For the last week one story has dominated the world of Hip Hop, R&B and music at large – Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime performance and the simultaneous announcement of her pregnancy. But let’s put a pin in that discussion for the time being – there’s a score of new albums to dive into on this week’s edition of New Music Friday.
The list kicks off on a somber note as 1017 rapper Big Scarr drops The Secret Weapon, a posthumous release which comes less than two months after he tragically passed from an alleged accidental overdose. Next comes super-producer Metro Boomin with HEROES & VILLAINS (Villains Version) which expands on his hit record from December of last year.
A legion of promising upcoming talent came forward this week, as Bktherula dropped LVL5 P1, Lil Darius released Gift Of The Ghetto and TyFontaine dropped his latest EP titled The Revive (The Ascension 2 Prelude).
Keep reading for the complete list below and let us know your favorites in the comments.
Big Scarr – The Secret Weapon
A few years ago, Gucci Mane’s 1017 Records imprint was looking to become the hottest label in Atlanta and beyond as it reinvented itself from the mid 2010s and kept an ear to the streets for burgeoning talent. He signed some exciting names in Pooh Shiesty, Foogiano, Enchanting and Big Scarr. Together they released compilation tapes such as So Icy Boyz along with an onslaught of solo releases.
However, recent years have found the label running into issue after issue. Shiesty was arrested, as was his partner Foogiano. But it was in December of 2022 that rock bottom hit – when Big Scarr passed away from a reported accidental overdose. His latest effort, The Big Secret, shows he had so much more to give, and it will serve to protect his legacy.
Metro Boomin – HEROES & VILLAINS (Villains Version)
Metro Boomin is part of the rare breed of producers whose name draws as much (and often more) attention than the artist he’s working with. The Atlanta producer’s work with artists such as Future, 21 Savage and Travis Scott launched him into the stratosphere. This past December he released his producer album HEROES & VILLAINS, which felt like an all-star game with the album’s ever revolving cast of A-list features.
Now he’s back to expand the universe with HEROES & VILLAINS (Villains Version).
SleazyWorld Go – Where The Shooters Be 2
25-year-old Michigan-born, Kansas City-based rapper SleazyWorld Go is known for tracks such as “Sleazy Flow” and its Lil Baby-helmed remix, “Step 1” with Offset and “What They Gone Do To Me.” He has a menacing flow that inches across stutter-step beats with a cool intention.
Stepping forward again with a follow-up to his November 2022 album Where The Shooters Be, Sleazy haw now unleashed Where The Shooters Be 2.
Bktherula – LVL5 P1
Bktherula is difficult to classify. She raps while drawing influence from a number of genres. Her flow is constantly switching, from a rage-inspired howl to a monotone, deadpan delivery.
One of the most impressive feats about the young Atlanta MC is her ability to pick some of the best beats currently out. Latest album LVL5 P1 is no exception. From the soft, melodic Pluggnb sounds of “FOREVER, PT. 2 (JEZEBEL)” featuring Destroy Lonely to the synth-heavy growls of “PSSYONFT,” LVL5 P1 keeps the listener guessing at every turn.
TyFontaine – The Revive (The Ascension 2 Prelude)
TyFontaine is cut from the same cloth as rappers such as Dro Kenji, Playboi Carti, Juice WRLD and Trippie Redd. His Internet Money sound (apparent on songs such as “Message” and “Run It Up” featuring SoFaygo from Ty’s 2021 album Ascension) led him to the high halls of post-SoundCloud rap.
Through all of 2022 Ty was on a tear, dropping two full-length LPs, three bite-sized EPs and a smattering of singles. Though he didn’t drop anything in January of this year, it seems that he’s back to flooding the streets with the release of his latest EP The Revive (The Ascension 2 Prelude).
Neek Bucks – BLESSED TO THE MAX
Rising Harlem rapper Neek Bucks is gearing up to be a true force to be reckoned with. His ashy, charred flow skirts across jazz and soul-laden production from the likes of Smatt Sertified, Hitmaka and VITALS. His raps have the same motivational quality as rappers such as Nipsey Hussle and Rick Ross.
BLESSED TO THE MAX comes two years after his 2021 album NEIGHBORHOOD HOV and includes features from an impressive cast consisting of Wiz Khalifa, Benny the Butcher, 2 Chainz, Raekwon and more.
Jay Critch – Jugg Season
At one point in time, New York rapper Jay Critch had a chokehold on the city. His cult following was amassed through hits such as “Fashion” featuring Rich The Kid, “Speak Up” and “Thousand Ways” with producer Harry Fraud.
Critch has remained consistent and prolific as ever in the following years, dropping albums such as 2021’s Critch Tape and the year before’s Signed with Love, but Jugg Season marks his first release in 2023.
Be sure to stream 22Gz’s Love, 22 and Lil Darius’ Gift Of The Ghetto, this week’s Honorable Mentions.