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5 New Albums You Need to Hear This Week

By Brendan Varan on


One year after the release of her Warner debut, INDUSTRY GAMES, and nominated for Best New Artist at the 2021 GRAMMYs, CHIKA returns with another short-but-sweet glimpse into the rapper-singer’s talents. ONCE UPON A TIME covers the transition into fame and success through vivid storytelling, centered around vignettes of blossoming love affairs, notably on the two-part “CINDERELLA” saga.

Central Cee — Wild West

Central Cee has been releasing music since 2017, but the West London native rocketed to the forefront of UK rap in 2020 off the strength of singles like “Loading,” “Day in the Life,” and “Pinging (6 Figures).” Wild West, his debut full-length, is an ode to his hometown, as Cench delivers tight, colorful wordplay across melodic drill production.

6 Dogs — RONALD.

RIP 6 Dogs. The Atlanta artist best known for his 2017 single “Faygo Dreams” passed away in January at the age of 21, leaving behind a legacy of influence over the late ’10s underground/internet rap space. RONALD., his first posthumous project, completed prior to his death, was produced by friend Dan Hartzog, who called it “the product [of] two people doing what they love and doing it together, fluidly.” Despite the tragic circumstances of its release, RONALD. sounds bright and hopeful.

Read our feature interview: “6 Dogs Producer Daniel Hartzog Breaks Down the Making of RONALD..

Kalan.FrFr — TwoFR 2

Fresh off signing with Roc Nation, Compton native Kalan.FrFr has released his long-awaited debut album TwoFr 2. The sequel to his 2018 breakout features Stunna 4 Vegas, Mozzy, and Cypress Moreno. Having spent the last few years as a talented voice in a crowded Los Angeles scene, the melodic rapper’s new project proves he’s ready for national success in the wake of the rise of fellow Compton native Roddy Ricch.

Read our feature interview: “Kalan.FrFr Is Keeping Everything Authentic.”

Lancey Foux — FIRST DEGREE

“I’m a stylish demon, see me rockin’ Givenchy horns.” Lancey Foux makes music that sounds like an underground club from the dystopian future of Blade Runner. All neon lights and robotic bleeps and warbles, stuffed in a pair of archive Raf Simons leather pants. FIRST DEGREE runs only 24 minutes across 11 tracks, where the East London rapper sounds both at home and from another dimension across spacey, bass-heavy beats.

Read about Lancey Foux in the December 2020 installment of “10 Rappers You Should Know Right Now.”

Features6 DogsCHIKALancey FouxCentral CeeKalan.frfr

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