Best Singles of the Week | 2021: Week 13

Sorry for posting this late, I slept in lol.

Monday, March 29th

Grown Man Shit by Frank Nitt featuring Botni Applebum

This single comes from Frank Nitt’s Adulting EP, which should be out by the time this post is published. I’ve never listened to any of his projects, but I’ve enjoyed his features with Slum Village in the past. He was featured on one of the better tracks from T3’s Mr. Fantastic EP last year. I figured I would give this track a shot, and I’m glad I did because it’s really dope. The smooth, R&B-adjacent production definitely sounds like something J Dilla could’ve been involved in, and Frank’s rhymes are great here.

I'm up early 'cause I didn't go to bed late
First blunt of the morning get my head straight
"Chase money" is the order of the day, huh
If you catch it, better break it down and save some
Play dumb with the money if you want
Landlord put all your belongings up front
And the police in the back with their hands on a bat
'Bout to shoot a nigga 'cause he wasn't cautious with the stack

The vocals from Botni Applebum on the hook sound really nice. It’s a really smooth track. If you’re into groups like Slum Village, Little Brother, maybe A Tribe Called Quest, etc. definitely check this out. It’s a dope track.

Tuesday, March 30th

Gasoline by Sadistik featuring Caskey produced by Inteus

This is a collaboration that really caught me off guard. I don’t really know anything about Caskey other than the fact that he was signed to Young Money at some point. Or maybe it was Cash Money. I don’t know. It just seemed like YMCMB was signing anyone at one point. I remember that they signed Chanel West Coast, and at that point I completely stopped following them. I don’t know why I followed their work in the first place because I was never much of a fan. I actually think this track was my first time ever hearing Caskey rap though, and he did a good job. I liked that escape artist line he opened the verse up with.

Locked in a mental prison, lucky for me I’m an escape artist
What’s a bullet to a David Blaine? Man, you’re better off shooting at fake targets
I couldn’t cry, that’s a great harvest; cutting the head off a snake
I’m never counting on no one, just counting on all of the new dollar bills I can scrape

The opening verse from Sadistik is of course the main appeal of this song to me though. He fucking slaughtered that verse.

When I die Tutankhamun a cue to comment on comets
That come from my cuticles beautiful homage
Please don’t press me I’ll go nuclear
Sometimes I feel empty in my nucleus
I’m Mt. Vesuvius, these people petty for some new VS’s
Pressure pressing diamonds 'til they’re blinding in my bluebird chest
They running in circles to dumb down their virtues
I hum like a hummingbird hundreds of verses
Averse to the unassured, what is your worth?
I know mine, I’m the blood of the earth

This song is just another example of why Sadistik is one of my favorite writers in Hip Hop right now. The way he writes is just beautiful to me. The beat from Inteus is really nice too. This track sounds like something that could’ve been on Delirium, which was one of my favorite EPs of 2020. Overall, I think this is a really dope track, and I look forward to hearing even more from Sadistik this year. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Pull Me Out the Water by Locksmith featuring Zion I & Cassandra LaRose produced by Apathy

Locksmith has put out a bunch of singles over the past year, all of which have been very good. I’ve noticed that he hasn’t said “The new album is coming” like he usually does, so maybe he’s seen more benefit in just releasing loose singles rather than putting together a full project. Maybe he’s gonna wait until the pandemic is over to start promoting an album. I don’t know. We’ll see. Anyway, the opening verse on this track from Baba Zumbi is pretty great. I never really got heavy into Zion I’s work, but I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve heard in the past. I know their Mind Over Matter album is regarded as an underground classic, so I should probably give that a shot at some point. Anyway, as much as I liked Baba Zumbi’s verse, it’s really the second verse from Locksmith that pushed the song to the next level for me.

I'm essential, this instrumental's a stethoscope
Pulse racing, embracing for it unless you broke
Cultivation of fascism, they dress in cloak
Passed off as liberty literally to suppress the smoke
Chokin' off the fumes from the forest fires
You can't expect us to just ignore it if you're a liar
No requirements, common sense or social skills
Leave me in the water, I'm goin' deep to show it's real

The production from Apathy is really great too. This is the second single in a row from Locksmith that’s been produced by Apathy, so maybe we’ll be hearing even more work from them in the future. I look forward to whatever they’ve got cooking. Check this track out and let me know what you think.

