Lil Yachty - Let's Start Here
Let's swoop back to 2016 when the most divisive new rapper making waves was Lil Yachty, with his off-kilter bubblegum rap songs. He was unashamedly silly and capturing a teenage summertime through hit mixtape Lil Boat. Since then, he had a major label debut album which infamously flopped in terms of sales and fan/critical reception, only to then spend years trying to recapture his original charm to mixed results.
Lil Yachty the charming oddball, almost synth-pop style bubble-gum rapper was exciting. Lil Yachty the trap rapper with a goofy voice was very hit and miss. However, his latest album Let's Start Here, which's title seemingly implies a career turning point seems to be the direction he should've embarked on instead of riding the Migos-style Atlanta trap wave.
Instead it's not even rap music, it's weird psychedelic stuff that's a huge pleasant surprise. Look beyond the kinda lame A.I. generated album artwork and there's something really cool here. The first track sounds like oddball Pink Floyd for Gen-Z, followed by all sorts of gleaming psychedelic and playful melodic experiments.
It's such a left field turn for Yachty, but one that's paid off so well. This is bounds ahead of his other stuff and while stalwarts of the psychdelic genre might wave it off as gimmicky, to me this sounds excellent, even if Yachty himself is probably the weakest link behind the shiny production. But it takes someone with a great vision to pull this off so props to Yachty, this is a massive surprise in the nicest way.
Trippie Redd - MANSION MUSIK
Ohio rapper Trippie Redd hit a bit of a slump after some promising projects and some big hits and features, but his 2021 album Trip At Knight was a very solid album all round that capitalised off of the trend of hyperactive 'rage' beats, MANSION MUSIK is named in tribute to a Chief Keef album and his influence can be felt alongside many of Trippie's contemporaries who make numerous feature appearances. At over an hour long, the variation of beats and feature appearances keeps this a fun project, even if it's lacking in what my ears would consider hits like his monster of a track Miss The Rage from his 2021 album.
Moments where Trippie uses his voice to create warped hooks or aggressive ad-libs feel fresh, while at times otherwise it just feels like a tour of the current hip-hop landscape with no central direction. It's more of a grab-bag album where you choose the tracks you like rather than listen to it fully multiple times.
SG Lewis - AudioLust & HigherLove
SG Lewis has made some amazing tracks before, a lot of which ended up on his 2021 debut LP times. Guest heavy and thoroughly pleasant and accessible dance music was the aim, which is also the motive here. Though SG Lewis is more the star himself this time around, providing vocals for a lot more of the songs and relying less on features. It leads to some blurring together given an hour plus runtime, but it has some of his best work yet with honest, romantic, danceable and earnestly cheesy takes on contemporary and classic dance music genres.
New Skrillex Singles
Rumours are swirling that there are two new Skrillex projects on the way, after sporadic releases since his peak in the early '10s. Collaborations with a variety of artists have popped up this month which show big promise. Individually the track with Fred again,. and Flowdan is a certified banger and Real Spring with Bladee is a great blending of two artists styles. Not to mention two other collaborative singles.