LL Cool J Drops An Ill Bomb, Moneybagg Yo Gets Vocal, Don Toliver Goes Psycho And More Hip-Hop Releases

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.

LL Cool J Featuring Rick Ross & Fat Joe – “Saturday Night Special”

2024 LL COOL J, Inc.

LL Cool J is preparing to embark on his glorious return to the rap scene with “Saturday Night Special,” the legend’s first release in anticipation of his forthcoming studio album The FORCE (Frequencies of Real Creative Energy). Rhyming over a sample-driven backdrop, the Queens native describes the fragile psyche and temperament of the “daredevil type,” warning from placing your trust within the sort while on the road to riches. He then praises the “boss” with “shrewd intellect,” presenting the contrast to the aforementioned blowhard, showing countering shades of players in the game.

Rick Ross and Fat Joe also appear on the track, both of which turn in measured performances while flanking their elder statesman. While the production leaves a bit to be desired, LL’s intent on delivering a grimy, brooding-sounding selection rather than an expectedly hearty or saccharine jam garners kudos in itself, making “Saturday Night Special” the calm before the storm sure to accompany the veteran’s 14th studio album. Just don’t call it a comeback, as he sounds more focused and present than ever. – Preezy Brown

Moneybagg YoSpeak Now

Moneybagg Yo 'Speak Now' Album Cover

2024 CMG/N-Less/Interscope Records

Moneybagg Yo gets vocal on Speak Now, which finds the Memphis star spilling his thoughts across the album’s 17 tracks. His first studio album since his platinum-selling opus A Gangsta’s Pain, Speak Now sees Moneybagg looking to recapture and build upon that magic, mixing trunk-rattling selections amid emotive numbers that penetrate the soul.

Vowing to stunt on the opps for the duration of 2024 on the introductory number “All Year,” Moneybagg gets the proceedings off to an enthralling start, running roughshod on the early favorites “Tryna Make Sure” and the album’s titular track. The rapper caters to the female sect of his fanbase on the raunchy “Taboo Miami” and the lustful, Chris Brown-assisted cut “Drunk Off U,” whereas he’s back to boasting and toasting on “Rich Viking” and “Aw Sh*t.

Featuring additional appearances by Rob49, Lil Durk, YTB Fatt, Morgan Wallen, and Kevo Muney, Speak Now is another potent offering from Moneybagg Yo. Its highs vastly outweigh its lesser moments, which are few in between on this long-player. – PB

Don ToliverHardstone Psycho

Don Toliver ‘Hardstone Psycho’ cover art

Cactus Jack, © 2024 Atlantic Records Group LLC

Don Toliver’s consistency doesn’t get discussed enough. The Houston enigma dropped his fourth album in five years, Hardstone Psycho, and it displays how well he has evolved as an artist without leaving behind the foundation his fans love him for. There are alternative rock elements all throughout the LP, there is house influence on “New Drop,” and there are the popular production efforts of Cash Cobain on multiple records. “Glock” is the immediate standout as he flips Whitney Houston’s “Exhale,” but don’t sleep on Teezo Touchdown’s vocal contributions to “Backstreets.” Don Toliver delivered yet again, even showing up his label head Travis Scott on “Ice Age” and “Inside.” The only questions are will he drop again next year? And how else can he get better? – Armon Sadler

NxWorriesWhy Lawd?

NxWorries 'Why Lawd' Album Cover

2024 Stones Throw Records

Upon the 2016 release of Yes Lawd!, Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge were burgeoning talents who had yet to truly reach their respective heights in fanfare and public profile. Nearly a decade later, each has garnered countless accolades. Sometimes, success can chip away at the prioritization of simply creating great music; all frills aside. This is certainly not the case with NxWorries, as the pair have reunited for Why Lawd?, their second collaborative album that doubles as a pleasant surprise for fans of the duo.

Tracks “86Sentra,” “FallThru,” “Battlefield,” and “MoreOfIt” are all svelte, hazy compositions that live amid features from Dave Chappelle, Thundercat, H.E.R., Snoop Dogg, October London, Charlie Wilson, Earl Sweatshirt, Rae Khalil, and more. While their beloved debut is a tough act to follow, Why Lawd? is masterful in its own right and has us hoping for a trilogy in the near future. – PB

Tommy Richman – “Devil Is A Lie”

Tommy Richman “Devil Is A Lie” cover art

2024 ISO Supremacy, Under exclusive license to PULSE Records., Distributed by Concord.

Tommy Richman capitalized on the hype from “Million Dollar Baby” with his new record “Devil Is A Lie.” It is an impressive effort showing that he is capable of delivering the same filtered, soulful vocals over more uptempo production. He utilizes the “Hell nah” adlib frequently, and it works as a stopgap between his lines. The presence of a violin and seemingly choral backup vocals also put this song over. Though “Million Dollar Baby” has been prematurely called the song of the summer, “Devil Is A Lie” is arguably better suited for party environments. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure: Richman is two for two. – AS

Chow Lee ft. Cash Cobain & Bay Swag – “Act Bad Twin!”

