Best Songs of the Week Featuring Drake, Meek Mill and More
As the summer heats up, so do the new music releases. That's one thing that's become clear as we close out the month of June, which has seen projects from the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West, Nas and now, of course, Drake. Shutting the door on the first part of Summer 2018, XXL takes a look at the very best new tunes from this past week.
We'll start things off with Drake, who dropped off a new album earlier today (June 29). The new LP, Scorpion, includes features from Jay-Z, Ty Dolla $ign, Static Major and Michael Jackson. It also includes Drizzy's very personal confirmation on rumors that he does, in fact, have a child. Addressing the claims on "Emotionless," Drake dissects the hollowness of social media to contextualize his reasoning for keeping his son out of the spotlight up to this point. With some incisive, introspective bars and a soulful instrumental at his back, the song is Drizzy at his best.
Next up we have Meek Mill. The Philly MC unloaded his first post-prison single, "Stay Woke," during a poignant performance at the 2018 BET Awards last Sunday (June 24). The Miguel-assisted track finds Meek, currently at the center of a heated prison-reform debate, deconstructing the dimensions of systemic racism and, in the process, showing the rap world he hasn't lost a step.
Holding things down in the remix lane is Tyler, The Creator. He delivered an undeniably dope remix of Jacquees' "No Validation." Titled "Gelato," shows he can talk more than a little good game as his verse is equal parts flexing and flirting. Of course, Jacquees' vocals still being on the track only enhances the whole thing. Salute.
Pulling up all the way from Houston, 2017 XXL Freshman Ugly God came through with an assist on the production end. For this one, he drops a special remix featuring 2017 XXL Freshman XXXTentacion, who was tragically shot and killed in Florida on June 18. Titled "Tear Drop," the remix uses X's cypher outtakes XXL recently unearthed and the rapper's famously demonic freestyle. Ugly God created a dreamy track that spotlights the late rapper's more playful side in a touching tribute.
For the next track, Atlanta teams up with Chicago. Earlier this week, Lil Yachty jumped on Juice Wrld's "All Girls Are the Same (Remix)." For his part, Yachty turns in an Auto-Tune-laced verse as he spits about why he doesn't put too much effort into his dealings with women. Here's to more collabs from Lil Boat and Juice.
Revisiting ATL finds us at Yung Bans and his Yung Bans Vol. 5 project. One of the best songs on the new tape goes by the name of "Ridin," an ultra-smooth, YBN Nahmir and Landon Cube-assisted tune that feels like cruising an open road on a breezy summer day. Fresh off being named a 2018 XXL Freshman, Nahmir does his thing with his Bay Area-influenced flow. Bans, meanwhile, showcases a distinctive cool that makes it no wonder he's seen his stock rise a lot as of late.
Repping New York, A$AP Ferg also made some noise this week when he dropped off "Verified" and "Not the Boy," two new songs that definitely slap. That said, we decided "Verified" is the better offering. Ferg spitts about the power granted by being "verified" by social media accounts. With his bouncy flow, a hard beat and a strong concept, "Verified" is Ferg at his best.
Also delivering a sizable dose of new heat is Youngboy Never Broke Again, who dropped off Until Death Call My Name: Reloaded yesterday (June 28). While the project is, at its base, just an updated version of his Until Death Call My Name album, those updates include a feature from Lil Uzi Vert on a tune called "Rich Nigga." Uzi and YoungBoy sound natural over the track together, and with its in your face bars and trap piano, the song is definitely a winner.
In a bit of cross-genre fun, Madeintyo makes our list by jumping on Fall Out Boy's "The Last of the Real Ones (Remix)" with bülow. Using his soft voice to float over the instrumentation, Tyo adapts to the pop rock soundscape easily as he sounds like he should have been included on the original tune.
Last, but most definitely not least is Mozzy, who delivered his new Gangland Landlord single, "Pure in the Pack" just yesterday (June 28). Keeping things casually gritty, the Sacramento, Calif. artist raps about dead homies, the block and other bits of his life as he floats over a lowkey instrumental.
Check out all of the best songs from the past week for yourself below!
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