The last full week of February 2018 is a good week to be a hip-hop fan; the week's best new songs were punctuated by some choice raps from some even more choice MCs. On deck we have Logic dropping his first new song since owning the Grammys, a jazz-inflected jam from Bishop Nehru and a posse cut from A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane and 21 Savage that will have you rethinking the posse cut itself.
And that doesn't even touch on some of the week's other great offerings. First and foremost we have the return of Janelle Monáe, who after a few years in Hollywood beefing up her acting resume has roared back into musical life with a funkadelic outing. And speaking of funkadelic - Canada's most funky (Kaytranada, his brother Lou Phelps, and Jazz Cartier) all teamed up for a groovy number all but guaranteed to make you feel like you just hit a bong.
All of those and more can be found below in this edition of Best Tracks of the Week.
A$AP Rocky x Gucci Mane x 21 Savage - "Cocky" ft. London on da Track
Arriving early Friday evening just in time for a weekend banger, "Cocky" has managed to worm its way into our headphones well into the week, proving this heavy-duty posse cut has the bite to match the bark of the A-listers steering the production. If A$AP Rocky, Gucci Mane and 21 Savage (not to mention London on da Track) are all appearing together, is there any doubt that the result would be anything less than stellar?
Bishop Nehru - "Rooftops"
Kaytranada and MF DOOM are a production match made in heaven, and the proof lies in this electrifying new track from Bishop Nehru. The wunderkind with an elastic flow doesn't disappoint over his jazz-inflected latest, promising great things from his upcoming project ELEVATORS: ACT I & II.
GAHSI - "1134"
GASHI is set to have a huge 2018; at least if his being signed to Roc Nation is anything to go by. Management aside, his anguished Autotune warbles on new track "1134" make enough of a case that he's an artist to keep your eye on this year.
Janelle Monáe - "Make Me Feel"
Comparisons to her idol (and later, mentor) Prince have been following Janelle Monáe since she first arrived on the scene in 2010. Now, with a single spin of her new track "Make Me Feel," it is clear that the Purple One will live on forever as long as Miss Monáe is alive and making music. She channels his ferocious sex appeal, electric funk and effortless cool in a way that remains slyly her own.
Logic - "44 More"
After decisively staking his claim in hip-hop history with his Grammy-nominated 2017 album Everybody, Logic has little left to prove. Even so, his first release of the new year - the blistering "44 More" - is a track with such a deft display of rhymes that careless listeners may find themselves with whiplash upon first listen.
Lou Phelps - "Come Inside" ft. Jazz Cartier (prod. by Kaytranada)
The lo-fi, fuzzy synths of Kaytranada herald this warm bath of a track from Lou Phelps (Kaytranada's literal brother). An expertly-laden verse from Jazz Cartier is yet another reason to love this track - a true triumvirate of Canadian talent.
Post Malone - "Psycho" ft. Ty Dolla $ign
As another taste of his long-overdue Beerbongs & Bentleys, "Psycho" offers a very different sonic palette than the one found on lead single "Rockstar." This Ty Dolla $ign-collab displays a significantly-pared down Post, one who ruminates over being friend-zoned with anguished ennui.
SOB X RBE - "Anti Social"
Fresh from a standout appearance on the epic Black Panther soundtrack, SOB X RBE have swiftly delivered on the buzzy hype with a full-length project, GANGIN. The whole record is worth a listen, but "Anti Social" in particular is worth praise on its own. Clocking in at less than three minutes, it manages to glide between trunk-rattling bombast and breezy pop-leanings with ease.
Twin Shadow - "Saturdays" ft. HAIM
It's been a minute since we've heard from Twin Shadow, but it seems that his absence has done nothing to dull his uncanny ability to make '80s power-pop anthems that transcend the decade to sound more '80s than the '80s. The first taste of his upcoming album Caer ropes in another act who shares this ability - the one and only HAIM. Suffice to say, they're a good fit for each other.
YG - "Suu Whoop"
Ladies and gentlemen, YG - proving that you did not know all the ways to pronounce the word 'swoop' and that, aside from Kendrick, he is the dominant voice in the revitalization of West Coast hip-hop.
Be sure to check out last week's edition of Best Tracks of the Week right here.