Listen to the following songs and more via TOO FRESH, the freshest monthly playlist there is here.

ALBUM OF THE MONTH | Conway the Machine – La Maquina

Is that Conway trying out new flows? On La Maquina (which translates to “The Machine,”, the Machine himself adapts and learns, channeling Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow” on “KD,” and even keeping up with J.I.D. and Ludacris ahead of the beat on “Scatter Brain.” Don’t be mistaken though, this is still undoubtedly Griselda domain with gunplay and sports references up and down the court: (“KD” of course standing for NBA player Kevin Durant), and tracks like “6:30 Tip Off” boasting lyrics such as, “The bag like I’m James Harden, money keep triple-doublin’,” and “I can’t waste an hour with my twenty-four/My mentality is more Kobe than Kief’ Sutherland.”

Introducing his new Drumwork crew, Conway does spend a lot of the record solidifying to the press that the rumors he has left Griselda are false, but he is able to highlight new members Jae Skeese and 7xvethegenius a little. This is still a Conway record after all, and if he’s going to continue to be thought of us as one of the best to do it presently, he still has to be the one to shine, even with rappers like J.I.D., 2 Chainz, and label-mate Benny the Butcher gracing La Maquina with features. And shine he does.

VERSE OF THE MONTH | Freddie Gibbs – “Big Boss Rabbit”

Speaking of the best rappers to do it today, this month’s best verse goes to Freddie Gibbs for “Big Boss Rabbit,” his umpteenth appearance here and surely not his last. This man just knows where to put his rhymes, and the flow is immaculate. “Slammin’, big MAC-11, back of the sevеn on some boss shit/I put that Presidеnt on my wrist and I got frostbit,” he raps, later rhyming, “Freddie Krueger, P-90 Ruger, I’m keepin’ on ’em/N****s say they ain’t losin’ sleep, tell ’em, ‘I’m sleepin’ on ’em.'”


1. Andra Day – “Phone Dies” with Anderson .Paak

The 2021 Oscars were a complete slog, and when Lil Rey Howery emerged to “quiz” the nominees on Oscar song history RIGHT BEFORE THEIR AWARD CATEGORY WAS ANNOUNCED is some next level madness. Andra Day, nominated for The United States vs. Billie Holiday, was tasked with identifying if “Purple Rain” by Prince was ever nominated, and was she was censored by the Academy for stating that, “It’s a brilliant song. It probably wasn’t even nominated and that’s some bulls**t.'” She was right of course, and she followed up the buzz with “Phone Dies,” a cute, soulful track produced by Anderson .Paak.

2. Brockhampton – “Windows” with SoGone SoFlexy

Go Merlyn! One of Brockhampton’s hardest tracks to date. Merlyn Woods remains my favorite member, change my mind. “America, did my people foul, then give me shot for free,” he raps, “while I watch Washington’s wooden teeth in her booty cheeks.”

3. CupcakKe – “Mosh Pit”

CupcakKe has had me worried ever since 2019’s suicide scare, but hopefully she’s getting the help that she needs and is enjoying making music again with “Mosh Pit,” a quick chorus-verse-chorus of a track where the rapper details a funny first date in which the guy is so small he needs a booster seat and she can’t understand the menu.

4. Dawn Richard -“Boomerang”

I haven’t really felt like dancing since 2020’s What’s Your Pleasure? by Jessie Ware, but Dawn Richard is a dance music veteran. With over 20 years in the biz, “Boomerang” was sure to be a hit, echoing back to Donna Summer’s ’70s disco, Daft Punk talk box effects, and the synthesizer king, Giorgio. The single off of her sixth record, Second Line, the whole album is really just stellar.

5. Flying Lotus – “Black Gold” with Thundercat

While I wasn’t a total fan of Yasuke, Flying Lotus’ new Netflix anime about the legendary Black samurai, that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t cool as hell. It was clear that it was anime fans making anime, and there was just a bit too much stuffed into its short, six episode run time, but had they been given 20-something episodes or more, like most anime, I think it would have really shined. A big help to its coolness was definitely the soundtrack, and you KNOW my man Thundercat was hopping on the theme song with ultra instinct at its full power.

6. Kenny Mason – “A+” with Denzel Curry

It’s not too often that people fly under my radar and then pop up with features from artists like Denzel Curry and Freddie Gibbs, but that’s somehow what happened when the young Atlanta rapper Kenny Mason released the deluxe edition of his debut project, Angelic Hoodrat. And surprise, surprise, he is keeping up with Denzel Curry like it’s nothing. If anyone, Mason is the one to keep an eye on right here, and props to Curry for hopping on and making sure I know where I should be locked on.

7. SHINee – “Atlantis”

It’s the K-pop update, and over-a-decade veterans SHINee are back with the deluxe edition of their seventh album, Don’t Call Me. While the title track was a decent hit on its own right, the new single “Atlantis” Is really something else. Incredibly fun, inventive, and goofy. I love when K-Pop groups reckon with weird english phrases and turn “our love goes deeper than the ocean,” into “therefore, we are underwater in the lost city of Atlantis.” Keep doing the most, boys.

8. 24kGoldn – “Company” with Future

This one technically came out last month but no one tell on me please! No rats in the Roseandblog la familia. We keep good company, and so does the “Mood” singer 24kGoldn on his aptly named new single, featuring the king of all this, Future. I would absolutely kill for a joint project.

9. Willow – “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l” with Travis Barker

I’ve been waiting to feel this angst from Willow again ever since 2010’s “Whip My Hair,” and the spaced out “t r a n s p a r e n t s o u l,” has 100% fulfilled the prophecy. Travis Barker of Blink-182 has been working with a lot of young artists these days, including Trippie Redd and Machine Gun Kelly, who have had pop-punk as major influences, but this new Wllow track is beyond a doubt the best collaboration yet.

What do you think? Drop your thoughts in the comments below.