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.
There are only 15 weeks left in 2020 and some major artists are ramping up releases before the end of the year. Some highly anticipated albums dropped within the past seven days too, with the likes of Action Bronson, Joji, A$AP Ferg and the supergroup known as Spillage Village all offering something new and exciting to occupy your ears.
Rising Toronto poet turned singer and songwriter Mustafa continues to release meaningful and emotional new music too, debuting his “Air Forces” music video with co-production from Frank Dukes and Jamie xx. And of course, Travis Scott tapped M.I.A. and Young Thug for “FRANCHISE” where the Cactus Jack leader gave a tour of Michael Jordan’s Chicago mansion featured prominently in the Netflix series The Last Dance.
Tap in for the full rundown of HYPEBEAST’s latest Best New Tracks below.
Travis Scott – “FRANCHISE” feat. M.I.A. and Young Thug
Travis Scott makes sure that every time he drops a new song, it’s a moment. With “FRANCHISE,” not only did he get a rare M.I.A. feature (the first in what, a half-decade?) but he also got prime Young Thug and shot the whole thing in Michael Jordan’s Chicago estate, laying out all of his Air Jordan collaborations on MJ’s quite literal home court. If that’s not a flex, then we don’t know what is.
Mustafa – “Air Forces”
23-year-old Toronto-based Muslim poet Mustafa has been an artist to watch throughout 2020 thanks to his soulful debut “Stay Alive”. After collaborating with James Blake for the follow-up, “Come Back”, he delivered another stellar single with “Air Forces”. The song revolves around a Sudanese tribal chant, paying homage to Mustafa’s heritage in what the artist describes as “inner city folk music.” It’s minimal and moving. “Don’t crease your Air Forces/ Just stay inside tonight/ You know what’s happening outside,” he sings in the opening verse.
Joji – Nectar
Joji’s growth is undeniable on his new project, Nectar, his sophomore follow-up to 2018’s BALLADS 1. He balances a little bit of everything on this ambitious 18 track, hour-long effort with fusions of downtempo R&B, pop, indie and electronica all working together in perfect harmony. “With the Joji music I usually just follow the demand and my own personal taste and see if there’s a workable balance in there,” he said in a recent interview. “If there is, I apply it. I wouldn’t say that I start a song looking for a certain genre, I just focus on creating in a way that feels right to me and look for things that people will enjoy from these Joji projects.”
Young Dolph – “Hold Up Hold Up Hold Up”
Young Dolph is incredibly good at rapping. He has been for a long time. His new project Rich Slave debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and should be added to your rotation if it hasn’t already for songs like “Hold Up Hold Up Hold Up”. The visual finds Dolph putting in work at a laundromat as an anonymous figure just grinding out the 9-5 life. While that 9-5 mentality has created quite a successful career as one of the most consistent forces in the Memphis hip-hop scene, his reach is growing well past his hometown. “Rich n*gga still in the neighborhood store eatin’ cold cuts/ Street n*gga, b*tch, I’m in the Bentley doin’ donuts.” At the end of the song he brags about not being able to pronounce half of the cars in his driveway.
MadeinTYO – “Money Up” feat. Toro y Moi
Toro y Moi assisted MadeinTYO‘s new single “Money Up” in one of the more surprising releases of the week. The production is trippy, glitchy and leans into hard-hitting drums and synths. The music video matches those surreal qualities with deformed, wrinkled faces of those from radiation poisoning replacing the artists involved while they read vintage EBONY issues. MadeinTYO also shouts out “Free Tay-K,” while Toro appears on an old television set broadcasted from his art studio.
Action Bronson – Only For Dolphins
Action Bronson followed through on his proclamation that “[his] next album’s only for dolphins.” Only For Dolphins taps into his global inspirations with instrumentation spanning regional soundscapes from Turkish psych, reggae, French film music, lovers rock, and even Russian funk. “The dolphin is one of the most intelligent creatures ever created on whatever planet we’re on,” Action said in a statement. “They have their own way of communicating. They have nuance and intangibles like we do.” Bronson is one of those rappers with plenty of intangibles. His sense of humor, ability and want to rap over any and everything and charismatic references to nostalgic pop culture are all as present here as his past work.
A$AP Ferg – Floor Seats II
A$AP Ferg really got Dennis Rodman and Marilyn Manson on the same project. The two controversial 90s icons upended traditions in a way that Ferg has always hoped to in the hip-hop space and with Floor Seats II he’s at his most experimental yet. On “Hectic” and “Marilyn Manson” he switches up flows and extends his voice like never before.
Mozzy – Occupational Hazard
Sacramento, California rapper Mozzy delivered yet another stellar full-length album earlier this year when he dropped Beyond Bulletproof back in May. His new effort, Occupational Hazard, is his self-proclaimed favorite to date. “I had to get back to the old me, the Hellgang Mozzy and bring people that heat that talks directly to the streets… Occupational Hazard is for those who live a certain lifestyle. I want to let people know it’s not always velvet or rainbows at the end of the tunnel.”
Spillage Village – Spilligion
Supergroup Spillage Village, consisting of EARTHGANG, JID, Mereba, 6LACK and more delivered their latest album Spilligion, a 12-track offering full of biblical allusions and high-profile features that flawlessly blends hip-hop with R&B and touches of gospel throughout. It was recorded entirely during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Even with the numerous voices and creative inputs, the album proves to be a soulful, cohesive and timely effort that speaks on just how much history can repeat itself.
03 Greedo – “Bands In Da Basement” feat. Chief Keef
03 Greedo is currently serving 20 years in prison on drug trafficking and possession of firearm charges, but he’s eligible for release in five years pending good behavior. In the meantime his collaborators have kept his music steadily flowing, his latest being an excellent collaborative effort with Ron-RonTheProducer: Load It Up Vol. 1. On “Bands In Da Basement”, Greedo and Chief Keef are represented through their childhood selves. Greedo’s dressed in purple and drinking grape soda, still repping his native Grape Street.