The Best New Hip-Hop This Week – UPROXX

The best new hip-hop this week includes albums, videos, and songs from Cardi B, Sexyy Red, Schoolboy Q, and more.
Wake up, wake up, wake up, it’s the first of the month! It’s also New Music Friday, bringing an assortment of fresh releases from the world of hip-hop. There’s a fascinating variety of new hip-hop today, including the returns of two of rap’s brightest stars, Cardi B and Schoolboy Q.
Cardi might call her new song, “Like That,” a freestyle, but if she wants to call it a single, it’d be perfectly viable in that capacity. After a somewhat mixed reaction to “Bongos,” she goes back to basics, issuing hard-hitting bars to remind listeners why her upcoming album is so highly anticipated.
Another female rapper who made a comeback this week is Rico Nasty, who teamed up once again with German techno producer Boys Noize to announce a new joint EP with the genre-bending “Arintintin.”
And not one to be left out, Sexyy Red joined the rap sisterhood this week to put out her new single “I Might.” Teaming up with R&B standout Summer Walker, Sexyy delivers a hilarious cheating anthem for girls who aren’t afraid to instigate a fight or two.
Here is the best of hip-hop this week ending March 1, 2024.
UK rapper IAMDDB has quietly carved a solid career with her alt-indie approach to devil-may-care rhymes and spacey rhythms. While you might see “UK rapper” and go in expecting Little Simz or Stormzy, what you’ll get is a groovy melange of diaspora influences like afrobeats and reggae (which are two different things!) fused with hazy R&B deliveries, jungle beats, and smoked-out raps. The eclectic sounds run the gamut from soul to sugar trap (word to Rico Nasty) anchored by IAMDDB’s unwavering confidence, no matter the supposed genre(s) at play.
Meek is taking full advantage of his newfound independence lately. After teaming up with his MMG benefactor Rick Ross for a joint record last year, Meek hits the ground running in 2024, dropping a five-song EP of his signature street-focused tales delivered in that familiar, AK-47 flow. He wisely sticks to well-worn trails both narratively and sonically — aside from one dip into the Jersey Club trend that simply refuses to just die already — but that mostly works for him, and guests Fivio Foreign and Future complement what he does well enough that the EP sets Meek up on the right footing for his next move.
I feel like I’ve written these words a thousand times this week, but after five years out of the spotlight, Schoolboy Q returns with what might just be his strongest effort since 2014’s Oxymoron. His freewheeling philosophy of rhyme is looser than ever and his beat selection slinks coolly from jazz to blues to menacing hard rock to doo-wop soul — all genres that saturate the streets of his beloved South Central, Los Angeles. The eclectism never lets the album settle, but the twitchy, paranoid pacing suits Q’s Good Life-esque flow and the improvisational sensibility could easily draw comparisons to a prime Miles Davis, whose genre-pushing approach actually set the stage for a lot of the background instrumentation here.
That Mexican OT had a breakout 2023, drawing national attention with the seemingly incongruous combination of his unabashed embrace of the cultural artifacts of his heritage (right down to his name) with a barrel-chested, classically Houston rap drawl. Collecting co-signs and collabs from seemingly every noteworthy resident of the Longhorn State, OT’s career super accelerated seemingly overnight. His first effort of 2024 continues the trend; while the first three cuts all try a few new things, OT quickly settles into doing what he does best. The wah-wah guitars and chunky basslines kick in properly on “Wockhardt” with Le$ (fittingly), and from there, it’s just a matter of laying back and enjoying the ride.
BigXthaPlug has been garnering plenty of buzz lately, thanks to the blunt-force delivery of fellow Texas hard hitters like Maxo Kream and Slim Thug. Here, he teams up with rising Atlanta star, who sounds just like his mentor 21 Savage (which isn’t a bad thing at all). That booming Texas drawl threatens to steal the soulful song from under its principal, but Harold wisely cedes the spotlight, making sure to pack all his points into an admirably concise, efficient verse.
The former Rhythm + Flow contestant has been doing a string of freestyles over the last few months, with the latest borrowing the beat from J. Cole’s 2013 single “Power Trip.” It’s a solid showcase of the Reading, Pennsylvania rapper’s skills, which truly deserve more love.
My Compton compadre has set himself apart from listeners’ expectations with his commitment to employing jazzy sounds and leaning away from the trappings of the usual “hood” rapper. Now that he’s independent, he can move on his own time, and the benefits are already evident to anyone paying attention. Buddy sounds more focused than ever on his latest, which smoothly evokes his best works, like “Trouble On Central” from Harlan & Alondra.
Admittedly, I dropped the ball on Kota’s latest Lyrics To Go installment (Vol. 5), which dropped last week, but fortunately, he dropped this video, giving me an excuse to run it back. If you’ve followed Kota at all over the last few years, you know what to expect: introspective, biographical tunes over mellow beats. Basically, he takes the reputations of precedents like J. Cole and Chance The Rapper, fuses them, and then makes them much more engaging than those stereotypes would have you believe.
Ever since leaving Atlantic a few years ago, Kyle has seemingly had more fun than ever pursuing the freedom to explore sounds outside of his ostensible rap milieu. 2022’s criminally overlooked It’s Not So Bad found him dabbling in forgotten toy boxes like 2-step and garage, and his new single likewise sees him breaking in another new style, drum & bass, throwing in his usual emotionally vulnerable rhymes.
There’s something really charming about the teen dream’s old-school commitment to low-stakes braggadocio. Hip-hop started out when a pack of underaged miscreants gathered to impress each other with hyperbolic tales of their prowess in wooing the opposite sex, so you could draw a straight line between those early street corner ciphers and “Bad B*tch.” But Tyler, please. Take a lesson from Miles Morales: Ditch the mustache.
A little more… uplifting than we might be used to hearing from Skepta, but you know what? It’s got a decent, danceable groove, Portable does his thing, and Skepta sounds energized, even if the rhymes are more straightforward than they’ve been on his classic stuff. I won’t be complaining if any DJs decide to add this to their setlists for Summer 2024.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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