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.
With January firmly in the rearview and brighter days edging that little bit closer, artists are coming out the woodwork with the tracks they hibernated with over winter. Pusha T returns with a Ye-produced cut, Coops hit the resume button after a two year hiatus and Offica dropped his most cinematic cut to date. Tap in for the best 20 rap songs of the past month.
Floating over a beat that sounds like a sleep paralysis demon that became sentient, Atlanta’s Bali Baby is stirring up chaos in ‘Fuck It Up’.
The king of coke rap is back with the Ye and 88 Keys-produced ‘Diet Coke’ ahead of an album that’s rumoured to be produced entirely by Kanye West and The Neptunes.
Ahead of the full collaborative project Journal 01 (February 25), Cork producer Gaptoof and London spitter illiterate have shared the first taster. ‘Door Wide Open’. Wrestling with regret and misspent adolescence, the pair join forces on a cut that sounds like getting lost in the labyrinth of your own mind.
Aptly named, ‘The Kid Is Back’ sees one of London’s finest return after a two year hiatus with slick bars and a timeless sound.
Last year, Wesley Joseph shared one of our favourite debut projects in recent memory in ULTRAMARINE. Throughout the project he showcased his versatility, willingness to experiment and his chemistry with British producer Leon Vynehall.
In his first release of the new year, the artist and director has again teamed up with Vynehall on ‘COLD SUMMER‘, with the self-directed visuals being shot in Kazakhstan.
In 2020, ‘Ting Tun Up‘ established Skiifall as one of rap’s most exciting new voices. It’s been non-stop action since then for the Canadian-based artist as he’s hopped on tracks with BADBADNOTGOOD and shared his debut project WOIIYOIE TAPES Vol. 1.
He’s starting 2022 as he means to go on with a commanding new cut – ‘Bloodclarrt Business’.
Landing ahead of his fourth studio album Ramona Park Broke My Heart, Vince Staples teams up with Mustard on ‘Magic’.
Assessing his reclusive tendencies and battles with depression over a trademark Cookin Soul instrumental, Lord Apex is rapping with something to prove on ‘The Bullshit’.
Across a number of songs, Offica and Kid Spyral have carved out their own anime-inspired niche in drill and ‘Sharigan’ takes their partnership to new cinematic heights.
New York-based producer and frequent ATO collaborator stevexcooper delivers a defiant cut featuring LIFEOFTHOM. ‘Never Silent’ is a steely battle cry to stand up for oneself.
East London rapper Berna doesn’t shy away from sharing life’s darker moments. On ‘Forty’ he shows both sides of the coin, contrasting both his Ls and finer moments over a bouncy instrumental.
Having shared one of the best collaborative hip hop records of 2020 in FlySiifu’s, Fly Anakin and Pink Siifu join forces again on ‘Black Be The Source’.
Going back and forth with a relationship that’s good for neither party and wrestling with the vices that keep his mind calm at night, Arz is on the verge of burning out on ‘Hate You, Love You’.
Skipping between melodic raps and that kinda hook that buries its way into the deepest crevasses of your brain, Dublin’s Aby Coulibaly is back with an introvert’s anthem ‘On My Ones‘. Speaking on the single, Aby says, “’On My Ones’ is about enjoying my own company and being by myself. I’ve always been that person to leave functions/parties early because I’m tryna go home to my bed. It’s also about disconnecting myself from everything like social media, even friends sometimes, because I just need to sit with my own thoughts and emotions and be in my own company for a while”.
On ‘NEW TRICKS: ART, AESTHETICS, AND MONEY’, it sounds like Kilo Kish is rapping from the Tardis. The interdimensional production and yelps from Vince into the abyss makes for a cut that gets better with every listen.
Unapologetic as ever, New York’s resident non-conformist Junglepussy shared the heady and thought-provoking ‘Critiqua’ as part of the new EP Jp5000.
Suspect and ShaSimone are showcasing some serious chemistry on SCHWEET. Slicing through beats like Neymar and Mbappe slice through Ligue 1 defences, the pair make effortless music for late night cruisers.
Saba is three for three with his studio albums. A constant with the Chicago rapper is his penchant for a seamless rapping-meets-singing approach. Such is his dexterity and smooth delivery, it’s impossible to pinpoint where the rapping ends and singing starts. On ‘Still’ he links two artists that similarly blur those lines in 6LACK and Smino, with the track fulfilling the promise the billing brings.
Landing as part of their excellent new album ‘Candid’, Ivysole is trying to keep their sanity in an increasingly dehumanising society that values money over everything.
In the best possible way, it sounds like Gibbs has been transported to the DatPiff era on ‘Rolex’. A no frills cut that lands complete with DJ Screw-inspired vocal distortion, it’s a throwback track teeming with nostalgia.