Best New Music This Week: Young Thug, Lil Tecca, Swae Lee, and More
Young Thug’s new project, So Much Fun, headlined the week in rap releases, but it wasn’t the only new music that made waves. We also heard new projects from Snoop Dogg (I Wanna Thank Me), A$AP Ferg (Floor Seats), Quality Control (Quality Control: Control the Streets Volume 2), Cousin Stizz (Trying to Find My Next Thrill), and Curren$y (Hot August Nights). Beyond the full-lengths, some of the best new music this week comes in the form of singles: Juice WRLD hopped on Lil Tecca’s “Ransom” remix; Swae Lee dropped a pair of songs, Brockhampton shared “Boy Bye,” the third single from their forthcoming album GINGER; Jeezy recruited Meek Mill for his hard-hitting new song “MLK BLVD;” and Nicki Minaj spit some bars on a remix to Pop Smoke’s “Welcome to the Party.” These are the best new songs of the week.
Young Thug f/ Lil Uzi Vert, “What’s the Move”
Young Thug celebrated his 28th birthday by dropping So Much Fun on Friday. Is it his best full-length project to date? That’s up for debate. But there’s simply no denying that the project lives up to its title, never more so than on the Lil Uzi Vert-assisted “What’s the Move.” Featuring production by Chef and BL$$D, the melodic banger highlights Thugger and Uzi’s chemistry, a bond that’s been apparent since the pair first linked up on 2015’s “Yamborghini Dream.” Their latest collaboration is no different, as Thug leans pop, while Uzi submits a scene-stealing verse that finds him boasting about his expensive name-brand clothing and designer brands. Let’s hope another sighting of Uzi is a sign of a imminent release of Eternal Atake.
Lil Tecca f/ Juice WRLD, “Ransom (Remix)”
Lil Tecca’s breakout single, “Ransom,” recently broke into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, making the 16-year-old Queens native the youngest rapper to earn a top 10 hit on the chart since 2001, when 12-year-old Lil Romeo’s “My Baby” peaked at No. 3. (Soulja Boy was 17 when “Crank Dat” topped the Hot 100 in 2007; same goes for Lil Pump, whose “Gucci Gang” soared to No. 3 in December 2017). After releasing the Juice WRLD-assisted remix, there’s no telling how high the song will climb the charts. Juice contributes to the original chorus, before delivering a verse about his success in the game. He also slides in a few ’90s pop culture references. “I’m in it to win it, I’ma be the best, yes sir/Started from the bottom, I ain’t had no one, yes sir,” he raps. “Feel like yesterday I was just watching Fresh Prince/Now the crib look like Bel-Air, R.I.P. to Uncle Phil/Money big, Uncle Phil/Twin Glocks, Phil and Lil.”
Swae Lee f/ Drake “Won’t Be Late”
After teasing new music earlier this week, Swae Lee made good on his promise, delivering a pair of new singles, “Sextasy” and “Won’t Be Late,” the latter featuring Drake. Backed by production from Mike WiLL Made-It and Chopsquad, “Won’t Be Late” is a slower groove, its island and house-flavored melodies reminiscent of Views’ standouts “With You” and “Too Good.” The summer bop finds both rappers taking it slow in their relationships. “Baby, don’t fight it, you’re giving me life,” Swae Lee sings. “Take your time, set the mood right.” Drake carries on the sentiment: “Saving my time for you/Suddenly I’m freed up,” he sings. “Freezing my times with you/When I’m lonely I can bring them up.” Considering both rappers’ history of chart dominance, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if “Won’t Be Late” ends up unseating “Old Town Road” at No. 1.
Brockhampton, “Boy Bye”
Ahead of their new album, GINGER, Brockhampton dropped their third song in as many weeks, “Boy Bye.” Unlike hard-hitting singles “I Been Born Again” and “If You Pray Right,” the rap collective’s latest offering features a cocky vibe and leisurely pace that’s more in line with Kevin Abstract’s description of the LP during an interview with GQ in June: “We want to make a summer album. Feel-good. Not too sad and like, ‘Oh, our life sucks,’ just more like, ‘Just enjoy what’s in front of you.'”
Jeezy f/ Meek Mill, “MLK BLVD”
At the top of the decade, Lex Luger was the Best Producer Alive, crafting capital B bangers for Rick Ross (“B.M.F.” and “9 Piece”) and Waka Flocka (“Hard in da Paint” and “Grove St. Party”), among others. This week, peak Lex Luger returned with “MLK BLVD,” the first single from Jeezy’s forthcoming album, TM 104: The Legend of the Snowman. Over a mighty beat of trap drums, deafening bass hits, and menacing horn stabs, Jeezy and Meek spit blustering bars, as the former offers up a pair of “Fuck Trumps” and the latter returns to the slums of Philly, reflecting on his rise to the top of the rap game.
Pop Smoke f/ Nicki Minaj, “Welcome to the Party (Remix)”
While Nicki made headlines this week by beefing with rapper-turned-talking-head Joe Budden, the Queen didn’t disappoint on the rap front. Following a recent remix of Pop Smoke’s breakout hit, “Welcome to the Party,” by Rico Nasty, Nicki comes through and obliterates the summer banger with a verse of her own. Over a vicious drill beat that sounds like it was crafted in the gutters of Brooklyn, Minaj sounds hungry. “It’s a MAC, fact, I’m in the black ‘Bach, we never lack, lack with that strap,” she spits. “I drive through, if you back back, it’s gon’ clap clap and that’s that.” If you thought her bars weren’t as sharp as ever, think again.