Lil Wayne — Tha Carter V
The wait is finally over. In the midst of a momentous year for the Young Money boss, Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V has been released. Following a contentious legal battle that left it in limbo for quite some time, the new LP has landed to adoration and anticipation.
Weezy didn’t shy away from guests on the 23-song album. In fact, he tapped some of the biggest names in the game, including Kendrick Lamar, XXXTentacion, Justin Bieber, Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, and Snoop Dogg. Ashanti, Mannie Fresh, Sosamann, Reginae Carter, Sampha, Mack Maine, and Nivea also make appearances.
Wayne raps about a variety of topics on this album, including his children. “I hope I leave more of an impression on my kids to be destined to have blessings to believe in, Lord,” he raps on “Open Letter.” He also addresses an attempt to take his own life via suicide on the closer, “Let It All Work Out.” “I aimed where my heart was poundin’ / I shot it and I woke up with blood all around me,” he raps before employing a clever turn on “prophet.” “God came to my side and we talked about it / He sold me another life and he made a profit.”
Despite his lengthy hiatus, Tunechi has no plans to hang it up anytime soon. “I do think about retirement,” he recently told Billboard. “I think about how I don’t think I ever will.” He also added: “I must be a hell of a motherfucker. In football, when a motherfucker hasn’t been playing one year, we expect him to be nothing. Thank God I’m in music, and they still expect me to be up there with no one touching me, other than my own [Young Money] artists.”
Many have joked that Weezy F. Baby’s F is for “finally.” Indeed, the album is finally here. Stream the full LP below.
Logic — Young Sinatra IV
Logic once again tries to channel Old Blue Eyes with the fourth installment of his Young Sinatra series. After three mixtapes, the latest edition comes in the form of an album, which features some major guests from across the musical landscape.
Wu-Tang Clan, Hailee Steinfeld, Jaden Smith, and Wale are among the album’s star-studded features. OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder also pops up for the previously-released “One Day” anthem. Meanwhile, L-O-G’s longtime producer 6ix handles a bulk of the production.
Bobby Tarantino declares himself “the new Kanye” on the intro, “Thank You,” in which he also boasts about his legacy thus far. “Thought the series was over, but we just getting started,” he brags. “I won’t ever leave this rap shit, no, I can’t depart it / From the trap to the boom bap.”
After releasing the album, Logic also took to Twitter. “In this ADD, one listen review world we live in where anyone with a twitter account is suddenly a music journalist,” he wrote. “I give you this very important album! It is meant to be consumed as a whole! So enjoy it as such like we used to do back in the day when albums came out.”
Reason — There You Have It
Allow him to introduce himself. Top Dawg Entertainment’s latest signee Reason makes his debut on the venerated label with There You Have It. Released shortly after his signing, the 12-song project arrives with potent punchlines over hard-hitting instrumentals.
“Fuck being vegan,” Reason raps on “Kurupt,” a track inspired by the West Coast icon it’s named after. “Tell them to bring it when it comes to the beefin’ / Uncle taught me that these haters are like waiters, they come when you eatin’.” Later, he addresses the industry on “Drive Slow/Taste Like Heaven”: “Niggas running the game with catchy beats and labels that don’t do shit / Put every dollar behind it to push your new shit.”
Reason’s TDE debut comes without any major guest appearances from his label mates. Instead, the California rapper chooses to man the wheel himself for a large portion of the LP. The project also features Space 600, D Beezey, and Xian Bell.
Stream There You Have It below.
Kevin Gates — Luca Brasi 3
Kevin Gates revisits his ongoing Luca Brasi series with the third installment in the franchise. The newest chapter of the saga consists of 18 tracks full of street stories and anecdotes about his struggles-to-success. It’s out now via Bread Winners’ Association.
The Baton Rouge rapper rhymes about his conflicts, his beliefs, and his legal strains throughout. However, he also manages to keep an optimistic and confident outlook through the hurdles. “God got me, woke me up, took me in,” he raps on “In God I Trust.” “Sat me down, broke me down, said make me proud.”
Gates first debuted The Luca Brasi Story back in 2013 and then returned to the well with Luca Brasi 2 the following year. He recently boasted about the album during an interview with Real 92.3. “It’s amazing. It’s incredible. Then I’ll make something more amazing that, if it be the will of the Lord,” he said. “I would die for this project. I love it. I put my all into it.”
Cypress Hill — Elephants on Acid
Cypress Hill, the iconic rap group that broke out in the 1990s, follows up on an eight-year hiatus with their newest album, Elephants on Acid. B-Real, Sen Dog, and DJ Muggs unleash the newest chapter in the group’s storied journey with a 21-song psychedelic LP.
B-Real is out to prove that the group remains sharp and hungry decades after their first major hits made an impactful dent in the game. “I’m the hunter that you run from,” he raps on “Insane OG.” “I’m the lion in the jungle / I got my hand upon the gun / I’m on the run, they’ll never catch me.” The long-awaited album also features appearances from Freddie Gibbs, Sick Jacken, Ganja Sufi, Bobo, and Brevi, among others.
Muggs recently spoke with Rolling Stone about the album’s creation and inspiration. “I had the idea what the name of this record was going to be and then I just started building the whole sound around [it],” he said. “Just a whole sound like feeling like you’re high on hallucinogenic drugs – but you’re not on no drugs.”
Stream Elephants on Acid below.
DJ Snake feat. Cardi B, Selena Gomez, Ozuna — “Taki Taki”
Cardi B continues a chart-dominating year with another bilingual banger. This time, the Bronx rapper behind “I Love It” teams up with pop star Selena Gomez and Latin superstar Ozuna on DJ Snake’s “Taki Taki.”
While Ozuna connects the collaboration with his chorus, Cardi delivers a strong verse. “I’m a whole rich bitch and I work like I’m broke still,” she raps over a pulsating beat. “Why the love be so fake but the hate be so real?” she ponders.
Later, Gomez keeps it raunchy over the hypnotic instrumental: “Work it, keep it tight every day / And I know you need a taste.” Listen to the combination of Cardi, Selena, Ozuna and Snake below.