If you think “Yeezus” is trash purely because Kanye didn’t give Chief Keef a full verse on “Hold My Liquor,” keep reading.
Young L – “Atari”
Danny Green was treated like a mystery player that appeared out of thin air during the NBA Finals. In reality, Green made 177 three-pointers at a 43 percent clip last season. He had a prolific series but was killing his craft long before that.
Young L is a parallel to Green — he’s just waiting for his Finals moment. If the right people start listening, it’ll happen fast.
The “Atari” recipe: gritty, futuristic production and a Young L who has broken through the need for a rapper to make his work behind the boards shine.
Migos – “Versace”
“Y.R.N.” — the mixtape that houses “Versace” — is the “Fast and Furious 6” of rap music. While other wildly popular artists with the last name West release dreadful, soul-sucking projects, Migos played the opposite card.
“Versace” is merely one example of the interesting, exciting, joyful, and entertaining music Migos have laced together. It is also the catchiest tune on a tape packed full of choruses that creep into your brain and set up camp.
“Versace. Versace, Versace. Versace, Versace. Versace. Versace, Versace. Versace, Versace.”
That is the hook, and I swear it is the most irresistible thing you will ever hear.
Gunplay – “Drop Da Tint”
A rapper named Gunplay was caught on camera pulling a gun on his accountant and is a free man. He escaped charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and armed robbery. Again, he is named Gunplay.
I’m not a good enough writer to explain Gunplay in a few sentences. He probably wished the fictional film “Medellin” from the TV show “Entourage” were a real movie. He seems like a fun dude, despite that last paragraph. Please do your own research.
“Drop Da Tint” is about doing the kind of things that got Gunplay in trouble in the first place. It hits hard, and GP brings the fire, rapping about how he doesn’t give a f— what your computers say.
Shut up, computers.
Gunplay has been one of the most consistently great artists in rap over the last couple years. “Acquitted” is his latest and most complete mixtape.
Iamsu! ft. Ty Dolla $ign & Terrace Martin – “Float”
“When I look in your eyes, it’s like swimming pools to your soul. And Lord knows I can’t swim, so please help me float.”
Sit down before reading the next sentence. Ty Dolla $ign has the potential to be better than the two twins from Jagged Edge combined.
Jackie Chain ft. Diamond & Juicy J – “At The Bar”
Jackie Chain is sort of re-writing history with this one. He’s claiming the song as his own when it’s really a Diamond cut that was released last August.
I’m going to play the odds and assume none of you have been locked into Diamond’s output as of late, so “At The Bar” won’t be yesterday’s news.
The track borrows Daft Punk’s “One More Time” vocal for the hook. It’s a song involving Daft Punk in 2013 that you don’t have to pretend to like.
Diamond is one of the best female rappers today, which I realize may not hold very much weight. How about this: she’d even be considered good if she were a guy, which I realize sounds extremely sexist. She can rap.
Chain drops one of his perfectly structured verses about baller shenanigans and Juicy J talks about doing things he should’ve stopped doing 10 years ago.
Mista Cain ft. Keedy Black & Yung Pymp – “Thinking of You”
Mista Cain and his well-named friends spit romance over a New Orleans bounce beat fused with a sample of the Isley Brothers’ “Groove With You.”
From what I gather, Cain has done a lot of wrong, but his girl just cannot quit him. Well, she may have no choice. Cain’s been running from a couple of second-degree murder charges and was finally scooped up several months ago by U.S. marshals. And that’s not an elaborate twist in the song’s story — that’s real life.
As mentioned before, Gunplay beat a case in which there was actual video evidence of him committing the crime, so Cain has a reason to believe. Let’s hope he’s truly innocent and can get back to making jams like “Thinking of You” soon.
Corner Boy P – “Box Chevy”
It’s called “Box Chevy,” but this is the kind of song I expect to hear rattling the panels of a Crown Victoria. Corner Boy P made the ideal banger for anyone who has loaded the trunk of their sedan with four 15-inch woofers.
Honorable mentions: Y1’s – “Miss Popular”; Le$ – “E36”; Peedi Crakk – “Talk Bout It”