Rapsody f. Raheem DeVaughn & Ab-Soul – “NonFiction”

Nothing warms my heart more than present day artists who rhyme in the essence of the ’90s. After the influx of Waka-esque rappers a few years back damn near diluted the culture, we’re getting things back into balance with this new generation. Guys like Joey Bada$$ and in this instance, Rapsody, are taking cues from the predecessors and really rocking with the thorough flow that made a large chunk of the ’90s part of the golden age. On “NonFiction,” Rapsody brings her traditional slick-witted rhymes to the tune of mentor 9th Wonder’s always on point production. Putting Raheem DeVaughn on the hook was smart, since he knows how to smoothly comingle with emcees on tracks without trying to oversing like a contestant on American Idol. Ab-Soul, yet another new thoroughbred, adds some flavor to the cut as well, making the joint completely well-rounded. While we lost Nicki Minaj to glitter and wigs, and Azealia Banks is about to succumb to the fashion gods, it’s good to know Rapsody can carry the torch for female rappers who do just that: rap. At least someone is up for that challenge. – Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000)

Listen to “NonFiction” by Rapsody f. Raheem DeVaughn & Ab-Soul

Juicy J f. Project Pat – “Still Hustlin'”

While The Bacon Brothers are out trying to cram storylines and pretentious imagery into videos for their Houlihans-friendly Country tracks and the Gallaghers are too busy beating the shit out of each other to even make albums, what musical siblings have remained prolific, unpretentious and most importantly friends? The answer can be found in Juicy J and Project Pat, who are never guilty of “overthinking” and find inspiration in everything from eating beef jerky and counting money in hotel rooms to drinking Moet in the back of minivans. Then quicker than you can say “Ghetty Green” they crank out a song or video like this week’s “Still Hustlin” from Juicy J that lets you tag along while the Oscar-winner and first “mayne” to get “trippy” has a whole lot of fun on the road with his brother. Recorded with reckless abandon – a/k/a placing a camera on a table – “Still Hustlin” may be short on depth or profound statements but is brimming with positivity and a lust for life so strong you almost feel guilty for ever having complained about minor things like breaking up with your girl or playing a small club with your band. A guy behind morbid albums – and covers – like Mystic Stylez who also seems so damn happy  is enough to make us all jealous. – Michael Sheehan

REKS & Numonics f. J-Nics – “Bang Bang”

This visual from REBELutionary is cinematic as ever. I love the message, and it’s refreshing to hear REKS tackle a real issue with that lyricism that’s kept fans like me fed for the last decade. Numonics’ Florida homie J-Nics delivers a really strong assist on the track too, that really resonates after some recent headlines. Gun violence is an epidemic in this country, and it’s taking loved ones away from all of us… but it’s easy to understand how the New England emcee and Sunshine State producer let social issues shape their just-released LP. – Jake Paine (@Citizen__Paine)

Last Week’s Slept-On Songs.