Hand Count the Cake by Recognize Ali produced by Bronze Nazareth

This is the third single from the upcoming collaborative album by Recognize Ali & Bronze Nazareth, Season of the Se7en. I really like Bronze Nazareth’s beat here, and Recognize Ali of course rhymed really well. I will say that this song didn’t really surprise me at all because it’s pretty much what Recognize Ali always does, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Well I mean, I guess if I’m being real it is a bad thing in the long run. I would like some more variation at some point. I do like this song though obviously. I still like the shit he’s kinda running into the ground, but I would like it even more if he experimented a bit. With that said, everything here is super well done. I think this shit is dope.

Wednesday, March 31st

Costa de Muerte by Death at the Derby produced by Hobgoblin

Death at the Derby is a duo that I’m just now familiarizing myself with comprised of MCs Cousin Feo & Lord Juco. Some of you may remember that I included Lord Juco’s Shadows 3 project on my favorite EPs of 2020 list, so he’s the main reason I checked this duo out. I was unfamiliar with Cousin Feo prior to this, but he sounded great on the opening verse. A lot of the lyrics are in Spanish, so I don’t really understand everything, but it’s still really dope. Also, shoutout to Hobgoblin for producing this track. The beat is really dark; it sounds like something that Pro Zay could fit over really well. The second verse from Lord Juco is great too. Check the song out and let me know what you think. It’s really dope to me. Oh, I almost forgot to mention the really nice cuts from DJ Dubplates. That was a nice touch.

Friday, April 2nd

Engraved Bouquet / Loves & Warriors by PremRock produced by Willie Green

I first became familiar with PremRock through his work with ShrapKnel & The Wrecking Crew. Since I’ve enjoyed all their work together, I decided to follow them individually as well. I believe Engraved Bouquet is a relatively newly recorded song, while Lovers & Warriors is an older unreleased track. I honestly can’t choose a favorite between the two. I guess I’d probably go with the former actually. Both of the tracks have these really cinematic sounding instrumentals. Engraved Bouquet just has a really excellent hook that kinda pushes it to the next level for me. I think the production from Willie Green is pretty incredible. I don’t know who I’m more impressed by between him and PlemRock. They both killed this shit. The songs are dope as hell. Check them out and let me know what you think.

Magnetic Poles / Caladan Brood featuring Jonathon Cloud produced by Iceberg Theory

Iceberg Theory released some of my favorite music of 2020, so I was pretty pleased when I saw that he dropped this maxi single on Friday. Magnetic Poles has him spitting with a relatively laidback delivery over a really hypnotizing loop. The rapping from Iceberg Theory is just as great as always.

These rappers like fruit flies and gnats
I'm like the golden crowned flying fox or a giant bat
You wanna rhyme on a track? You ain't wired for that
I'm watchin' markets through a selloff, waitin' on a buyback
Scopes for when the feds is iron-clad like Clarence Darrow
Heard hysterical laughter from the gallows and breaths shallow
Excavated barrows with trap doors
The man was still, but he saw his moving shadow

The song is really dope, but I think Caladan Brood is even better personally. The production is more melodic and almost danceable, and Iceberg Theory’s delivery is more energetic.

Taken beyond speech, let the silence envelop him
Only one way to settle things, metal sings
Once step away from mortal, the penultimate sin
You're finally where the river ends and the ocean begins

The guest verse from Jonathon Cloud of course helps push the song to the next level.

Real is much more than a song topic
It's logic & empathy applies without profit
It's loyalty in spite of everything around poppin'
It's all about if they really a friend or an option
Well that's enough talkin', finally at peace with this shit
Until the day God hit me with a cease and desist
Yeah I knew long ago that there'd be days like this
But on the way, shit, it was hard to reach for assists

He killed it. Check both of these tracks out and let me know which one you prefer. They’re both really great in my opinion.

Calling Forth the Spirits by Raw Poetic & Luke Stewart

Raw Poetic is one of the most underrated rappers in Hip Hop to me. He’s never put out anything that isn’t worth listening to in my opinion, and this latest maxi-single is no different to me. The first track is entitled Be Still. As always, the beat here is fire. Luke Stewart’s instrumentation has a very energetic groove that drives the whole song, and Raw Poetic’s flow is on point.

Livin' in dyin' times
Carefully place the rhymes
Somewhere beyond the signs
Somewhere deep in the mind

The second track is entitled Dream Clicker. This one has a much jazzier beat; it’s the kind of beat I typically associate with Raw Poetic. I love how melodic it is. Raw Poetic killed it too.

