Rap Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the rap and hip-hop tracks we just can’t get out of our head each week. Check out the full playlist here. For our latest installment, Big Boi and Sleepy Brown share the latest single from their upcoming collaborative album.
Ahead of Big Boi and his longtime collaborator Sleepy Brown’s upcoming joint album, The Big Sleepover, the duo have recently teamed with affiliates like Killer Mike and Cee Lo Green on singles like the swaggering “lowercase (no cap)” and silky smooth “Intentions.” This time around, Big Boi and Brown link up with Jamaican singer Kay-I on “The Big Sleep Is Over” for a Caribbean-influenced jam combining laidback production with booming 808s.
Nearly 30 years after joining forces with André 3000 as OutKast, Big Boi hasn’t lost a single step. Whereas MCs of a lesser pedigree might stumble over unfamiliar production, he adeptly glides over the beat while boasting about nailing his first verse on the first take. “Jedi rap shit, I was blessed with on my birthday,” he raps. “Check my track record, I sit back and attack shit in the worst way/ Never been washed.”
As he’s done time and time again, Big Boi also takes a moment to capture the hopelessness of Black communities: “Police killing n****s/ The only option seems to blast back/ Scratch that/ for Jumbo Bucks and lottery quick picks/ More hope in lottery tickets than Black business.”
Based on the singles we’ve heard so far, The Big Sleepover will feature Big Boi and Brown experimenting with a variety of sounds. If “The Big Sleep Is Over” is any indication, the duo were able to recreate old magic while also effortlessly pushing their sound into the future.
Lute feat. DEVN – “Myself”
Dreamville rhymer Lute just wants to be left alone on “Myself.” Despite achieving his dreams, the North Carolina rapper still feels a sense of unease. “Lifestyle drive me crazy, who the fuck gon’ save me?” he pleads, before issuing a warning to anyone who tries to bring negative energy his way. “I got n****s that’ll come for your head/ While my daughter sleep in comfort instead.” Meanwhile, DEVN captures the feeling of being overwhelmed (“Where I lay my head don’t feel like home”) on the chorus.
Mo3 feat. Morray – “In My Blood”
Rising rapper and singer Morray keeps the late Mo3’s memory alive on “In My Blood,” as his melodic flow matches the energy of the fallen star. After Mo3 apologizes to his mother for giving into the street life, Morray pays tribute to the Dallas native while doing his best to stay out away from trouble: “Preach the positive, but still won’t put my guns down/ I don’t bang, you get banged if you ever try to check this.”
Ashoka – “Outta My Bag”
Mixing trap with R&B influences, Ashoka is on the rise thanks to catchy melodies and vocals that would make Drake jealous. On “Outta My Bag,” the New York native seduces a girl who initially catches him off guard. While admitting he’s “gone off the deep end,” Ashoka is ready for the long haul.
AZ feat. Jaheim – “The Wheel”
In September, AZ will revisit his mafioso rap classic, Do or Die, with a sequel album. “The Wheel” shows the New York rapper is up for the task, as he spits multisyllabic rhymes (“I raise hell, when ya future’s as fresh as ya sneakers you age well”) following a buttery feature from Jaheim. With his lyrical abilities well intact, it’s hard to believe AZ has been rapping longer than most of today’s star rappers have been alive.
Solemn Brigham – “Dirty Whip”
After releasing a pair of albums as part of the group Marlowe with producer L’Orange, Solemn Brigham is stepping out on his own with South Sinner Street. Dedicated to someone who held him down when times were tough, “Dirty Whip” features the North Carolina deftly rapping over a head-nodding beat produced by Supa K. “I’m just trying to hold it down while I’m still here,” he spits over swirling strings. Who can’t relate?
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