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 go-round, we’re blessed with a drop from one of the most engaging artists out of Atlanta, a release from one of Brooklyn’s most popular new jacks, as well as new heat from a household name who’s ready to prove that the hype is real. Delivering one of 2019’s most acclaimed projects in Rap or Got to the League. 2 Chainz introduces his T.R.U. label to the masses with No Face No Case that spotlights artists Skooly, Worl, Hott LockedN, and Sleepy Rose. Breaking out last year with his debut mixtape, which yielded the hits “Welcome to the Party” and “Dior,” Pop Smoke returns with Meet The Woo 2 featuring Quavo, A Boggie Wit da HoodieFivio Foreign, and Lil Tjay. And last, but not least, D Smoke unveils his debut album, Black Habits, and it looks to capitalize on his current hot streak.
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.
2 Chainz: No Face, No Case
The artist formerly known as Tity Boi pays reverence to hip hop’s favorite designer of the moment on this flute-centric ditty. Produced by June James & CuBeatz, with a guest appearance from Skooly, the track is infectious enough to have you whistling along halfway and adds to 2 Chainz’s collection of club-ready bangers.
Skooly goes on the offensive, taking the initiative with an aggressive opening verse before utilizing his harmonic croons on the hook on this brooding offering. Produced by Mondo, with reinforcement from Quavo, this selection puts the spotlight on Skooly, whose skillset is displayed in full, making it clear that T.R.U. is more than a one-man show.
“How I Feel (Remix)”
The strum of acoustic guitars is the first wrinkle that captures your attention, but when Skooly’s piercing vocals ring out of the speakers, you have no choice but to nod along. Featuring Quando Rondo and NoCap, this remix finds the rapper and his fellow Atlanta representatives spouting off braggadocios couplets and toasting up to the high-life.
Pop Smoke: Meet The Woo 2
With his eyes fixated on the throne, Pop Smoke puts his bid in for the crown on this jittery heater inspired by Christopher Walken’s character in the 1990 flick King of New York. Produced by Dez Wright, WondaGurl and CashMoneyAP, this cut brought to light the animosity between Pop Smoke and fellow Brooklyn rapper Casanova. But, with the two settling their differences, the focus shifted is now how dope of a song it is.
As two of the most promising prospects in New York City, it was only a matter of time before Lil Tjay and Pop Smoke locked in the studio with one another and this explosive collab is the end result. Produced by 808Melo and AXL Beats, Tjay balances out his counterpart’s energetic outbursts with a laconic drawl, resulting in listeners getting the best of both worlds on this standout.
“She Got A Thing”
As the money and legal troubles, pile up, Pop Smoke switches the style up on this raunchy salvo, which finds the Brooklyn spitter serenading scantily clad females. This breezy selection captures its author delving into another chamber, cooking up a strip-club friendly anthem to persuade the ladies to get their twerk on.
D Smoke: Black Habits
Inglewood meets Long Beach as Snoop Dogg gifts D Smoke with a cosign in the form of a guest appearance on this rambunctious offering. Reeling off a pair of verses while Snoop maneuvers on the hook, D Smoke puts on for his west coast stomping grounds, exuding the kind of pride that comes from being in tune with your area’s concrete-paved avenues and boulevards.
The spirit of Roger Troutman is channeled on this outing that includes an auto-tuned interpolation of Slave’s classic 1979 cut “Just a Touch of Love.” Spinning a cautionary tale of a black girl lost in the world, D Smoke’s parable is complimented by vocal contributions from Iguocho and Jill Scott, who anchor the proceedings in melodic fashion.
Latin vibes are felt on this sultry affair, which finds D Smoke kicking spanglish flows atop guitars and tumbling percussion. Featuring an appearance from his brother, who delivers an impassioned vocal performance, this family affair captures the biological brothers working in tandem and turning in a selection that is primed for multiple replays.