Editor’s note: Here’s a little wrap-up from last week’s new releases. If you’re interested in the visual version of our first takes, head over to my Instagram account @bwthebrand. For the written spill: keep scrolling!
Nardo Wick Who is Nardo Wick?: 8.5/10
Talk about a debut?! I questioned if the 19-year-old rapper hailing from Jacksonville, Fla., could keep the pace of his platinum single “Who Want Smoke” remix (feat. G Herbo, Lil Durk, and 21 Savage).
The 18 tracked album does just that and more. Clocking in at 49 minutes lands a high 8.5 for first spin rating! Sonically the album is cohesive, widely leaning to darker beats — heavy bass and blustering drum patterns.
It’s authentic to the core, as Nardo stands tall on his violent content. Even with star-studded features including Future, Lil Baby, and the elite trio of “Who Want Smoke” Wick still shines through.
The album presents flavors as it includes songs for the ladies “Wicked Witch” and “Baby Wyd?” (feat. Lakeyah) and of course a whole lotta stick talk with tracks similar to “Alright” and “Chop Chop.”
Polo G’s Hall of Fame 2.0 : 8/10
Polo pulled through with a deluxe to Hall of Fame, released in June. The exclusive comes with 14 new tracks blessed with features including Lil Baby, Moneybagg Yo, Lil TJay, NLE Choppa, and others.
Clocking in at 1 hour and 30 minutes — Now, this isn’t a Donda ordeal; it’s deluxe! The original came with 20 songs alone — the album gets an overall 8.
A deluxe should provide brand new songs to hold fans over until the next release when done right.
This does just that.
Cordae’s “Sinister” feat. Lil Wayne: 7/10
Instant replay value! A guaranteed attention grabber for lyricism, but that doesn’t come as a surprise. Cordae has proven that when it comes to bars, he gets busy!
The single comes in as a 7 for my first spin.
The Lil Wayne feature is brilliant. It’s good to still hear from Tune in 2021, and it’s a solid play on Cordae’s end. Not to mention a great cosign (makes no bones about it Lil Wayne’s legacy is undisputed).
Est. Gee Bigger Than Life Or Death Pt.2 : 6/10.
The 19-minute project is one for the fans. With eight songs the project didn’t have any “attention gripping” or “stand out” moments to me.
However, it is lyrically sound and delivers much ‘street talk’.
Khalid’s Scenic Drive: 8
The EP lands a 7 for the first spin. I’m not the biggest fan of Khalid. However, I’d easily add 6 songs to several playlists — and there are only 9 songs in total to put it in perspective.
Again, not an avid listener of his music. I was definitely impressed with the features, including 6LACK and Lucky Daye (gracing the same track), QUIN, JID, Kiana Lede, Smino, and Ari Lennox. These are fantastic features, each adding some sparkle to the project.
The project clocking in at 29 minutes, jumps off with a smooth intro that illuminates the sultriness of songstress Alicia Keys — who acts as a radio personality. The entire project follows suit leaving a silk finish.
I highly recommend giving this a spin while cruising on interstate after dark or when settling in for the evening.
“Little Havana” by Rick Ross: 5/10
Ross presented his second single from his 11th studio album Richer than I ever been — which is slated to drop December 10th.
The single features vocals from The-Dream and opens with a clip of the infamous drug kingpin Willie Falcon. The snippet of Falcon is the most riveting facet of the track as he gracefully talks of his undisputed reign in the cocaine industry from the mid-’70s to the ’90s (quite a run).
However, if only the rest of the track was full of luster. For the first spin, the single gets a 6. Ross rarely misses in my eyes, and perhaps the single will land better amid the album’s tracklist (I sure hope so).
The production is cream, as always. The song feels luxurious per usual, the lyricism is thought-provoking per usual. Yet, for my first listen, it didn’t impact as I hoped. But, again, I’m hoping my feelings change with a few more spins.
Toosii’s Pretty Girls Love Toosii: 3/10
The 3-pack fell flat for me, landing a 3 for its first spin.
In all honesty, I was excited to dive into this as I still enjoy Thank You For Believing (The Manifestation — released in July. But this project felt like “throwaways” from an album cut.
I was curious about “Never Leave Her” (feat. Jacquees), but again the song left me underwhelmed. It has the potential of Jacquees early days, but I wasn’t sold.
At best, “Shallow” is a highlight as Toosii gets into his bag articulating the ups and downs of a situationship.
Sinead Harnett “Where You Been Hiding”: 7/10.
Super smooth. It landed a 7 on the first spin. This warm song is perfect for the colder months as Sinead inquires of an assured love that won’t leave her high and dry. Her rasp also delivers a sense of comfort.
Juice WRLD and Justin Bieber “Wander to L.A.”: 8.5
It’s so good to still hear new music from Juice WRLD. The song leaves you feeling nostalgic as its pop elements shine bright. Bieber delivers as a feature. All is well.
Brent Faiyaz “Mercedes”: 10/10
Brent Faiyaz’s “Mercedes” is easily a 10 on the first spin.
The single of his anticipated album Wasteland delivers all the vibes. The vocal stacking, harmonies, lyrics, production… the list goes on!
SZA “I Hate U”: 10/10.
We ask, and she delivers. I first heard the song as a TikTok sound and was immediately obsessed.
So much so that I was running to YouTube every five seconds to listen to the song.
Sza has this way about her. Where her authenticity just seeps through and deeply resonates as if she’s all-knowing of your every woe.
This song has also landed as a No. 1 on Apple Music Charts.
Click here to find a playlist of all the tracks I’ve added from this week’s FSF!
Feel free to drop a line in the comment box and let me know what you thought of this week’s release.
Until next week, stay cool!