Many of you are waking up to a good amount of mainstream releases this morning. With new releases from YUNGBLUD and Shawn Mendes, pop fans are having a good day today.

But for rap fans, all eyes are on Rico Nasty, whose magnetic new project Nightmare Vacation is buzzing online this morning. For those who need something else to bump this weekend, or for those who just wanna delve into something a little different, here are the latest slept-on rap releases of this week.

“Hardwood Classics” – Baby Smoove

Soft-spoken Detroit emcee Baby Smoove has never had any issue getting his point across. He is never one to exaggerate, and his bars are often candid. In turn, they’re often menacing in their minimalism.

“Can’t even lie, f*cked me up you still alive,” he whispers to his foes on “Prada Me,” the second track off his excellent new mixtape, Hardwood Classic. “I’ll pay like 20k to find out where y’all hide.”

Smoove’s voice rarely floats above a soft murmur and is sometimes barely audible above Hardwood Classic‘s quaking 808s, but on tracks like “Sleep Walking Pt. 2” and “Floyd May,” he implores you to lean in and engage in his hushed conversations.

“After The Rain” – Yung Baby Tate

Yung Baby Tate is through with comparisons. The ATL emcee and vocalist finally released her After the Rain EP today, her mother’s birthday (the legendary Dionne Farris). It’s her first release on Issa Rae’s Raedio label, which she was signed to earlier this year.

The braggadocious EP is filled with both audacious bubble-gum rhymes and brooding soulful crooning. Building off the versatile momentum of last year’s confident debut, Girls, Tate has begun to distance herself from the Nicki Minaj comparisons that overshadowed her last project.

Her honeyed voice glides on “Baecation” and cracks like a whip on melodic trap offerings like “Bounce.” Overall, it’s her charisma that gives the project its distinctive flair. “Oh damn, I just outdid b*tches again,” she snaps on “Rainbow Cadillac.” “If they wasn’t hating so hard, we probably could’ve been friends.”

“Waiting to Die” – Working on Dying

The debut project from the platinum-selling production collective Working on Dying, Waiting to Die is a haunting collection of woozy instrumentals and quippy rhymes from indie emcees like Key!, Robb Banks, Lucki, and Father.

The project is an all-consuming experience. Tracks like “Cedric Benson” and “Loose Screw” are muddied and fast-paced, building on the collective’s signature “tread” subgenre. Meanwhile, tracks like “Off the Lead” and “FYB” find newcomers Hula and Lancey Foux casually slinking alongside a distorted gurgle of synths and high hats. WOD’s debut will scratch the itch for anyone who loved their grimy work on Eternal Atake.

“Belair Baby 2” – LBS Kee’vin

LBS Kee’vin’s melodic spitfire has earned him a significant amount of buzz in 2020. In January, the Florida emcee signed with Visionary Records, which had just announced a massive partnership with Sony Music. LBS then started cranking out work in 2020, releasing Belair Baby earlier this year, only to quickly follow up with its sequel today.

With features from 42 Dugg, Juicy J, and Luh Kel, Belair Baby 2 is a captivating ride that rolls along with confidence. Kee’vin bounces hand-in-hand with Dugg’s choppy flow on “Shining,” before exhaling a turbulent freestyle on “John Doe” and howling with earnestness on “Toxic” and “Mixed Emotions.” Kee’vin covers a lot of melodic ground in the project’s half-hour runtime, and it makes for a captivating listen.

“Wasteland.” – TisaKorean

The messy Fruity Loops-inspired beats and quippy bars of TisaKorean made his debut, A Guide to Being a Partying Freshman, a 2019 stand-out. TisaKorean’s latest work, Wasteland., is just as playfully choppy. Here, the Texas “dance-rap” king returns with another collection of witty squawks and exuberant bedroom beats.

TisaKorean’s goal has always been virality, and each song on Wasteland. sounds fit for any range of exuberant Tik Toks. One can’t help but smile at the innocence presented on Wasteland.

On “F*ck It Up,” TisaKorean raps enthusiastically about the money he’s throwing at strippers, as each dollar bill gets him visibly more excited. On “Sunset,” TisaKorean howls about lost love in an atmospheric haze of autotune that is new melodic territory for the emcee.

But he thrives in minimalist realms like “iRock (Sippin on that Ciroc)” a jaunty club anthem that is presented at goofy face value (“It ain’t Thanksgiving, but she gon’ eat this d*ck like it’s a feast!”).

Wasteland. is not meant to be absorbed in one sitting, but rather to be picked apart for whatever viral ideas you have for your TikTok or Triller. It’s a niche market for sure, but TisaKorean’s knack for curating viral anthems hasn’t faltered yet.

Posted in: Pop