Kodak Black — Dying to Live
In the midst of controversy, Kodak Black unleashes his latest project, Dying to Live. The Pompano Beach rapper’s latest effort comes with 16 new tracks, including the singles “ZEZE,” “Testimony,” and “MoshPit.” It’s his second album this year following Heart Break Kodak (HBK).
Project Baby tapped some familiar faces for this set, including Offset, Travis Scott, Juice WRLD, and Lil Pump. Kodak’s late friend, XXXTentacion, is also memorialized on “Malcolm X.X.X.” “They trying to tell us, ‘Put the bikes up and the guns down’ / X was trying to buy a bike and he got gunned down,” he raps on the track. “X was trying to change his life.”
Kodak has been under fire for a series of issues throughout his career. Recently, Hot 97’s Ebro Darden addressed Black’s sexual assault case during an interview. “We take sexual assault here serious,” Darden told him. “We can’t get into details, but we hope to have you back so we can have a deeper conversation about that because it’s a serious topic and we’re hearing these stories a lot.”
When asked if he was upset that the subject came up, Black said he was ready to end the interview. “I feel like sometimes when niggas like me going through shit, y’all be entertained by bullshit so change the subject or I’m finna walk out,” he demanded. Moments later, the interview came to an end. In the wake of that controversy, Kodak drops Dying to Live.
Vic Mensa — Hooligans EP
More than a year removed from his debut album, The Autobiography, Vic Mensa unearths his Hooligans EP. It’s an eight-song project with a feature-heavy lineup that allows Mensa to open up about everything from “Dark Things” to “Klonopin.”
Ty Dolla $ign, G Herbo, G-Eazy, Jesse, Mr Hudson, and Charlie Wilson are among the project’s guests. In the midst of those assists, Mensa holds it down on his own for two of the eight tracks. Vic self-produced some of the EP’s tracks, while Travis Barker, Mitus, Franz, BL$$D, Marshmello, and others added production assistance.
In some ways, Hooligans is an ode to Mensa’s hometown. “That’s how we grew up. I’m from a place called Hyde Park. Hyde Park Hooligans. That’s just what it was,” he recently told “The Breakfast Club.” “There were a couple energies on the project that reminded me of that. In general, I wanted to make music that could touch on certain pillars of my experience and personality, and speak directly to them. I’ve been the person I am for a long time. Being a Hooligan, but also just growing up, becoming a man.”
Up next, Mensa says he is working on a punk album, which is tentatively slated for March. He describes it as “conceptual” and “topical,” as well as politically charged. For now, listen to the Hooligans EP below.
Method Man — Meth Lab Season 2: The Lithium
Revered Wu-Tang Clan star Method Man went back to the lab for his latest project, Meth Lab Season 2: The Lithium. The 22-song sequel highlights seasoned MCs and up and coming rhymers alike, much like the 2015 original.
Mr. Meth pairs many of these underground acts with high-profile friends. Snoop Dogg, Raekwon, Noreaga, Cappadonna, Masta Killa, and Sheek Louch are among the established artists on the effort. Thotti Gotti, Intel, and Spank are also featured on the project.
Anthony “Hanz On” Messado, of Hanz On Music Entertainment, is more than just a featured act on this effort. In fact, Meth credits him with the concept. “This wasn’t my idea,” he recently told Billboard. “It was Hanz’s project. It’s still Hanz’s project.” He added: “I do music because I want to now; not because I have to.”
Hanz, whose label this album is on, explained the LP’s aim. “It’s basically our little movement out on Staten Island that gives us a chance to give a lot of these dudes a platform to display themselves and their music and show the mechanics that go into a project,” he stated.
Enter the second installment of the Meth Lab below.
Various Artists — Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Following the likes of Black Panther and Creed II, various artists have come together on the soundtrack for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This go-around, Republic Records plays a pivotal role, with several big-name stars attached.
Lil Wayne, Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Jaden Smith, Aminé, Juice WRLD, and XXXTentacion are among the album’s major stars. Ski Mask the Slump God, Ty Dolla $ign, YBN Cordae, and Vince Staples are also on the project. Jacquees, who recently stirred up the “King of R&B” debate, also appears on this effort.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is currently in theaters. The animated film features Shameik Moore in the starring role as Miles Morales. Mahershala Ali, Zoë Kravitz, Brian Tyree Henry, and Hailee Steinfeld also voice different roles in this feature film.
Big K.R.I.T. — Trifecta
Big K.R.I.T. has been busy at work this year. On the heels of his THRICE X and Double Down EPs, Young Krizzle releases the Trifecta. Fittingly, the project consists of three new bangers from the Mississippi MC.
“I was king way before rap,” he rhymes on the intro, “4 Tha Three,” which was produced by 5ive 9, Charity Work, and Mark Byrd. “This is how you run it,” he adds on the second cut, “1 Oh Oh,” a soulful joint produced by Jim Jonsin and Rico Love.
Krizzle ends the EP on another stirring note. Over Danja and Rico Love’s head knocking production, K.R.I.T. raps about the importance of “Energy.” “I’m doing the most in the middle of the road or running the globe,” he raps. “I’m fighting for those to get everything, to get back what they owe / So close, don’t fold / Live right, live bold.”
Check out the Trifecta below.
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie feat. Offset & Tyga — “Startender”
A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie continues to ramp up excitement for his forthcoming Hoodie SZN project with “Startender.” This time around, the New York rapper taps Offset and Tyga for the melodic new single.
The song is an ode to bartenders who make plenty of cash in tips. “Shawty got ass, she just got a tummy tuck,” Boogie sings on the cut. “Startenders run it up.” However, it’s also a way for the rising rapper to brag about his rides. “Pull up in a foreign like skrrt, skrrt,” he adds.
Offset, who is currently prepping his delayed solo debut, joins the braggadocios ball for the second verse. He drops his own rhymes about a Maybach before shouting out one of his favorite watchmakers. “Patek on my wrist,” he rhymes. “The shit ain’t cheap.”
Tyga, who’s made a resurgence to the Billboard Hot 100 this year, gets boastful on the third verse. “I’m number one like I’m Nelly,” he raps. “My crib all white like Belly / My bitch ride for me like Remy / Poppin’ shots, Thug Life, Makaveli.”
Hoodie SZN is due next week.