Stream of the Crop: 5 New Albums for Heavy Rotation 5/27

New Albums from Lil Yachty, Gucci Mane, and Justin Townes Earle top this week's list of essential records.
May 27, 2017, 2:03pm

Lil Yachty Teenage Emotions

Lil Yachty—whether insightfully or instinctively—combined a few prevailing ideas at just the right time: the cartoonish yet plaintive Auto-Tuned fantasia of music like Speaker Knockerz and Soulja Boy's "Zan with That Lean," the way that sound intersected with the ambient pastiche of the various ambient electronic waves that show up in a crawl through Soundcloud, the matter-of-fact simplicity of artists like iLoveMakonnen and Migos, the positivity and enthusiasm of Lil B. He understood the power of connecting with the right influencers to push his brand in a way corporate entities can only dream of, and he naturally tapped into a teen understanding that the idols of the present are not the people your parents tell you to pay attention to but rather whoever happens to be famous in the present, even if that person is A$AP Rocky instead of Tupac. Perhaps most powerfully, he embodied the idea that kids can and should be kids.

Kyle Kramer, How Lil Yachty Became the Future of Music

Gucci Mane Droptopwop

Guwop's fourth studio album since his release from jail a year ago—Everybody Looking, Woptober, and The Return of East Atlanta Santa have all dropped in that span—Droptopwop has rap's most sleepless artist in a celebratory mood. Features come from Offset, 2 Chainz, Young Dolph, and Rick Ross.

—Alex Robert Ross

Justin Townes Earle Kids In the Street

To make Kids in the Street, Earle stepped out of his comfort zone and worked with producer Mike Mogis (he's produced albums for Bright Eyes, First Aid Kit, Rilo Kiley, and more) to incorporate more modern sounds into his music. "[Mogis] was able to bring this sense of 'Well let's try the mellotron on this,'" Earle said, "where I would probably guess to try to use a fiddle or something like that." This move toward the modern is a clear theme on this new album, with Earle updating songs like "Same Old Stagolee," a folk song about the murder of Billy Lyons at the hands of "Stag" Lee Shelton in 1895. Earle's version focuses on violence within Nashville, specifically between the hill and the bottoms.

Annalise Domenighini, Hear "Champagne Corolla," a New Single from Justin Townes Earle

Swet Shop Boys Sufi La

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