Welcome to another installment of HYPEBEAST’s Best New Tracks, a weekly round-up of some of the most important new releases and some under-the-radar hits that you may have missed out on during another hectic seven days in music. Lil Uzi Vert dropped his latest album, Eternal Atake, after a near-three year wait featuring 18 new tracks with surprising production from Chief Keef and a lone feature from The Internet‘s Syd. The offering is full of undeniable hits, quick-hitting lyricism and Uzi’s signature penchant for catchy melodies. It’s one of 2020’s best releases. Megan Thee Stallion also overcame some label drama to push SUGA complete with a music video for her single “B.I.T.C.H”. In more updates, Gunna readied the release of his next solo album with a new music video and the late Bankroll Fresh was honored with a posthumous mixtape. Check out HYPEBEAST’s essential listens below.
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Lil Uzi Vert – Eternal Atake
It was worth the wait. Despite all of the label drama, a highly publicized spat with DJ Drama, and years of waiting, Lil Uzi Vert returned with a triumphant 18-track album in Eternal Atake that did more than deliver on its promise. Uzi may be the only rapper to whole-heartedly sample the Backstreet Boys and make it work. Chief Keef’s production on “Chrome Heart Tags” is one of the album’s many highlights. For those who lost faith in Uzi due to more #NOSTYLIST posts on his Instagram than actual musical releases over the past 1000 days, it should be pretty easy to hop back on the bandwagon. From tracks infectious enough to inspire complicated viral footwork videos to high-energy offerings like “POP” that sees non-stop verses from start to finish, Uzi’s charisma shines.
Megan Thee Stallion – SUGA
Megan Thee Stallion is force of nature, so much so that she wouldn’t let some major label drama and an ongoing lawsuit stop her from dropping a new project. SUGA and her “B.I.T.C.H” music video introduce a new “Sensitive Gangsta” persona. Smart features like Kehlani and Gunna (in his 30th-plus feature of the past calendar year) smartly amplify these 24-minutes. #HOTGIRLSUMMER is forever.
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Jhené Aiko – Chilombo
Jhené Aiko returned late last night with her third studio album, Chilombo, which is her legal surname and translates to “wild beast” in Chewa, the Bantu language spoken in Southeast Africa in countries like Malawi and Zimbabwe. Jhené is in full control on her latest album though, a focused 20-tracks that seamlessly blends hip-hop sensibilities with sultry R&B vocals as she enlisted a star-studded cast in Future, Miguel, Ab-Soul, Big Sean, H.E.R., Nas, John Legend and more. Fans have waited for her next project for as long as Uzi’s and should be equally as happy to listen to Chilombo.
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Bankroll Fresh – In Bank We Trust
Atlanta rapper Bankroll Fresh was tragically gunned down outside of Atlanta’s Street Execs Studio exactly four years ago today. Before his murder, he was one of the most talented upcoming voices in Atlanta’s hip-hop scene having signed to 2 Chainz‘s now defunct Street Exec record label. 2015’s Bankroll Fresh featured hits like “Danny Devito”, “Take Over Your Trap” and outlandish electronic anthems like “Selfish.” Posthumous albums often struggle to display an artist’s full potential and most polished work, but In Bank We Trust is a curated homage perfect for the star-in-the-making. What’s truly tragic is where he could be now. Bankroll would have more than likely been a standout on the recent T.R.U. compilation No Face No Case and a bonafide star in his own right.
Gunna – “SKYBOX”
Gunna‘s run these past few years has been truly one for the record books. His endless features are like LeBron in the playoffs: a portfolio that spans well beyond the regular season. We’re talking multiple albums worth of extended verses and choruses. Now the Atlanta superstar is back with his first actual solo release in about a year, traveling to an exotic locale full of belly dancers and quick-hitting animations for the first single of his upcoming WUNNA project in “SKYBOX”. Smooth guitar riffs create a dreamy sonic scenery that ditches Drip or Drown 2‘s underwater aesthetic. Here Gunna is clearer than ever and has since expanded his world even more. It will be exciting where he ventures off to next.
