Pray For Paris – [Westside Gunn]

Griselda Records is taking no prisoners in 2020. From Conway The Machine’s recent collaborative Lulu EP with The Alchemist, to their latest signing Boldee Jame’s The Price of Tea in China album, (also with The Alchemist) it is frightening to think what the group has left in store. Exceptional projects serve as a thorough reminder that music is art and art is music. Westside Gunn has publicly shared via his instagram to never call him a rapper, since he is an artist; I have no objections to his request. Gunn’s latest, Pray For Paris album exemplifies just that, with the cover art responsibility handed to Off-White CEO Virgil Abloh. The cover is specifically an edit of Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s David with the Head of Goliath painting, with Virgil adding two iced-out necklaces. One necklace is a Jesus Piece and emblem of Westside Gunn as a child; whereas, the other features his present self with a rightful crown on his head. The album’s run time is a balanced forty-one minutes and nineteen seconds, with twelve tracks total not counting the epic “400 Million Plus Tax” introduction, which gave me heavy Uncut Gems PTSD. Ironically, Tyler The Creator mentions Josh Safdie on “327,” referencing the …

Pisces – [Kemba]

Formerly known as “YC The Cynic,” 29-year-old Kemba is an adroit artist from Hunts Point neighborhood in the Bronx of New York with three respective albums (Negus, GNK, & Gilda) to his name. Negus (2016) was his breakthrough album, which is an inspiring self-portrayal of his life, detailing the inadequacies of being a black male in a society that frequently shuns and distorts blackness. Before listening to any new material from Kemba, I highly recommend listening to all three albums mentioned for greater clarity of his persona and artistry. Unrelated, but certainly relevant, is a line from Lupe Fiasco’s song “Manila,” from his latest (2018) album Drogas Wave, which reverberates Kemba’s message: “You can accomplish anything if you survive blackness.” The one-take music video for “Molotovs at Poseidon,” a highlighted track off his debut LP GNK, begins with Kemba being held at gunpoint, before he stunningly remarks to his attacker: “Go ahead and fire your gun, you’re shooting at Zeus, I held onto my crown while I ripped through my noose.” Such is the fearless style of Kemba; illustrious imagery mixed with impeccable lyricism, topped off with sheer confidence. However, followers of Kemba know that this is all but the entire story of this …

Grim – [Wiki] ft. [Denzel Curry] [Lil Ugly Mane]

Songs that act as reunions have a special place in my heart. When artists spend some time apart and then join back together to make something great, the result isn’t just a song. It’s a testament to growth. The new Wiki track, titled “Grim”, featuring Denzel Curry and Lil Ugly Mane, features a couple of reunions, and the result is a great new cut. The production here is a nice middle ground for all of the artists involved. Woozy background synths add to the ethereal mood that suits Ugly Mane’s reflective, self-doubting lyrics, and the head knocking bass complements Denzel’s flow. Wiki brings it all together, and proves the fact that these three only get better with time. All three bar out on this track, bringing a focused energy, and complementing each other perfectly. It’s exactly what you would expect from three artists with such great ability as rap artists. This one came together quite nicely, and is an indicator that Wiki’s new album, Oofie, dropping tomorrow, will be great. Get ready for the new album by checking out this new track for yourself on Spotify down below.  


Hailing from Western Massachusetts, Syqe’s first official single sounds more like an offering from a seasoned veteran. Produced by Youslaccin, ‘Yeehaw’ is a gorgeous country-trap song less like an Old Town Road and more similar to the classic Beautiful Thugger Girls vibe. Through crooning melodies and a noticeable drawl, the song tackles stressors and coping mechanisms: “Accept the day, express our thoughts and then unpack ‘em.” Through sex, drugs, and recreation, Syqe and his darling can make it through whatever troubles they’ve encountered. Though this is Syqe’s first solo single, he (and Youslaccin) have released music over the years as members the of hip-hop collective Wiki Good. Fortunately, the group has two full-length albums out and have been dropping singles in preparation of their third upcoming album, Underland, coming out July 13th. With a lot of promise and potential, keep Syqe and Wiki Good on your radar. Words by Barry R

Transportation – [Your Old Droog]

