Free the shiners!
Mahalia – IRL
Mahalia is back, and she’s better than ever! The UK artist returned to the music scene with her sophomore album, IRL. In this album, she goes toe to toe with artists such as Jojo, Destin Conrad, Stormzy, and more.
The number one thing I like about this project is how many flavors of R&B music it has. Throughout IRL, Mahalia toys with everything from upbeat to slow tempo to energetic R&B. On the real, these are the kind of R&B albums I grew up listening to.
Favorite Tracks: “Cheat,” “Terms & Conditions,” “In My Head,” & “It’s Not Me, It’s You.”
EST Gee & Young Shiners – Shiners Are Forever
Is EST Gee close to being an A-list rapper? A few days ago, he did something that only top artists do: He dropped a compilation project that features a bunch of underground artists.
Shiners Are Forever is a 12-track project that features verses from Young Shiners members EST Gee, EST Zoski, Marti, Lu Moke SkiMike, and DonWon. It also features guest appearances from Lil Baby and Lil Jairmy. What listeners will like about the project is that it boasts thrilling trap beats and gutter raps. Nope, you don’t get infectious melodies like that. The album flows well and will give you the dark trap feels you’ve been craving for months.
Favorite Tracks: “Dark Cloud,” “100+,” “Disrespect,” and “World Is Yours.”
Black Milk – Everybody Good?
Black Milk exudes a legendary aura, evident in his collaborations with esteemed artists like Cypress Hill and in the high-quality music he has consistently delivered since 2005. This past weekend, Milk graced the music scene with his latest offering, Everybody Good?.
This album encompasses everything a hip-hop enthusiast could desire. Black Milk’s dynamic artistry shines through with his compelling deliveries and insightful lyrics, captivating listeners throughout the entire journey. Everybody Good? transcends genre boundaries, effortlessly blending hip-hop, alternative rock, jazz, and R&B elements, creating a captivating and diverse musical landscape. It truly offers an exceptional listening experience.
If you’re looking for a well-rounded hip-hop effort that delivers lyrical wisdom and a plethora of musical influences, look no further than Black Milk’s Everybody Good?. It’s a testament to his brilliance as a rapper and musician.
Favorite Tracks: “For How Much?” “Downs Got Up” and “The Black Surf.”
Valee & Harry Fraud – Virtuoso
Babyface Ray – Summer’s Mine
I don’t know how I feel about Babyface Ray yet. At a point, I believed he could become at least a B-list rapper; however, I feel like he’s played the back in 2023. Well, Ray is back with a new album called Summer’s Mine. In it, he stays true to a very sly sound.
These past couple of weeks, I’ve stumbled upon a bunch of albums by Detroit rappers. They all have this whispery style that I don’t quite love but respect. We get that throughout Babyface Ray’s album. In Summer’s Mine, he never uses his outside voice and slurs his way to the finish line of most songs. Even the beats that he does his work over sound like they have been smoking on weed. The good news is this: Ray still hits us with hood-certified, trill, and unapologetic lyrics.
Summer’s Mine features guest appearances from Veeze, Los, Nutty, Westside Gunn, and Vory.
Favorite Tracks: “Fly Gods,” “All Star Team,” and “Donda Bag.”
Smiley – I Did What I Did
Did anyone crack the f**k up hearing Drake tell Bobbi Althoff she needed some Smigs (aka Smiley) in her life? As a matter of fact, that whole f**king interview was hilarious. Anywho, Smiley dropped a brand new project called I Did What I Did a few days ago. In it, he barely flows, and his Canadian accent pokes out like Larsa Pippen’s ass. If you aren’t hip to his style, you will be thrown the f**k off. If you’ve done a deep dive into the Canadian rap scene like I did, you will be a little less thrown off.
If you can’t get past Smiley’s rap style, it’s OK; this album still features some booming beats and demonic lyrical content that I absolutely love.
Favorite Tracks: “Nicky Nine Door,” “Eternals,” “Fast Route,” and “Benzi Boys.”
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.