Music

The Best New Hip-Hop This Week

todayAugust 25, 2023

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The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from City Girls, Earl Sweatshirt, Open Mike Eagle, and more.

This week, we’ve got one of the quirkiest collections of new hip-hop in a while. After last week included new music from the likes of longtime critical and fan favorites like Noname and Trippie Redd, new releases this week came from a motley crew of avant-garde indie rap mainstays like Count Bass D, Earl Sweatshirt, Fat Tony, and Open Mike Eagle.

However, that isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of more mainstream offerings to go around. While a rumor that Drake’s latest was due this week turned out to be false (obviously), we did get new stuff from Gucci Mane (with J. Cole!) and Mike Will (“There I Go“), Lil Yachty (“Tesla“), City Girls (“Face Down”), Luh Tyler (“Rapper Of The Year“), and even Iggy Azalea (the surprisingly good “Money Come“).

Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending August 25, 2023.

Albums/EPs/Mixtapes

Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist — Voir Dire

Earl Sweatshirt / The Alchemist

Perhaps the title of this joint project between Earl and Alchemist bodes well for those who were disappointed to learn it’s a Gala Music exclusive. After all, “voir dire” is a legal term meaning “a preliminary examination of a witness or a juror by a judge or counsel,” which means that perhaps there’s more on the way. For those of you still all-in on blockchain, you’ll get exactly what you expect: hazy beats, abstract rhymes, and rebellious spirit.

Fat Tony — I Will Make A Baby In This Damn Economy

Fat Tony

While a certain other Nigerian rapper from Houston might be getting all the attention at the moment, Fat Tony continues to approach indie rap from a wholly unique perspective. Produced entirely by LA-based Taydex, I Will Make A Baby finds Tony spitting short, sweet observations on a variety of subjects. You may notice a running theme developing with this week’s artists.

Jaboukie — All Who Can’t Hear Must Feel

Tiffany Champion

Standup comedian/actor Jaboukie adds another job to his resume with 13 tracks of experimental, dance-influenced reflections on identity, masculinity, and sexuality. It also has, for my money, some of the best, most interesting music of the avant-garde releases this week. Check out our interview with Jaboukie here.

Open Mike Eagle — Another Triumph Of Ghetto Engineering

Open Mike Eagle

Continuing this week’s odd tradition of exceptionally long, wordy album titles, the flag-bearer for “art rap” himself, Open Mike Eagle, follows up 2022’s A Tape Called Component System With The Auto Reverse with another compilation of stream-of-consciousness storytelling and off-kilter observations about the quirks of life that we take for granted in the ‘hood.

Sauce Walka — Dat Boy Den

Sauce Walka

Watching Sauce getting more and more professional over the last year or so has been heartening like nothing else. There are a lot of rappers from the South operating in a similar lane, but few have as much charisma and personality as Sauce. The pieces are starting to fall into place for him, and I can see a huge breakout on the horizon. Dat Boy Den is another step in the right direction.

Singles/Videos

Audrey Nuna — “Locket”

The Korean-American rising star deftly rides the line between futuristic, experimental pop and energetic, forward-facing hip-hop. Nuna continues to grow as an artist, approaching the music with an outsider’s ear for fresh angles, but ingrained respect for what’s come before.

D Smoke — “Work Hard, Play Hard” Feat. SiR

The Inglewood brothers take a tropical vacation in the video for the previously released single. Perfectly for a song about celebrating their self-made success, “Word Hard, Play Hard” presents an enviable getaway from the rigors of the grind.

Rexx Life Raj — “Backslide”

The Berkeley rapper gets back to flexing after dropping last year’s cathartic and melancholy The Blue Hour. Here, Raj’s consistently slick lyricism allows him to put a fresh spin on the usual rap boast topics of wealth and luxury.

Tyga & YG — “PARTy T1M3”

Nothing too surprising here, just good, clean fun and an upbeat party anthem comprised of a cleverly cut down sample of Nas’ “Oochie Wally” and an R&Bass break certain to set some booties motorboating on the dance floor. The Compton rappers’ chemistry remains impressive.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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