The second Friday in August blessed us with a packed slate of new music that includes new projects from Rick Ross (Port of Miami 2), Bas (Spilled Milk), and Trippie Redd (!). Beyond the full-lengths, some of the best new music this week comes in the form of singles: Hot Girl Summer continues, as the mother of the movement, Megan Thee Stallion, drops its official anthem; Ty Dolla $ign taps superproducer Tay Keith for a sleek club-ready banger (“Hottest In the City”); Kendrick Lamar joins Top Dawg signee SiR on the rising R&B singer’s new single (“Hair Down”); and rap collective Brockhampton returns with their second track in as many weeks (“If You Pray Right”). Meanwhile, we also heard new offerings from Cousin Stizz (“Toast 2 That,” featuring Freddie Gibbs), YNW Melly (“223s”), and DRAM (“The Lay Down”). These are the best new songs of the week. 

SiR f/ Kendrick Lamar, “Hair Down” 

There’s nothing better than hearing King Kendrick rap over a breezy, light trap beat like this one. On “Hair Down,” the first single from R&B singer SiR’s forthcoming album, Kendrick laces the TDE signee with a scene-stealing guest spot. Midway through, he grabs the mic and throws shots at Drake and Kanye West’s home turf (“Calabasas ain’t the move, that’s where everybody lives”), before offering his own advice on living arrangements (“I recommend you live where the truth is/Psychedelic views and infinity pools”). Over a sun-drenched beat, SiR’s sultry vocals, along with Kendrick’s rapid-fire verse, makes “Hair Down” great L.A. driving music. —Brad Callas

Cousin Stizz f/ Freddie Gibbs, “Toast 2 That”

With his new album, Trying to Find My Next Thrill, a few days away from its August 14 release, Cousin Stizz follows up last week’s single, “STP,” with “Toast 2 That.” Backed by production from Ted Boyd and Lil Rich, the celebratory track sees Cousin Stizz and Freddie Gibbs trading bars over a hard-hitting beat. After setting things off with his laid-back flow, Stizz passes the mic to Gangsta Gibbs, who proves why he’s one of the best lyricists in the game during his intense closing verse. —Brad Callas

Megan Thee Stallion f/ Nicki Minaj & Ty Dolla $ign, “Hot Girl Summer” 

Back in May, Megan Thee Stallion dropped Fever and christened the months of June, July, and August as Hot Girl Summer. Three months later, long after the phrase became a movement, Megan delivers the phenomenon’s official anthem, “Hot Girl Summer.” Featuring production from Juicy J and Bone Collector, the track samples City Girls’ “Act Up,” which was regarded by many to have unofficially kicked off #HotGirlSummer when the Miami duo released it as a single in April. Continuing his run as hip-hop’s go-to hired gun, Ty Dolla $ign sings the hook, but Megan and Nicki take center stage on the track, displaying an effortless chemistry while complementing each other’s flows on their cocky, energetic verses. —Brad Callas

Rick Ross f/ Nipsey Hussle & Teyana Taylor, “Rich N***a Lifestyle” 

An early standout from Rick Ross’ new album, Port of Miami 2, “Rich N***a Lifestyle” is yet another example of Rozay sounding best when rapping over soulful production (notable examples include “Cigar Music,” “Tears of Joy,” and “The Devil Is a Lie”). Production from Cardiak, which samples JAY-Z’s American Gangster cut “Sweet,” gives Ross room to talk that talk over two verses on “Rich N***a Lifestyle,” but the song’s best appearance comes courtesy of the late Nipsey Hussle. Stepping in around the one-minute mark, Nipsey grabs the mic and directly references Tekashi 6ix9ine (“I can’t name a fake n***a that was not exposed/How y’all n***as so surprised that Tekashi told?” he spits. “Ain’t a real street n***a ‘less you got a code”). —Brad Callas

Brockhampton, “If You Pray Right” 