Just a couple months back, Brooklyn’s Your Old Droog blessed us with his album It Wasn’t Even Close, a great return after a quiet 2018. And now, just two months later, he has delivered to us a new project, titled Transportation, proving that he was working on multiple projects during his hiatus. While all of the great elements of Droog’s music are still present on Transportation, it is a change of pace compared to It Wasn’t Even Close, which makes for a refreshing listen considering these albums were released less than two months apart. Transportation isn’t as gritty or hard-nosed as It Wasn’t Even Close, it finds a more introspective and vulnerable Droog (at least as vulnerable as Droog can get). The production reflects this as well, it’s more easygoing, with more jazz-influenced production as opposed to the eerie and hard-hitting beats heard on It Wasn’t Even Close. Along with this, Droog handles the entire record himself, outside of features from Wiki and Quelle Chris on the bonus tracks, which is a contrast to his earlier 2019 album, which featured the likes of MF DOOM, Lil Ugly Mane, Mach Hommy, and more. If there’s one song to check out on this …

It Wasn’t Even Close – [Your Old Droog]

Your Old Droog blessed us out of nowhere this past Friday with his brand new LP, titled It Wasn’t Even Close. The Brooklyn-native has been dropping consistently solid east coast rap soaked in grit for a few years now and he makes quite the statement here with his 2019 return. This follows up 2017’s Packs, a lyrically focused record featuring the likes of Danny Brown and Wiki. This time, he brings with him an absolutely star-studded lineup, featuring underground legends such as MF DOOM and Lil Ugly Mane (who steals the show on “Smores”), along with Wiki, Roc Marciano, and Mach Hommy, who also executively produced the record. The gritty production on the record is mesmerizing from top to bottom and was clearly meticulously chosen, which shows in the stacked production lineup featuring names like Sadhu Gold, Tha God Fahim, Ohbliv, and many more talented beat-makers. Droog is at the top of his game, dropping witty and blunt bars oozing with confidence along with top-notch storytelling. Every verse on here keeps the bar high and leaves a lasting impression, not only from Droog, but from the features, too. This is definitely a stand-out boom-bap project from this year with all-star …

NUMBA1VIKTIM – [Wiardon]

Dusting off obscure samples and telling stories through his illustrative lyricism, Texas artist Wiardon is on our pages today with a stellar new project entitled NUMBA1VIKTIM. Brash in its ways while undeniably skillful, this project sheds a light on an absolute prodigy in the making, as the newly-turned 16-year old talent provides clever rhymes with prowess far beyond his years. Even amidst a feature from a well-established gem in the game by the name of Wiki, he holds his own, and as it seems, this budding star can compete with the best without ever exceeding his naturally-entertaining, effortless style. Add this skill to captivating, sample-based instrumentals and gritty charisma, and you’ve got a project that hints at an incredibly bright future for Wiardon. After falling in love with this project upon my first listen, I’ve determined that my current favorite cut on this one is the lush finale, “Deniro” alongside StunnaManSam, but don’t just take my word for it. Stream NUMBA1VIKTIM on both SoundCloud and Bandcamp and follow Wiardon on Twitter here! Art by Ayjrian Tiu Mixed by Kaam Beats

and more. – [Remy Banks] ft. [Wiki]

New York is the stomping ground of an endless supply of talent right now, and amongst the city’s most exciting artists are two acts going by the names Remy Banks and Wiki. Today, we see the NYC representatives join forces with a soulful new single, “and more.” Finding its identity within a delicate, heart-penetrating sample, this song takes listeners through 3 and a half minutes of vivid lyricism and unmatched charisma from the two featured artists. They rhyme with machine-like rhythm and an undiluted sense of personality, making for an incredibly entertaining release and a song that skillfully brings to fruition the soul-based, New York sound that hip-hop knows and loves. That said, “and more.” is one for the books, so be sure to check it out at the link below and let us know what you think in the comments! Produced by Black Noi$e Recorded & Mixed by Leon Kelly Artwork by Richard Terrana

Disney Shot – [Senta The Artist]

Texas is the stomping ground of ample musical talent right now, and here to take this yet another step further today is an act by the name of Senta The Artist and her stellar offering, “Disney Shot”. Soaring over a relaxed, soulful backdrop of serene production, this song makes sure never to get too far ahead of itself. Senta’s rhymes are well-kept and precise at their core, offering a sense of confidence and true-to-self personality that any listener can latch onto with ease. She’s an entertainer at heart, and as seen in the visuals for this one, the Fort Worth native is clearly ready to take her talents to the top. Considering the anthemic abilities of “Disney Shot”, we can’t wait to see Senta The Artist’s stocks continue to rise, so show some love and check her out at the link provided below! Shot by @Wikidfilms_lugga

Free Smoke (Drake Remix) – [Dave East]

Harlem native Dave East is back with what some consider, a hotter version of Drake’s “Free Smoke”. The 2016 XXL Freshmen has been kept busy making his recent acting debut, starring in BET‘s Being Mary Jane series. Check out the East’s latest video and see if he was able to highjack Drizzy’s track.