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.
This go-round, our lineup consists of a mix of high-profile album releases, collaborations and timely loosies. Coming off a year in which he established himself as one of the more promising new artists in the game, Chicagoan Juice WRLD returns with his new album Death Race For Love, which tops out at a robust 22 tracks. Short on guest appearances, Death Race For Love puts the focus squarely on Juice WRLD, who continues to rise to the occasion while avoiding the sophomore jinx. Juice WRLD's album may be the lone blockbuster project of the week, but that doesn't mean there's any shortage of dope material to choose from. Rico Nasty and Tierra Whack both represent for the ladies with their respective singles, while Jay Sean returns from hiatus alongside Gucci Mane and Asia Doll. Pleasure P, Freddie Gibbs, and Pardison Fontaine also come through with new heaters that deserve to be on your radar.
With all of these releases getting airplay and dominating the conversation, REVOLT shares our critics' picks for songs from this week 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.
Solemn vibes are felt on this introductory track, which conveys Juice WRLD's emotional state and the coping mechanisms he uses to numb himself from pain, and loneliness in life. Produced by Nick Mira, who provides a 808-driven composition complimented by piano keys, this selection plays to Juice WRLD's strengths, as his lovelorn crooning and songwriting continue to prove to be a winning formula.
"Hear Me Calling"
"Do you hear me calling?" Juice WRLD wails on this island-tinged heater from his latest long player. Produced by Purp, the backdrop coaxes Juice WRLD into a relatively upbeat spirit and is one of the more enticing offerings on the album. It could begin the rapper's infiltration of club playlists.
Producers Jahaan Sweet, TBHits and Boi-1da helm this boards on this closing selection, which casts Juice WRLD in an introspective state of mind. Powered by samples of Bas' "Tribe" and "Zum-Zum" by Edu Lobo, this track stands up with the best material on the album.
Rico Nasty: "Sandy"
Rico Nasty continues to put the rap game on notice that she's destined to blow with this rambunctious salvo that's inspired by a certain "Spongebob Squarepants" character. Produced by Kenny Beats, the two frequent collaborators collide once again and serve up another high-octane banger that captures Rico Nasty in all her splendor.
Jay Sean: "With You"
One of the more pleasant surprises in this week's roundup is Jay Sean's return, as the singer/songwriter looks to get listeners back on board with this sensuous collaboration. Produced by K, and including guest spots from Asian Doll and Gucci Mane; this syrupy single should get Jay Sean's name and face back in the mix in short order.
Tierra Whack: "Gloria"
Still riding high from her Grammy nomination for Best Music Video, Philadelphia native and Interscope signee Tierra Whack tosses out this head-nod inducing ditty as she prepares for phase two of her budding career. Produced by Nick Verruto, who also earns a co-writing credit, this composition possesses the kind of melodies that ensures this groove instantly captures listeners' ears and further bolsters Whack's stock.
Pleasure P: "You Changed"
R&B singer Pleasure P crashes this week's party with his latest single, which finds the crooner analyzing the changes in his romantic partner's behavior. Produced by Lil Wonder, and powered by acoustic guitars and tumbling percussion; this groove has the makings of a sleeper radio hit and arrives just in time for the spring season.
Pardison Fontaine: "Rodman"
After breaking out on the rap scene in 2018 with his work on Cardi B's Invasion of Privacy album and his Cardi-assisted smash single "Backin' It Up," Pardison Fontaine stands alone on his first release of the new year. Inspired by the former Chicago Bulls power forward, this track finds Fontaine stunting and doling out the occasional idle threat over rollicking 808s and flutes.
Freddie Gibbs: "Bandana"
Gangsta Gibbs is draped in all designer on the title-track from his and Madlib's forthcoming follow-up to their 2014 project, Pinata. Featuring an appearance from Assassin, this warning shot gives fans a preview of what they can expect on the Bandana project: Masterful lyricism over hard-hitting production.
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