I don't mean to leave the ones I love the most
Ancestors lead me to my own holy ghost
Embrace the fire so I can feel the glow
Something in you that nobody ever knows

It feels more emotional than the preceding track. Both of them are fire though. Definitely make sure you give these tracks a listen, and let me know what you think. It’s dope as hell to me.

I Want You by Dis Fantasy

This was a really pleasant surprise for me. Dis Fantasy released a really dope self titled EP back in 2019. I enjoyed it so much that I copped it on cassette, but I hadn’t heard anything else from the duo until now. I was afraid that it was a one-off occurrence, so I’m glad we got this new single this week. Maybe they’re working on a full length album or something. Anyway, the song itself is pretty awesome. If it showed up on the self titled EP it would’ve been one of the better tracks on the project. I love the kind of electronic-sounding production from Margot Padilla, and the melodic hook from Brittany Love is catchy as hell. Brittany’s flow on the verses is fire too. This is just a super catchy track. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. It’s dope as hell to me.

Okay by Ilajide

Ilajide has been teasing his Code 200 album for over a year at this point. He’s released a few other singles, all of which have been fire. This latest one came with a release date thankfully; the album is scheduled for release on 4/20. The song itself has a really nice, light, vibrant instrumental, and Ilajide’s rapping is just as bouncy. His flow on that last verse was pretty great. The dude’s breath control can be really mesmerizing at times, and this track is a good example of that. It’s a really fun track. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. I think it’s dope.

Spineless by Benny the Butcher featuring Ransom

Benny the Butcher‘s Black Soprano Family crew is gearing up to release a collaborative compilation album with 38 Spesh‘s Trust Gang, so that should be pretty great. Anyway, I really love how fast paced this track is. I typically expect Benny to rhyme over more slow-paced, hard hitting, grimy instrumentals. This sounds more like something that could’ve been on Burden of Proof. I’m not sure who produced this track, but the beat is great. The opening verse from Benny is great too, but Ransom is the real star of the show here, which comes as no surprise to me.

Can't pay the plug if you broke, dog
You'll never be a menace in these streets if you owe, dog
Hear me out, you can't pay attention at no cost, just clear the house
That name that you mentioned is folklore, the coke raw

It makes me happy that people are finally starting to give Ransom his flowers. I’m not really sure exactly what changed because I don’t think he necessarily stepped his pen up or anything. It’s not like he hasn’t been killing shit like this for years. I knew he was a beast ever since I first heard him back in 2013. I guess it’s really just because he joined up with 38 Spesh‘s crew. That seems to have breathed new life into his career. That’s dope. Anyway, the song is dope as hell to me. Give it a listen and let me know what you think. Trust the Sopranos is scheduled for release on April 30th if I’m not mistaken, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Anarchy by RJ Payne featuring Shyheim & Jojo Pellegrino produced by Stu Bangas

This latest entry in the Weekly Payne series is pretty fire. I think the kind of stripped back, dark production style from Stu Bangas here is really nice, and the opening verse from Shyheim is great. Jojo Pellegrino though? That motherfucker snapped. I don’t think I’d ever heard of him prior to listening to this track, but he really left a strong impression. The way he spazzed out kinda reminds me of Chris Rivers.

Lyrically I'm what they reachin' to be
Your favorite lyricist just decent to me
Love and leisure, hungry, eager
Bust & leave you like these demons I freak
There's nothing sweeter, fuck a feature
Watch me eat 'em for free

RJ Payne came through at the end and slaughtered it too. I love how hard his delivery is. That line about a body laying on the ground looking like the letter H was crazy to me too.

Leatherface hunt a rapper down, it ain't no better chase
Hands up, body on the ground look like the letter H
Set a date, kill your top 10 and never hesitate
They featherweights, the newest Rakim, don't even speculate

This is definitely a major highlight for this week, so don’t sleep on it. I think it’s dope af.

Walked In by Chloe Hotline

Chloe Hotline released a pretty good album called +NSTYNCT this past February, and I could tell that she put a ton of time and effort into it, so it’s cool to see her bounce back already with new singles like this. The beat here definitely sounds like something that could’ve been on Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red. The autotuned vocals are pretty catchy too. I guess this song is pretty different from any of the other tracks I’ve written about this week, so if you don’t fuck with those this one might be more up your alley. I appreciated the Gucci Mane references throughout this track too. That Chicken Talk line was hard. Give this track a listen and let me know what you think.

non sequitur, pt. 2 by Defcee featuring Rich Jones produced by Nick Arcade

This is the first single from the deluxe edition of Defcee & Nick Arcade’s collaborative EP, ceenick, which was one of my favorites of 2020. This latest track is just as fire as the other material on the original version of the EP. I think the production here from Nick Arcade is actually amazing. This beat is actually better than any of the beats on the original project in my opinion. I think it’s fantastic. Defcee’s writing is of course top notch, as always.

