Belly, Kaytranada and Aminé, Juice Wrld and More – New Hip-Hop Projects
As another week in May comes to a close, new music releases are rolling in. This time, a Palestinian-born, Canadian-bred lyricist drops a new album with a top-notch beatmaker, A Haitian multihyphenate repping Montreal links up with a Portland, Ore. MC to form a new duo on the scene, a debut album from a late and beloved Chicago rapper gets an anniversary salute and more.
In a follow-up to his 2017 mixtape, Mumble Rap, Belly delivers his new album, Mumble Rap 2. While the first iteration was executive produced by Boi-1da nearly six ago, Belly follows a similar formula with his latest full-length offering but this time, the Roc Nation spitter taps Hit-Boy to serve as executive producer and to also take on the primary beat-making duties.
With Hit-Boy laying down most of the foundational groundwork and overseeing Belly's project, Mumble Rap 2's 11-song track listing was previewed prior to its release by two singles, "Ambiance" and "American Nightmare." Guest appearances include Rick Ross, Gucci Mane and the late Gil Scott-Heron, among others.
"I feel like with somebody like Hit-Boy, I wanted to approach it in a way where I was letting the beats tell me what to do," The Palestinian-born spitter said. "It wasn't about me being like, 'Yo, I got this tucked or that tucked, let me just listen and see what the mood is, what the vibe is, what it's telling me to do.'"
Kaytranada and Aminé have formed like Voltron to drop their first self-titled joint project under the name Kaytraminé. The newly formed duo's debut single, "4EVA," a wavy summer-centric track produced by Pharrell Williams, was followed by Kaytraminé's most recently released track, "Rebuke," which features production by Kaytranada himself.
Last week, Kaytranada and Aminé unveiled on their Instagram page the tracklist for their new project, which has 11 songs. Guests appearing on Kaytraminé include Freddie Gibbs, Big Sean and Snoop Dogg.
The dynamic duo also posted promotional pics of themselves enjoying a meal in Italy. Judging by the early reviews from critics, Kaytraminé is poised to be the hottest album of the summer.
Four years after his death in December 2019, Juice Wrld continues to be remembered for his painful and melodic rap songs. This week, the Chicago rapper's estate has updated his 2018 debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, in honor of its release five years ago this month (it originally dropped on May 23, 2018). The upgraded digital collection features two unreleased songs, "Glo'd Up" and "No Good."
The original album's success was buoyed by the Nick Mira-produced emo-rap song "Lucid Dreams." The melodic ballad, which samples Sting's 1993 hit "Shape of My Heart," peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the week ending Oct. 6, 2018. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the song is certified diamond (10 million copies sold).
As for the album, Goodbye & Good Riddance has been re-issued multiple times in the past few years; the last time was on May 28, 2021, to commemorate its third anniversary. The reissue featured two brand-new tracks, "734" and a remix of "Lucid Dreams” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. Overall, the project has been certified three-times platinum by the RIAA.