and later.
This week’s slate of new releases is headlined by one of the most gifted double threats in the industry, a comeback effort from one of the most promising lyricists out of The Chi, and another LP from one of the most beloved rappers out of The Bay. After much anticipation, Tory Lanez delivers the fifth edition of his Chixtape series, which includes remixes of various R&B classics and finds the artist at the top of his game. With the label drama behind him, Rockie Fresh looks to move forward with Destination, which features appearances from Chris Brown, Arin Ray and others. And last, but not least, Berner comes through with La Plaza, the weed merchant and entertainers latest LP that includes appearances from some of the top dogs in the game.
With all three releases getting airplay and dominating the conversation, REVOLT shares our critics’ picks for the three songs from each project that stand a cut above the rest and should be in your heavy rotation now -- and later. Be sure to let us know what your favorites are.
Tory Lanez: Chixtape 5
1. “The Trade”
Halfway and Play Picasso helm the boards on this introductory number. Featuring Jagged Edge and Jermaine Dupri, this cut sets the mood for the rest of the project and captures the listeners attention the instant you press play.
2. “The Take”
Chris Brown plays wingman alongside Lanez on this retake of “Take You Down,” which finds the pair crooning sweet nothings over a layered production. Littered with chopped up vocals of the original, this number has two of the best hybrid talents in the game teaming up for an infectious tune that’s a sure bet to get you in the mood.
3. “Broken Promises”
Lanez laments about promises broken on this pulsating cut. Gliding over hollow snares and mellow synths, the singer puts forth an engaging selection that’s primed for continuous spins on your playlist.
Rockie Fresh: Destination
1. “Feelings Hurt”
Rockie Fresh celebrates life, while shrugging off the haters on this bouncy number. Featuring 24hrs and Casey Veggies, this standout captures the trio turning in potent performances.
2. “Must Be”
The sexual tension is at its peak on this sensuous selection, which finds the Chicagoan reeling off couplets over an enticing soundscape. Featuring an appearance from Chris Brown, this cut has all the traits off a sleeper hit and has the potential to put Fresh’s name back in the conversation in a big way.
3. “Always Love”
Optimistic vibes are felt on this guitar-driven groove. Featuring an appearance from Arin Ray, this composition closes out the proceedings on a favorable note.
Berner: La Plaza
1. “La Plaza”
Berner sets things off with a bang with this catchy salvo, which doubles as the project’s title track. Produced by RZA, and including guest verses from Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg, the three herbal enthusiasts unite for another 4/20 anthem.
2. “Every Night”
Sap puts forth a thunderous backdrop on this soulful composition, as Berner turns in a proficient stanza to set the tone. Wiz Khalifa pops up again with another appearance, while Chris Brown holds court on the hook. This results in another undeniable banger on the part of the Bay Area rep.
3. “Kings of the Contraband”
Cypress Hill crashes the party on this smoked-out offering, which finds SoCal and The Bay uniting in the name of marijuana and hip hop. Produced by Black Milk, this cut jumps out as one of the superior inclusions on Berner’s latest project and is a perfect cut to roll up to.