No, we’re serious; it is actually worth a listen. Aside from that, today was a relatively quiet release date after a star-studded release day last Friday.
For the cool kids, Rob Zombie returned with a magnetic new record; for the not-so-cool kids, Nick Jonas also put out a milquetoast album. For those who feel somewhere in between, there were a handful of great, underappreciated rap releases that hit the airwaves today. Here are the most slept-on rap releases.
Lil Migo – KING OF THE TRAP
Black Youngsta’s latest protege Lil Migo was buzzing all 2020 after crazy co-signs from Memphis rap icons kicked his career into orbit. Today, the “Rockstar” emcee finally announced his arrival with KING OF THE TRAP, a beefy track record stacked with appearances from Rich the Kid, Jacquees, Moneybagg Yo, Yo Gotti and 42 Dugg, among others. The 15-track offering is exactly as advertised: a trappy testament to why Migo is King. With a loose and energized flow, Lil Migo sounds fully prepared to put on for his city.
Clever – Crazy
The enigmatic Alabama rapper Clever has garnered a reputation for being the “music industry’s best-kept secret.” He has previously worked alongside the late Juice WRLD and in 2019 quietly popped up in studio sessions alongside pop icons like Post Malone and Justin Bieber. The former signed him to his label, and the rest has been history as he quietly churned away on his debut project.
Crazy, which released today, is a star-studded affair. With appearances from Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, Lil Baby and more, the soft-spoken melodic rapper announces his arrival with absolute fanfare. Clever is aware of his anonymity, and throughout the project playfully rolls his eyes at those who questioned his clout. “It’s poverty to fame,” he howls emphatically on “Rolls Royce Umbrella.” “Another new artist, all probably the same.”
In a similar fashion to the emo ramblings of Juice, Clever’s chameleonic vocals shift and whirl throughout each track and in turn, are able to blend with the album’s stacked guest list. He feels right at home wavering alongside Chris Brown but then bounces on “Skittles” with just as much emotional candor as Lil Baby. As a pop star in the making, Clever’s talent shouldn’t be overlooked any longer.
Gudda Gudda – Nina
Eccentric New Orleans emcee Gudda Gudda originally piqued Young Money’s interest as a result of his quippy bars and spicy, wavering, delivery. But that was years ago; and since then, the emcee’s loose cannon rhetoric on the mic has become noticeably less so.
His bars still snap and warble; but on NINA, Gudda’s latest work that was released in honor of his 37th birthday, his bars are buoyant but heavily enunciated, his every word attacking the beat like a bite from a rottweiler. On “From Nothing,” Gudda turns “a whole beef to a pot of chicken” as he throws money around willy-nilly. On “General,” he reminds skeptics that he’s still very much a predator — the type that lurks in dark corners, unsuspecting — and that his change in delivery doesn’t mean he’s any less unpredictable than he used to be.
Frvrfriday – “TIME FOR YOU”
The Toronto R&B warbler FRVRFRIDAY, whose recent collab with Lil Baby is currently buzzing across the country, returned today with a new slow-burn titled “TIME FOR YOU.” Over humid trap drums and a sultry guitar loop, the Canadian crooner returns with a more subdued and sensual aroma, his laminated autotuned voice humming as he tells his girl to hop in the whip. The melodic trap offering emphasizes the singer’s multifaceted ability on the mic, as his voice is able to be both soft and alluring, yet snappy and vindictive.
Norman Perry – Love After Drugs
Another braggadocious R&B crooner, Boston’s Norman Perry returned today with a muted new track called “Love After Drugs.” The follow-up to 2020’s Way Darker This Time, Perry’s shadowy and reflective melody questions whether love even exists in the midst of a heavy drug-induced comedown. “Love After Drugs” is a reflective track that fits neatly in his catalog. “I don’t know about everyone else,” he told Popdust, “but when I get in a mood I try to listen to music that puts me in a reminiscent state of mind.”