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 lineup of releases includes some of the biggest stars in today's music landscape. With platinum plaques and Grammy nods already under his belt, Logic has proven himself to be one of the more acclaimed and bankable artists in hip hop over the latter part of this decade. After double-dipping last year with the release of an album and a mixtape -- and recently unleashing a soundtrack -- Logic builds on that momentum with Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the Maryland native's fifth studio album. Having spent the past few years lending her vocals to records out of J. Cole's Dreamville camp, while building her own rep as a soloist, Ari Lennox makes her arrival on the big stage with her long-awaited debut album, Shea Butter Baby. And in an era where women in hip hop have stepped to the forefront and have the spotlight like never before, Queen Key adds to the air of empowerment with Eat My Pussy Again, the Chi-Town rep's new body of work.
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.
Logic: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
Heavy machinery gets toted on this marquee selection from Logic, who unleashes his rapid-fire flow for yet another lyrically impressive outing. Produced by SHROOM and Bregma, with a guest appearance from veteran rhyme slayer Eminem, Logic matches wits with the Shady one for a high-octane performance.
The topic of social media and the ills that can come as a byproduct of it gets broached on this free-wheeling cut from Logic, who delivers the message in an infectious backdrop produced by !llmind and 6ix. Taking time to air out his grievances with "The Breakfast Club" radio personality Charlamagne Tha God, the Maryland spitter keeps the focus largely on providing words of encouragement to his devoted legion of fans on this exceptional deep cut.
Logic gives himself favorable appraisal on this collaborative effort, which doubles as one of the coldest selections on the superstar's fifth studio album. Boasting a clutch guest performance from Gucci Mane; with production courtesy of Kajo, 6ix and himself; this swaggering salvo serves as one of the album's more enticing moments and is likely to see an increase in airplay, sooner than later.
Ari Lennox: Shea Butter Baby
1. "Chicago Boy"
Ari Lennox's interest gets piqued by a suave fella from the Midwest on this opening number from the Dreamville songstress' debut album. Produced by Chico Hamilton, Ron Gilmore and Elite, this hazy offering captures Lennox assuming the role of seductress and kicks off the proceedings on a high note.
Omen, Elite and Ron Gilmore flip a sample of Busta Rhymes' '90s hit "Whoo Hah! Got You All in Check" to construct the instrumental to this upbeat composition. Displaying her sensuality and feisty disposition, Lennox throws listeners a curve-ball, serving up a change of pace with one of the more entertaining ditties on the tracklist.
Lennox plays the tease while anticipating the arrival of her lover on this frisky offering from the vocalist's latest batch of ballads. Produced by Craig Brockman and J. Cole, this holdover from a 2016 recording session between Cole and Lennox hasn't lost any of its flavor, and remains sonically intoxicating... even with the passage of time.
Queen Key: Eat My Pussy Again
1. "Bad 2 da Bone"
Queen Key positions herself as a sassy man-eater out of the gate on the introductory cut from the femcee's latest long player. Produced by Enviyon Entertainment, this bass-heavy selection captures Key basking in the essence of her raunchiness, while making no qualms about her vivacious nature.
Enviyon helms the boards on this standout from Queen Key's new collection of tracks, which captures the Chicagon channeling her aggression over ominous piano keys and 808s. Asserting her dominance over her harem of boy-toys and doling out idle threats, Key unleashes her wrath in calculated fashion, while delivering one of the highlights on the album.
Queen Key mixes business and pleasure on this boisterous offering, which finds the rising star focused on her revenue, while simultaneously basking in her sex appeal. Produced by ChaseTheMoney, who delivers a rollicking backdrop for Key to style over, this track is an instant standout.
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