There were quite a few music releases this week.
Desiigner released the long-awaited audio version of his "Timmy Turner" XXL freestyle. Titled the same, the song is a banger and sure to be one that'll carry us through the summer. Listen to it here.
Ty Dolla $ign dropped a new song in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and in the wake of numerous police-involved shootings. Enlisting frequent collaborator Big TC, Ty and his "No Justice" track are the perfect accompaniment when picketing on the front lines for social justice. Hear it here.
If you're reading this, it's too late. After a simple 2016 XXL Freshman freestyle became a phenomenon, Desiigner found his follow-up single to "Panda." That alone felt damn near impossible to accomplish, but here we are. "Timmy Turner," a cut that derived from a few finger snaps and melodic hums, has now been given a glossy Mike Dean beat with Desiigner chanting the very lines that have been stuck in our brains for the last month or so. Granted, "Timmy Turner" is by no means some powerful lyrical exercise straying from the formula Desiigner first used to lure us in. If anything, it's an extension of that. His cadence is the draw, the depth of his tone, and his ability sing-rap in a way that even makes the lyrics merely an accessory to the composition. Given the current state of rap, this is far from a foreign concept, but Desiigner does it damn well — better than most in his league. So congratulations, Desiigner, you've won our hearts once more with a fluke. The real test comes after this moment. - Kathy Iandoli
The thing about this English-duo production team is that artists like Tinashe, Chance the Rapper, Syd the Kid and Anderson .Paak have already entrusted themselves to the pair. They do great things with R&B melodies and this mid-tempo track is no exception. Mad good. - Jon Reyes
The second half of 2016 looks to be pretty busy for Lupe Fiasco, who announced plans to drop three albums (DROGAS, DROGAS Light, and SKULLS), then retire from rapping. If the melodic, synth-heavy "Pick up the Phone" is any indication of what's to come from his swan song, the Chi-town lyricist is definitely leaving on a high note. - Jacob Rohn
YG's Still Brazy is still blaming in my whip. One of the highlights of the project, and especially since the conclusion of the Republican National Convention last night (July 21), "FDT" (or f**k Donald Trump) still rings true. This time, YG enlists two white rappers, G-Eazy and Macklemore, who stand in solidarity in hating the GOP presidential candidate. I'll be listening to this until November, and God forbid, afterward as well. - Paul Meara
I'm choosing a song this week based on its title since I'm having serious Game of Thrones withdrawals. I'm going to excuse Lil Bibby for spelling Jon Snow's name wrong because Bibby comes through with an aggressive flow, much like Jon would if he was a rapper defeating Ramsay Bolton's army with fire bars. - Janice Llamoca
Recording in the likes of Tupac’s old digs, LA-based duo THEY. returns after supporting Bryson Tiller on the road with their new single, “Deep End.” The track, THEY. self-describe as “some trap R. Kelly s**t,” and the song is easily one of their best to date, creating an ear worm that is full of both daunting and mesmerizing moments. The pair’s music falls in line with the movement Tiller is reputed to lead, combining R&B with Southern-influenced hip-hop, and finds their strength in balancing their vocal talents and building off of each other’s energy. After their debut EP racked up over 93 million streams, THEY. are looking to become a permanent fixture within today’s forward-thinking music scene and with “Deep End,” further prove they are well on the way. - KC Orcutt
(Photo from left: David Becker/Getty Images, Leon Bennett/WireImage)