As the week in music comes to a close, HYPEBEAST has rounded up the 10 best projects for the latest installment of Best New Tracks.
This week gave us a number of surprises topped by Jay Electronica‘s decade-old unreleased project Act II: The Patents of Nobility (The Turn) getting leaked. Jay didn’t disparage the unauthorized release either, adding it to TIDAL some 24 hours later. Lykke Li returned with an emotional post-break-up anthem sung in Swedish alongside production from Ludwig Göransson in “BRON” which translates to “bridge” and “source.”
A number of high-profile collaborations highlighted the week as well. Benny The Butcher‘s highly-anticipated Burden of Proof album is almost here and he tapped Hit-Boy, Lil Wayne and Big Sean for “Timeless.” Travis Scott returned with his “FRANCHISE” Remix with Future kicking things off. On his latest solo effort, EDNA, Headie One proved he can hold his own when paired with some of hip-hop’s heavyweights.
Tap in for the full rundown of HYPEBEAST’s latest Best New Tracks below.
Jay Electronica – Act II: The Patents of Nobility (The Turn)
The recurring joke of Jay Electronica releasing his albums right before the world ends hits a little different given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but the veteran rapper’s triumphant return is still something to take solace in. After debuting A Written Testimony back in March, his previously unreleased album Act II: The Patents of Nobility (The Turn) hit the internet this week. The project was originally shared by Electronica’s manager Lawrence “Law” Parker via a now-deleted SoundCloud album. Taking to Twitter to acknowledged the album’s leak, Electronica revealed that he initially tried to block the album from coming out “but Allah is the best of planners.” Pensive lyricism abounds. After years in purgatory, the emotions still resonate. It’s not officially available to stream exclusively on TIDAL.
Travis Scott – “FRANCHISE” Remix feat. Future, Young Thug and M.I.A.
The fact that Travis Scott convinced M.I.A. to hop on his “FRANCHISE” single for a high-profile feature was impressive enough. Pairing that accomplishment with his Jordan Brand affiliation gifting him the opportunity to shoot the music video at Michael Jordan’s mansion proves that it’s officially La Flame season. Now Future has appeared on the “FRANCHISE” Remix doing what he does best – effortlessly dropping bars dripped in codeine. M.I.A. and Travis offer a solid new outro too.
Benny The Butcher – “Timeless” feat. Lil Wayne and Big Sean
Griselda‘s dominant run continues. The Buffalo family continues to drop a new project seemingly every month but Benny The Butcher has remained in the background just waiting for the right time to release his follow-up to 2019 project The Plugs I Met. He kicked off the launch to his upcoming LP Burden of Proof by teaming up with Hit-Boy, Lil Wayne and Big Sean for “Timeless.” “Before this rap shit, all my direct assets/ Came from high-risk hazards, you know, Pyrex glasses/ A long way to the Prezi from the Timex Classic/ I got lines from a year ago that y’all just catchin,” Benny raps. We look forward to hearing more of those year-old rhymes.
Lykke Li – “BRON”
Lykke Li returns, surprising the music world with her new single “BRON” co-written and produced by Ludwig Göransson. It’s the first official release of original work since her 2018 masterpiece so sad so sexy (although Lykke Li recently covered Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” earlier this year). “BRON” is her first Swedish-language single with the title translating to both “bridge” and “source.” Even if the words get lost in translation, the music is pensive and moving with orchestral touches and humming in the background.
Kali Uchis – “La Luz”
Lykke Li wasn’t the only artist to branch out for a single sung in her native language. Kali Uchis plans on releasing her Spanish-language album later this year. After releasing “Aquí Yo Mando” with Rico Nasty. the Colombian-American singer tapped reggaeton singer Jhay Cortez on a dreamy mid-tempo Latin groove clad with tinny xylophones and heavy drums produced by Tainy. “I was so excited to make my version of a Latin pop song because there’s no other song like it on my upcoming album. I love Jhay and Tainy’s music so I was honored to get in the studio with them,” Kali said.
Headie One – EDNA
Headie One is on a roll. The 26-year-old Tottenham, North London rapper kicked off the year with his GANG mixtape alongside Fred again.., a project that was among HYPEBEAST’s “25 Best Albums of 2020… So Far”. Now he returns with his latest solo effort, EDNA, a sprawling and emotional 20-song release named after and dedicated to his late mother. Headie One holds his own alongside some of the game’s most important voices from Drake and Future to Skepta, Stormzy and AJ Tracey. It’s an emotional journey through grief and growth.
Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes – What Kinda Music (Bonus Tracks)
Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes’ What Kinda Music was one of the most underrated projects of the year thus far. The diverse and cohesive album served as the perfect backdrop to any occasion and showcased their inherent chemistry. The duo dropped off their What Kinda Music (Bonus Tracks) EP with four more songs to enjoy. “[The album title] was letting people almost decide what they wanted to call it — let it be what you want it to be and experience it how you want to experience it,” Dayes told us earlier this year in our “Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes Asked ‘What Kinda Music,’ Then Delivered a Little Bit of Everything” feature.
Channel Tres – “Skate Depot”
Compton, California’s own Channel Tres returned earlier this week with his latest single, “Skate Depot,” the first release from his upcoming mixtape I Can’t Go Outside. The title is an homage to the fact that everyone continues to live under coronavirus quarantine but injects some optimism through an upbeat house groove inspired by times spent on the roller rink. The new Mancy Gant-directed music video is tinged with nostalgia, following the musician as he skates through the sunny Los Angeles streets.
Real Bad Man – On High Alert, Volume 3
Los Angeles clothing imprint Real Bad Man‘s On High Alert, Volume 3 is a short but undeniably sweet EP with instrumentals that flawlessly meld old school boom-bap sensibilities with hypnotic and semi-psychedelic touches. The project taps some of the most revered hip-hop veterans of recent memory (Boldy James, Kool Keith, Kool G Rap) and pairs them with rising rappers like Pink Siifu for a truly unique and cohesive offering. When paired with the other two installments, Real Bad Man creates an insular sonic world that taps into hip-hop history and experimentation. All three are well worth the hour total of listening time.
BlocBoy JB – FatBoy
It’s a little hard to believe that it’s already been over two years since Memphis, Tennessee rapper BlocBoy JB‘s infamous “Shoot Dance” took the world by storm resulting in a high-profile Fortnite feature and subsequent lawsuit against the gaming giant. Now some 100 million YouTube views later, BlocBoy returns with his debut studio album FatBoy. The record is heavily influenced by Fat Albert lore and spans 17 songs and 40 minutes with features from G Herbo, Trippie Redd and more. The “FatBoy” music videois a must watch with BlocBoy taking on the role of Fat Albert by breaking out some hilarious dance moves. His dedication to the character pays off.