As we look forward to this fall’s packed music release schedule, this week held us down with a number of great new singles: DaBaby got introspective on “Intro,” Danny Brown released the second single from his forthcoming album uknowhatimsayin¿ (“Best Life”), Future dropped a brooding slow jam (“What It Do”), Mick Jenkins tapped Qari for “Percy,” Young Thug and Gunna linked up with Jacquees on the R&B singer’s latest offering (“Verify”), and Boosie Badazz joined forces with Zaytoven for their collaborative mixtape, Bad Azz Zay. These are the best new songs this week.

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DaBaby, “Intro” 

Before this week, some thought DaBaby was a guy who had hit on a winning formula, and he was going to ride that formula as far as it could possibly go. Favoring memorable hooks and cartoonish punchlines over snappy beats might have made him a star, but it sounds like the Charlotte rapper is ready to give us a glimpse at the real Jonathan Kirk. “Intro” is less of an introduction as it is a victory lap, as DaBaby ponders his newfound fame and considers how different it is from his past. “Thinkin’ ’bout my grandmama and shit/I got the number one record, they acknowledged the jit,” he raps. “They goin’ crazy when they play it, head bobbin and shit And I’m just somewhere fucked up thinkin’ bout my father and shit.” There’s a lot more to DaBaby than you may have realized. —Brad Callas

Danny Brown, “Best Life”

Beyond its title, “Best Life” is in no way similar to last year’s instagram-inspired anthems from Lil Duval (“Smile (Living My Best Life)”) and Cardi B (“Best Life”). Instead, it’s a trip into the past, as Danny Brown reflects on the chaos of his upbringing. “Not supposed to be here, dead, like Weekend At Bernie’s,” the Detroit rapper half-jokingly spits over a beat from Q-Tip. Following the recently-released “Dirty Laundry,” “Best Life” is the second single from Brown’s forthcoming LP, uknowhatimsayin¿, which he’s referred to as his version of a “stand-up comedy album.” —Brad Callas

Gang Starr f/ J. Cole, “Family and Loyalty”

Six years since rapping, “Long live your idols, may they never be your rivals,” on Born Sinner standout “Let Nas Down,” J. Cole pays respect to hip-hop legends Preemo and the late Guru on “Family and Loyalty,” the first single from Gang Starr’s upcoming album. Unfortunately, this also means that J. Cole's legendary feature run is coming to an end, as the Dreamville rapper took to Twitter and revealed that “Family & Loyalty” will be the last guest spot from the run. “This a honor to be on this song. NEW Gang Starr,” he tweeted. “This is the last feature you’ll hear from me. Thank you to everybody I got to work with during this run.” It’s been fun. —Brad Callas

Future, “What It Do”

You have to admire Future for dropping new music on YouTube in 2019. He’s one of the few A-list rappers who still offers up hidden gems without fanfare or assistance from major streaming channels, and he continued the trend this week with the brooding “What It Do.” On the track, Future plays with his love interest, and even finds the time to weave Kawhi Leonard’s viral “What it do, baby?” meme into the song’s chorus. “I'm really fuckin' with you, spendin’ cash on that ass/Got to layin’ up with you, pulled off when I smashed/You let me have my way, I got this good girl goin’ bad/I ain’t treat you like trash, what I’m really tryna ask/What it do, baby?” Future raps to close out the silky ballad’s lone verse. —Brad Callas

Mick Jenkins f/ Qari, “Percy”

Following a handful of guest spots this year, Mick Jenkins returns with his first major single since 2018’s Pieces of a Man. “Percy” finds the Chicago MC and Qari trade bars over DJ greenSLLIME’s chopped and screwed production. “They talk beef, we seek choice pork cuts / I’m screaming f*ck 12, need white blood cells / I’m too sick with the pen like dumbbell / I move heavyweight,” Mick Jenkins spits on the track. Mick’s latest offering was accompanied by a music video, which serves as the rapper’s directorial debut. —Brad Callas

Boosie Badass & Zaytoven, “My Soul”

Zaytoven’s infectious piano licks have backed a number of Future’s most heart-wrenching tracks (most recently, last year’s Beast Mode 2 closer “Hate The Real Me”), so it’s hardly surprising that the Atlanta superproducer got Boosie to tap into a similar mind state on “My Soul,” the emotional centerpiece of their collaborative mixtape, Bad Azz Zay. Over Zaytoven’s masterful production, the Baton Rogue rapper slows things down and reflects on the struggles he’s endured, crooning “sometimes I wanna go, far away, far away from here.” —Brad Callas

Jacquees f/ Young Thug & Gunna, “Verify”

After collaborating on a pair of standout tracks from last month’s So Much Fun (“Hot” & “Surf”), Young Thug and Gunna are back at it again. At this point, the YSL duo is having a full-scale heat check, not that Jacquees, the self-proclaimed King of R&B, needs a helping hand. Nevertheless, Thugger and his protégé enhance the guitar-laden slow jam with their guest vocals and ad-libs, proving yet again that they can’t miss. —Brad Callas

Dro Fe, “Love It”

The Big Narco is back. Dro Fe is the nucleus of one of the Hollywood rap scene’s most vibrant headquarters, with his traphouse often serving as a base for emerging artists to film music videos or record projects, often under Fe's own Narcowave production team. But Dro himself has a story rich enough to rival any peer or junior: in a couple thousand words, we touched on the tip of the iceberg earlier this year here. So it’s always good to see him getting in the booth himself as he continues to parcel his narrative out. Big Narco 2, released earlier this week, is not without bangers (see “Gang” and “Nah Fr”) but overall the project finds him more introspective than usual, from the raw opener “Pain” to the reflective closer, “Love It.” Dro's plot thickens. —Frazier Tharpe

Consequence f/ Conway the Machine, “Complex Con”

Fresh off releasing Look What I Became last week, Conway the Machine returns with a scene-stealing guest verse on Consequence’s latest single “Complex Con.” The track, which Consequence also produced, sees the two rapping over a laid-back sample that highlights their effortless flows. Taken from his new album, Make Up for Lost Time, the song gives a preview of what's to come. Friendly reminder: ComplexCon Long Beach 2019 is less than two months away! —Brad Callas