The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Danny Brown, Drake, Lil Durk, and more.
Damn. Here’s a quick rundown of hip-hop this week: Snoop Dogg said he’s quitting smoke; Baby Keem dropped a movie; André 3000 came back (without raps, although Lupe Fiasco has a plan to fix that); Drake extended both his album For All The Dogs and his tour with J. Cole; and Diddy was sued for sexual assault. I’m as exhausted as y’all are. Let’s get to the music.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending November 17, 2023.
2 Chainz & Lil Wayne — Welcome 2 Collegrove
I debated not putting the album cover for this one — truly AI has gone too far — but there was no question it would belong on this list. The chemistry between these two has been solid for over a decade, resulting in an album that easily surpasses the sum of its parts (no easy feat when these are the parts). They also pay a little homage to their first meeting of the minds on “Duffle Bag Boy,” giving us all a reason to revisit that classic.
Danny Brown — Quaranta
Even at 42, I’ve never been able to read Danny Brown as a grown-up. His giddy, hyped-up raps and goofy, poke-the-bear sense of humor have always lent themselves to a sort of Peter Pan syndrome perception of his music, even when he dropped the personal and poetic U Know What I’m Saying? in 2019. Now, post-pandemic, he’s older and wiser, with even more insights to share. With the quality of output he’s known for, it’s worth listening.
DijahSB — The Flower That Knew
In a case of admitted bias, I’m highlighting an acquaintance who’s flirted with the limelight and deserves much more. Hip-hop is a tapestry, and sometimes has a tendency to downplay or overlook the threads that aren’t as convenient (like, say, a non-binary rapper who sticks largely to Slum Village-esque soul-raps). I say phooey to all that. The Flower That Knew is a worthwhile spin no matter how you feel about Rhodes keys and smart raps.
Drake — For All The Dogs: Scary Hours
Is an EP? Is it the deluxe edition? Who knows, who cares? Drake is RAPPING again, people. Sound the alarm.
While its brevity could be held against it, it’s so rare that Drake raps for a full project that we’ll take what we can get — especially when so many of the raps are this good.
Lil Durk — Nightmares In The Trenches
I admit, this quick hitter from the Chicago staple was nowhere near my radar before today, making its appearance a pleasant surprise, thanks in part to a bevy of guest verses from exciting rising stars like Rob49, Icewear Vezzo, and Durk’s OTF cohorts. Every Dodge Charger with tinted windows will probably be blasting this over the weekend, and I can’t say I’m mad about it.
E-40 — Rule Of Thumb: Rule 1, Sada Baby — SkuBop, Babyxsosa – Babyxsosa, RXKNephew x Harry Fraud – Life After Neph
42 Dugg — “SpinDatBac”
42 Dugg is recovering nicely from his near fumble, picking up right where he left off prior to his recent stint in prison. “SpinDatBac” is a solid bounce-back track, sticking closely to the bass-heavy street anthem style that garnered the Detroit native so much attention to begin with.
Common, DJ Premier — “In Moe (Speculation)”
Lonnie Rashid Lynn and DJ Premier make for a magical combination for rap traditionalists and it’s a damn shame we’ve only really ever heard them together a handful of times over the past 30 years (in one case, the result of a Common feature alongside Royce Da 5’9). A vintage Premier beat and a pair of expansive Com verses — a simple recipe, but one that works.
The Alchemist — “Paint Different” Feat. Curren$y
In a similar vein to Common and Premier, Curren$y and Alchemist are one of those duos where when you see their names conjoined, hitting play is a must. Noodling saxophone and insistent bass back the pair’s latest collab, which comes from Flying High 2, a project that could never get too much attention.
Jay Rock — “Still That Way” Feat. Bongo ByTheWay
Watts’ finest continues the rollout of his long-awaited fourth album with a song that doesn’t push him too far outside of his comfort zone. It’s a bit reminiscent of his biggest hit to date, “Win,” with triumphant horns and forceful verses reiterating Jay’s hood certifications.
Kembe X — “Rolling Stoned” Feat. Hippie Sabotage & Isaiah Rashad
I’ll always accept some new Isaiah Rashad, but especially when it comes with a rare Kembe X single. The Chicago rapper tends to disappear for long stretches, but every time he does emerge, it’s worth keeping an ear to the ground. “Rolling Stoned” is a loopy, hypnotic easy rider that adapts to a variety of listening situations, from the club to the car to the smoke session.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.