We were those nerdy kid celebrities, dirty kicks in therapy
Burners flipped to felonies, tournaments for legacy
Purposeless and nebbishy, workin' for a pittance
Years off between records, and then penned a verse in minutes
Rich was lookin out for me, Tomorrow Kings was alchemy
Sent these shows up, and then dropped 'em from the balcony
Body politic was twitchin' glitch in its anatomy
Skimmin' from our pensions or clippin' off bits of salary

The second verse is performed by Rich Jones, who did a pretty nice job too. I always appreciate when features actually use different flows instead of just doing exactly what the primary artist does. Anyway, this song is dope as hell. Let me know what you think of it.

Big Boss Rabbit by Freddie Gibbs produced by Swaggyono

This is the second single that Freddie Gibbs has released this year if I’m not mistaken. I’m pretty sure it’s from his upcoming sequel to ESGN, but I may be wrong. I think the whole rabbit persona that Freddie has taken on is a little strange, but I’m not gonna pretend to have a huge issue with it. The song samples You’re the Man by Nas, and part of me would rather just listen to that song, but Freddie still killed this. The track opens with a very fitting Mike Tyson quote, which kinda reflects Freddie’s status in the rap industry right now. The actual rapping is pretty much more of what you’d typically expect from Freddie. None of the lyrics are super quotable to me, but they’re certainly sufficient. It’s really just Freddie’s flow that stands out the most to me. I feel like I’m coming off more critical than I mean to be, so I wanna stress that I think this is a very good song. The beat is dope, and Freddie slid over it pretty nicely. Nothing about the song really blows me away, but it’s still dope.

Can’t Let You Go by Terrace Martin featuring Nick Grant produced by Terrace Martin, Ricky Reed & Nate Mercereau

Terrace Martin released one of the best singles of 2020 in my opinion with Pig Feet, so I was pretty excited when I saw this track with Nick Grant. The production is of course very jazzy, and the vocals from Terrace on the hook sound pretty nice to me. The highlight of this track is really the rapping from Nick Grant to me. Granted, it’s not the most amazing lyricism I’ve ever heard; I just think he sounds really great over this beat. The content isn’t particularly interesting to me, but they made it work pretty well. It’s a dope song. Check it out.

Little Bit of Light by Ronesh featuring Buk of Psychodrama

Ronesh has become one of my favorite producers over the past 12 months, so when I saw that he was gearing up to release a full length album entitled Basilica I was pretty excited. This first single features Buk of Psychodrama, who I have barely any experience with. I’ve only heard him on the title track of Twista’s Adrenaline Rush album, along with his feature on Lupe Fiasco‘s Chopper. Anyway, the production on this track is nice and smooth; it feels very airy. Ronesh’s flow on the first verse is just as breezy as the instrumental is. Before hearing this track, I had forgotten how amazing Buk’s voice is. He has a perfect voice for rap. His flow is also really nice here.

Sometimes I struggle with depression but I get up out the bed everyday thankin' god for another day to live
This world is mine and everything in it, can't another motherfucker say it's his
My morning mind on the money no matter what, my moment motivate me to get more
I wanna find a new way to keep coming up then come up with some more shit to be sure

I thought Ronesh’s verse was already really good, but Buk pushed this shit to the next level. I think I like his performance here more than the two aforementioned features with Twista & Lupe. Check this track out and let me know what you think. It’s dope as hell to me.

Saturday, April 3rd

Untitled by Wrex Mason

This is apparently the song that Wrex Mason won with in a beat battle run by Bag Season Records. I see why it was so successful too. This shit is fire. It sounds like what I would hear after snorting stardust. I appreciate how spacey and pretty all the beats I’ve ever heard from Wrex Mason have been. Give this track a listen and let me know what you think.

I feel like I kinda jinxed myself. Last week I commented on how slow things were in terms of music releases, but this Friday was fucking crazy. Not only did a shit ton of singles drop, but we also got an onslaught of full projects. As always, let me know what your favorite tracks of this past week were, as well as what you would have included that I may have missed. Peace.


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