Rap Song of the Week breaks down all the hip-hop tracks you need to hear every Friday. Check out the full playlist here. This week, Latto and GloRilla team up on “FTCU.”
Few artists had a bigger rise in 2022 than Latto, who followed her first Top 5 hit, “Big Energy,” with her second studio album, 777, and a headlining tour. Memphis breakout GloRilla is experiencing an accelerated trajectory of her own, going from a viral hit (“F.N.F. (Let’s Go)”) to a Top 10 single (“Tomorrow 2”) to her first headlining trek next year. Both artists recently earned their first Grammy nominations, too.
Now, the Southern rappers have teamed up to celebrate their success on “FTCU.” The club banger gets a stamp of approval from their forebear Gangsta Boo as producer d.a. got that dope flips Three 6 Mafia’s classic “Tear Da Club Up,” making for a rowdy strip club anthem in which the duo can let loose and pop off on their haters.
Latto in particular has plenty to get off her chest. After Nicki Minaj found out the Grammys had moved her single “Super Freaky Girl” to the pop awards categories, she took a shot at “Big Energy” for still being considered in the rap categories. In a separate incident, more than 100 of Latto’s unreleased songs leaked online.
However, the Atlanta rapper doesn’t address the beef on “FTCU.” Instead, Latto brushes it off and boasts about being on top: “Hottest in my city, bitch, me and these diamonds hit/ Bet’ not run up Big Latto, give no fuck about no image.”
Right now, GloRilla’s at the point in her career where there doesn’t seem to be anything but love for her success. However, like many rising artists, it’s clear that she maintains connections to her old life. Spitting bars about how her crew hasn’t changed (“I pray to God a ho don’t run up, all my bitches jackin'”) fits perfectly with “FTCU.”
As just the latest song paying tribute to Three 6 Mafia in recent years, “FTCU” is hardly groundbreaking, but it doesn’t have to be. When two of the hottest rappers come together to make a club anthem, everybody’s a winner.
— Eddie Fu
New Music Editor
B. Cool-Aid (Pink Siifu and Ahwlee) – bonded
The mystic duo of Pink Siifu and producer Ahwlee are back with B. Cool Aid’s bonded, a double single consisting of “COO” and “usedtoo.” The genre-bending outfit are as cool as they come, wasting no time to lull listeners in with “COO,” a jazz-fueled track with a sedated atmosphere. The drums feel straight out of a Coltrane/Davis session, allowing Siifu to glide with a hypnotizing delivery.
“usedtoo” builds off “COO” as Siifu takes the reins with a plethora of bars, referencing rapper Juvenile and thoughts of pulling hamstrings while running from the police. His spellbinding verse bleeds into the powerful vocals of Jay Feeniks, who ends the mesmerizing track how it started — making bonded a project that feels like light work for the duo. — Joe Eckstein
MIKE feat. Sister Nancy – “Stop Worry!”
MIKE opens up his verse on “Stop Worry!” by saying, “There’s too much buzz around my name now to stay discreet.” As one of hip-hop’s standout voices, the 24-year-old’s mellow approach deserves more recognition, and his latest endeavor is a prime example of the hype. Paying homage to his late mother, “Stop Worry!” is an elegant and bouncy listen that sees MIKE paired up with dancehall icon Sister Nancy for an introspective lyrical journey. Ahead of the artist’s forthcoming project, Beware of the Monkey (out December 21st), MIKE continues to mature into one of the genre’s most cerebral minds. — J.E.
Antha Pantha – “Real Bitches”
One of the signees to A$AP Ferg’s Sewer Sounds imprint, Antha Pantha steps out on her debut solo single, “Real Bitches.” Rapping with energy and confidence, the Harlem native takes control of an anthemic, horn-driven beat and pushes women to embrace their imperfections while staying true to themselves. Antha Pantha has mastered the art of not giving a fuck what other people think, and “Real Bitches” offers a guide for others to do the same. — E.F.
Coi Leray – “Players”
When you have as much confidence as Coi Leray possesses on “Players,” you can’t help but latch on to every bar. Rapping over a sample of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s “The Message,” Leray delivers her own message on the chorus by singing, “Cause girls is players too” and displays irresistible magnetism. Her verses command your attention with a boastful tone as she raps about penthouse views and buying expensive jewelry. By coupling moxie and a piece of history, “Players” bridges generations for a lively track. — J.E.
Desiigner and Slim Jxmmi – “Kilo”
Though they’ve both fallen out of the spotlight in recent years, Desiigner and Rae Sremmurd’s Slim Jxmmi take on upbeat trap production with ease on “Kilo.” Desiigner keeps it pushing with lyrics like, “Gettin’ that money, I trap on the daily/ They never can stop me, I’m goin’ crazy,” while Jxmmi engages in some retail therapy. — E.F.
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