October is definitely one of the best months of the year. The weather is perfect, the NBA, the NFL and the World Series are all on at the same time. And we have Halloween. Sugary, spooky and shamelessly slutty Halloween. To honor October and all of it’s glory, I’d like to present the second installment of the Hip Hop Hitlist: Bumptober.
In this month’s playlist, we bring pieces from the best albums of the month by the biggest names in the game with snippets from very notable artists. As you read on, notice that the blurb titles are the artist – album while the body highlights songs and vibes. But, more on that in the breakdown. In the meantime, put your headphones in, connect to your speakers, and tell your homies to get the fuck off the Aux. It’s time to bump.
NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
If you haven’t heard this album yet, then you’ve been missing out. Everyone can get down to the Anderson .Paak vocals that pair perfectly with the nostalgic 70’s jazz-funk production of Knxwledge. Trying to choose the “best” songs from this album is nearly impossible. Instead, I featured the ones that made me incessantly bob my head. Some of the songs, “Suede” and “Lyk Dis”, express .Paak’s relationship with women on tour versus that between him and his wife. There is a clear dichotomy in these songs and throughout most of the album. However, “Get Bigger / Do U Luv” is a different record that Anderson uses to take us through his growth, both musically and personally. If you want to know more about NxWorries, click here.
Gucci Mane – Woptober
Gucci Mane is home and hard at word. The Zone 6 patriarch has released his second album in two months with another one due for December. This guy’s work ethic is unfathomable, but we have to take all these releases with a grain of salt. On one hand, Gucci wrote hundreds of raps during his time in jail. On the other hand, he has such a similar flow on every track, it feels like it was made in the East Atlanta Rap Factory. For some, thats fine. He is the Trap God after all. But, as much as I appreciate him, I like my rappers to express a little more creativity in their work. Still, I had to include the two tracks that cannot be denied as classic, grade-A Gucci Mane. You can find “Intro: Fuck – 12” and “Wop” in the playlist above, and expect your inner criminal to emerge.
A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes Vol. I: Friends
A$AP Mob blessed us with a treat that beats anything I ever got trick-or-treating the night before Halloween. While many of these bangers were released before Cozy Tapes even dropped, the full project still packs heat. You love to see when established artists like Rocky and Ferg include all the youngsters like MadeinTYO, Lil Boat, Playboi Carti and Lil Uzi on their first family collaboration. But, most importantly, Cozy Tapes absolutely slaps. “Telephone Calls” has one of my favorite Tyler the Creator verses of all time, and “Put That On My Set” brings that same intensity from Skepta. Finally, “London Town” has the sound of an eerie night on the cobblestone streets of London with powerful drums. Hard hitting beats, savage bars and quality collaborations characterize the Cozy Tape, and make it my gold star of the month.
YG – One Time Comin’ (Single)
Another West Coast single from one of the last rappers that reps his hood harder than anything else. I’m surprised it’s not called “One Time Bomin’ ” considering. Either way, this upbeat banger is exactly what I’d play if I was escaping the police. Or really any other time I get up and get moving.
The Game – 1992
This project was too underrated. Simple as that. The Game is one of the leaders of west coast rap, and on “1992”, he shows us all why. He is the kind of rapper than can make you sympathize with a gang banger’s lifestyle one minute, then make you fear for your life the next. “The Juice” is the type of song that almost every album has, a self-proclamation of greatness. But, the beat is fantastic, the history is there, and The Game deserves everything he is spitting about. Still, this is just a charge up. On “92 Bars”, The Game unleashes his machine gun clip worth of media relevant metaphors and direct shots at Meek Mill for “snitching” on him. Absolutely Vicious. And, had to be included right before a Meek track entitled “Offended”. But more on that coming up. Listen to the rest of “1992” if you want to feel like you’re in a drop top cadillac riding through West LA.
Meek Mill – DreamChasers 4
Let me prelude this by saying that Meek Mill is not my favorite rapper around right now. Not even close. But, any rap fan can respect the DreamChasers series. So, as such, leaving this off the playlist this month would have been unfair. Some of the songs featured too much Meek screech. Other songs couldn’t shake the topic of being a great drug dealer but focusing on rap instead. Most had both. But, that is not to take away from the songs included in Bumptober. “Litty” features an unbelievable verse from the on-the-rise Tory Lanez, with a dosage of Meek that doesn’t overdue it. Similarly, “Offended”, is on the playlist because of Thugger and 21, with the right amount of Meek. But, even with those features, doesn’t it fall a little short after the Game’s “92 Bars”?
Joey Bada$$ – Front and Center (Single)
Joey finally dropped the full version of this track after teasing it in his tour video. He manages to blend some Español into his bars to create a magnificent Spanglish feel over the Narcos sample. It’s not the best of Bada$$, but if you like Narcos, then you can’t help but get goosebumps when you hear this track.
2 Chainz – Hibachi for Lunch
This was a project that had to be included simply because it featured “Good Drank”. When I realized the track was apart of a 2 Chainz mixtape/album, I figured I’d might as well listen to the rest. Thats when I found “Day Party”, the second standout track on the project produced by KSWISHA. If you haven’t heard of this producer, you have. Just listen to nearly anything by MadeinTYO, and you’ll recognize his adlib in the beginning. Anyway, “Hibachi for Lunch” isn’t the best piece of work featured this month. But, if you like 2 Chainz, check it out.
Jay Prince – Smile Good
Jay Prince is an up and comer from East London that I first heard on his track “Polaroids” on Soundcloud awhile back. His new project “Smile Good” showcases how he has grown into both a capable rapper and singer. Jay’s voice is comparable to that of GoldLink, but leans into a soul/R&B connection over the electronic sound that characterizes a lot of the GoldLink music. Both “Where You Belong” and “Go East” are reminiscent of Prince’s wavy Soundcloud roots. Don’t sleep on Jay, he’s someone to keep an eye on.
Drake – More Life (Teaser Tracks)
I can’t fucking wait. Drake can do no wrong. And with a broken heart, nothing is stopping him from releasing an emotional rollercoaster on his next album. If we got “Marvin’s Room” from a random breakup, we about to get Marvin’s whole fucking estate after a Rihanna break up! Anyway, here’s just a snippet of the metaphoric genius we can expect on “More Life”: “Facetime with my shawty on tour, and she texting purple hearts cuz she know that we at war.” I mean, holy shit. His only mistake is taking shots at Cudi. That shit is nothing to play with, and that’s why “Two Birds, One Stone” isn’t making an appearance on Bumptober. Otherwise, enjoy some of the quality that Drake always provides, and keep an eye out for “More Life” this December.
Appreciate those who read this and I’ll see you back here at the bottom of the write up in November. #PrayForCudi