Photo Credit: Jacob Webster

14 New Hip-Hop, R&B & Alt Albums You Should Be Listening To (Week of December 9)

This week was all about SZA's sophomore album S.O.S., it's finally here. Stalley, Kamaiyah, and Sha EK also released projects. 

After five years, SZA returns and drops off her highly anticipated sophomore album S.O.S. Throughout it, she’s in rare form as she shares intimate stories over intricate and thorough production. Travis Scott and Don Toliver are the only artists who sent their features over in time for the midnight release. Phoebe Bridgers also leaves a mark on S.O.S.

Black Thought and Seun Kuti release African Dreams. Kool G Rap shares Last Of A Dying Breed featuring Grandmaster Caz, Big Daddy Kane, and others. Bun B and Statik Selektah drop Trillstatik 2. Kamaiyah resets with Keep It Lit. Icewear Vezzo unleashes Paint the City. Stalley’s Somebody Up There Loves Me also dropped at midnight.

Following his recent Grammy nomination, Lucky Daye’s Candydrip (Deluxe) arrives.  And emerging singer Christian Kuria releases the soulful project Suspension of Disbelief.

Additional releases arrive from drill rappers include Connie Diiamond (Gift Raps), Sha EK (Return of the Jiggy), and Dusty Locane (CATCH DA FLU).

Mercury is still on a hot streak, earlier this week she released fear mercury, her latest project.

SZA – S.O.S.

SZA Photo Credit: Artist

S.O.S. is filled with moving moments and in it, SZA comfortably leans into R&B, rock, and alternative music interchangeably. It’s also an emotional rollercoaster, but overall it’s a fitting release for the angsty TDE superstar. 

Standouts: “Smoking on my Ex Pack,” “Conceited”

Seun Kuti x Black Thought – African Dreams

Sean Kuti Black Thought Photo Credit: Artist

Funk and hip-hop connect on Seun Kuti and Black Thought's new EP African Dreams. This project is a smooth, intricately produced listen.

Standouts: “African Dreams - Remix,” “Bad Man Lighter - Remix”

Bun B x Statik Selektah – Trillstatik 2

Bun B Photo Credit: Artist

Recorded at Sweet Check in LES in New York City, Bun B and Statik Selektah’s Trillstatik 2 features blistering beats. Aside from the countless artist features spanning New York and Texas, it feels good to see Bun B receive a moment to shine.

Standouts: “Devastating,” “There Comes a Time”

Kool G Rap – Last Of A Dying Breed

Kook G Rap Photo Credit: Artist

For his first solo album in five years, rap legend Kool G Rap reveals a distinct lineup of songs. He puts on for Queens in his latest, but he also receives killer features from the likes of 38 Spesh, Big Daddy Kane, and more.

Standouts: “Scared Money,” “Born Hustler”

Kamaiyah – Keep It Lit

Kamaiyah Photo Credit: Artist

Kamaiyah’s Keep It Lit is a sneaky end-of-year arrival. It’s proof that she’s still lyrically sharp, and while we have you we cannot fail to mention that the beats on this project are outrageous.

Standouts: “Keep It Lit,” “Versace Robe”

Lucky Daye – Candydrip (Deluxe)

Lucky Daye Photo Credit: Artist

The Grammy Award-winner shares even more ‘70s-inspired tracks that were left off the original Candydrip album. The new additions are sharp especially “Apply Pressure.”

Standouts: “These Signs,” “Apply Pressure”

Stalley – Somebody Up There Loves Me

Stalley Photo Credit: Shamaal Bloodman

Stalley steps into the limelight on Somebody Up There Loves Me. Throughout it, over soulful beats, he digs into personal stories, and he does this like he's using muscle memory.

Standouts: “ “DILLA BAP,” “ESSENTIALS”

Mercury – fear mercury

Mercury Photo Credit: Artist

Following up on tabula rasa, Atlanta’s Mercury shares a new project fear mercury. It’s packed with energy, and it also skews more into the alternative space, but she’s still rapping.

Standouts: “needalight,” “chris”

Kay Flock – The D.O.A. Tape (Care Package)

Kay Flock Photo Credit: Artist

Kay Flock’s “Shake It” with Cardi B, Dougie B, and Bory 300 was a big moment for him this year. His latest project is indicative of how he’s an artist pouring into Bronx drill music.

Standouts: “FTO,” “Brotherly Love”

Sha EK – Return of The Jiggy

Sha EK Photo Credit: Artist

The Bronx has found another voice in rapper Sha EK. The vicious beats and his spitfire flow are a match made in rap heaven.

Standouts: “Return of the Jiggy,” “Menace”

Connie Diiamond – Gift Raps

Connie Diiamond Photo Credit: Artist

We’ve had our eye on Connie Diiamond for a minute. She’s in rare form on her holiday-themed project Gift Raps, on it, the Def Jam signee is further making a name for herself. She samples Beethoven on “Jingle Freak” and effortlessly devours the beat.

Standouts: “Gift Raps,” “Jingle Freak”

Dusty Locane – CATCH DA FLU

Dusty Locane Photo Credit: Artist

On Dusty Locane’s CATCH DA FLU some tracks are explosive, “NO VACCINE,” while others like “BLOCC WORC FREESTYLE” are a bit more mellow. On the latter, the Evanescence sample is nuts.


Icewear Vezzo – Paint the City

Icewear Vezzo Photo Credit: Artist

The fact that this is the first Gangsta Grillz mixtape by a Detroit rapper is reason enough for you to listen to Icewear Vezzo’s Paint the City. But, that’s not enough, throughout it, he delivers a prolific perspective on his own life.

Standouts: “One Time Ft. Jeezy,” “Certified Ft. Future”

Christian Kuria – Suspension of Disbelief

Christian Kuria Photo Credit: Artist

Christian Kuria is still a rising neo-soul artist, but his strengths lie in his ability to create dreamy tracks that leave you eager for more. “Sunbleach” is transfixing. And “Deep Green” is a beautiful neo-soul track.

Standouts: “Sunbleach,” “Deep Green”