With so many new rap albums, mixtapes, EPs and songs dropping every week; knowing which ones are worth your time can be a challenge. But no worries, we'll help smooth out the process with "Now N' Laters," a column that highlights the hottest new releases of the week and the songs you'll want to listen to now — and later.
In a week that's relatively low on high-profile album releases, we delved into the various loose cuts and singles that had music fans going nuts over the past week. Headlining this week's standouts are fellow Grammy award-winners Cardi B and Bruno Mars, who look to set the music world on fire as a tandem once again with their latest collaborative effort "Please Me." Speaking of the Grammys, this year's host, Alicia Keys, returns with her new single "Raise A Man," while Nipsey Hussle bounced back from losing out in the Best Rap Album category with "Rack In The Middle" featuring buzzing newcomer Roddy Rich. In addition to those standouts, the week included gems from veterans like T.I., Juicy J, John Legend and Lloyd, as well as tracks from Young M.A. and Kehlani.
With the avalanche of new music making the rounds, REVOLT shares our critics' picks for the nine new songs that stand a cut above the rest and should be in your heavy rotation now -- and later. Be sure to let us know what your favorites are.
Cardi B & Bruno Mars: "Please Me"
Cardi B and Bruno Mars continue to position themselves as one of the most dynamic duos in music as of late, as the two megastars join forces yet again for this sensuous banger. Picking up where they left off on 2018's "Finesse (Remix)," Cardi and Bruno turn in a single that is likely to become inescapable in the weeks to come and beyond.
Alicia Keys: "Raise A Man"
Building on the momentum of her hosting gig at this year's Grammy Awards, Alicia Keys debuted her latest single, on which the songstress yearns to be caught in the rapture of romance without judgement. Connecting with Larrance Dopson on the production tip, Keys turns in a velvety ballad that tugs on the heartstrings and marks her first musical release in more than three years.
Nipsey Hussle: "Racks In The Middle"
With a breakout year which saw him releasing his long-awaited major label debut and earning a Grammy nomination, Nipsey Hussle is not at all content with resting on his laurels. The mayor of Crenshaw & Slauson teams up with new Dreamchaser recruit Roddy Rich for this celebratory selection, which finds the pair finessing over production by Hit-Boy.
T.I.: "Fuck Nigga"
T.I. directs his disdain towards boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. on this scathing takedown attacking Mayweather's perceived selfish, and lack of regard and empathy for those in the black community. Pointing to The Money Team leader's lavish spending habits and lack of charitable initiatives, T.I. gets extremely personal by attacking the boxer's character on what is one of the first diss records of 2019.
R&B vet Lloyd comes through with his first release of the new year, which finds him revisiting a selection from his 2018 EP, Tru. Featuring a new verse from City Girls' Yung Miami, this revamped version of the original should help keep Lloyd's name in rotation, as he looks toward completing his comeback with his next full-length offering.
Juicy J: "Let Me See"
Juicy J challenges fake ballers to put their money where their mouth is on his latest release. Joined by Kevin Gates and Lil Skies, The Juice Man and his costars get their flex on over 808-driven production by Tay Keith, who sets the stage with his latest club-friendly composition.
Young M.A.: "Stubborn Ass"
Producer Marvin Thomas provides the backdrop for Young M.A.'s latest loosie, which arrived right in time for the Valentine's Day holiday. However, instead of flowers and chocolate, the Brooklynite gifts listeners with a song focusing on matters of the heart by delving into the difficulties that come with being in a relationship.
After taking off much of 2018 to prepare for her child's upcoming birth, Kehlani recently announced her sabbatical was over by unveiling the tracklist to her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait. The first song released from the project, this track finds the Bay Area product showcasing her skills as a double-threat, singing and rapping over production by Triangle Park and The Rascals.
John Legend: "Preach"
John Legend battles personal demons while looking at the man in the mirror on this introspective offering. Produced by Greg Kurstin, who powers the track with piano keys, strings, and percussion; this release comes off the heels of the crooner's Christmas album and looks to be an appetizer to tide fans over until his next collection touches down.
More by Preezy Brown: