The best new hip-hop albums this week include titles from Madlib, The Alchemist, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Arlo Parks, and more.

There is an overwhelming amount of music that drops on New Music Fridays. Unless you have hours of free time, it’s almost impossible to wade through all the sewage out there to get to the good stuff.

That’s where Okayplayer comes in. On Friday morning, we are out here listening to as much new music as humanly possible. January 2021 was a relatively slow month for new music. That hasn’t changed this week. There were only about a dozen new notable releases. But they were mostly fire, from Madlib’s new album to Lil Durk’s rerelease to Arlo Parks’ stunning debut.

Madlib & Four Tet — Sound Ancestors

Madlib Shares Tracklist and Release Date of Collaborative Album with Four Tet

Photo Credit: Madlib Invazion

On Madlib’s new album, Sound Ancestors, the legendary producer gets a helping hand from Four Tet, who mixed and mastered the album. According to an article in the New York Times, Madlib would send Four Tet files he would work on. “I want to take the things I like the most and make them as good as I possibly can,” Four Tet said in the profile.

The Alchemist — Carry The Fire

Photo Credit: ALC

The Alchemist drops his first album of 2021. There’s also some great Born x Raised merch you could buy along with this album.

Henny L.O. — Ree Louis

Photo Credit: MeansTM

Mutant Academy’s Henny L.O. has released Ree Louis, his new album featuring Fly Anakin, Big Kahuna OG, Nickelus F, and more.

Tha God Fahim & Your Old Droog — Tha Wolf On Wall St

Best New Hip-hop Albums

Photo Credit: Mongoloid Banks

Your Old Droog connects with Tha God Fahim for a new album, called Tha Wolf On Wall St. Last year we spoke with Droog about working with Fahim. He had a lot of praise. He told us: “The man is a legend and a visionary. I remember hearing his music back in 2016, 2017 and his beats were always transcendent. It was light years ahead of what was happening at the time.”


Photo Credit: OVO Sounds

PARTYNEXTDOOR has put one of his most popular projects on DSPs. The EP was originally released in 2014 on PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Soundcloud. Now you can enjoy the original EP, plus the four songs that make up COLOURS 2, on your favorite streaming service.

Kenyon Dixon — Expectations

Photo Credit: Kennygotsoul

Lead by the title track — which features Alex Isley — Kenyon Dixon has released his new album, Expectations. Dixon himself says it’s his “best album yet.”

Lil Durk — The Voice (Deluxe)

Best New Hip-hop Albums

Photo Credit: Alamo

Lil Durk has added a dozen tracks to last year’s The Voice. The album is an ode to Durk’s childhood friend King Von, who was killed last November.

5am — You’re Going to Be Fine

Best New Hip-hop Albums

Photo Credit: Interscope

Atlanta rapper 5am drops his new project, You Are Going To Be Fine. Speaking about the album in an interview with Front Row Live, 5am talks about how he recorded the album: “Every session we start all beats from scratch and then I just go in and see what I can come up with: melodies, words — we’ll just have conversations, things like that. It all just helps the song come together.”

Rich the Kid — Lucky 7 

Best New Hip-hop Albums

Photo Credit: Rich Forever Music

Rich The Kid surprises fans with a new EP. Lucky 7 features appearances from Rubi Rose, Flo Milli, Quavo, Mulatto — new name coming soon — and more.

maassai — With The Shifts

Best New Hip-hop Albums

Photo Credit: Kristin Powell & Dapo Davinci

Brooklyn rapper maassai returns with her new album, With The Shifts.

Koncept Jack​$​on & Ohbliv — JET MagaZINE ’21 Reissue

Best New Hip-hop Albums

Photo Credit: zach.ff & 7th Flow Productions

Richmond, Virginia rapper Koncept Jack​$​on links with his “OG” producer Ohbliv for JET MagaZINE ’21 Reissue.

Fredo — Money Can’t Buy Happiness
Best New Hip-hop Albums

Photo Credit: Since 93

West London rapper Fredo releases Money Can’t Buy Happiness. This album stands out because it features an appearance from Pop Smoke, who was killed last year.

Arlo Parks — Collapsed In Sunbeams

Photo Credit: Arlo Parks

British singer Arlo Parks has released her debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams, which was recorded last year while under quarantine. Speaking to Esquire, she talks about how Portishead and Earl Sweatshirt were influences on her: “Those were the influences I had when I was finding my feet as an artist… but I loved those kinds of crunchy textures, and how playful they were with their words. There was that sense of depth and darkness.”

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