We’re halfway through January and the hits keep coming. This week’s best hip-hop and indie releases include FKA Twigs, Nick Grant and more.
The second week of January is staying strong on the music side. Midway through the month, artists both new (Keedron Bryant) and notable (Jim Jones, Earl Sweatshirt, Nick Grant) have arrived with new releases to set the stage for the remainder of 2022.
FKA Twigs gets imaginative on 17-track mixtape CAPRISONGS with guest spots from Jorja Smith, The Weeknd and Daniel Caesar. FKA twigs, who recently partnered with Atlantic Records, has entered a new era where crossing musical boundaries reigns supreme. Then there’s Nick Grant, who taps into his psychedelic side on Welcome to Loveland. Still holding it down on the independent side, Grant’s 13-track album features Rikayah and Keyon Harrold.
Lil Wayne reemerges on Sorry 4 the Wait, the 2022 re-release of his classic 2011 mixtape. On streaming platforms for the first time, Sorry 4 the Wait features four brand new cuts along with its original 12-track lineup. Jesus Is King collaborator Ant Clemons goes deep into his R&B bag on new EP 4Play, where the singer is joined by Ari Lennox on midtempo track “Sticks and Stones”. The EP also has production credits from James Fauntleroy, MyGuyMars, Eric Hudson and more. Jim Jones and DJ Drama join forces on Gangsta Grillz mixtape We Set the Trends, marking their first collaborative effort since 2006’s The Seven Day Theory.
Below are 9 albums that you should stream this week.
Cordae – From a Birds Eye View
Cordae's sophmore album hands down offers his most consistent work to-date. Further noting that his second full-length project is an album that not only equals what he achieved on 2019's The Lost Boy, but points t the crucial artistic and internal growth that's taken place in the years in-between. From A Birds Eye View has vindicated Cordae's innate self-belief--one that allows him to sequence an Eminem feature as a mere bonus track.
Granted, it's not the classic that likly lurks with him, but it's certainly enough t ratify his posisiton as one of the finest younf minds in Hip-Hop today.
Cordae weighs in at a wopping 9.1/10 on the WOP scale!
DJ Muggs & Riggs – Gold
The 16-track project features appearances from Mav, Times Change, Big Twins and Rome Streetz. Meyhem Lauren also takes part in “Cook Offs” , while Rob Gates intervenes on “Every Season ”, with Mooch making two appearances on “Where Ya Soul At” and “Gold”. The album itself is "a great entry point for those not already familiar with the artists involved”.
Gold debuts at an 6.7/10 on the WOP scale
Nick Grant – Welcome to Loveland
Nick Grant's new album Welcome to Loveland is exactly what you need to help push away any winter blues you might be facing this weekl The 13-track project arrived this past Friday, January 14th, and features plenty of groovy beats and guest-appearances from up-and-coming stars that we highly suggest you check out.
Take note in how Rikayah shows out on both "Love & Other Drugs" and "The Auc", while Keyon Harrold assists with "Gangsta Lean" with a personal favorite Malaya guest appearing on "The Simulation"
Welcome To Loveland weighs in at an 8.4/10 on the WOP scale!
Keedron Bryant – Keedron
The groovy 14-year-old Keedron Bryant continues to make waves throughout the R&B sounds with his latest 6-track EP titled Keedron. The EP includes appearances from Curly J on "Stubborn" and Aiyahha Bryant assisting on "Like I Do", with Keedron firing off solo on the the four remaining titles.
The work put into this short project shows undeniable promise from Keedron in the years to come, and warrants a 7.7/10 on the WOP scale.
Earl Sweatshirt – Sick!
10-tracks deep, Sick! emerges with musicality enhanced, full of strings, soul samples, arpeggiating pianos and vinyl crackle – sometimes, as on the immersive Vision and Tabula Rasa, all at once. More extroverted than previously, Sick! feels like a reset, harking back
The edgily produced track by the name of 2010 completely embodies the return of Earl on wax; addressing the pandemic from the point of view of an artist who has famously reconciled with his mother, became a father himself and who has become more engaged with the "gorgeous" world outside of his door.
Earl Sweatshirt's Sick! weighs in at a 6.6/10 on the WOP scale
Ant Clemons – 4 Play – EP
While some fans feel there isn’t enough traditional-sounding R&B floating in the airwaves, Clemons delivers a lo-fi, contemporary, soulful project that takes foreplay beyond the bedroom. The Brian Kennedy & James Fauntleroy-produced opener, “Sticks & Stones,” is a subtly sexy ballad that details the erotic positions Clemons would like to have his lady in without overtly saying so.
With 4Play being a literal teaser, it’s the perfect project to have on repeat during the weeks leading to Valentine’s Day.
4Play comes in top-heavy with his 4-track teaser scaling in at an 7.9/10 on the WOP scale.
Jim Jones & DJ Drama – We Set the Trends
Jim Jones and DJ Drama have reconnected for a new Gangsta Grillz mixtape titled We Set the Trends via VLrecords and EMPIRE. The two veterans recruit a number of hip-hop heavyweights for the project, like Migos, Dave East, Fivio Foreign, and Fabolous, among artists like Rah Swish, Dusty Locane, and Ditta, as well as others. This is the first project the pair have worked on since 2006’s The Seven Day Theory and the duo definitely did not disappoint.
The Gangsta Grillz hosted We Set The Trends weighs in at a 8.4/10 on the WOP scale!
FKA Twigs – CAPRISONGS
The singer’s new mixtape is a playful and adventurous flex, full of errant, shapeshifting compositions that flirt with choral music and Afrobeats, schoolyard chants and squeak-rapping. While twigs is best known for her wispy, classically tuned falsetto, on Caprisongs she slips into a lively array of voices.
The projects nine guests, in addition to its already peripatetic approach to genre and cadence, makes it a lot to take in. Caprisongs is the sound of twigs in the driver’s seat as she traverses her own curiosities and instincts; there is no man looming over the music, no weighty public narrative dictating its terrain. It is intrepid and light, the image of a woman attuned to planetary alignments but casting her own fate.
Caprisongs wobbles in at a 8.7 on the WOP scale!
Take a listen to the albums on out list and leave us your own reviews in the comments below! Also, be sure to check out our weekly top 25 singles of the newest music releases on our HOT-25 Playlist updated every Sunday.