Kendrick Lamar Spins The Block, Ghostface Killah And Nas Lock In, Rapsody Grooves With Erykah Badu On New Music Friday

Today is Friday, which means there are a ton of new releases to look forward to from some of your favorite Hip-Hop artists. To help you unwind and enjoy the weekend, check out VIBE’s picks of songs and albums you should hear and add to your soundtrack of weekend festivities.

Kendrick Lamar – “6:16 in LA”

Having thrown down the gauntlet signaling the seemingly inevitable arrival of his lyrical war with Drake since his scathing verse on Metro Boomin and Future’s chart-topping single “Like That,” many Hip-Hop fans felt Kendrick Lamar had more ammo against his rival stockpiled for future use. However, the Compton rep’s silence after Drake’s doing of his own barbs on the diss tracks “Push Ups” and ill-fated “Taylor Made” led some to become skeptical of his delay in response.

Yet, this past Tuesday (April 30), Kung-Fu Kenny silenced that doubt with the release of “Euphoria,” a nearly seven-minute track on which he examined the perceived frailties in the Toronto native’s character and makeup. While that retort received positive reviews, little did fans know it would be the calm before the storm, as K.Dot doubled back on Friday (May 3) with “6:16 in LA,” a more brief, yet surgical continuation of his qualms with his musical adversary.

Allegations of betrayal and jealousy brewing within Drake’s own camp are the more juicy tidbits relayed on this cut, but it’s the Al Green sample, which Drake’s own uncle had a part in creating, and the introspective moments that heighten its playability beyond the requisite, albeit cliche, game-of-dozens on wax. – Preezy Brown

Ghostface Killah Feat. Nas – “Scar Tissue”

Ghostface Killah Featuring Nas

2024 Mass Appeal

The creative synergy between rap artists hailing from Staten Island and Queens is well-documented and has resulted in numerous classic collaborations. Nearly 20 years after first bumping heads on Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Ghostface Killah, and Nas reconvene on “Scar Tissue,” the first single from GFK’s forthcoming album Set The Tone.

Rhyming atop a grungy backdrop, the Wu-Tang member drops a bevy of grisly couplets, defiantly declaring, “Middle finger to the judge, we still killing the plaintiff” in the second of his two stanzas. Swooping in for the climax, Nas pays homage to old New York haunt Smalls Paradise and incarcerated Supreme Team kingpin Gerald “Prince” Miller, closing out a track that certainly sets the tone for what we’re confident will be yet another valiant effort from the great Ghost Deini. – PB

Rapsody Feat. Erykah Badu – “3:AM”

Rapsody Feat. Erykah Badu

2024 We Each Other, Inc., Jamla Records, under exclusive license to Roc Nation Records, LLC

With her long-awaited fourth studio album, Please Don’t Cry, weeks away from arrival, Rapsody blesses her listenership with “3:AM,” the latest single unveiled in anticipation of its release. Built around jazzy saxophones and percussion, the track includes a guest appearance from R&B goddess Erykah Badu, whose buttery smooth vocals mesh with the North Carolina emcees purring musings concerning late-night rendevous. “You feel like the healer/ I know that I’m imperfect, though you make me feel like Jesus/ Or how God see us,” the Grammy Award nominee professes in the opening verse, with Badu’s croons on the hook carried throughout the proceedings. – PB

Gunna – “Whatsapp”

Gunna “Whatsapp” cover art

Under exclusive license to Young Stoner Life Records/ 300 Entertainment Inc., © 2024 Gunna Music, LLC

Gunna‘s “Whatsapp” is the type of music fans wanted to hear after he bared his soul regarding the YSL RICO trial, Alford Plea, and losing friends last year on A Gift & A Curse. This is a confident Wunna. He returns to the boisterous, flexing bars to discuss his jewelry, money, and luxurious purchases. He even shouts out Complex for saying he had the No. 1 album in 2023.

Production-wise, there’s a triumphant feeling in the drums, hi-hats, synths, and horns. It almost sounds like what would play if he were riding around during a parade in Atlanta. And given his success compared to his former collaborators, those clinging to the snitch allegations ought to reconsider because his trajectory looks better than all of their favorite rappers. – Armon Sadler

DaBabyGhetto Superstar – The Intro

South Coast Music Group/Interscope Records

The past few years have seen DaBaby’s stock resurge as the rapper has been painting by the numbers, dropping a steady succession of singles and multi-song rotators as opposed to a full-length release. The southern emcee continues that trend with Ghetto Superstar: (The Intro), a trio of songs that serve as a sampling of his varying moods and sounds unleashed when he steps into the booth. Opening with “Done Trying,” DaBaby delves into his inner thoughts, vowing to remain authentic while comparing himself to late rap icon Tupac Shakur.

The rapper picks up the pace on the frenetic “Ghetto Superstar Freestyle” before phoning in Detroit rapper Skilla Baby for “JUDY,” a rump-shaking anthem that finds the pair celebrating all booties, big or small. While a proper follow-up to his Baby On Baby 2 album has yet to emerge, the hitmaker keeps his name and voice in mind with this quickplayer. – PB

Yeat – “King Tonka/Heavy Stunts”

Yeat “King Tonka/Heavy Stunts” cover art

2024 Field Trip Recordings/Capitol Records

Yeat’s “King Tonka” is a distorted frenzy. His autotuned vocals are highly pitched, but the production is muddy and fuzzy. The record leans into an alternative rock bag, and his belting creates a chaotic yet cohesive sound. It’s one of those records that a kid would tell you that you just “vibe out” to because the lyrics are unimportant, otherwise known as difficult to comprehend.