Bad Bunny – “Hablamos Mañana”
Watching Bad Bunny grow over the past few years into a bonafide international superstar has been as exhilarating as anything else happening in major pop music right now. YHLQMDLG is the Puerto Rican singer’s most expansive project to date spanning 20 diverse tracks that sees him float through genres and experiment more than ever before. “Hablamos Mañana” is his rock anthem with a music video that finds child versions of himself and collaborators Duki and Pablo Chill-E sucked into a Nintendo 64 and represented as Grand Theft Auto-esque characters on an open world reign of terror. “I love this one,” Bad Bunny told Apple Music. “It’s the most energetic of the album and the most different. In general, there’s a lot of strength and felling in rock music. I’ll make whatever music that God allows me to. At some point, if I felt like making a rock en español album, I would. If I wanted to make a bachata album, I would.”
Buscabulla – “NTE”
Boricua indie-pop duo Buscabulla will launch their debut album, Regresa on May 8. Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo Del Valle introduced the project with “NTE” (short for “No Te Equivoques” or “Don’t Get It Wrong”). The grainy 16-mm-shot visual follows the group to Puerto Rico for a sun-dripped offering that’s ready for summer. It’s warped, smooth and light with the perfect vintage touch that will transport you to crystal clear waters and let your mind wander.
Jay Worthy – “Two4One”
Jay Worthy‘s ongoing Two4One has paired the LNDN DRGS rapper with some of his closest West Coast-based collaborators from G Perico and The Alchemist to Larry June, Kamaiyah and Boogie. His latest visual release, “Two4One” is glossy and bouncy at the same time, with Jay Worthy rapping backstage during the numerous tour stops of Tyler, The Creator’s IGOR Tour and Rick Rubin‘s iconic homestead. “I was at some private sessions at Shang-Ri-La, spent a couple weeks in Malibu. Sh*t was beautiful,” Worthy told HYPEBEAST. “The rest of the video was shot on the [Tyler, The Creator’s] IGOR Tour. Red Rock and Salt Lake were def the visual highlights of that tour. Shoutout the whole IGOR Tour for bringing me along on that ride.”
Empress Of – “Give Me Another Chance”
Empress Of recently released her steamy forgiveness ballad in “Give Me Another Chance” featuring an addicting up-beat crescendo of bouncy 808s and must-listen-to melodies. The singer-songwriter is currently readying the release of her third full-length LP in I’m Your Empress Of. “This record wasn’t written in a remote location. It wasn’t written in a collaborative effort. It was written in my small studio in Highland Park, Los Angeles over two months in between touring the world. Music is magic,” she said in a press release statement. “Give Me Another Chance” exudes that magical theme through off-kilter, rotating shots on a dance floor with strobe lights capturing a night out.
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Chief Keef – The GloFiles (Pt. 4)
The GloFiles (Pt. 4) marks Chief Keef‘s 34th mixtape. The prolific Chicago rapper has expanded his production credits too (most recently making instrumentals for Tadoe and Lil Yachty’s “Get It Bussin’” and Lil Uzi Vert’s “Chrome Heart Tags.”) This 12-song record is essentially loosies from Chief Keef’s desktop (hence the album artwork) and opens with “G-Unit” where he inputs Young Buck, 50 Cent, Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks into different street references. “CUSSIN” is a perfect homage to 2010-era Finally Rich almost a decade later. “I’ma run these mother-f*ckin’ people just like Diddy did/ get my alcohol, weed, and my businesses/Savage just like Bean’s, that’s who Beanie Sigel is,” he raps on “OFF WIT HIS HEAD.” The endless array of Chief Keef tracks often makes it hard to focus on a singular project, but in an era where labels often hold artists back from releasing new efforts for years, having someone drop so much music is one of those good problems.