In recent weeks, we’ve seen a whole lot of big event albums from already-huge rappers. Some of them have been good! (Most of them have been bad.) But no matter how good those albums might be, they can’t really compete with what it sounds like when a young rapper starts to catch fire, when huge levels of excitement start to swirl around a new person. This morning, we’ve got two new albums like that. One is Mudboy, the full-length debut from the Harlem-raised Travis Scott protege Sheck Wes. It’s worth your time. But if you’ve only got space in your heart for one new rap album this morning, that album should be Drip Harder, the new collaboration from Atlanta rappers Lil Baby and Gunna.
Both of these guys have been bubbling for a little while, doing songs with each other and with their conquering hometown heroes. They’re not really that much alike. Lil Baby is squeaky and melodic — a bit like Young Thug, with some of the rougher edges sanded off. Gunna, on the other hand, is relatively dense and insular, and he raps in a relentless run-on mutter-flow. They have amazing chemistry, just like Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan once did.
Drip Season, their new full-length collaboration, finds just the right tone for them, with both of them exploding all over low-key Atlanta beats. The bulk of the album’s production comes from their regular collaborator Turbo, though people like Quay Global, Wheezy, and Tay Keith also contribute. The album features appearances from Young Thug and Lil Durk. And on the album-closing track “Never Recover,” Drake, who last teamed up with Lil Baby on “Yes Indeed,” gives what might be his best verse of the year. Drip Harder is an exceptional rap album, and you can stream it below.
Drip Season is out now on Quality Control.