Features

5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

By Brendan Varan on January 22, 2021

YN Jay — Ninja Warrior

YN Jay raps like he has multiple heads vying for attention. Bars are crammed into tight spaces, interrupt each other, and often trail off into exasperated shouts or stammer into ad-libs. He stretches words into punchlines of their own and repeats his own lines for maximum effect. The Flint, Michigan rapper has built his viral hit “Coochie” into a world of its own, but his first project of 2021 brings us to a new locale: Ninja Land, where bricks get chopped in half and dreams center on lemonade coupes. Sada Baby, Lil Yachty, Louie Ray, and RMC Mike add to the chaotic absurdity.

Read more about YN Jay in the October edition of 10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now.

KOTA The Friend — Lyrics to Go, Vol. 2

KOTA the Friend is all about balance: being present in the moment while reflecting on the past and striving toward a better future. Enjoying the fruits of youth while embracing the responsibilities of a father and neighborhood role model. Dinner with the family and liquor, weed, and retail therapy out in Melrose. The second installment in his Lyrics to Go mixtape series is another set of short verses over laidback lo-fi beats that the Brooklyn rapper describes as “an open letter or a ‘phone call’ to an old friend that catches you up on where he's at mentally, emotionally, and physically.”

Mike Akox — Patience

Ghana-born, Sydney-based artist Mike Akox is helping put Australia’s Afrobeats scene on the global map. Patience, his debut EP released last week, showcases his unique sound—a blend of Afro elements with R&B, hip-hop, dancehall, and more—across six tracks. Standout “Super Mario,” named after Italian footballer Mario Balotelli, features Ghanaian star Stonebwoy.

BRS Kash — Kash Only

In a year marked by social distancing and hygiene standards, “Throat Baby” was the horny anthem we needed. The smash-hit established BRS Kash as an instant Atlanta artist to watch. His debut mixtape, Kash Only, released via LVRN, Interscope, and Team Litty, spreads his strip club-ready sound across 12 tracks, including features from Toosii and Mulatto and a “Throat Baby” remix with DaBaby and City Girls.

Read our feature interview: “BRS Kash Is the Next Atlanta Original

Brokeasf — WRONG 1

Jacksonville native Brokeasf hit viral success in 2020 with “Comments,” two minutes of raw threats delivered in an aggressive flow. WRONG 1, his debut mixtape for Cinematic Music Group, mostly follows this winning formula over 13 unrelenting tracks. Rich The Kid, Quando Rondo, and 42 Dugg assist the 18-year-old Florida rapper.

Read more about Brokeasf in the August edition of 10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now.

FeaturesHip HopAfrobeatsBrokeasfBRS KashMike AkoxKota The FriendYN Jay