Ahead of their new album, Ginger, Brockhampton dropped their second song in as many weeks, “If You Pray Right.” Just like last Friday’s offering (“I Been Born Again”), the group’s new single features verses from Kevin Abstract, Dom McLennon, Meryln Wood, and Joba, as they trade bars over a beat backed by a trombone loop and eerie synths, referencing various religions and spiritual traditions in each of their verses. In conjunction with “If You Pray Right,” Brockhampton also treated fans to an accompanying music video, which features the boy band amongst a small marching band, for a return of the blue-bodied aesthetic they’re known for. —Brad Callas

YNW Melly f/ 9lokknine, “223s”

Released last December as a 9Lokknine song featuring YNW Melly, “223’s” has now been rebranded as a Melly cut, despite having the exact same verses as the original. Currently in prison facing the death penalty for reportedly murdering his two friends, the 19-year-old Florida rapper followed up the release of “223’s” with a big announcement this afternoon: Taking to Instagram, Melly posted photo of himself on the phone in his orange jumpsuit, alongside a caption that read, “Album on the way everybody #MellyVsMelvin.” —Brad Callas

Trippie Redd f/ Playboi Carti, “They Afraid of You” 

Since his spectacular guest spot on Solange’s “Almeda,” Playboi Carti has been on a run of stellar features. Each one, from “Almeda” to Young Nudy’s “Pissy Pamper” to Tyler, the Creator’s “Earfquake,” has seen Carti implement his infamous baby voice flow, so it’s hardly surprising that his latest guest verse continues this trend. On “They Afraid of You,” an early standout from Trippie Redd’s sophomore album, !, Baby Voice Carti swipes the song out from under Trippie in the opening verse. Nothing beats the sequence near the end of his verse, where Carti ends five straight bars in the same fashion, rapping, “Hell you talkin’ bout?” in a way that sounds nothing like English. —Brad Callas

Bas f/ EarthGang, “Jollof Rice”

On last month’s Dreamville collaboration, Revenge of the Dreamers III, Bas was a constant presence, contributing scene-stealing verses to tracks like “Down Bad,” “Self Love,” and “Costa Rica.” This week, his hot streak continues, as the rapper shares his latest project, Spilled Milk Vol. 1, the first in a series of releases that will find him collaborating with other artists. The four-song EP features appearances from notable Dreamville labelmates, J.I.D., EarthGang, and Ari Lennox, among others. The highlight of the project is the opening track, “Jollof Rice,” which sees Bas and EarthGang’s Wowgr8 trade verses over a bubbly banger, serving as yet another testament to Dreamville’s stable of unique talent. —Brad Callas

Ty Dolla $ign, “Hottest in the City” 

Over the past few years, Ty Dolla $ign has cemented his status as hip-hop’s best scene-stealing guest star, on the back of stellar features on singles from 2 Chainz (“It’s a Vibe”), Post Malone (“Psycho”), 6lack (“OTW”), and Drake (“After Dark”), among others. Despite becoming the rap game’s consummate collaborator, though, Ty has only one Top 40 single as a lead artist (2013’s “Paranoid,” which peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100). His new single, “Hottest In the City,” has the potential to end this drought, thanks to guest verses from Juicy J and Project Pat, and production from the Best Hip-Hop Producer Alive, Tay Keith. —Brad Callas

DRAM f/ H.E.R. & WATT, “The Lay Down”

Big Baby DRAM is on his grown man shit with “The Lay Down,”his first proper solo release of 2019, which highlights a more mature sound from the Virginia representative. The soulful performance includes a stellar contribution from H.E.R., while Watt, Pino Palladino, Chad Smith, Ivan Neville, and Happy Perez set the tone with a smooth backdrop. Prior to its release, DRAM shared a note to prepare fans for this next phase of his career. “I’ve always considered myself more of a singer-songwriter so this time around, I’m really owning my R&B and soul roots,” he explained. If you were expecting another “Broccoli,“ think again. —Edwin Ortiz

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