Every month, columnists Lorena Cupcake and Torry Threadcraft compile a playlist of the most noteworthy rap releases for The Rap Round-up. Up this month, Schoolboy Q, Kari Faux, Lizzo and Missy Elliott(!) and more.
If meme rap isn’t over, then perhaps the ability to coast on memeability alone is. As the ‘Thotiana’ remix bubble fizzles into nothingness, Doja Cat has reemerged to remind us that there’s much more to her than one viral hit. DaBaby, best known for cartoonish mugging in a string of comedic music videos, backs that levity up with talent born from years of the grind.
Juice WRLD, too, defies notions of novelty with a surprisingly developed sophomore album, leading the way for rappers creating music that is at once melodic and morose. Peers include Lil Skies, Suigeneris and Night Lovell (paired here with Lil West, who dropped his own Take a Daytrip-crafted EP this month).
Other artists who embrace dark subject matter push their sound further by taking cues not from rock and emo, but metal and industrial. Atlanta’s Germ links with $uicideboy$ for a slice of Southern Gothic horrorcore as the UK’s Scarlxrd shreds his vocal cords doing grind vocals over trap beats. You might want to turn your headphones down for that one.
Elsewhere on this month’s playlist, DJ Mustard enlists Compton’s YG to keep home fires burning on Grape Street, while fellow Californian Schoolboy Q offers us a sip of ‘Numb Numb Juice’. Cuban Doll, Quando Rondo, Shy Glizzy, Trouble and IDK toss us loosies better than we deserve; Queen Key, Lizzo, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, and Freddie Gibbs x Madlib tease upcoming albums; and artists like Kari Faux, Lil Gotit, Don Trip and Noir Brent have new projects to download if you like what you hear here.
Doja Cat – ‘Tia Tamera’ [Feat. Rico Nasty]
Charlie Heat & Denzel Curry – ‘Aloha’
Lizzo – ‘Tempo’ [Feat. Missy Elliott]
03 Greedo & Mustard – ‘Wasted’ [Feat. YG]
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – ‘Bandana’ [Feat. Assassin]
DaBaby – ‘Joggers’ [Feat. Stunna 4 Vegas]
Schoolboy Q – ‘Numb Numb Juice’
Cuban Doll – ‘Pu$$y Worth’
YBN Cordae – ‘Have Mercy’
Tierra Whack – ‘Unemployed’
Lil Gotit – ‘Instead’
Juice WLRD – ‘Rider’
Kari Faux – ‘Latch Key’
Noir Brent – ‘Depression. (Awesome! Remix)’
Night Lovell – ‘Mental Slavery’ [Feat. Lil West]
Germ – ‘Awkward Car Ride’ [Feat. $uicideboy$]
Scarlxrd – ‘LIVING LEGEND’
Lil Skies – ‘No Rainy Days’
Suigeneris – ‘Really Do This’ [Feat. DaBoii]
Quando Rondo – ‘Gun Powder’
Shy Glizzy – ‘Volcano’
Trouble – ‘Buy Yo Traphouse’
Hoodrich Pablo Juan – ‘Slang Dope’
Thouxanbandfauni & Unotheactivist – ‘Pay Me’
Don Trip – ‘Rich’
Cantrell – ‘Know It’s Wrong’
88GLAM – ‘Lil Boat (Remix)’ [Feat. Lil Yachty]
Queen Key – ‘Can’t Take It’
Sahbabii – ‘Green Eggs & Ham’
Quinn NFN – ‘Talkin My Shit’
Mother Nature – ‘Pressure’
Maxo – ‘Strongside’
IDK – ‘Trigger Happy’
Lorena Cupcake writes about every facet of culture. Find their insightful coverage on music, food and more at lorenacupcake.com.
Torry Threadcraft is a Brooklyn-based breakfast food enthusiast, moonlighting as a freelance writer from South Georgia.
Read next: The Rap Round-up, February 2019