After a prolonged rollout, Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky released his third studio album TESTING last week. One of the standouts songs is ‘Praise the Lord (Da Shine),’ featuring a guest verse and production by London MC Skepta. In less than three days, the chest thumping track earned over 62,000 pageviews on Genius and 4.2 million Spotify streams.
Rae Sremmurd made an ambitious statement with their third studio album, the triple-disc SR3MM. The most popular single released in anticipation of the LP was ‘Powerglide,’ which peaked at No. 34 on the Billboard Hot 100. Produced by Mike WiLL Made-It, J. Hovart, and Mally Mall, it features Juicy J and is built around a sample and interpolation of Three 6 Mafia’s 2005 song ‘Side 2 Side’ featuring Project Pat and Kanye West. To break down the lyrics, Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi sat down with Genius.
Nicky Jam first ignited his reggaeton career in the early aughts, gaining recognition for his features on Daddy Yankee songs like “Entre Sábanas Blancas” and “Guayando.” Unfortunately, Jam’s music career was put on hold after developing addiction issues. But he’s successfully returned to the spotlight over the past few years, releasing Fénix in 2017—his first full-length album in a decade.
“X” is Jam’s latest hit with his frequent collaborator and close friend J Balvin. Since sharing the official video for “X” earlier this month, it’s raked in over 300 million YouTube streams and landed on the Billboard charts.
Produced by Afro Bros and Jeon, the dance track fuses Caribbean genres with hip-hop. Jam tells Genius that Balvin approached him with “X,” and that the song is about trying to pursue women while having a player reputation. Read more
Blac Youngsta has built a fanbase over the years with a slew of mixtapes and collaborations, including ‘Heavy’ with Yo Gotti and Travi$ Scott’s ‘Coordinate.’ Born Samuel Benson, the Memphis-based rapper first ignited his career in 2015 after signing to Gotti’s CMG label.
While tracks like ‘Tissue’ have raked in millions of YouTube views, the Memphis rapper recently crossed over into mainstream success with ‘Booty.’ Produced by Beatmonster Marc and Yung Lan, ‘Booty’ originally appeared on his 2017 mixtape I’m Innocent.
The twerking anthem was re-released this past February as a track on his debut studio album 2.23, and received a raunchy and comical dance video that helped grow its popularity. While ‘Booty’ recently debuted at No. 81 on the Billboard Hot 100, Youngsta tells Genius that not everyone was initially convinced that it was a hit. Read more
It’s been a successful week for BlocBoy JB, who just earned his first charting hit with ‘Look Alive’ featuring Drake. The song debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, making the Memphis rapper the first artist in 2018 to earn a Hot 100 debut in the Top 10. Read more
Derez De’Shon began his career as a frequent collaborator with the late Slim Dunkin, releasing songs such ‘Just Another Day’ under the former monikers D-Bo and D Dash Bo. The loss of his friend prompted him to take a break from music and he returned last August with his 18-track project Pain. As the latest addition to the Cash Money label, Derez showcases his solo abilities on breakout single ‘Hardaway,’ which describes his life before he gained music fame.
Fabolous and Jadakiss ended 2017 with Friday On Elm Street, a collaborative album that features Future, French Montana, Yo Gotti, Jeezy, and more. The title is a reference to the classic Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street horror movies, and the project kicks off with the aptly titled ‘F vs. J Intro,’ an abbreviated version of the film series’ respective villains Jason Voorhees and Freddy Kreuger. The horror movie mythology is woven throughout the track, as both Fab and Jada explain to Genius. Read more
Shy Glizzy has been bubbling on the scene for years now, ever since he dropped his 2011 mixtape No Brainer. But 2017 proved to be an exceptional 12 months for the Washington DC rapper who kicked off the year by releasing his EP The World Is Yours, followed it up by jumping Goldlink’s summer anthem ‘Crew,’ and capped things off with his recently released EP Quiet Storm. His latest project closes with the cut ‘Take Me Away,’ a song that details the struggles of having a relationship when you’re dealing with the cold hard streets.
Massachusetts rapper Joyner Lucas went viral earlier this month with ‘I’m Not Racist,’ a two-part, hookless song rapped from the perspectives of a racist, Trump-supporting white man and a black man respectively. The song elicited a range of reactions, racking up over 15 million YouTube views and netting a No. 15 slot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart along the way. As Lucas explains to Genius, the track was designed to stir up people’s emotions.
XO rapper Belly dropped his Mumble Rap album back in October, and its biggest hit so far is lead single ‘P.O.P.’ The Ben Billions-produced track has earned nearly three million Spotify streams since its release. The song’s title is an acronym for “Power of Pussy,” and Belly addresses his relationship with women throughout the track.
Miguel’s new album War & Leisure is dropping at the top of December, and it’s set to include the Los Angeles singer’s recent single ‘Sky Walker.’ The Travis Scott-featuring track first dropped back in August and has slowly been rising in popularity. It has earned over 36 million Spotify streams since its release, as well as 218,000 Genius pageviews. Two weeks ago, it hit a peak of No. 66 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and could be poised to rise even further. As Miguel explains, the track represents new ground for him, while still staying true to the music he’s known for. Read more
Remy Ma is getting ready to drop her new album Seven Winters, Six Summers with Columbia Records, and she recently teamed up with Lil’ Kim for the new single ‘Wake Me Up.’ The track is produced by 808-Ray, SmittyBeats, and Cool & Dre, and is already approaching 500,000 Spotify streams. Although there was much speculation about who Remy was aiming her bars at, she explains that we would know if they were meant for someone in particular. Read more