The end of the 3rd quarter and beginning of the Fall release season saw anticipated follows ups and major label debuts from an array of rising buzz makers continuing to climb the rap ladder, as well as new and noteworthy drops from ones to watch for as they make their first sonic steps into the spotlight.
All My Heroes Are Cornballs from Baltimore’s JPEGMAFIA stood out with a mostly featureless album that rides the line between Brockhampton’s dynamic, melodic deliveries and the tamer moments of heavy instrumentation that dot the sonic genome of everything that gave us Ghostemane and $uicideboy$. Singles “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot” and “Beta Male Strategies” offer up definitive range on the full length that was also entirely co-produced by Hendricks himself.
Acronym-inclined statemate to JPEG, IDK also calls Maryland home and put forth his major label debut this month in the form of concept album Is He Real? where he skillfully muses on the existence of God and provides other revelatory pondering across the 14 tracks that strategically welcome high profile guests J.I.D. and Pusha T.
Jack Harlow followed up his ear turning 2018 project Loose with the equally, or debatably more strong mixtape follow up Confetti. A standout feature from Bryson Tiller on “ Thru The Night” is only the surface of unpacking what Harlow brings to the table across the 12 tracks that could easily be confused for an album quality record.
Modern history’s more interesting purveyors of West Coast vibes Shoreline Mafia sequel their 2018 EP with the extended Party Pack, Vol. 2 project that continues their quick fire release approach and welcomingly tags regional giants 03 Greedo and Drakeo the Ruler for a standout feature on “Wake Me Up in Traffic” while they battle their own ongoing and controversial legal affairs.
Back on the East Coast, the duo Johnny Venus and Doctur Dot that make up Earthgang are making a case for being the potential new leaders of the polished lyrical resurgence in Atlanta’s storied history a la Outkast. Mirrorland never settles, on a sound or otherwise, and instead weaves through enough audible changes to garner arguable comparisons to the legendary duo that claims the same city.
One of the A’s other fastest rising stars Lil Gotit followed up his replay-worthy release Crazy But It’s True that he blessed us with earlier this year. This time going lighter on the features, The Real Goat plays like a seamless continuation of Gotit’s sound with consistent song craft and infectious production from the likes of 10Fifty on standout track “Brotherly Love” made with his buzzing brother Lil Keed.
Souther Carolina’s Lil Mexico tag teams a number of his tracks on Trenchbaby 2.5 with parallel running future stars Slimelife Shawty and Fredo Bang, among others, but he also shines on his own with “The Mob” and “Menace II Society.”
Other standout projects this month include Lunchbox’s A Dark Night in Gothem, Sheff G’s The Unlucky Luccy Kid, Dee Watkins’ Problem Child, Jelani Imani’s The Shell and Tony Velour’s Vices Hurt.
JPEGMAFIA –All My Heroes Are Cornballs
Lil Mexico – Trench Baby 2.5
Jack Harlow – Confetti
Shoreline Mafia – Party Pack vol. 2
Lil Gotit – The Real Goat
Lunchbox – A Dark Night in Gotham
Sheff G – THE UNLUCCY LUCCY KID
Dee Watkins – Problem Child
Tony Velour – Vices Hurt
Jelani Imani – The Shell
IDK – Is He Real?
EARTHGANG – Mirrorland
Sosamann – Trap Sauce: The Album