The Best of Friday, Ft. Vic Mensa, Asher Roth, Smino Brown & More

Friday is an auspicious day in any given week – the final working day, the last tag on the way out the door to the weekend where the door to revelry is thrust open. Only rarely is Friday is not a day to celebrate, but equally unique is a Friday with so much to celebrate as this Friday which we have just seen – June 3, 2016.

Wading through the joyous chaos to find you the best of this stupendous day, what you will find below is as good a start to your weekend as you could ever hope to imagine. Part Rap Wrap, part Amazing Albums, and entirely juicy, here’s your final Howl & Echoes playlist for the week:

Vic Mensa – 16 Shots and There’s Alot Going On

How soon they forget, eh, Vic? Yes, that’s right. The Chicago MC who we last saw making extraordinary guest appearances on recent albums by Flume and Kaytranada has burst back onto the solo scene today, with a new seven track EP. Having been three years since his last full-length solo release, 2013’s Innanetape, some fans may have forgotten Vic Mensa’s competency as a solo artist. While collaborations with Kanye West (U Mad) and Skrillex (No Chill) kept him in our ears last year, it was the high-profile guests who stole the spotlight. All of that changes now, however. Not satisfied with  plans to drop just an album, studio debut Traffic later this year, Mensa has unveiled tremendous new EP There’s Alot Going On today via Apple Music. With only one feature on the project, coming from Ty Dolla $ign, it’s clear that Mensa is intent on reminding the world just how fantastic he is without needing a boost from any bigger names.

Perhaps no single song is a better example of Mensa’s talent, however, than 16 Shots, which debuted on Ebro Darden‘s Beats 1 Radio program earlier today. An aggressive, impactful protest piece written in tribute to the struggles of his native Chicago, 16 Shots is earnestly awe-inducing, and should prove profoundly affective in whetting appetites everywhere for not only There’s Alot Going On, but also Traffic in the not so distant future. Follow the link below, and listen to 16 Shots now.

Asher Roth – Laundry (ft. Michael Christmas & Larry June)

Asher Roth has come a long way from his I Love College days, with his last full-length project RetroHash, released in 2014, breaking new ground for the artist in terms of both content and impact. Fast forward two years and Roth is working off the back of a Rawther, a collaborative EP with Nottz Raw & Travis Barker, and preparing the future release of his third studio album.
Linking up on this track, entitled Laundry, with Larry June and Boston rapper Michael Christmas (himself hot off the back of a recent EP release), Asher Roth raps over a thick bassline about a girl who smells like, well, laundry. Peep the hot release below.

YG – Still Brazy

Having only just announced the final title of his new album, due June 17, YG has offered up a taster today in the form of groovy title track Still Brazy. In many ways, Still Brazy seems a continuation of the vibe and atmosphere of Why You Always Hatin, as well as maintaining the growing accessibility of the trap artist. Given the popularity of both 2014 albums My Krazy Life and Blame It On The Streets, anticipation for Still Brazy is already sky high, and the album’s title track will do that anticipation considerable favours. Join in below.

Mike Will Made-It – Nothing Is Promised (ft. Rihanna)

Rihanna is an artist who has undergone a serious resurgence of late, with latest album ANTI widely considered to be her best. Mike Will Made-It as a producer, on the other hand, is not a man who needs any kind of resurgence – with his solid catalogue of work for various artists of various genres continuing through to today. His last ‘solo’ album Ransom, however, was a comparatively poor showing by the powerhouse producer, despite the grand showing of lead single 23 featuring Miley Cyrus, Wiz Khalifa and Juicy J. With latest release Nothing is Promised, the full-length follow-up Ransom 2 suddenly looks a whole lot more promising. A continuation of the aggressive, confident Rihanna heard on ANTI, Nothing is Promised will lend particularly well to car speakers and over the ear headphones, as the Barbados-born artist wages war with the bass-heavy beat.

A.CHAL – Welcome to GAZI

Peruvian born crooner A.CHAL already has an extensive list of accolades for an artist who has otherwise existed completely beneath the radar. All of that seems poised to rapidly change, however, with the release of debut album Welcome to GAZI. Led by extraordinary singles Round Whippin and Far From Home, Welcome to GAZI is an infectiously charming introduction to the talent previously co-signed by such names as Oliver El-Khatib, A$AP Rocky and Zane Lowe, with the latter describing the album: “His lyrics are very honest, his hooks very intuitive, and the production if you turn it up loud whether its in the car, in your living room, or in the club, SNAPS in every single location. I think he’s the real deal and I’m not alone.”

With such esteemed industry praise, a certain element of scepticism with regards to A.CHAL’s talent could be expected. Nevertheless, it it quickly resolved with the sounds of Welcome to GAZI, perhaps one of the best debuts of 2016. A big call, but a deserved one.

Get the full release here.

Smino Brown – Blkjuptr

Along with the re-release of his Blkjuptr EP, upcoming name Smino Brown has dropped the visuals for the EP’s fire title track. Shining the spotlight on himself – particularly his vocals, while toying with space and distance to allow the rapturously dark and ominous beat to resonate, the video finds a mysterious figure painted entirely in black dancing interpretively to the Smino offering – which is sure to capture the attention of several new fans and draw well deserved attention to the Blkjuptr EP. Watch the video below, grab the full EP right here.

Of course, this list is not entirely the complete offering of Friday, June 3, without mentioning the brand new Classixx album Faraway Reach, which notably features an extraordinary T-Pain collab.

Considering that this has all happened in less than 24 hours, you’d even be excused for wondering how it could ever get any better from here. Enter:

What a day, what a day.

You can find James Schofield on Twitter and Instagram.

Image Credit: YG – Still Brazy Album Cover