Another week passes, another bunch of music drops. Welcome to your central source for what’s good with all this new music dropping at midnight tonight, and my opinions on what I think we’re gonna hear.
LIL YACHTY’S LIL BOAT 2
This is all-or-nothing for Yachty. Lil Boat is an absurdly ambitious, fun and artistically sound tape from a new-age rapper but everything to come after it has been relatively lackluster. Yachty, at one point one of the hottest commodities in hip-hop has been completely written off by both hardcore fans and casual listeners alike simply because the output hasn’t been there. Yachty got his exposure first from Summer Songs; and if you paid attention in 2016, you’d know Summer Songs 2 didn’t even come close to living up to what the original was. If you paid attention in 2017, you’d know his debut commercial album Teenage Emotions was almost unanimously the worst release from any big artist in hip-hop. That’s a wave of momentum from some of the most catchy tunes (Minnesota, One Night, Broccoli) to being seen as a fluke, so I can sort of understand where him wanting to do Lil Boat 2 comes from. He’s lost credibility among fans with his more recent output and giving this next release the Lil Boat tag shows that it might be a return to form for the Atlanta artist. I wanna see Yachty shine. I really do. I’ve listened to Wanna Be Us a thousand times in the car with my best friends. Make another one of those.
LOGIC’S BOBBY TARANTINO 2
Logic is a polarizing figure to say the very least. 2017’s Everybody created a 50/50 divide between fans who thought it was a necessary step forward for his career and fans who thought “Who can relate? Woo!” in a song about suicide is probably not a good idea. The thing is, one year prior, Logic had released Bobby Tarantino — a barebones return to form as “Mixtape Logic” — with almost zero promotion. While I’d become used to listening to Under Pressure/The Incredible True Story Logic, it was pretty apparent this was him getting back to his Young Sinatra roots and from what we’ve heard so far from this Bobby Tarantino project, this is more of the same. While I was disappointed in the Marshmello collaboration, Everyday stripping away a lot of Logic’s identity (because it’s an EDM-produced rap collaboration. it’s going to strip a rapper’s identity.) I’ve been kind of big on the other two singles, 44 More and Overnight so I can’t say I’m not excited for this.
ROBB BANKS’ MOLLYWORLD
This one’s a big release for me because Robb Banks is one of my favorite artists out of South Florida that flies under a lot of people’s radars. With artists like Ski and xxx showing up everywhere, it hurts the rest of the city that deserves their shine too. Banks released two EPs in 2017: Cloverfield 2.0 and 2: Pillz and while they weren’t anything groundbreaking, they were consistent. Banks’ early Year of the Savage tape is a classic South Florida tape for me and other work like C2: Death of my Teenage has aged absurdly well. MollyWorld is only one of the two projects rumored to be coming out this year from Banks and it’s also been in the production stages for as long as I can remember. If you aren’t up on him, there’s no time like the present. Check out It Wasn’t Me below.
AUGUST GREENE’S SELF-TITLED AUGUST GREENE
Now, this album isn’t really releasing this Friday. I don’t know why, but the group decided to make it available on NPR a few days in advance; so tonight is just the general release for all streaming services. I haven’t given the tape a look, but me being tapped in with a bunch of people who consume every song that comes out lets me know that this tape was really good at points, and just average at others. The thing is, August Greene is the brainchild of Common, Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper. That’s three exceedingly impressive masters of their craft. For them, the definition of average is leagues ahead of what their competition defines it as and for that, I’m excited to give it a look.
YFN LUCCI’S RAY RAY FROM SUMMERTIME
I’m not up on Lucci too much. What I have heard from YFN Lucci that wasn’t Everyday We Lit or Boss Life is from his sporadic appearances on Mozzy tracks (the best being Stay Over There, don’t @ me) and from what I’ve heard on those, I can safely say I’m relatively interested in seeing where it goes. I don’t think he’s carved a sound out for himself that he needs to use on a tape to retain his listening base. He’s at a stage where he can go in a lot of different directions: hard-hitting verses about the struggle like he does on Mozzy’s Remember or easy-to-remember hooks like he did on Everyday We Lit.
All in all, today is a pretty solid day. Remember to eat your vegetables, drop an extra dollar in the tip jar and try your damndest not to get into a car accident today.