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 line-up of new heat is a mixed bag and includes a new effort from one of the most consistent newer artists in the game, a release from an artist whose freedom is currently hanging in the balance, and a full-length offering from an R&B talent known for delivering quality bodies of work. Having proven himself to be a viable artist with staying power, Trippie Redd continues to stake his claim as a leader of the new school with A Love Letter to You. With his pending murder trial generating headlines and casting a dark cloud over his future, YNW Melly looks to put the focus back on the music with Melly vs. Melvin, which includes features from 9LOKKNINE and TONK Wit Tha Gift. And last, but not least, Eric Bellinger rounds out the lineup with Cuffing Season 3, a steamy project that arrives right in time for your winter romance.
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.
Trippie Redd: A Love Letter to You 4
“All For Me”
Trippie Redd demands a pledge of love and loyalty on this selection, belting out impassioned vocals over a Bans & Stunned Samples-produced soundscape. Featuring Smokepurpp, with a posthumous appearance from XXXTENTACION, this piano-driven number hits on all cylinders and finds the new jack adding to his collection of heartfelt compositions.
Observations of the disloyalty at play in today’s society are broached on this thoughtful offering from Redd’s latest, which finds the Ohio rep catching the blues. Produced by ChopsquadDJ, this salvo, which is anchored with a guest verse by Tory Lanez, captures the duality of Redd.
The artist flips Three 6 Mafia’s classic track “Hit a Muthafucka” for this amped-up inclusion. Produced by TWhy Xclusive and DJ Paul, and bolstered by the presence of DaBaby, who builds on his successful 2019 campaign with yet another show-stealing verse, this single has the potential to create havoc in a club near you.
YNW Melly: Melly vs. Melvin
YNW Melly bares his inner-most thoughts on this vulnerable salvo. Produced by CujoBeatz, this cut finds the rapper delivering pained vocals over percussion. This track is one of the initial highlights on the project that is most likely to catch the listener’s ear.
Producers Justin Clemons and YNG Josh team up to craft the backdrop to this upbeat ditty. Titled in honor of the beloved comedian/actor, this particular tune finds the Floridian cascading over xylophones and 808 drums. It’s worthy of real estate in your daily rotation.
Threats and cocksure boasts are spat in the same breath on this catchy offering, which thrives in large part to YNW Melly’s melodic delivery. Flexing his skills as a lyricist with a pair of focused stanzas, the best aspects of the rapper’s skillset are on full display on this outing, resulting in yet another undeniable banger for the polarizing upstart.
Eric Bellinger: Cuffing Season 3
Hitmaka lends his production talents to this impressive offering, which casts the vocalist as a master of seduction. Expressing his yearns over pulsating percussion and an airy vocal sample, Bellinger slows down the tempo with this sultry composition.
Shades of Jon B’s 1997 smash “They Don’t Know” are present on this enticing offering, which captures the singer paying homage to the veteran vocalist. Produced by David Banner, who flexes his versatility behind the boards with a backdrop in stark contrast to his more rowdy fair, this selection exudes sensuality and captures Bellinger at the top of his game.
The crooner swerves through the streets with his lady in tow on this mellow groove, which finds him introducing the object of his affections to an upgraded lifestyle. Powered by relentless kicks and snares, this number ranks among the stronger inclusions on the tracklist, and is equally appropriate for the turn-up or an intimate vibe.