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 roundup is loaded with new projects from three established veterans. One of the greatest rap artists to ever come out of Harlem, Cam’ron continues to add to his legend with Purple Haze 2, the long-awaited sequel to his classic 2004 LP. With Christmas right around the corner, Gucci Mane gifts us with the third installment of his East Atlanta Santa series, which includes enough trap-inspired jingles to get your carol on through the new year. And last, but not least, Curren$y liberates Back at Burnie’s, the follow-up to the Spitta’s acclaimed studio album Weekend at Burnie’s and includes features from Rick Ross, Young Dolph, Juicy J, Madeintyo, and more.
With all three releases getting airplay and dominating the conversation, REVOLT shares our critics’ picks for the three songs from each album 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.
Cam’ron: Purple Haze 2
Cam’ron reverts back to Killa as he recollects his humble beginnings and illegal exploits committed during the prime years of his career. Produced by Get Large, this salvo finds the Diplomat at his most cocksure, listing off each transaction with the sneer of an elusive crime lord.
King Jaffe Jo is in vintage form, as he summons the original orchestrators of the Dipset sound, The Heatmakerz. to dust off the vocal samples on this composition. Whoever knew Cam’ron used to deliver bricks to JAY-Z? Or, on top of that, that Hov was once neighbors with Brand Nubian member Lord Jamar? Well, we do now, since this is one of the many gems dropped by Cam on this confessional effort.
Fame is irrelevant in the streets of Harlem, at least according to the cautionary tales Cam’ron shares on this ode to his stomping grounds. Produced by Rek, with guest appearances from Shoota93 and Jim Jones, this cut includes revelations like Stephon Marbury nearly being on the wrong end of an armed robbery, making it a must-listen for the tabloid fodder alone.
Gucci Mane: East Atlanta Santa 3
Gucci Mane addresses those disenchanted with his transformation post-prison on this cut, which is slightly reminiscent of his decade-old hit “Lemonade” on account of its rollicking keys. Produced by J. White Did It, East Atlanta’s Santa comes across more like this Grinch on this menacing, yet infectious jingle.
Quavo makes his latest appearance alongside Gucci Mane, as the frequent co-conspirators collide on this slapper, which transforms from a festive soundscape into a brooding backdrop. Produced by Derelle Rideout and Da Honorable C.N.O.T.E., this track is further evidence of Gucci and Quavo’s effortless chemistry as a tandem.
”12 Days of Christmas”
Guwop catches the holiday spirit in a big way on this cheerful ditty, which pairs 808s with a sample of “Carol of the Bells” by John Williams. Giving a play-by-play account of the twelve days leading up to Christmas, which includes enough criminal activities to land him on the naughty list for eternity, Gucci gathers the listeners around the campfire for the trap’s version of story-time.
Curren$y: Back at Burnie’s
”Money Machine 3”
Curren$y commemorates his return to Burnie’s with this plush offering, which finds the mellow stoner consorting with his henchmen and tending to his duties as a ladies man. Flowing atop a backdrop driven by crisp congas and a funky bass-line, Spitta lays out his Jet Life commandments with conviction, reeling lyrics promoting a lifestyle of leisure and the attainment of financial prosperity by any means.
Spitta Andretti is flyer than ever on this outing, as the Louisianan waxes poetic about cruising in luxury whips and jet-setting across the world on private planes. Produced by Don Cannon, this selection pairs Curren$y with fellow ganja enthusiast Juicy J, as the two tokers give the groupies the run-down of the benefits gained while being a part of their campaign.
The stakes get as high as Curren$y in a dispensary on this collaborative effort, as the indie stalwart reflects on near-fatal gambles for the sake of money, power and respect. Joined by Rick Ross, who reconnects with Spitta after appearing alongside him on the recently released loosie “I Must Admit,” the tandem paint a picture of the Miami way of life in vivid fashion.