Our recurring new music feature Rap Song of the Week breaks down the hip-hop tracks you need to hear at the end of every week. Check out the full playlist here. This week we highlight “Stand Up” off Tierra Whack’s new Rap? EP.
In the three years since releasing her innovative debut Whack World, Tierra Whack has put out a steady stream of one-off singles that have kept her in the conversation as one of the most talented rappers in the game. The Philly native officially returned this week with her new EP Rap?, which is unfortunately only three tracks long. With the opener “Stand Up,” however, Whack serves up a reminder that she will never stop pushing forward.
In an interview with Apple Music, Whack shared her love for the most recent Joker film and expressed her ambitions to make music with movie scenes in mind. “Stand Up” is an example of just that, using inspiration from a conversation with JAY-Z to embrace being “the wild card” and write “a record to make me feel badass.”
Over rumbling production, Whack boasts about coming up from poverty to being able to afford designer clothes from Helmut Lang. “Million dollar, you cannot afford,” she adds. “If I wanted I could make the Forbes list.”
It’s the mention of her Lego collaboration that really shows where Whack’s mind is really headed. Clearly, it was a building block to the Vans collection she dropped today and there’s no doubt she’ll be able to tackle her movie ambitions next. After all, Whack has already contributed to the Madden ’22 soundtrack and music supervisors would be foolish not to keep her unique sound in mind.
Polo G – “Black Man in America”
Earlier this year, Polo G proved he could go toe-to-toe with rap’s heavy hitters on Hall of Fame, and today (December 6th), he’s back with a deluxe edition containing another 14 songs. “Black Man in America” finds the Chicago rapper at his best, tackling the gang violence of his past while taking a deep look at the unjust treatment of African American people throughout history — a topic that hits close to home after his bullshit arrest in Miami over the summer.
MFnMelo, Pivot Gang & squeakPiVOT – “Mood Swing”
Speaking of deluxe editions, MFnMelo and squeakPiVOT are gearing up for an expanded edition of their June album En Route. For the lead single “Mood Swing,” they reunite with fellow Pivot Gang members Saba, Joseph Chilliams, and Frsh Waters, who come through with a dizzying array of rhymes over twinkling production.
Cozz – “Higher Power”
Dreamville underdog Cozz addresses the spirituality that has carried him from his difficult upbringing in South Central to the struggles he still faces today on “Higher Power,” which appears on his new EP Fortunate. Over a beat mixing a church organ with trap drums, Cozz raps about pushing through being “damaged beyond repair” by holding onto his belief in a higher power.
Nardo Wick – “Blam Bloom”
Jacksonville newcomer Nardo Wick could easily be dismissed as a one-trick pony for his frequent rhymes about guns. Much like his “Who Want Smoke??” collaborator 21 Savage, however, a closer listen reveals Wick is also addressing topics like the trauma of all the violence he’s witnessed: “I done seen a lot of crazy things/ A lot of brutal images on my brain.”
Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa – “Pop That Trunk”
The hypnotic “Pop That Trunk” is the first taste of Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa’s upcoming joint album dropping next year. On the track, the rappers take on the role of wily veterans who dispense wisdom about making it the streets. It comes with a cinematic music video, in which Wiz and Juicy J put a scare into young street runners.
Best Rap Songs Playlist: