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 heaters includes the return of one of the most acclaimed trap rappers in rap history, a new effort by one of the game's sharpest lyricists, and a pleasant surprise from an R&B icon. With his impending retirement from the rap game upon us, Jeezy delivers TM104: The Legend of the Snowman; the Atlanta native's latest collection of parables, club anthems, and testimonials. After receiving a Grammy nomination for her critically acclaimed sophomore album, Laila's Wisdom, Rapsody continues her streak of conceptual releases with Eve. The project finds her paying homage to various women. And last, but not least, Raphael Saadiq emerges from his longstanding hiatus with Jimmy Lee. The project is his fifth solo studio album and the first full-length release in eight years. Saadiq looks to build upon his legacy as one of the greatest to ever do it with this one.
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.
Jeezy: TM104: The Legend of the Snowman
The Snowman comes through with a trunk-rattling banger with this highlight from his latest body of work. Produced by DJ Montay, this offering finds Jeezy swaggering over the track and reminding the listeners of his stature in the industry and the streets.
DJ Ace and Sonaro provide a searing backdrop for Jeezy to talk his talk on this number from TM104. Doing his bidding over a sample of JAY-Z's "Stick to the Script," the corporate thug gifts the streets with a new anthem.
CTE meets MMG, as Jeezy links up with Meek Mill for this monstrous salvo from the latter's latest long-player. Powered by a lively soundscape cultivated by Lex Lugor, this selection finds the pair holding court and putting down for the boulevard.
Raphael Saadiq: Jimmy Lee
Raphael Saadiq gets into the thick of the groove with this enchanting offering from the soul man's latest collection. Featuring additional production by Brook D'Leau, this upbeat ditty is sure to brighten your spirit and keep your feet moving.
"Something Keeps Calling"
Rob Bacon joints Raphael Saadiq as the Oakland native finds himself in a state of yearning on this slow-burner, which captures his vast vocal range. Gliding over guitars licks, percussion, and other elements, Saadiq puts forth an admirable performance with this mellow standout.
Raphael Saadiq refuses to break his stride on this funk-infused slice of boom-bap from the soulster's latest long-player. Co-produced by Charlie Bereal, this slapper packs attitude to spare and powered by a passionate outing on the part of Saadiq.
Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" gets revamped by 9th Wonder, who bolsters the original with pounding percussion for this opening number off of Rapsody's latest effort. Featuring additional vocals from Swank, this track showcases Rapsody's lyrical prowess, as the Carolina native goes bonkers while setting the tone for the rest of the proceedings.
Eric G commandeers the production on this bouncy ditty, which captures Rapsody reeling off witty couplets and one-liners. Boasting a guest spot from Leikeli47, this collaborative number finds two of rap's current first ladies in tandem with impressive results to show for their efforts.
Barack's better half gets a nod from Rapsody on this sublime tune from the Carolina native's new album, which sees her displaying her solidarity with women across the globe. Produced by Nottz, with guest vocals from Elle Varner, this uplifting number capture's the essence of Rapsody's artistry and has the makings of a fan-favorite.
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