Wale — Free Lunch
Bon appétit! Wale delivers even more food for thought with his newest project, Free Lunch. Following Self Promotion and It’s Complicated, the 5-song effort is the MMG MC’s third EP of the year.
The prolific Folarin calls in some help on this short offering. J. Cole pops up on “My Boy,” once again silencing all rumors of a feud between the longtime friends. Meanwhile, Eric Bellinger lends his vocals to “Right Here.” Elsewhere, Paperboy Fabe, MK Beats, IAMNOBODI, and J. Cole are among the producers behind the boards.
“I can’t front I’m proud of myself,” Wale tweeted. “I jus learned how to be proud of my hard work.” Later, he added: “I appreciate everybody that’s actually listening. It’s easy to not these days.” Listen to Free Lunch below.
6LACK — East Atlanta Love Letter
6LACK is back. The mysterious crooner who broke out on the scene with Free 6LACK returns with an homage to his hometown in East Atlanta Love Letter.
Famous friends help 6LACK write these letters. Fittingly, Future lends a hand on the album’s title track. Then, J. Cole shows he’s been busy with features on “Pretty Little Fears.” Offset (“Balenciaga Challenge”) and Khalid (“Seasons”) also add their flare to the LP.
“Free 6LACK was about everything I’d been through up to that point; the follow-up is an update on what’s going on in my life right now,” he recently told Highsnobiety. “In two years, things have gone from one side of the spectrum to another. Anything I’ve had to go through, or learn, has been crammed into them: from being a dad, to [ending and starting] new relationships, to becoming famous and figuring out my responsibilities.”
Read (or rather listen to) East Atlanta Love Letter below.
Noname — Room 25
Noname welcomes her fans to Room 25. The buzz-worthy rapper finally unveils the follow-up to her lauded debut, Telefone, with a highly-anticipated new LP.
Smino, Saba, Phoelix, Adam Ness, Ravyn Lenae, and Benjamin Earl Turner are among the 11-song album’s collaborators. But Noname takes control of the mic for a bulk of the album, showcasing her skills, maturity, and normalcy.
“I still see people tweeting me sometimes like I’m this generation’s Lauryn Hill or I’m like the conscious version of different female rappers who don’t make the type of music that I make,” she recently told The Fader. “I don’t really believe in that at all. I’m not trying to be the anti-something or pro-something else…Maybe this project will show some of those people who think that I am this very, like, conscious female rapper that I’m just as regular and normal as everybody.”
Gucci Mane feat. Bruno Mars & Kodak Black — “Wake Up In the Sky”
Gucci Mane, Bruno Mars, and Kodak Black make for an unlikely trio on “Wake Up in the Sky.” Despite the surprising nature of the collaboration, they showcase their chemistry over a smooth beat.
“Unforgettable like Nat King Cole,” raps Guwop. “Gucci Barry White, I’m singing to your ho / A one-man show, a human bankroll / She lost in the sauce ‘cause Gucci got the glow.”
Mars croons: “I drink ’till I’m drunk, smoke ‘till I’m high / Castle on the hill, wake up in the sky / You can’t tell me I ain’t fly, I know I’m super fly.” Kodak adds: “I done finally got my wings / They make me wanna sing!”
Fly with the East Atlanta Santa, Bruno, and Project Baby below.
Swizz Beatz feat. Lil Wayne — “Pistol On My Side”
Swizz Beatz and Lil Wayne unite. The high powered duo join forces on a banging new collaboration, blending heavy percussion with haunting piano keys.
“Pistol on my side, trigger finger on the job,” raps Weezy. “Pistol on my side, leave a nigga on his side…Nina on my side, but she said you can call her 9 / Divas on my side, so many, they can form a line.”
“P.O.M.S.” is a single off Swizzy’s forthcoming Poison LP, which is set to feature 10 songs. Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Jadakiss, Styles P, Pusha T, Young Thug, and 2 Chainz are among the album’s guests, while the revered beatsmith co-executive produced the LP with J. Cole.
Ciara — “Dose”
After dropping “Level Up” and “Freak Me,” Ciara delivers another “Dose” of new music with the release of her latest single. This time around, she teams up with Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins for a marching band-inspired empowerment anthem.
“I’m a groundbreaking woman,” she triumphantly sings on the cut. “I get loud when I wanna / Put me down, I go harder / Promise that I give you life / Promise I know what you like.”
CiCi is likely revving up for her next album, her first since 2015’s Jackie. In addition to dropping new music, she is also hitting the road as part of Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic Tour” soon. Get another “Dose” of Ciara below.
Khalid — “Better”
Khalid keeps climbing. The rising singer provides new sounds with “Better,” a tribute to El Paso and a love that’s never felt greater.
“Nothing feels better than this,” he sings on the track. “We don’t gotta hide. This is what you like out of me. Nothing feels better than this.”
“Better’s” cover art features an important message for the soulful vocalist’s hometown. “With love, to the 915,” he wrote. 915 is, of course, a nod to Khalid’s hometown of El Paso, Texas.
Listen to “Better” below.