“Heavy Stunts” has a similar sound, though it has a slightly slower tempo and adds Don Toliver’s melodic excellence. Admittedly, with Yeat doing virtually the same thing on back-to-back records, Don immediately becomes the highlight of “Heavy Stunts.” He approaches the track differently and honestly just sounds better. And the frantic production is right in his wheelhouse. – AS

Moneybagg Yo – “Tryna Make Sure”

Moneybagg Yo “Tryna Make Sure” cover art

2024 CMG/N-Less/Interscope Records

Moneybagg Yo is a joy to listen to because he knows what he’s good at and he doesn’t veer away from it. “Tryna Make Sure” features high-energy Tay Keith production and a simple yet enjoyable hook from Bagg. He is all about clarity here, saying he wants to ensure he and his squad get their money and respect and that a woman doesn’t take advantage of him. Living a lavish lifestyle can often make people careless, but he continually raps about wanting to make sure that all of his ducks are in a row. Who can be mad at such a relatable endeavor? – AS

Kash Doll – “Kash Kommandments”

Kash Doll

MNRK Music Group

Kash Doll‘s ongoing pregnancy hasn’t halted her grind. The Detroit rap star provides a verbal handbook for the ladies with her new single, “Kash Kommandments.” Produced by Go Grizzly, the track, which is powered by thumping bass, captures Kash giving her fans game, as she believes that there are certain codes of conduct every woman should follow.

“1: Never let a ni**a f**k you over more than once/ 2: Anybody owes you bread, do not accept a crumb,” she begins, laying out her list of rules to ensure survival and progress. Coming off the heels of her previously-released singles “Power,” “Big 1/Fawk Em,” and “Pressing,” “Kash Kommandments” is another satisfactory effort from the rapper and serves as another breadcrumb on the road leading up to her forthcoming studio album. – PB

41, Kyle Rich, Jenn Carter, Tata – “Tweak”

41, Kyle Richh, Jenn Carter, Tata “Tweak” cover art

2024 RiteOrWrongKVH Entertainment, LLC, under exclusive license to Republic Records, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

41, Kyle Richh, Jenn Carter, and Tata beat the “they make the same song” allegations on “Tweak.” They trade their usual, adrenaline-rushing drill music for a slower beat with more layers. They employ snaps, Timberland stomp-like drums, and siren-like synths. Vocally, they don’t pivot from their normal cadences but it’s okay because it sounds completely different on new production.

It’s pleasing to see them try something new early on, because even though their usual sound works, it was starting to get a bit old. Unlike the song title, they were not tweaking; they made a great artistic decision and it yielded an enjoyable record.- AS

Lancey Foux – “Gotta Get U”

Lancey Foux “Gotta Get U” cover art

2024 RCA Records, under exclusive license from Human Re Sources

Lancey Foux gets into his heartfelt bag on “Gotta Get U.” Cash Cobain handles the production and you know what that means: a quality sample and the constant sonic buildup that has crystallized sexy drill music. They flip Eugene Wilde’s “Gotta Get You Home Tonight” and turn it into the type of record that will have a man sweaty at a party whispering sweet nothings in a woman’s ears. It is polished, Lancey’s vocals sound great, and there’s a smooth aura to the track. If DJs know what is good for them, they will work this into their mixes and turn parties up a notch. – AS

See More New Hip-Hop Releases Below

Slum VillageF.U.N.

Slum Village 'F.U.N.' Album Cover

2024 FMG

Rome Streez and Wavy Da Ghawd – Buck 50

2024 The Influenyce Enterprise

Dave East and Mike & Keys Feat. Stacy Barthe – “So Much Changed”

Dave East

2024 FTD

Ras Kass, RJ Payne, and HavocGuttr

Ras Kass, RJ Payne, Havoc 'GUTTR' Album Cover

2024 Purfek Strom Group LLC / Fat Beats

YTB Fatt – “One Mo”

Maiya The Don Feat. Flo Milli – “Expensive”

Maiya The Don Featuring Flo Milli

RCA Records

Boosie BadazzBoosie Blues

Boosie Badazz 'Boosie Blues' Album Cover

2024 Badazz Syndicate

Gloss Up – Not Ya Girl: Act 1

Gloss Up 'Not Ya Girl: Act 1' Cover Art

2024 Quality Control Music, LLC

$NOT – “Bully”


2024 300 Entertainment LLC

General Steele and Es-K – Building Bridges II

General Steele and Es-K 'Building Bridges II' Album Cover

2024 Bucktown USA / Duck Down Music, Inc.

Madlib Feat. Black Thought and Your Old Droog – “REEKYOD”

Madlib Feat. Black Thought, Your Old Droog

Madlib Invazion, LLC

JSWISS Feat. Marcus Strickland – “One”

JSWISS Featuring Marcus Strickland


Mersiv, Tape B, Juicy J – “Trippy Land”

Mersiv, Tape B, Juicy J

2024 Deadbeats

Valee and Black Noi$ePartridge

Valee and Black Noi$e 'Partridge' Album Cover

2024 Unlimited Wifi

Spice 1Platinum O.G. 2

Spice 1 'Platinum O.G. 2' Album Cover

2024 Elder Entertainment, LLC

Fireboy DML – “Everyday”

Fireboy DML

John Jay

Saigon and FredoThe Jordan Era

Saigon and Fredo 'TheJordan Era' Album Cover

2024 Payday Records, Inc.