Doechii - “She/Her/Black Bitch”
Her first official project since signing to TDE in 2021, Doechii has returned to drop the 5-track project. “She/Her/Black Bitch.” From front to back, the EP makes it clear that Doechii did not come to play. As the only female rapper on the TDE roster, it might seem like she’s come with a chip on her shoulder and something to prove, but whatever narrative people want to use to cast doubt on her ability will be firmly answered within the project's 13-minute runtime. With a tight, fun, yet versatile flow that traverses a variety of bass-heavy and well produced and polished beats, her performance is certainly memorable and only leaves you wanting more. Warranting a dive into her back catalog, her major label debut has earned her a 4.5-stars out of 5 rating.
“Swamp Bitches (with Rico Nasty)”
With an insane bass line that rips throughout the track, and a standout feature from one of the most lyrical and talented female rappers in the game in Rico Nasty, it is one hell of an opening track, and just as likely to be your favorite as well.
“Bitches Be (with Jst Ray)”
Sonically different from the rest of the tracks on the project, the predominantly-melodic track is a refreshing switch up, and an example of Doechii’s impressive range.
Ron Suno - “SUNO MODE”
As one of the first rappers in the Bronx to produce a Drill track, Ron Suno holds a heavy hand over the Bronx Drill scene and always lets it be known in his music. His signature matter-of-fact flow is on display throughout the follow-up to 2021’s “Joke’s Up”. Although “SUNO MODE” is predominantly a Drill album, there is a decent amount of variety in the instrumentals and features to help flesh out the 15-song tracklist and 35-minute tracklist. The features match and compliment Ron’s larger-than-life energy, which is most apparent on the album's breakout single “WHAT THEY GON SAY (feat. Rowdy Rebel)”. Punchy, aggressive bars over frantic, high-energy beats help make Ron Suno’s most recent effort a must for any and all kinds of New York Drill lovers, earning 4 stars out of 5.
“WHAT THEY GON SAY “feat. Rowdy Rebel”
Although this is a remix, it proves to be the superior version of the two. Frenetic drums and slides echo through the track alongside a flurry of strings, helping produce one of the more memorable Drill tracks in recent memory.
“SALLY (feat. Kyle Richh, TaTa. and Miah Kenzo.”
The Bronx meets Brooklyn as Ron teams up with members of the 41 crew to craft what may very well be an instant hit. Each of the artists prove why they’re among the elite category of the New York Drill scene, while also showing some Crosstown unity in the process.
Bobby Shmurda - “Bodboy”
After 7 long years, Brooklyn Rapper and New York Legend, Bobby Shmurda has finally dropped his debut project. Although he has been dropping singles since being released from prison in 2021, the world had yet to hear a full length project. Bobby’s first effort consists of 9 tracks, amounting to a total of 19 minutes and 3 seconds. Across the project, Bobby’s infectious energy radiates through the speakers, but his lack of variety in the flow category detracted from my overall enjoyment. The beat selection is another area I felt was lacking in terms of consistency. Some tracks felt modern, even crafted specifically for TikTok alongside sampling a popular sound on the platform, while others felt dated as though he’d been sitting on the since his debut in 2014. For the narrative surrounding it, “Bodboy” is a monumental moment in the story of Bobby Shmurda, and leaves us eagerly awaiting what’s next from him, and a 3.5 stars out of 5 rating.
A track that feels like it was crafted for the purpose of going viral on TikTok, it embraces the popular Jersey Club sound that has influenced a string of recent hits. Bobby is having nothing but fun on the track, and manages to make it much more enjoyable by doing so.
“On God (with Rowdy Rebel)”
Seeing Bobby and Rowdy together on the same track brings nothing but joy. The longtime friends connect for another banger, while making it seem almost effortless. Their interpolating bars are a highlight,and make you wish the track extended beyond its hardly-two-minute runtime.
Cruch Calhoun - “El Verano”
New Jersey rapper Cruch Calhoun dropped his second project this year, “El Verano” which means “The Summer” in Spanish. Hailing from Roselle, New Jersey, Cruch Calhoun is doing his best to put on for Jersey as well as the Latino community. In a 7-track project that boasts various melodic trap sounds, Cruch spends the 21-minute runtime speaking his mind on the state of the rap game, as well as the day to day issues that everyone faces. Detailing the trials and tribulations that come with a summer in Jersey, Cruch’s catchy hooks and conscious lyrics make for a calm listen. The album isn’t necessarily full of bangers, but shows that they aren’t completely necessary to accomplish an artistic idea, earning 4 stars out of 5.
“Callin’ You (feat. ImSoMaleek)”
Harboring the lone feature on the album is a 4.5 minute track with polished production and impressive vocal layering in ImSoMaleek’s croons, this track is by far my favorite. Heavy on the melody, Cruch cruises on this beat while reflecting on relationships past.
With a piano melody that sounds almost ethereal, with a soft trap instrumental built around it, Cruch gets off some of his best bars on the record, while telling a story about the unfortunate consequences of street life and the systemic issues that keep young men in the area in the cycle of incarceration.