Hip-hop didn't take this week -- the week after New Year's -- off. Raekwon, The Weeknd, Meek Mill, Rick Ross, T.I. and Das Racist's Kool A.D. all have new material from mixtapes to offer this week, some of which comes in advance of full-length studio sets.
Das Racist had some heads bobbing and others being scratched in 2011 with their set "Relax" which, retrospectively, was not all that relaxing. Kool A.D. (Victor Vasquez), one-third of DR, has palm wine on the mind for his solo 'tape. "The Palm Wine Drinkard" takes its name and general ideas from an African novel; it involves 1) drinking and 2) adventures with a wizard while drinking. The titles "Titties Out," "Fun" and "Flying Thru the Air inna Airplane" should give you some funky ideas.
All three of Das Racist's members are plotting solo sets for 2012.
Wu-Tang's Raekwon, as expected, has something "Unexpected" for you, with features and help from 9th Wonder, Mobb Deep, Styles P and more.
As previously reported, Rick Ross and T.I. both have studio albums due this new year, and both are taking advantage of a slow news week to pump out some new material from preceding mixtapes. Rozay's mixtape "Rich Forever" finally has a drop date: Jan. 6, as in, this Friday. It arrives ahead of his new set "God Forgives, I Don't." He's also still threatening a collaborative mixtape with Drizzy Drake, though at this point it's talk: remember how you were hospitalized twice this winter due to seizures and exhaustion, Rawse? It's fine to just sit sometimes and read a book, k?
T.I. -- still fresh from the clink -- released "F*ck Da City Up" on New Year's Day. It feels more unstable -- in good and bad ways. The Pusha T track is a fun listen: the tired Dr. Dre track could use a skip. This could be a barometer for success of his next album "Trouble Man."
Speaking of Rick Ross, his Maybach label signee and Hip-Hop New Class member Meek Mill has a synthy little refrain on "Lean Wit It," from "Dreamchasers 2" (the sequel to his well-received "Dreamchaser" mixtape from 2011).
Lastly, Drake-collabo The Weeknd made my and many others' Top Albums list of 2011 for "House of Balloons." He's a mixtape fiend. So the Canadian crooner is making at least a couple more for 2012.