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August was probably the best month of new music in a long time for your humble host, with new projects out by everyone from Kodak Black to Peewee Longway to Berner, and probably two of my favorite songs of the year so far, ‘4 Minutes All Me’ by OMB Shawniebo and Berner’s new joint ‘Knuckles’ with Young Dolph and Gucci Mane. Perhaps most importantly of all we got news of what I expect to be the holy grail in a long list of Berner collaboration albums, his project with Young Dolph, which should be out at the end of this month. Here are the top 10 songs for an unexpectedly great month.

OMB Shawniebo – 4 Minutes All Me

OMB Shawniebo comes out with an early contender for song of the year on here. See previous post on 4 Minutes All Me here. You can never go wrong with this type of combination of wolf masks, baby blue Gap sweatshirts, luscious beats, and 4 minutes of just obliterating one of the tastiest beats in recent memory.

Berner ft. Young Dolph, Gucci Mane – Knuckles

Ever the savvy businessman, Berner teased the release of Tracking Numbers with Young Dolph by serving up Knuckles, also featuring Gucci Mane, as a tasty appetizer for it. In almost any other month, when I didn’t first hear ‘4 Minutes All Me’, the unexpected duo of Bern and Dolph would have taken home the crown for top song of August. As In any case, I have a feeling that this will clock in in my top handful of songs for the year and I’m looking forward to Tracking Numbers at the end of the month. As I said at the time… 

“According to Dirty Glove Bastard, the upcoming project with Young Dolph, entitled ‘Tracking Numbers,’ will have features from Gucci Mane, Peewee Longway, OJ Da Juiceman, Juicy J, Philthy Rich, and more. I can’t wait to hear the one with Project Pat. I loved DGB’s tepid/noncommital reaction to news of the Berner/Dolph project – “Berner & Young Dolph were probably the last 2 people you’d expect to collab for an entire project, but here we are.” You’ve got to love the ‘But here we are’ as the way to end your thoughts on something that you’re just not sure what to make of. Also, are the ‘Tracking Numbers’ referred to in the title referring to shipments from the Cookies clothing line that this hard-working fashion entrepeneur is senidng out to his customers, or to ‘cookies’ of a more illicit nature? Only time will tell when the album comes out.

I was excited enough just to see an unexpected collaboration between these 3, but the beat is absolutely delicious and takes this song to a whole different level. I’m curious who made it and what the sample is from. It has me feeling like I’m at a roller rink in the 70s with Berner, Dolph and the crew just casually skating around, smoking some cookie, chatting up the roller girls.

I loved Big Bern’s opening salvo “No handouts, I got here with nothing. The bezel and band on my wrist keep busting. I got birds from the Asians, guns from the Russians, VVVS’s on my chain keep dancing all custom” BUT the part of his verse that put it over the top for me and really spoke to me, as a big introvert, was Berner’s bold declaration “Fuck the club, dog. I’d rather stay in. I’ve got stacks to count, plus this batch just came in.” We definitely need more of that attitude in the rap world I’m all for it. I mean I don’t have many stacks to count when I stay in it’s more likely that I’m just eating takeout and watching Shark Week or Drugs Inc. but I’m feeling what he’s saying.”

Ryan Hemsworth ft. Yakki, E-40 – Hunnid

Definitely one of the happiest and sunniest songs of the year so far, this unlikely group of tres amigos certainly bring the fire on Hunnid. This is another song that in some months could have plausibly took the honor of song of the month if it wasn’t such a stacked lineup already.

OMB Peezy ft. Yhung T.O. – Try Sumthin

“F*ck all of that typing/twitter beefing b*tch I’m pulling up, playa sh*t, eating steak and shrimp it got me full as f*ck”

Just two of the Bay Area’s finest young up and coming artists linking up for an undeniable slap. Can’t wait to keep hearing more from both OMB Peezy and Yhung T.O

Young Scooter ft. Future – Can’t Play Around

Just a really hard track from Scooter’s Jugg King… 

“Young Scooter goes hard AF on the Future-assisted ‘Can’t Play Around’ off his new album ‘Jugg King’. The piano-laced beat is so harsh and foreboding, I feel like I’m ready to scale the castle walls and go to battle with this Black Migo Gang/Freebandz horde. This is one of the best songs I’ve heard out of ATL’s legion of trap rappers in a while and it feels great to blast it out of the car.

Future sounds great on the chorus; “I stay working through a hard rain and thunderstorm, I’m gonna stack this paper up again like I’ve never done. I’ve got these rose gold jewels I feel better now, I put the city on my back and I can’t let ’em down.” There’s just an unmistakable heaviness to this track, with the way Future extols hustling whether it rains or shines, and how Future and Scooter both reflect on losing everything and getting it back.

I love Young Scooter’s first line, “They like Scooter where you been, bitch I’m in Saint Laurent. My nigga VL keep that stick like he play lacrosse.”

Tay K – Dat Way 

While Tay K’s ‘The Race‘ has blown up to astronomical levels, I think the abrasive but deceptively catchy ‘Dat Way‘ is quietly my favorite song by him so far.

Kodak Black – Versatile 

Lil’ Kodak opens the unexpected ‘Project Baby 2’ mixtape with an absolute tour de force with ‘Versatile’. Clocking in at 7 minutes and rapping over a menacing, captivating beat by Helluva, Kodak definitely gets your attention and starts the album strong. I love when artists start their album with such a bang like that, similar to say Meek Mill’s intro to ‘Dreams and Nightmares’.

Tay K – Lay Low 

Similar to ‘Dat Way’, another song by Tay K with a simple, lo-fi beat, mainly about robbing and causing chaos in general (because what else, it’s Tay K) that should be too abrasive to be catchy but has managed to stay in my head all month.

Sheck Wes – Mo Bamba 

I be ballllllin’, like a motherf*ckin pro, I be baaallllin’, like my nigga Mooooooo

Harlem’s 7-foot high-school center is yet to tip off his first game for the Texas Longhorns, but thanks to Sheck Wes he already has his own anthem/intro music (that I hope they run out to but they definitely won’t) with the catchy Mo Bamba. Great beat by 16yrold and Take a Daytrip.

Tay K – The Race 

There were other songs I liked better in August including other songs by Tay K but honestly ‘The Race’ just became so ubiquitous over the past month or so that the list felt incomplete without it. I guess you could make the case that Tay K’s ‘The Race’ is sort of the foil to the John Walsh’s show ‘The Hunt’. The unique and oftentimes irresistible combination of a captivating song and beat done by an artist with a controversial backstory propelled this song to near the top of the charts. As we’ve seen with guys from Tay K to Kodak Black to XXXtentacion, this combination of charisma, legal troubles, and a couple of legitimate slaps often pushes artists to the forefront of fans’ attention faster than anyone could have predicted.

Honorable Mentions 

Alright I usually don’t like to go beyond 10 for these lists but this month just has had so many legitimate choices between all the new material and my continuing journey through Berner’s voluminous portfolio, plus an exploration of the back catalogue of Mozzy’s archnemesis Lavish D that I had to include two more songs as ‘honorable mentions’…

Berner ft. The Jacka, Mozzy, Lil Rue, Liqz – Gone 

This ‘all star’ track that Berner curated features possibly one of the G.O.A.T. Mozzy verses, with the added bonus of an ominous beat and verses from The Jacka and Lil Rue as well…

“I’m still high from that cup of slime. I bang the hood ’cause I’m in love with mine. I fell off like 100 times; I’ma get it back it happens all the time. I started off saran-wrapping dimes, my little brother died that’s when we had to slide. Circle small there ain’t a rat in mines; my Fruit Loops had roaches in it I’m from the trenches I ain’t gotta lie. The older homies had hella bodies, and them the ones that we idolized, I’m set trippin’ til my death day, there ain’t no way that I can compromise, it’s auto switches on the G-lock, 1 up top ahk got them b*tches modified, and I ain’t f*cking with them other niggas,  if you my brother nigga, better be down to ride.”

Lavish D ft. Stunna Blu – Iraq

As a Mozzy fan I almost felt a bit sneaky and slimey deciding to check out Lavish D’s last couple of mixtapes but much like a cheating spouse eventually the curisoity and temptation got the better of me and I decided to delve into it. He has some pretty good songs and my favorite of all of them was last year’s ‘Iraq’. The chorus for this one is very memorable and has a way of staying with you. You’ve also got to tip your hat to any video where the actual rapper isn’t in the video because he’s behind bars so everyone is wearing shirts saying ‘Free Cash Money Lavish’ on them. After listening to a couple of mixtapes I would say that Mozzy has a bit more star power than Lavish D but Lavish D certainly isn’t just a neighborhood rapper looking to get famous by dissing Mozzy, he has a bit of star power and quite a few good songs in his own right. My other favorite by him so far is ‘Speak My Mind‘. Now that he is free I’m going to keep an eye out for his new material as it comes out.