So, I’ve decided to stick with the Late Rundown piece. I feel like these articles are perfect for people who don’t keep up with music 24/7 and want a quick catch-up.
While the original emphasis of this piece is to avoid timeliness, I’m gonna try to be a little more timely for this one. I feel that it’s acceptable to be a bit timely on this rundown since we just received quite a star-studded week-and-a-half in music, resulting in a handful of notable albums, EP’s, and singles.
It all started June 13- the day the Raptors shut down the Warriors in Game 6. Their most prominent fan, Drake, unsurprisingly delivered two stellar singles in celebration of the Toronto W- “Omertà” and “Money in the Grave”, released June 15.
Drake - The Best in the World Pack [EP]
Released June 15
Drake came in with the heat for these two singles, assisted by none other than Ricky Rozay on “Money in the Grave”.
“Money in the Grave” is produced by Lil CC, a model by the name of Cydney Christine who received her first ever production credit on this banger. Drake shouts her out many times across the track:
“Lil CC let it slap with the bass!”
While “Money in the Grave” is arguably the standout track from The Best in the World Pack, I personally like “Omertà” more. “Omertà”, which refers to the code of silence within the mafia, sees Drake go on a braggadocious tear while taking shots (from the grave) at Pusha T over last year’s beef:
“Last year, n****s really feel like they rode on me
Last year, n****s got hot 'cause they told on me”
While nothing has been confirmed (or even teased), annual releases have come to be expected from the Canadian star. If these two tracks are any indication of the Drizzy that we will see on his next project, the future is bright. However, I hope that he continues to ride out his break; a good Drake break was needed after Scorpion and its constantly-replayed singles.
Pierre Bourne - The Life of Pierre 4
Released June 20
After two years of anticipation, Pierre finally came out here with The Life of Pierre 4- the rapper-producer’s debut studio album.
Pierre’s last solo release was The Life of Pierre 3, dropped in December 2016 when Pierre was still tucked away in the underground. Since then, Pierre has skyrocketed to fame as one of the biggest producers in the game, serving as a right-hand to Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, Young Nudy, Trippie Redd, and many others- even working with the likes of Kanye and Mike Dean. He has dropped a handful of fire singles and features over the past 2 years, but he’s focused mostly on his production career since blowing up after “Magnolia”.
The Life of Pierre 4 is Bourne’s first spotlight opportunity to fully showcase himself as a rapper. That being said, the ambitious 25-year-old from Queens made his shot count, bringing some of his best beats and bars yet.
Starting with “Poof”, the album’s first track, Pierre effectively delivers the colorful, playful sound he has become known for, tying it all together with pleasantly-aggressive 808s, catchy hooks, impeccable vocal mixing, and novelty tags. However, tracks such as “Ballad” see Pierre branch out as a more serious vocalist and songwriter than his other tracks would suggest.
Aside from a few skippable tracks, The Life of Pierre 4 is a more-than-solid debut album, rising Pierre’s status as both a rapper and producer. I’m personally ecstatic to watch Pierre continue to evolve as a solo artist as well as one of the best producers in the game.
Top 3 Tracks: “Speed Dial, “How High”, “Juice”
Gucci Mane - Delusions of Grandeur
Released June 21
I won’t lie - I really didn’t know what to expect from this album, just like I haven’t known what to expect from the past five Gucci Mane albums.
Of course I would consider myself a fan of Gucci Mane. I feel like Gucci Mane is one of those rappers that’d be hard not to like; it would damn near be unamerican not to have respect for Wop. I mean, the man is one of the pioneers of trap music and has turned his life around after prison, almost becoming worthy of role model status. He’s become a true mogul, as well.
However, a new Gucci Mane also means a new style. The Gucci Mane we’ve seen since Everybody Looking, the first album released after his prison stint, has been quite different from the OG, fat Gucci Mane. For the most part, his newer music has been poppier and more artificial than his earlier releases. It’s understandable, but it’s also the reason I haven’t fully bought into any of Gucci’s newer music.
Delusions of Grandeur follows the same trend in a different light than before, teetering between corny and unique. In some ways, Delusions of Grandeur is arguably the best project Gucci has released in recent years, delivering a wide-range of sounds and styles. Gucci went gucci on songs such as “Proud of You” and “Us”, both produced by rising producer Kenny Beats. Gucci recruited some solid features in Uzi, Wiz, Meek, Lil Baby, Young Dolph, Rick Ross, and even JB. Gucci managed to deliver new flows, which is honestly impressive after 14 studio albums and countless mixtapes. However, his new flows are a part of the album’s problem.
To me, it seems like Gucci uses a sizeable chunk of the album to prove that he’s still cool. Much of Delusions of Grandeur comes across as if Gucci wants to keep up with the younger generation, desperately attempting to adapt to their flows, melodies, lingo, and beat selection to still stand a chance in the charts. With Gucci being one of the Founding Fathers of Trap, it’s hard to accuse him of flow-stealing, but… he definitely had the SoundCloud top charts on loop before making this album. I mean- I get it, though; when I’m almost 40, I’ll probably wanna stay as hip as possible myself.
All in all, Delusions of Grandeur has its fair share of strengths and weaknesses- leaving the listener intrigued yet underwhelmed at the same time. However, I’ll always give credit to artists for branching out and trying new sounds- even when it flops. At 39 years old with two decades of experience, Radric Davis is still running shit and trying new things. It’s hard to hate on it.
Top 3 Tracks: “Proud of You”, “Potential” (ft. Lil Uzi Vert & Young Dolph), “Lame” (ft. Wiz Khalifa & Rick Ross)
Lil Nas X- 7 [EP]
Released June 21
Okay. I’m gonna keep this one short.
I really didn’t know what to expect from this EP; my only guess was that Lil Nas X would either continue to ride out the country wave or go in a total radio-rap direction. Aside from him putting both versions of “Old Town Road” on this 8-track EP, he actually did surprise me with some new sounds. Many of the tracks have an alternative feel more than anything, and to be honest, I’m kinda here for it. Say what you want about him, but Lil Nas X is definitely doing his own thing.
7 definitely has me beginning to like Lil Nas X more than I ever have; I’m a sucker for genre-bending, man. Shoutout to Lil Nas X for breaking down barriers and having fun with it, all while getting dumb rich.
Top 3 Tracks: “F9mily” (You & Me), “Bring U Down”, “C7osure” (You Like)