Words: Dylan Murphy
With the fresh avalanche of new music landing every month and new artists popping up, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to cut through the noise. That’s why we curate the best new rap tracks to keep you abreast with the most exciting new artists and biggest anthems from acts pushing the needle.
April saw Pusha T release his long-awaited new album, while IDK and Kaytranada teamed up ahead of their joint album and Action Bronson returned to remind listeners he still has the special sauce.
Fresh from a performance at Coachella with Doja Cat, Rico Nasty joins forces with Bktherula for a twisted new single.
Landing as part of his wholly self-produced album learn 2 swim, redveil teams up with two of the underground’s finest on ‘automatic’.
Jeshi and Obongjayar are two of London’s most exciting inhabitants right now. With both having hugely anticipated debut albums on the horizon, ‘Protein’ feels like the underground’s answer to the predator handshake meme.
J.I.D shifts through the gears with the ease of an F1 driver on a landing strip on ‘Barry From Simpson’. With a new album in the crosshairs, his features throughout the new DJ Drama assisted tape feels like a taster ahead of what’s in store.
Staffed by Na-Kel Smith, BoofPaxkMooky and Cashcache!, SMOKE & MIRRORS is Eyedress at his spacey best.
Last year, London-based rapper and singer ATO quietly dropped one of 2021’s stand out EPs in SIDE A. This week, he’s teamed up with FLOHIO to breath new life into the shapeshifting, standout cut ‘no caroline’.
Canadian artist Night Lovell’s ‘Mr. Make Her Dance’ isn’t exactly a left turn, but it’s further proof that he’s perfected the art of dark, creeping rap.
Breaks, featherlight production and nonchalant bars, ‘mathematics‘ is a song to not give a fuck to.
Pusha T recruited the heavy hitters for his album It’s Almost Dry. An album entirely produced by Ye and The Neptunes, it was hard to pick one track, but Jay’s verse is worth looping a few times.
It may appear that ScHoolboy Q has been off the grid for a bit. He hasn’t really been releasing music, but if you pay close attention he hasn’t disappeared – he’s just living his best life. Whether that’s playing golf or taking his daughter to football practice, it’s all as he’s planned and on ‘Soccer Dad’ he’s enjoying the fruits of his labours.
Passing the mic at the casual pace of a Barcelona team in its prime cruising to victory, Knucks and SL are doing things on their own terms on ‘Nice & Good’.
The production on ‘The God Hour’ is the peak of an acid trip. Transcendent vocal samples and wobbling synths make up one of the A$AP Mob’s more trippy releases of late.
Theodor Black is taking listeners down a dark and winding examination of his untouchable fit game on ‘Top Down’. It comes ahead of his PARADISE FM EP.
Beatnik’s Miso Extra shared ‘Great Taste’ with Nayana IZ ahead of her full EP which dropped this month.
Speaking on the collaboration she says, “Great Taste explores the realising that your current state of being might not always be the best and that if nothing changes the future ahead isn’t appealing; if anything terrifying. It’s expressing a desire to join hands with those who want to follow their dreams and enter an alternate future. Nayana IZ was able to bring her incredible wisdom of words to the table and further iterates the bitter sweet struggles of self development.”
Ahead of his show in Vicar Street earlier this month, Gangster Gibbs provided another taste of his forthcoming album SSS (Soul Sold Separately).
KAYTRANADA is a cheat code for rappers. On ‘Taco’, IDK hits all the pockets with the accuracy, elasticity and finesse of a Juninho free kick in the 2000s. They just announced they are teaming up for a whole album too.
Manifesting a Pitbull verse whilst surfing a wave in the Big Apple is certainly on brand for Action Bronson. Over time, his tastes have evolved, but his oddball one liners and visuals have stayed consistent and in ‘SubZero’ he introduced his forthcoming album Cocodrillo Turbo and reminded anyone who had forgot he’s still got that special sauce.
Often, it’s easy for acts with viral Tik Tok hits to be pigeon-holed. However, Dréya Mac has been grinding since long before ‘Own Brand’ and her latest single ‘Ain’t No Way’ is the charismatic London rapper pushing further on into her own animated lane.
billy woods’ trademark delivery borders both rap and spoken word. His worldview is both intense and unflinchingly real. In his latest full length Aethiopes, these traits coalesce in predictably distorted manner and in ‘No Hard Feelings’ the borderline uncomfortable samples loop in a way that accentuate his no frills sermon.
Linking up with Atlanta MC Jermiside, The Expert (Of Messiah J and The Expert) delivers an emphatic return on ‘A Little Love’.
TraviS and Elzzz have teamed up again for ‘PRICEY’ after linking on ‘ICL’ and ‘Vision’ last year. Doubling up as a music video and showcase of their new threads, the video sees the pair begin their takeover of the capital in the new unofficial national uniform.
Catch all the inclusions in our ‘Best New Rap Music’ playlist on Spotify: