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5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

By Brendan Varan on


Here are five recent rap albums you might have missed over the last few weeks.

KEY! & Tony Seltzer — The Alpha Jerk

Two of underground rap’s most formidable staples come together for a full-length album of addictive flows, diverse beats, and colorful references. Both Atlanta rapper KEY! and Brooklyn producer Tony Seltzer thrive given space to let their creative impulses breathe, as seen across The Alpha Jerk’s 17 tracks, which feature Lil Yachty, Sonny Digital, 448 Rasta, and Quadie Diesel.

Levi Carter — A.I. (All + In)

In 2016, Levi Carter seemed poised for a breakout, riding his aloof flow and ear for murky and opulent beats to a Roc Nation deal. A.I. (All + In), his Allen Iverson-inspired new project, is his first in four years. After a long stretch marked mostly by silence and sporadic singles, the Bronx-born, Virginia-raised rapper sounds renewed.

Sainte — Local MVP

Sainte’s music sounds like cashmere and Dom Pérignon, all warm comfort and refined elegance. On Local MVP, his first EP, the Leicester rapper’s laid-back charisma and smooth flow fit like a glove over plush, jazzy beats. Standout “Champagne Shots” is the vibe we all need heading into 2021.

Tony Shhnow — Kill Streak

Rapper Tony Shhnow is one of Atlanta’s most prolific rising rappers. Kill Streak, his fifth project of 2020, was produced by New Jersey producer GRIMM Doza, whose hazy, lo-fi production turns Shhnow’s nasally boasts into an immersive world of money counting and firearms.

Read more about Tony Shhnow in the December edition of “10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now.”

26AR — Drench Em

One year ago, 26AR was finishing up a four-year bid. Drench Em, the Crown Heights rapper’s first project, caps off a slew of singles and establishes him as one of Brooklyn drill’s most exciting voices and one of New York’s premier Amiri jeans connoisseurs.

Read more about 26AR in the December edition of “10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now.”

FeaturesKEY!Tony ShhnowTony Seltzer26ARLevi CarterSainteHip Hop