DaBaby — Kirk
Shortly after releasing his autobiographical single “Intro,” DaBaby continues a prominent 2019 run with his newest album, Kirk. Beyond the introductory track, the Charlotte rapper rolls out 13 new cuts featuring thumping instrumentals and bouncy flows.
Baby Jesus has become one of the year’s biggest featured acts thanks to collaborations with Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Baby, and J. Cole. It makes sense, then, that several artists appear on this endeavor as well, including Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper, Migos, and the aforementioned Lil Baby. The guest list also includes Moneybagg Yo, Gucci Mane, YK Osiris, Kevin Gates, and Stunna 4 Vegas. DJ Kid, Jetsonmade, CashMoneyAP, London On Da Track, and more provide the beats.
Kirk, which is DaBaby’s last name, aptly draws inspiration from the rapper’s family. “I lost my pops the same week that they lost Nipsey,” he raps on “Gospel.” “Ain’t got no love left in my heart, that shit be empty.” The rapper also discussed his father’s passing on “Intro.” “They found him dead,” he rhymed on the song. “Just looking at my daughter, thinking to myself, ‘Damn, my baby look just like my daddy.'”
Following up on his heralded Baby On Baby project, DaBaby had even higher predictions for this effort. “This is one of them things,” he recently told Los Angeles’ Power 106. “What’s the biggest project somebody dropped in your era, like the biggest album…I would say [Lil Wayne’s] Tha Carter III. It’s like that. It’s one of them once-in-a-lifetime type of things.”
Get to know Kirk below.
Young M.A. — Herstory In the Making
Two years after releasing Herstory, Young M.A. unleashes her official debut album, Herstory in the Making. The highly-anticipated project arrives following years of groundwork, building up a fan base beyond her breakout single “Ooouuu.”
The New York rapper doesn’t rely on famous guest appearances here. In fact, there are only two featured acts on this project: Max Band and Relle Bey. Producers include Mike Zombie, Zaytoven, Amadeus, Tone Bird, and NY Bangers.
M.A. recently promised fans “the truth” in a press release. “You’re gonna get the truth,” she said. “You’re gonna get the cocky joints, the slick talk joints where I talk my talk, but then I’m gonna get personal. Real personal. That’s why this album is called Herstory In The Making, because it’s about all sides of me.”
The Brooklyn MC also spoke with TIME about her decision to take her time with this effort. “I was really looking more in terms of longevity,” she explained. “I’m definitely someone that believes in the classic vibe of a full-length album with so many different sounds.”
Learn more about Herstory in the Making below.
Kevin Gates — I’m Him
Kevin Gates released Luca Brasi 3 last year and Only the Generals Gon Understand this year. Now, the Baton Rouge MC is back with the release of his newest offering, I’m Him. The 17-song project is out now via Bread Winners’ Association.
Gates tapped producers like CashMoneyAP and Take a Daytrip for this project. However, he takes the stage by himself to open up about a variety of subjects, including loyalty, money, and street life. “I’m stating facts,” he raps on “Facts.” “If you got a problem, I’m pulling up strapped / Big booty bitch and I’m pulling on tracks / I play with them words, I play with them birds, I’m really that.”
The album’s title comes from a year of reflection, the rapper said in a promo clip for the album. “In fear, we find truth,” he said. “Please consider this my confession in search of truth. I’m him. Everything you say, whether negative or positive, happy or sad, dark or light, I’m him. Over the past year, I’ve been fighting with myself and coming into a new way of living. I’ve confronted my past and the illegitimacy of it all. I’ve overcome trauma. I’ve derived light from darkness. I’ve made the transition from being a flawed man to a great man. I want you to know that it’s possible.”
Get to know Him below.
French Montana feat. Post Malone, Cardi B, and Rvssian — “Writing on the Wall”
French Montana gathers up his superstar friends yet again for a collaborative banger. Today, the New York rhymer teams up with Cardi B, Post Malone, and Rvssian. The latter, who is a well-known producer in the global market, handles the song’s production along with Louis Bell and Cashio.
Montana boasts about his worldwide expeditions on his verse. “We started the wave, now everybody lookin’ the same,” he raps. “Shorty bust it down, give us the money, keep the crown / I’ve been around the globe.” Malone adds his own dedication to a lover: “You see the writing on the wall, hold onto me and I’ma hold you.”
Meanwhile, Bardi deals with relationship rumors and quarrels throughout her verse, likely referencing her husband Offset. “Ain’t too rich to get it poppin’ in the backseat,” she raps. “Next time you want another bitch, you better ask me…Now we rollin’ down the freeway, talkin’ ‘bout a three-way.”
“Writing on the Wall” is set to appear on French’s forthcoming Montana album. The rapper released a glossy new music video for the track along with the single. It features giant versions of each artist, stomping through the city, riding motorcycles, and performing on rooftops.
See the “Writing on the Wall” below.
H.E.R. feat. YG — “Slide”
H.E.R. slides through with a smooth new single. The mysterious songstress, who released her I Used to Know Her LP earlier this year, is back with a new YG collaboration, “Slide.” Produced by Cardo, the new track features a back-and-forth about loyalty and love.
“I don’t care if we on the run,” H.E.R. sings on the track. “Nothing matters when we one-on-one / Looking at us ‘cause we’re going dumb / We on the same wave / We the same way.” She also pulls from JAY-Z and Jermaine Dupri’s “Money Ain’t a Thang” with a lyrical reference to the song.
For his part, the 4Hunnid boss approaches the theme in his own way. “Used to slide with me ‘cause you be trippin’ when you miss me,” he raps. “You gon’ hold me close and on your neck gon’ be a hickey.” He also has a punchline that references a pop-punk band: “They after the boy like Fall Out.”
Stream “Slide” below.