Chow Lee ft. Cash Cobain & Bay Swag “Act Bad Twin!” cover art

2024 TC Music LLC

Chow Lee’s “Act Bad Twin!” captures the momentum from PARTYNEXTDOOR’s latest album by turning “Resentment” into a sexy drill bop. The record starts slow before building up in Cash Cobain’s verse. Bay Swag brings the energy back down, making it a fun layered track. In true sexy drill fashion, they riff on their love for a surplus of women. Though Chow has moments of monogamy, he also shouts out all the bad women and tells the weak ones to sit down. There’s an interesting dynamic where he acknowledges he engages with his lady’s friends and she does the same with his friends, yet he gives her the affectionate nickname “Act Bad Twin.” The rules of Slizzy may be confusing for some, but enjoyment is seemingly always the goal and leads to another enjoyable record. – AS

JasonMartin and DJ QuikChupacabra

JasonMartin and DJ Quik 'Chupacabra' Album Cover

2024 50Million / Mad Scientist / EMPIRE

Several years after teaming up for their critically acclaimed Rosecrans EP, JasonMartin (formerly known as Problem) and DJ Quik regroup on Chupacabra, the West Coast duo’s debut album. Much like Rosecrans, Chupacabra includes contributions from a mix of Cali luminaries, making it another homegrown affair with grooves reflective of life in The Golden State.

On the album’s title track, JasonMartin pays homage to late N.W.A. and Ruthless Records founder Eric “Eazy-E” Wright,” rapping, “Compton Quik, we finna get ’em/ Shout to Eazy, we can’t forget him” before The Game, who appears on multiple tracks on the album, picks up where JM trails off. Chupacabra includes standout moments such as “Dern & Spruce,” “She’s Not Around, Pt. II,” “Two Hi (Waves),” “A Quik Message” and “Ayo.”

Featuring a tracklist bolstered by guests including Larry June, Channel Tres, Free Nationals, George Clinton, The Game, Big Hit, Suga Free, Jay Worthy, Lil Jon, Rodney O, Thundercat, DJ Drama, Dom Kennedy, Kaytranada, Ceelo, Gwen Bunn, Ab-Soul, Wiz Khalifa and more, Chupacabra is an enjoyable sonic voyage throughout the City of Angels and its surrounding locales. – PB

OnTheRadar Radio – “The Phases Cypher”

A screenshot from OnTheRadar Radio “The Phases Cypher”

YouTube screenshot

OnTheRadar Radio’s “The Phases Cypher” features talented lyricists HDBeenDope, Dizzy Banko, Niko Brim, Fergie Baby, Iman Nunez, Tony E, and LifeOfThom. The 10-minute exhibition is a reminder that despite the narratives about New York music and how artists take styles from other states, there are still some cold spitters in the towns. Tony E is a standout performer, opening the record with a swaggy flow and cool, calm, collected delivery. Fergie Baby is another highlight, surgically recounting his childhood experiences in Harlem and infusing a clever anime reference in his verse. Niko Brim and Iman Nunez get introspective, reflecting on their come-ups and dream chasing. It is a pleasing listening experience that is nearly impossible to play just once. – AS

Bossman Dlow – “Sportscenter”

Bossman Dlow “Sportscenter” cover art

2024 Alamo Records, LLC/Sony Music Entertainment

If Bossman Dlow’s “Sportscenter” was intended to make it to an NBA Finals commercial, he might have stuck the landing. The production is huge, with thumping drums and various wind instruments. As with most of his releases, the strong point is his delivery of his verses. Dlow’s used his unique voice, signature fluid flow, and flex bars that anyone can feel. He is one of the most exciting new acts in this music scene and continues delivering. To be right back with new music after dropping an album in March shows he is keen on capturing this moment he is in, and he hasn’t stumbled yet. – AS

SwaVayBilly EP

SwaVay 'Billy EP' Album Cover

2024 Def Jam Recordings, a division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

SwaVay’s continues to impress with Billy, the Atlanta native’s new EP, which finds him tapping further into her versatility with an R&B-centric collection. The Def Jam signee conveys his lovelorn thoughts throughout the project’s five tracks, which are soundtracked with plush instrumentation that perfectly compliments SwaVay’s feathery vocal performance. From the album’s strong beginning to its outro, Billy contains infectious offerings such as “All My Friends” and “No Ordinary Love,” as well as a guest appearance from Chase Shakur, notching another winning effort from SwaVay that serves as a welcome change of pace. – PB

See More New Hip-Hop Releases Below.


Lucki 'Gemini' Album Cover

2024 Lucki / EMPIRE

$uicideboy$New World Depression

$uicideboy$ 'New World Depression' Album Cover

2024 G59 Records

Homeboy SandmanRich II

Homeboy Sandman 'Rich II' Album Cover

2024 Dirty Looks

Guilty Simpson and Kong The Artisan – Giants of the Fall

Guilty SImpson 'Giants of the Fall' Album Cover

2024 Noel & Poland Records Limited

Desrtoy Lonely – “Luv 4 Ya”

Destroy Lonely

2024 Opium/Interscope

KenTheMan – “BDK”


KenTheMan Properties, under exclusive license to Roc Nation Records, LLC

Chicken P4EvaLit

Chicken P '4EvaLit' Album Cover

2024 Really Rich Empire, Inc., under exclusive license to 10K Projects

Nick Grant Sunday Dinner (Deluxe)

Nick Grant


SheedTsAfter It’s All Done

SheedTs 'After It's All Done' Album Cover

2024 Great Day Records/Santa Anna