It's been a wild week in the world of music headlines. In a span of 24 hours, these two gems came through my feed: Valee Responds to Backlash After Dyeing His Dog Hot Cheeto Red and Halsey Injures Foot Trying to 'Save' a Butterfly That Was Already Dead. What a time to be alive. Thankfully, amidst all the animal-related music news, we were also blessed with memorable releases by everyone from Denzel Curry to Trippie Redd to Cardi B. Without further ado, these are the best songs of the week.

Denzel Curry f/ Rick Ross, “BIRDZ”

"I freestyled the whole [album]," Denzel Curry says about his new project, ZUU. "I just wanted to keep it simple and plain. Straight to the point. Just get down to business. Forget the dilly-dallying." So, what came out of Denzel when he sat down and let the music flow through him? An album that sounds very Florida. Given the tone of the project, it only makes sense that Carol City’s own Rick Ross gets in on the fun with a cold-blooded verse on “Birdz.” Over a wild, trunk-rattling beat from FNZ, Denzel and Ross deliver an out-of-control song that will soundtrack many late nights in Miami this summer. As a bonus, Denzel even finds room to slip in lines like, “Fuck a Pop Tart, we carry toasters for real.” —Eric Skelton

Cardi B, “Press”

OK, who pissed off Cardi B? When it was announced that she would be dropping a new single this week, many wondered what version of Cardi we would get. Well, “Press” arrived on Thursday at midnight and we were greeted by a Cardi who says she’s “done with the talkin, I'm open to violence.” Sheesh. This is fight music. I could spend the next 200 words describing the hard-edged musical elements on the track, but this might be the most important thing to know about “Press”: It’s only been around 12 hours since it dropped, and I’ve already seen dozens of memes about people firing weapons while listening to the song. —Eric Skelton

Lil Keed f/ Lil Uzi Vert & YNW Melly, “Pull Up”

“All three of us went shopping/$700,000 all on clothes,” Lil Uzi Vert raps on “Pull Up,” and that’s honestly everything you need to know before diving into Lil Keed’s new single (which also features YNW Melly). This is luxury BFF rap. This is the kind of song you put on when you and your boys are so comfortable with each other, you book an exotic getaway to the islands together. At one point, Uzi even says, “I put my dick in her belly, ho/And after that pass her to Melly, bro.” Friendship. You love to see it. —Eric Skelton

Payroll Giovanni & Cardo f/ 3D The Hook King, “Never Change”

Big Bossin Vol. 2 was one of my personal favorite projects of 2018. A vanguard of the vintage hustler era, Payroll Giovanni’s slick Detroit player rhymes married with the lush sounds from one of Cardo’s many production lanes made for a union in holy driving music matrimony. But we still haven’t received a Vol. 3 yet—a travesty that’s since been remedied this week with the SoundCloud release of Rico & Gio. Across seven tracks (including alternate versions of two Vol. 2 standouts) the titular rapper and producer do what they do best. They can give us bangers ,too (see Vol. 2’s “In Me, Not On Me”) but I really like this duo when they hit us with something smooth that you can put the windows down in the whip to while doing the speed limit and puffing on something covert. This is springtime Sunday cruise music, and when Payroll extols, “Damn it feels good to be a hustler,” it sounds like a hymn. Damn, it feels good to have these two back, even for an appetizer. —Frazier Tharpe

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, “Crime Pays”

This latest taste of Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s long-awaited collaborative album, Bandana, should leave fans in an even bigger state of anticipation than the (much-belated) announcement of an actual release date for the project. “Crime Pays” features everything that the duo’s acolytes could possibly want: a jazzy, electric piano-heavy beat; pointed, visceral lyrics about life on the wrong side of the law; and even a short drum n’ bass-style coda. Of note: Gibbs makes heavy use of triplets throughout the song, proving that the so-called “Migos flow” no longer belongs to just the South. June 28 can’t come soon enough. —Shawn Setaro

Skepta, “You Wish”

“Might just tour the States for the fun of it” is such a flex. Skepta is one of the few UK rappers to truly break through in America, and his new album Ignorance Is Bliss builds on the momentum of the 2016 Mercury Prize-winning Konnichiwa. On first listen, the standout is “You Wish.” Over noticeably bright synths, Skepta talks his shit, flexing all the success he’s seen and rubbing it in the faces of the artists he’s left in his wake. Oh, and there’s this: “Must've been talkin' about sex if I ever said that I was tryna come second.” True. —Eric Skelton

FKI 1st f/ Lil Duke, Lil Gotit, & Lil Reek, “We All We Got”

FKI 1st is something of a fixture on big rap releases at this point, but his Good Gas series of tapes is always a great place to find a singular distillation of his talents—both behind the boards and for corralling talent. The third volume is out today, and the early standout amongst the seven tracks is “We All We Got,” which features Duke, Gotit and Reek going in over 1st’s trademark menacing keys and dark production. And when the beat shifts into something more contemplative 90 seconds in? Sheesh. —Frazier Tharpe

Trippie Redd, “Under Enemy Arms”

Following a quiet five months to begin 2019, Trippie Redd returned this week with “Under Enemy Arms.” Over brassy production from Hammad Beats, Trippie reminds us of his appeal: the ability to write melodies that crawl inside your brain and never leave. Instead of pushing things to full emo-rock territory, though, he anchors this one with impressively dexterous raps that build on the flashes of brilliance he’s previously showed on songs like “Can You Rap Like Me?” With all the success he’s seen over the past two years, it’s easy to forget that Trippie is still only 19 years old, and “Under Enemy Arms” makes it clear his skills are still sharpening with each release. —Eric Skelton

Tory Lanez f/ Quavo & Tyga, “Broke Leg”

Tory had been calling this the Song of the Summer in advance of its release. I’m not one to reward hyperbole, but I’m also not made of stone: The weather is finally reaching consistent 80s on the east coast, and this is exactly the type of shit I wanna hear wherever I find myself with a frozen drink for the next few months. Since the kids don’t wanna hear Juvie the Great at the function anymore, maybe Tory interpolating it is serviceable enough to make everyone happy? —Frazier Tharpe

Jim Jones f/ Fat Joe, “NYC”

Two of the city’s most towering aughts legends over vintage Heatmakerz production? The only thing washed is the track title. Jones and Joseph wax poetic about being POMEs of their respective corners of Gotham, uniting to create the best kind of throwback. This could’ve easily been a go-to album cut on a disc you copped at Sam Goody, and they’re still doing it (very well) in the Spotify era, which is a testament to their OG endurance. —Frazier Tharpe

Chief Keef, “X-Men”

OK, so technically Chief Keef’s new project Camp GloTiggy isn’t actually new. It’s just new to streaming, and missing a few songs. Technicalities aside, this tape being available for legal audio consumption is worth highlighting. The actual best song is probably “Ganga.” And the song most likely to stop scrollers in their tracks would be number three, which is titled… “Masturbation.” But if there’s one track that’s truly worth writing home and spreading the good word about, brothers and sisters, that would have to be “X-Men.” For motivations unknown, back in 2016, Keef decided to rap about every X-Man: from the household names (the hook starts with “Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm Magneto”) to relative obscurities like Lady Deathstrike. Chief took Kanye’s model-names-only bar exercise from “Christian Dior Denim Flow” and used it to flip the mutants for lines that are hilarious, even when they feel forced. “Got my grey jeans on”? Ok, sure! In the name of exclusivity, verse two opens things up to DC heroes and even Dragonball Z references before bringing things back full circle with a Days of Future Past line. I’m quite sure my son would’ve updated the track with some Phoenix bars if the cowards at FOX had reached out to show him love for the soundtrack. Kevin Feige would’ve known better; this is just one more reason why he shall going forward. —Frazier Tharpe