What’s Hot, What’s Not is a new weekly series that reviews all the new releases in Hip Hop. The intention is to curate a space with music opinions you can trust. My opinions are going to be flagrant and raw, but they’ll also be authentic and pure. Check back in every Friday for a music opinion you can trust.
A lot of music dropped this week. Here are the records you absolutely need to tap into if you haven’t already.
Earl Sweatshirt & The Alchemist – VOIR DIRE (Album)
This is my nomination for rap album of the year. Earl Sweatshirt outdid himself with this one. Amazing beat selection, vivid storytelling and smooth transitions. Earl created the perfect rap album. Vin Skully, 27 Braids, Mancala and Dead Zone are some highlights of the album.
YTB Fatt- Ric Flair (Single)
YTB Fatt starts off the song proclaiming he just saved gangsta Hip Hop. I wouldn’t contest that. YTB Fatt and Baby Drill are single-handedly responsible for keeping trench music alive this year.
Fivio Foreign- Why Would I? (Single)
This year, Fivio Foreign has been working his tail off to beat the washed-up accusations. Fivio has been on a hot streak! On his last 3 singles (Posture, Drillin, Why Would I), Fivio is back on his grimey. ‘Why Would I’ didn’t disappoint. He mastered every drill element in this single. Beat selection, Energy, and Fivio did a brilliant job at dissing his opps like 22 Gz without name-dropping them.
A lot of music dropped this week. Here are the records you need to absolutely avoid if you haven’t already wasted your time listening to them.
Wiz Khalifa – Khali Sober(Album)
A tip for all artists: don’t start your album with a 20-second sound bite from a podcast. It’s not fly. It’s unoriginal, cringe, and a spit in the face to your listeners. Trust me, I would know everything about spits in the face. Against my best judgment, I decided to give this album a fair listen, and it’s one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made. On this album, Wiz Khalifa sounds every bit of an aging rapper who peaked in 2015. Wiz Khalifa hasn’t realized the era of the Kid Cudi clones, drunk uncle single, bad karaoke is over with. This album has 12 songs, and Wiz made all 12 songs using the same formula (2009 Hook + Immature teen rebellious raps + Dab of elements of G Funk = “We gonna F the streets up with this one) it’s 2023, Wiz!! The entire album is bad, but the songs that are unbelievably worse than the crème of horrible songs on this album are Would Be Muggers, Sexy Bath and Uptown Bound.
Fredo Bang & NLE Choppa Sideways (Single)
When I first heard the snippet on TikTok as the cellulite-free BBLs shake their hips to it, I loved it. Maybe I was hypnotized into liking it, or maybe their marketing team was smart enough to lead with the best 15 seconds of the song. Regardless, I had high hopes for this song but was ultimately left disappointed. To be fair to Fredo Bang, the demise of the song was no fault of his. He delivered with an extremely catchy hook that made me want to shake my hips like BBLs and Philly rappers on TikTok. Fredo Bang’s verse wasn’t intolerable either. The first 1:05 of the song was actually decent. However, the NLE Choppa verse derailed everything and made this song intolerable. When NLE Choppa decides to rap lyrically, he’s one of the best new rappers. But in the last 18 months, NLE Choppa has convinced himself that off-beat melodies and heavy sampling are his formula for hit-making.
Despite not being able to produce a hit with this formula thus far, he keeps doing it. The NLE Choppa verse on this song was a disappointment. Fredo Bang laid the foundation for a hit record, and NLE Choppa came in with a demolition crew and destroyed the foundation. It’s actually astonishing that NLE Choppa was able to ruin this song with a 26-second verse.