Rick Ross – “In Vein” (feat The Weeknd)
Let’s keep it real: any track that “features” The Weeknd ultimately becomes The Weeknd featuring the other person. This is clearly the case with Rick Ross’ Mastermind cut “In Vein.” The track opens with Abel doing his seductively druggy thing, and then Rozay jumps in to rough the beat up a bit. It takes a true mastermind to collaborate with one of the hottest ethereal dudes in the game, so bravo to Rawse for this one.
Raury – “God’s Whisper”
From the chants and the handclaps that open Raury’s “God’s Whisper,” it’s pretty clear that you’re gonna get inspired. The ATL rapper is only 17 years old, but his bars travel well beyond his years. “God’s Whisper” is less of a track and more of a declaration, as Raury ignites spoken word with a twist. It’s a new take on lyricism, but that doesn’t make young Raury any less of a wordsmith.
RATKING – “So Sick Stories” (feat King Krule)
Sing-songy rap can go a long way if it’s executed properly, and “So Sick Stories” embodies that. RATKING and King Krule come together perfectly for this cut that balances hard bars with trippy soundbeds. It’s easy to get lost in a song like this one – or just do something really crazy and have your own “sick stories” to share. Of a different kind, that is.
Chance The Rapper & James Blake – “Save Yourself”
A short while back, Chance The Rapper aligned with James Blake for a remix of the Overgrown track “Life Round Here.” While Chance added his Chance-isms, we got a second helping via Twitter. “This was the OG idea for me and James’ first collaboration” Chance tweeted, and the result was “Save Yourself.” It’s shorter than the original one, but it still carries the sentiment.
Dreezy – “Heard It All”
Dreezy released her Schizo mixtape back in February, and on it was this little gem “Heard It All.” Produced by D. Brooks (who did most of the project), the song basically details what happens when a man doesn’t want to stay true to his lady, which is the Cardinal Rule of Commitment. For a girl who is a part-time frontrunner in Chicago’s Drill Rap movement, it’s a nice little change of pace.
YG – “459” (feat Natasha Mosley)
YG’s My Krazy Life is crazy enough, but once this bonus cut surfaced it was game over. “459” is from the U.S. Best Buy edition of YG’s release and is text language for “I love you” (I L Y on a cellphone keypad – get it?). So in essence, this track is a love song, with YG running the streets and his bae (played by the voice of Natasha Mosley) waiting for him. How… romantic?
Young Thug – “Bossy” (feat Slug)
Young Thug’s been dropping #ThuggaThuggaThursday cuts left and right (well, on Thursdays at least). This new one takes some cheeky blips and heavy horns, which together do sound pretty damn bossy. Sidebar, that’s not Slug from Rhymesayers’ Atmosphere. It’s another Slug on the cut. You’re welcome.
Pusha T & A$AP Ferg – “Hand In My Pocket”
Judging by the title alone, it could be assumed that Pusha Ton and Ferg-alicious would be sampling the Alanis Morissette classic. Yeah, not so much. Produced Sean C & LV off the Loud Dreams Vol. 1 compilation, this cut right here is more about running up on thugs with a hand in your pocket holding…well, you know what they’re holding.
Big Boi – “Part Time Hater” (feat Stevie Wonder & Kid Cudi)
Big Boi has been giving everyone life with his Mash-Up Mondays tracks. Did he really just give us a mix called “Part Time Hater,” where he combines “She Hates Me” with Stevie’s “Part Time Lover” to make “Part Time Hater”? Oh yes he did! Then you add the Cudster on the hook and the mission is complete. The song is about falling out of love, but you can fall in love with this mash-up instead.
Lil Boosie – “Same Game” (feat TD Mr. Fox 5 & Mandingo)
Boosie is out of prison, everybody! Rumor has it, the Louisiana rapper's been in the studio since the moment he hit fresh air. “Same Game” is off 3rdy Baby & Muzik Fene mixtape Leak Squad, and even though Boosie’s been in the pen for the last five years, he testifies that the game ain’t really changed. The rap game is still just like the crack game. Le sigh.
Follow Kathy Iandoli on Twitter here @kath3000