Last week kicked May off with releases from Nav, Lil Durk, Kehlani, Lil Tjay, Chris Brown & Young Thug, Migos, RMR, TM88 & Southside, JPEGMAFIA, and more.
Let's talk some music:
#5 - Good Intentions by Nav
Coming back from last year’s poorly-received Bad Habits, XO artist Nav released his most polished project since 2017’s Perfect Timing.
Good Intentions is certainly a step-up from 2018’s Reckless and 2019’s Bad Habits, but it’s still a long way from the 2016-17 Nav that I was once a fan of. Good Intentions isn’t as lazy as his past two albums, but it also doesn’t showcase any more creativity than required. It’s just more of the same: bare-minimum background music full of basic melodies and struggle bars. Nav also continued the trend of having his features carry his deadweight, with Good Intentions featuring solid efforts from Future, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Thug, Gunna, Don Toliver, Lil Durk, and Pop Smoke.
As he made minimal strides, some credit is due to Nav. But at the same time, I think he’s fully proven that he doesn’t give two fucks about his music anymore. I’m sure he’ll continue to drop a half-ass album carried by features every single year until no one cares; anything to keep the money coming in to support his “rockstar” lifestyle. If he doesn’t start trying harder, he’ll be working at a Dunkin Donuts in ten years.
Fan Rating: 4/5
Burbs Rating: 3/5
#4 - Slime & B by Chris Brown & Young Thug
An unlikely duo, R&B legend Chris Brown and trap icon Young Thug joined forces for a mixtape that smoothly intertwined both of their sounds.
The 13-song tape is well balanced between R&B and rap, featuring both laidback and vibrant production from Murda Beatz, Wheezy, Turbo, OG Parker, T-Minus, and more. Features come from Future, Gunna, Lil Duke, E-40, Too $hort, Major Nine, Shad da God, and HoodyBaby.
In a Tweet, Thug stated that he recorded all of his verses for this project in one day. However, the timeframe did not seem to affect the quality of his contributions; Thug is a well-known workhorse who claims he has recorded over 15,000 songs in his career. This mixtape is yet another W for his collection, and I sense another Thugger release on the horizon assuming that he’s been hard at work all lockdown.
Fan Rating: 3/5
Burbs Rating: 3.25/5
#3 - Just Cause Y’all Waited 2 by Lil Durk
Chicago favorite Lil Durk dropped his first project of the year to hold over his passionate fanbase - hence its title, following up the original Just Cause Y’all Waited from 2018.
This time around, Durkio gave us a 15-track effort featuring Lil Baby, Gunna, G Herbo, and Polo G – all perfect collaborators for “The Voice”. Standout tracks are “3 Headed Goat,” “248,” “Internet Sensation,” “All Love,” and “Chiraq Demons”.
Fan Rating: 3.5/5
Burbs Rating: 3.5/5
#2 - “Dealer” (ft. Future & Lil Baby) by RMR
Enigmatic rookie RMR gained traction with his one-of-a-kind, country/rap fusion track “Rascal” earlier this year. After dropping his follow-up single “Dealer” to further acclaim, he tapped Atlanta all-stars Future and Lil Baby for the remix. Rather than country, RMR leaned more towards R&B on this one, boasting his butter-smooth vocals.
“Dealer” is produced by North Carolina native ISM and is expected to be a single off of RMR’s forthcoming debut, DRUG DEALING is a lost art.
For more background on the mysterious trap maestro, check out Howie Butler’s latest article profiling RMR.
Fan Rating: 4/5
Burbs Rating: 4.25/5
#1 - It Was Good Until It Wasn’t by Kehlani
With her second studio album, Kehlani gave us a friendly reminder that she’s only tightening her grip on the R&B world.
It Was Good Until It Wasn’t is arguably her most polished release to-date, with cohesive themes, impeccable production, and perfectly-fitting features. The ethereal production comes from the likes of Boi-1da, Jake One, Jahaan Sweet, Pop & Oak, and many more. Features from James Blake, Lucky Daye, Tory Lanez, Masego, Jhene Aiko, and the late Lexii Alijai helped Kehlani avoid a sophomore slump.
Instead, Kehlani found sophomore stardom.
Fan Rating: 4.5/5
Burbs Rating: 4.25/5