photo: Joey Bada$$ / Christ Conscious
by Jack Carenza
With 3,000+ listeners, and new heat being added regularly, TodaysHipHop is a must follow, showcasing tracks from some of today’s top hip hop artists in the Chill Lyricist category, including J Cole, Saba, Bas, Joey Bada$$, Kota the Friend, Smino, Isaiah Rashad and more.
We hope you enjoy our newest additions to the playlist which have been added with your listening experience in mind. You can sample the playlist below or check out the official playlist on Spotify. Read the reviews below on three of the newly added songs.
Kota the Friend – ’96 Bulls
Kota’s new single is an instant addition to the playlist, another independent diamond in a pristine catalogue of sensible, relatable music. Backed by an airy beat, with a tropical yet soulful melody, and spacious drums, Brooklyn’s autonomous phenom is given the latitude to deliver predictably approachable and thoughtful bars. Lyrically, ’96 Bulls is signature Kota, with rich references to his son, self-improvement and overcoming adversity, with delivery and flow to match. We had a chance to discuss this release and more with Kota, check out our interview with him for a more in-depth reaction to the track.
JID – Off Da Zoinkys
Long lauded for the potency of his outrageous flow, Dreamville and East Atlanta’s JID often does not receive the adequate praise for exceptional song writing. As we eagerly await his expected 2021 album, The Forever Story, it is easy to fall in love again with the array of features, and his sophomore album DiCaprio 2. JIDs catalogue is deep, highly varied, and distinctive. DiCaprio 2 produced bangers like 151 Rum and Off Deez (with J.Cole), but also more complex and heartfelt writing, which is the category where Off Da Zoinkys falls. Using incredibly soulful sampling of The Crowns of Glory I’m So Grateful, JID’s breakneck flow races around the turbulent chops, and vocal samples on the hook section. A wonderful balance of bravado, punchlines, and an incredibly important message, this track is a call to rappers, and JID’s team to get off narcotics. (“Little syrup sippin’ out of a foam/Little powder, put the pot in the bong/I ain’t trippin’, I ain’t sayin’ it’s wrong/But, it’s some other shit we can be on.”) The message here is clear, the new generation of rappers exalt drug use, when the reality is, the impact can be catastrophic and damaging. JID saw this firsthand, as his close friend Mac Miller, (who reportedly worked with JID on DiCaprio 2) tragically lost his life due to laced cocaine. As always, Dreamville’s budding superstar hits the mark with sensational tempo, and stunning lyricism.
Jalen Santoy – Foreplay
Jalen Santoy is certainly not a household name, but he should be on the radar of avid hip hop heads. Foreplay was the Charlotte, NC artist’s breakthrough single, driven by a luxurious sax riff, and Santoy’s sultry delivery. Serious jazz-hop vibes, set the tone for lyrics wrought with the natural contradiction of love and the byproduct of feelings that accompany it. Santoy battles with the idea that love itself is a balance of loving and hating your significant other, and it does not take much to tip the scale in either direction. In addition to crafting a beautiful piece of aural art, the music video is poignant and elegant, highlighting the talents of a gifted musician deserving of much more attention.