Anderson .Paak — Ventura
Anderson .Paak rides out on Ventura. The star-studded LP comes in the wake of the California rapper’s November 2018 release, Oxnard. It also works as the latest chapter of Andy’s beach series, which also includes Venice and Malibu.
Even before its release, Ventura commanded serious buzz, in part due to its celebrated guests. André 3000, Smokey Robinson, Lalah Hathaway, Jazmine Sullivan, Sonya Elise, Brandy, and Nate Dogg are all featured acts here.
One of those artists, André 3000, also heaped praise upon this effort prior to its drop. “I didn’t hear anything that went down,” he told Anderson in a promo clip. “It was just constant. Great shit, man.”
As Aftermath’s newest star, Anderson worked on Ventura and Oxnard with Dr. Dre. “He let me have a lot of leeway on Ventura,” .Paak explained during an interview with Esquire. “I spread my wings on the production and on the writing and on these collaborations. Again, very ambitious, working with icons on this one as well. But it was chill working with Dre. Who else you know that will sign with Dre that’s putting out this much content in this short of a time?”
Drive to Ventura below.
Chance the Rapper & Lil Yachty — “Atlanta House Freestyle”
Chance the Rapper and Lil Yachty famously teamed up on “Mixtape.” Now, the rhyming duo is back at it on a fun back-and-forth cypher cut titled “Atlanta House Freestyle.”
Produced by EarlThePearll, “Atlanta House Freestyle” allows Lil Yachty to lament the tax season and send a shoutout to actor Sinbad with clever wordplay. “Top of the year, tax came, I was too sad,” he explains. “Could’ve built a whole middle school out in Trinidad / Funny guy probably goin’ to hell ’cause he sin bad.”
Lil Boat also takes a moment to shoutout legendary hip-hop producer J Dilla during the freestyle. “I’ma take a bitch for a week to the villa / All-black ski mask gripped like a killa,” he raps. “New whip doin’ doughnuts, J Dilla / Went to Panera in a Panamera.”
Meanwhile, Chance the Rapper thinks about race while flowing on this cut. “I’m blacker than Howard, I’m blacker than Morehouse,” he rhymes. “I’m blacker than power / I’m blacker than black people watchin’ ‘black-ish’ while they TiVo-ing ‘Power.’”
The Chicago rapper also reveals that he may have more in store in terms of new music. “I am a Martian / The play was a option,” he raps. “My tape was a caution / I coulda had plaques, I was too busy flossin’ / Too busy crossin’ the street, I got hits, I got drip like a faucet.”
Sure enough, Lil Chano dropped the track while confirming a new album. “My wife gave me the go ahead to put everything else on hold and really go to work on my debut album,” he wrote on Instagram. “It’s been a lil hard at times, I obviously miss Chicago and family and working on other stuff, but there truly is no joy like making a project. Somehow I always forget that I’m so, so good at this. And every night I surprise myself again.”
In the meantime, listen to “Atlanta House Freestyle” below.
Marshmello & SOB X RBE — Roll the Dice
Global powerhouse Marshmello teams up with Bay Area newcomers SOB X RBE for a surprising three-song EP. The unlikely combination makes for a bounce-heavy street-ready project.
“Me and all my niggas be on dumb shit,” Da Boii raps on the EP’s title track. “Worry about no fuck nigga or no dumb bitch / You don’t know me, bitch nigga, fuck your assumptions / And it’s us against the world, fuck who you run with.”
Lul G adds his own perspective to “Don’t Save Me.” “I know these cops hate me,” he rhymes. “Don’t put your trust up on us because the mob shady / And I’m the man with the birds, but I am not Baby.”
Yhung T.O. sing-raps about his struggles on “First Place.” “Wasn’t born with it, had to learn ways,” he sings. “Wasn’t in my plans, this what God made / Always knew they was gon’ hate me when I got paid.”
Marshmello, who’s worked with Juicy J, Khalid, Logic, Lil Peep, Migos, Roddy Ricch, and more in the past, teased the project earlier this month. “Why is it so hard for us to support each other instead of bringing each other down constantly?” he tweeted. “I’m going to drop some more hip hop stuff in the next 2 weeks.”
Upon the EP’s release, he went back to Twitter with a message to fans. “Being able to work with artists that I like is my favorite thing about being a producer,” he added.
Roll the Dice below.
Kevin Abstract — ARIZONA baby
While the group is on hiatus, Brockhampton’s Kevin Abstract unleashed a three-song project for die-hard fans. It appears to be an installment in a series of efforts to be released this year.
Each of the songs features production from frequent collaborator Romil Hemnani and the acclaimed pop producer Jack Antonoff, who’s previously worked with Lorde and Taylor Swift, among others. The EP also includes lyrics about sex, his newfound success, and the way it’s affecting those around him.
“I see worth in myself,” he raps on “Georgia.” “I won’t run away again / I’m prayin’ for my friends / They prayin’ this won’t end / But I know it does, just like all things / In the end, it’s just me and my mood swings.”
On “Big Wheels,” he adds more commentary about his life and its changes. “My niggas ain’t see no more cash, I got rich way too fast,” he raps. “My mama still work at Sonic, nigga / I didn’t even finish college, nigga.”
ARIZONA baby is out now, but the series isn’t over. Abstract released this with a note about his follow-up. “Ghettobaby Next week,” he promised. For now, head to ARIZONA below.
Beast Coast — “Coast/Clear”
Beast Coast makes noise. The East Coast collective shines on its newest cut, “Coast/Clear,” which includes appearances by Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution, and Issa Gold.
“Gang ‘round me like a force field,” Joey raps on the track. “We be eating good, swear I must be on my fourth meal / Called it out, yeah, I got some beef up on my fork still / Ballin’ now, lil’ bitch, I must be on my fourth mill.”
Meechy Darko talks about his lack of trust over the booming production. “Paranoia, don’t get close to me,” he raps. “I don’t even trust the niggas close to me.” Kirk Knight follows suit with that theme. “Gotta watch my back, make sure the coast clear / If you thuggin’ from the struggle, put a toast in the air.”
Beast Coast is also coming off the release of “Left Hand,” which they recently performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”