Music, News

Smino, BabyTron and more on New Music Friday 

   Friday, Oct. 28 has indisputably been one of the most exciting nights of the year for hip hop music. With many versatile rap albums releasing, rap fans all over the country can find an album to fit their hip hop preferences. 

   Chicago rapper Smino released his third studio album “Luv 4 Rent” on Friday. Smino is known for blending elements of rap, r&b, and neo-soul into his own signature sound, which he seems to perfect on this record. 

   Smino’s vocal range has always been one of his most defining traits, and he shows more vocal control and dexterity on “Luv 4 Rent” than ever before. Most of the album’s production is handled by frequent collaborator Monte Booker, who always makes the album’s atmosphere feel dreamy and relaxed throughout the track list. 

   Featured performers include J. Cole, Doechii, Lil Uzi Vert and more, who all bring individual and standout verses. “Luv 4 Rent” shows more diversity and consistency from Smino and keeps the listener engaged from start to finish.  

   For the past three years, one of the most exciting rappers coming out of Detroit has been BabyTron. Over the last year especially, BabyTron has seen a meteoric rise, and his newest album “Bin Reaper 3: Old Testament,” feels like we are watching a star revel in his success. 

   BabyTron is most well-known for his signature flow and fast beats that regularly sample 80’s pop and r&b, closely related to the style of 80’s freestyle music. Neither of these staples go anywhere on “Bin Reaper 3,” but they are contained in a more condensed track list, with about forty minutes of material. 

   BabyTron’s lyrics are as hilarious as ever and his beats are an improvement over his earlier projects. As time goes by, BabyTron continues to improve his craft and prove his worth in the hip hop mainstream. 

   Westside Gunn, a New York rapper and co-founder of the prolific hip hop collective Griselda, dropped the tenth album in his “Hitler Wears Hermes” series, simply titled “10.” Westside Gunn is known as a “curator,” putting together rappers and producers alike to make a new sound. 

   On the track list the featured performers are unlisted, but when listening to the album you can easily point out the iconic voices. Features include A$AP Rocky, Run The Jewels, Ghostface Killah and Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan, as well as other Griselda members Benny the Butcher, Conway the Machine, Rome Streets, and Stove God Cooks. 

   The beats are grimy and the rapping performances are some of my favorites of the year. Overall, “10” is one of the best Griselda releases in years. As Westside Gunn continues to find unique combinations of rappers and producers, the quality will only get higher. 

   Next week we can look forward to a new collaborative album from Drake and 21 Savage, as well as the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack.