Following last week’s relatively quiet release schedule, Friday saw the arrival of Lil Wayne thirteenth studio album, Funeral. Of course, Wayne’s Tha Carter V follow-up wasn’t the only release that made waves this week, as some of our favorite artists also delivered brand new singles: Meek Mill and Roddy Ricch’s “Letter to Nipsey”; Justin Bieber and Kehlani’s “Get Me”; Young Nudy’s “No Go”; Tory Lanez and Fivio Foreign’s “K Lo K”; Young M.A.’s “2020 Vision”; and more. These are the best new songs this week. 

Follow our accompanying Best New Music playlist on Spotify.

Lil Wayne, “Mahogany”

Over 20 years into his career, Lil Wayne can still rap better than nearly anyone. Case in point: “Mahogany,” an early standout from his thirteenth studio album, Funeral. Although it follows the opening title track, “Mahogany” feels like the LP’s true opener, a rapping-ass rap song cut from the same cloth as classic Wayne intros like Tha Carter’s “Walk In,” Dedication 2’s “Get ‘Em,” and Tha Carter II’s “Tha Mobb,” among others. Assisted by a stellar drum kick courtesy of Mannie Fresh, Wayne proves his technical prowess is unfuckwitable, with head-spinning lines like “I’m a Libra, I weigh it out/Hope the reaper don’t take me out/I’m too eager to wait it out/Stuck the heater in Satan’s mouth/Pray polices don’t raid the house/Pay my taxes and baby moms/Ain’t no cappin’, don't play around/Hate me back then, they hate me now.” —Brad Callas

Drake and Future, “Desires”

Just when you thought Drake’s partnership with Apple Music made him too big to drop SoundCloud loosies overnight, The Boy posted a new track Friday morning on OVO’s account, under the title “DESIRES LEAK 2020 SUPER FUTURE DRAKE.” Produced by d.hill, “Desires” is one of those signature cuts in which Drake sweetly croons biting words at a woman he’s involved with. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the track blesses us with the first quintessential Drake line of 2020: “How the fuck you keep so many secrets? How you goin’ vegan but still beefin’ with me again?” The track was initially teased by Future last August via Instagram Live, with a second snippet surfacing online in December. Earlier this year, the track had officially leaked under the name of “I Know.” Will “Desires” show up on their rumored What a Time to Be Alive follow-up? We’ll have to wait and see. —Brad Callas

Meek Mill f/ Roddy Ricch, “Letter to Nipsey”

Meek Mill has crafted stellar tribute songs before (see: Dreamchasers 3’s “Lil N***a Snupe” or Wins and Losses’ “We Ball”), but none with the stakes of “Letter to Nipsey,” his touching number dedicated to Nipsey Hussle. Alongside Roddy Ricch, rap’s premier hook-killer as of late (“Racks in the Middle,” “Ballin’,” “The Box”), Meek delivers an intense, emotional diary of emotions. “Couple days ago, was chilling with my youngins/Seen your kids on the Gram, it made me sicker to my stomach/And as the marathon continue, we keep running/But I’m like, damn, I wish you seen that pussy coming, for real,” he raps over the Papamitrou-produced cut. From there, Roddy sings a powerful chorus about questioning faith after losing a mentor, before then delivering a verse about his own feelings towards the L.A. rapper: “I was in Miami when I lost you, I ain’t talk about it/I remember I bawled out in tears when I saw your body,” he raps in his sing-song style. “Letter to Nipsey” is a welcome addition to the canon of rap tribute songs. —Brad Callas

Justin Bieber f/ Kehlani, “Get Me”

After failing to get his latest single “Yummy” to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, Justin Bieber returned this week with “Get Me,” the second single from his forthcoming fifth album, Changes. The love song duet sees Bieber pivot back to R&B, which is refreshing for those who were fans of his slept-on 2013 project, Journals. Producers Boi-1da, Vinylz, Poo Bear, and CVRE craft a moody soundscape that draws from ’90s R&B, as Bieber and Kehlani sing about finding a connection with somebody else: “Never intended to relate, I mean, what are the chances?/ Never thought I’d connect with you, not in these circumstances.” The track is expected to appear on Changes, which is scheduled to be released on Valentine’s Day. —Brad Callas

Young Nudy, “No Go”

After linking up with Pi’erre Bourne for Sli’merre, one of 2019’s best rap albums, Young Nudy returns this week with a new single, music video, and North American tour announcement. Produced by 20Rocket, “No Go” has a dark atmosphere that is similar to Pi’erre Bourne’s signature sound, which works in tandem with Nudy’s free-flowing cadence. The track arrives with an iNIGHTLYFE-directed music video, which follows the rapper in his native Atlanta following a late-night stay with his lady friend. Announced alongside the music video is Nudy’s North American tour, which is slated to begin March 20 in Oxford with stops scheduled for Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia, before ending in Atlanta April 30. —Brad Callas

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, “King of My City”

Although it seems a little strange to call 24-year-old A Boogie an elder statesmen of any kind, the Bronx rapper is in fact a forefather of New York City rap’s new generation, which is highlighted by rising MCs like Lil Tjay, TJ Porter, Lil Tecca, Pop Smoke, Fivio Foreign, Sheff G, 22Gz, and Smoove L, among others. So, it’s hardly surprising that A Boogie plants his flag as the new rap ruler of NYC on his latest single, “King of My City.” The brash anthem is expected to appear on A Boogie’s forthcoming album, Artist 2.0, which he teased on social media last fall. “This might be my last project for a while,” he wrote on Instagram.  “I want to take a break from music after Artist 2.0 tour is over. There’s a lot of things I wanna do in life and it’s moving too fast for me to focus on everything at once.” —Brad Callas

Young M.A, “2020 Vision”

Fresh off a high-profile guest spot on Eminem’s Music to Be Murdered By (“Unaccommodating”), Young M.A. continues her streak of bodying beats with her latest single, “2020 Vision.” The Brooklyn rapper spits an array of flows over producer Mike Zombie’s high-tempo percussions, with her intensity heating up as the song progresses. “New money but I’m getting back to my old ways,” she raps over moody synths. “Still a hood n***a, still gotta get the chicken wings with the lo mein.” When it comes to the “King/Queen of New York” debate, Young M.A should always be one of the first names mentioned. —Brad Callas

Key Glock, “Dough”

I’d imagine that it’s not a coincidence Key Glock dropped Yellow Tape, his first full-length project since 2018’s Glockoma, on the same day that Memphis rap king Yo Gotti delivered his latest album (Untrapped), considering the 22-year-old rapper has positioned himself as the heir to the Memphis rap throne. The streetwise record features references to Three Six Mafia’s signature horrorcore sound, though not on one of the project’s early standouts, “Dough.” Instead, producer BandPlay crafts a bass-heavy banger for Key Glock to let loose on, which, he does, effortlessly. —Brad Callas

Cardo, Payroll Giovanni, Larry June, and HBK, “Intro”

Anyone who listened to Big Bossin Volumes 1 and especially 2 knows how formidable a pairing Cardo and Payroll Giovanni are. And fans of the underrated L.A. gem G-Worthy, consisting of G Perico and Jay Worthy over all Cardo beats, knows how well his production can serve as the foundation for an unlikely group album. Put those pieces together and a project like Game Related is a pleasant surprise, but hardly a shock. Featuring Giovanni, the equally slick-talking Larry June, and HBK, Game Related features this quartet doing what they already do well alone, amplified by unity. Sonically, there’s much in common with the Big Bossin series: lush, hard-hitting, droptop-ready beats that pave the way for slick player raps about moving weight and flossing uncomparably, with standouts like, “I don't really fuck with no bitches that wear Kenzo.” There's nary a skip, but the intro sets the tone for the ensuing half hour well. Elite sunny Sunday cruising music. —Frazier Tharpe

$not f/ Maggie Lindemann, “Moon & Stars”

$not has been rising steadily over the past year, and a song like “Moon & Stars” is sure to advance that trajectory. He's already received love from the likes of Billie Eilish, while scoring placements in Euphoria, and this new song might have the most crossover appeal out of anything he's released prior. With an earworm-y hook that evokes peak Keef and ethereal vocals from the intriguing Maggie Linderman, this could be the track that fully launches $not into the stratosphere. —Frazier Tharpe

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