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 includes a monstrous soundtrack curated by one of the biggest stars in music, a compilation of unreleased gems from one of the greatest emcees of all-time, and a release from one of the leaders of the new school. Beyoncé delivers in a big way with The Lion King: The Gift, which features a murderous row of selections inspired by the remake of the film. While rap fiends await the release of his forthcoming album, Nas unleashes Lost Tapes 2, which includes previously unheard gems from his vault of material. And last, but not least, Yella Beezy continues to show and prove with Baccend Beezy, which finds the rapper further establishing himself as a can't-miss prospect.
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.
Beyoncé: Lion King: The Gift
1. "FIND YOUR WAY BACK"
Beyoncé flies' solo on this outing, which captures the songstress drawing from life lessons learned from her father. Produced by Bubele Booi, Magwenzie, and Bey herself; this tune captures the listeners attention upon pressing play, ranking as one of the more infectious offerings on the list.
2. "MOOD 4 EVA"
DJ Khaled and The Carters add to their list of collaborations with this offering, which captures hip hop's royal copy in a celebratory mood. Produced by Khaled and Beyonce, with additional vocals from Chance the Rapper, this tune packs plenty of star power and stands as the soundtrack's crown jewel.
3. "BROWN SKIN GIRL"
The beauty of melanin is touched upon on this empowering number, as Beyoncé and company uplift black women across the globe. Produced by P2J and Beyoncé, the latter is joined by SAINt JHN, Wizkid and Blue Ivy Carter on this feel-good selection from The Lion King: The Gift.
Nas: Lost Tapes 2
1. "Vernon Family"
Shades of "Accident Murderers" from Nas' Life Is Good album are found on this upbeat salvo from his new compilation of rare gems. Produced by Pharrell Williams, this composition captures Nas wearing his allegiance to his Queensbridge roots over piano keys, percussion and synths.
2. "Lost Freestyle"
QB's finest, layers a relentless rhyme spill over an Angel Bofill sample on this standout from Lost Tapes 2. Produced by Statik Selektah, the track inspires an epic lyrical performance from Nas, who obliterates the instrumental with a string of potent couplets.
3. "The Art of It"
Pete Rock commandeers the boards and pairs a sample of Naughty By Nature's "Uptown Anthem" with revamped drums for this highlight from Nas' latest body of work. Featuring an appearance from J. Myers on the hook, this selection finds Nas in a cocksure mood as the rap veteran basks in the fruits of his labor.
Yella Beezy: Baccend Beezy
1. "Restroom Occupied"
Chris Brown lends his vocal prowess to this syrupy ditty, which finds Yella Beezy directing his efforts towards the ladies. Produced by Chrishan and OG Parker, this collaboration is among the stronger inclusions on Yella Beezy's new album, and is primed to keep the Texan in heavy rotation.
2. "On A Flight"
Yella Beezy stays on cloud nine on this number from the rapper's latest full-length offering. Rhyming over fluttering flutes and 808s, he's joined by Young Thug, who lends Beezy powerful flow to the proceedings, giving the track additional replay value.
3. "Bacc at it Again"
Continuing his upward trajectory, Yella Beezy delivers another banger with this catchy track from the southern stalwarts latest effort. Produced by Quay Global, with guest verses from Quavo and Gucci Mane, this tune reaffirms Beezy's status as one of the brightest young stars in rap.
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