SZA — SOS
Five years after breaking out with her major label debut album Ctrl, Top Dawg Entertainment’s SZA returns with her highly-anticipated follow-up, SOS.
The long-awaited LP features Phoebe Bridgers (“Ghost in the Machine”), Don Toliver (“Used”) and Ol’ Dirty Bastard (“Forgiveless”). Travis Scott — who appeared on Solana’s “Love Galore” smash — comes back around on this album for “Open Arms.”
For her part, SZA says she narrowed this album down from hundreds of tracks by being selective. “I just want what’s good [on the album]. That’s it,” she told Hot 97. “I literally just want what’s good or what tells a new side of me…and isn’t redundant.”
Stress was also part of the equation. “There was a lot of bickering back and forth to figure out what could be on it, what can’t be on it, blah-blah-blah,” she adds. “Deluxe, marketing, everything, it’s just been really stressful.” In any case, that part of the process is done and the album is here. Listen to SOS below.
Mount Westmore — Snoop Cube 40 $hort
What do you get when four Hip-Hop icons team up? Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40 and Too $hort join legendary forces for a dynamic supergroup album, Snoop Cube 40 $hort.
The emcees bring the bars, but they also bring some producers along with them. Beatmakers on the album include Rick Rock, Kato on the Track, P-Lo, Fredwreck, Dem Jointz, Soopafly and more.
Ice Cube talks about the album’s significance on “Activated”: “When me and the homies hit the door, it’s like Moses parting the Read Sea; all the soft mother f—kers, get out the way, move to the back, break wide…Y’all know what it is.”
Too $hort talked about the collaborative album during an interview with SPIN. “If rap was a sport, I stay in the game. I don’t think there were any cobwebs or anything like that. Every dude was on point. They go. All 50,” he says. “It was really hard to pick the 16 songs going on the album. We only had to do one verse each. I hate to use the word, but the shit is kinda easy. It ain’t really that hard to do.”
Listen to the Mount Westmore LP below.
Black Thought & Seun Kuti — African Dreams
Black Thought is coming off his critically-acclaimed Cheat Codes LP. While that was a collaborative joint with Danger Mouse, the Roots emcee does not let up. Today, he releases a new 3-song EP in connection with Seun Kuti.
Titled African Dreams, the new EP finds Black Thought reimagining some of Kati’s fan favorites, including “Bad Man Lighter,” “Kuku Kee Me” and the title track, “African Dreams.”
Black Thought took to social media to announce the new offering: “In continued efforts to strengthen my connection to the Continent and all things African, I’m proud to announce the release of African Dreams, my most recent EP collaboration with Seun Kuti. Much more to come.” Listen to African Dreams below.
Polo G — “My All”
Polo G puts everything on the line with his newest single, “My All.” The song features production from the rapper’s frequent collaborator Southside and Cubeatz.
“I’m just trying to drop a hit and make the club jump,” he explains on the track. “I hate that I was too deep in so young / I done spent 230 on a brand new Richard Mille / I’ve been turnt up, I’m the youngest and the richest in my city.”
Polo also dropped a creative music video for the song. Packed with special effects, the visual showcases the many different facets of the young emcee’s life. Lyrical Lemonade boss Cole Bennett directed the clip, which was apparently challenging. “It wasn’t an easy one to pull off but we made it work,” he says in a social media statement. Watch the video below.
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie — Me vs. Myself
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie stands toe-to-toe with the man in the mirror on his newest album, Me vs. Myself. Counting the bonus cut, it’s a 22-song offering featuring the rapper-singer’s signature sound and a few familiar faces.
Roddy Ricch, Tory Lanez, Kodak Black, G Herbo, Lil Dirk, Don Q and more all appear on the album. H.E.R. shows up on the LP’s bonus track, “Playa.” Producers include Boi 1da, 30 Roc, Don Cannon and A Boogie himself, among others.
A Boogie says the album is conceptional but it’s also a free-flowing endeavor. “In the beginning, I thought about the concept too much,” he explains in an interview with Ear Pollution. “That made me shuffle my songs around too much. After awhile, I had no intentions and I just wanted to create.”
Thus, the result combines spontaneity with purpose. “You have the ones that were intentional at the beginning and then you have half that are unintentional,” he says. Listen to Me vs. Myself below.
YG f. Lil Wayne — “Miss My Dawgs”
YG is in a reflective mood on his introspective new song, “Miss My Dawgs.” Lil Wayne appears on the track, which boasts production from Gibbo and Ambezza.
“Man, I miss my dawgs,” YG raps on the track. “The ones I picked up for, I never missed a call / Time to get it poppin’, we had plans to get it all / Wishing you was here, dawg, to ride these foreign cars / Man, I miss my dawgs.”
Lil Wayne, who also once released a song called “I Miss My Dawgs” in the past, comes through with a verse about the theme. “Man, I miss my dawgs / Bad ass memory but I can’t forget my dawgs,” he adds. “Where my dawgs at? At the crossroads / If all dogs go to heaven, let me my dawgs go.”
YG is coming off his newest album, I Got Issues, which featured J. Cole, Roddy Ricch, Post Malone, and Duki, among others. Listen to “Miss My Dawgs” below.