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The Best New Hip-Hop This Week

The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Black Thought, Ice Spice, and more.

Rap royals Ice Spice and Nicki Minaj teamed up this week, producing a pugnacious remix to Ice’s Like…? standout “Princess Diana.” Not to be outdone, fellow former Nicki Minaj protege Doja Cat took advantage of the boom-bap beat on SZA’s “Kill Bill” to deliver some truly non-corny raps. Fivio Foreign played around with fire in his video for “Hot Sauce,” while Chicagoans Saba and No I.D. teamed up for the first song from an upcoming duo project(!), “Back In Office.”

Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending April 14, 2022.


Black Thought & El Michels Affair — Glorious Game

black thought el michels glorious game
Black Thought

One of my personal most awaited releases of the year, Glorious Game continues the thread of excellent releases from Mr. Tariq Trotter, this time, pairing him up with a group that brings some ’70s soul-backed Blaxploitation vibes to his heady hip-hop observances. It’s yet another match made in heaven.

Grafh & 38 Spesh — Art Of Words

grafh 38 spesh art of words

When I was a freshman in college, I loved Grafh — mainly for two specific performances. One was an appearance on the protest record “Tree Never Grown,” on which he held his own alongside luminaries (no pun intended) like Mos Def, J-Live, Tame One, and Wordsworth. On the other, which came from a DJ Kay Slay tape, Grafh spat one of his hardest verses on Jay-Z’s “This Life Forever.” Anyway, Grafh’s career never panned out the way I thought it would, but I still have a soft spot for him and he’s still got a way with words.

NLE Choppa — Cottonwood 2

nle choppa cottonwood 2
NLE Choppa

Allow NLE Choppa to reintroduce himself. Since the last Cottonwood, the Memphis kid has seen his fortunes rise, caught flak over his self-improvement efforts, and grown a lot as an artist. On this sequel, Choppa branches out, trying styles as diverse as Jersey Club and New Orleans Bounce as he works to set himself apart from not just the rest of his city’s rap scene, but his former self.

Troy Ave — Dear Hater, I Won

troy ave dear hater i won
Troy Ave

In my research for this week’s column, I was surprised to see another survivor of the blog era, a man I once fondly referred to as “Helium 50,” has a new album out today. I gave it half a spin and was pleased to learn that despite his numerous setbacks and a notable decline in attention, his defiant, boastful persona remains unbowed, his rhymes remain as witty and amusing as ever, and he has refused to go away, like the living embodiment of the New York he once obnoxiously championed.


Ciara — “Da Girls (Girls Mix)” Feat. Lola Brooke & Lady London

Ciara’s been on an interesting, devil-may-care kick lately and it’s been pretty entertaining to watch. She’ll as gladly lend her still-generous helping of spotlight to both battle rap nepo babies like Coast Contra as she is to a pair of New York rap it-girls in Lola Brooke and Lady London. The low-budget vibes of the video actually serve the carefree vibe of the song really well — they’re just girls having fun and you know what? You can’t fault them for that at all.

Doe Boy — “Roll The Dice” Feat. Dej Loaf

I love a good Midwest connection; the acts encompassing areas like Dej Loaf’s Detroit and Doe Boy’s Cleveland have a unique kind of chemistry, often resulting in surprising, off-kilter products that are more than the sum of their parts. For instance, here, the usually brusque Doe Boy sounds downright tender, while Dej puts a little more melodic lilt in her singsongy rap style than usual. The combination is a little like PB&J — subtly complex and simply satisfying.

Jay Worthy & Harry Fraud — ““GS 350”

It’s a reunion! Harry Fraud’s loopy production has always provided a potent counterpoint to Jay’s subtle gangsterisms. When the beat kicks in on this one, it levitates to another level.

Meyhem Lauren, Madlib & DJ Muggs — “African Pompano”

Queens rapper Meyhem Lauren has been consistently toiling just at the edges of mainstream attention. He may be better known as one of Action Bronson’s two burly sidekicks on F*ck, That’s Delicious, but he’s been a worthy entertainer in his own right all along. “African Pompano,” with production by Madlib and DJ Muggs, is a solid example.

Reuben Vincent — “Bottle Service” Feat. Reason & Stacy Barthe

A standout from Vincent’s debut album Love Is War, “Bottle Service” is like Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools,” only stripped down to its message and heartbreaking storytelling. A spoonful of sugar may help make the medicine taste better but sometimes, you’ve got to take it straight up if you want the full effect.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.