Hits of the Week – Featuring Kendrick Lamar, WILLOW and more

From scathing diss tracks between rap megastars to the long-awaited return of one of the world’s biggest pop stars, last week’s releases made for a memorable weekend in modern music.

Kendrick Lamar – ‘Not Like Us’

The hip-hop battle of the century came to a fever pitch over the weekend, culminating in not one, not two, not even three, but four diss tracks between Kendrick Lamar and Drake. The pick of the bunch from that utterly insane 72 hours in music – and what will most likely crown K-Dot as the winner in all this – was the West Coast banger, ‘Not Like Us’. In the track, produced by California legend DJ Mustard, Lamar beats Drizzy at his own game – creating a scathing character takedown that will be spun by DJs all summer long, in the vein of ‘Back To Back’. Lyrically, Lamar is doubling down on the narrative that Drake is a predator, has sex offenders on his payroll, and is consistently found to be leaching off Black American culture – specifically through his affiliations with Atlanta artists. It’s a slick move from Lamar, who’s managed to create one of the catchiest diss tracks of all time and will make for a more than worthy winner if the feud really has come to an end.

K-Trap – ‘Mobsters’

The rollout for K-Trap’s heavily anticipated debut album SMILE is well and truly underway. The Lambeth-born rapper has linked up once again with longtime friend and collaborator, Blade Brown for a track that wouldn’t feel out of place on a classic mob movie. Produced by two of the UK’s most prominent producers, X10 and M1OnTheBeat, the slick, swagger-soaked instrumental provides the perfect backdrop for both Trapo and Blade Brown to encapsulate classic gangster cinema through a pair of visceral verses

Dua Lipa – ‘These Walls’

At long last, Dua Lipa’s LP, Radical Optimism, has arrived, showcasing her progressive production and straightforward grooves across 11 tracks. Among them, ‘These Walls’ emerges as a standout, a shimmering soft-rock jam that channels the echoes of Fleetwood Mac. With funky electric guitar riffs and haunting melodies, Lipa reels us into a psychedelic groove, compelling all to sway to its hypnotising sonics.

WILLOW – ‘run!’

In what was a stacked Friday of releases, WILLOW also released her latest project, Empathogen. As always with WILLOW, it’s abrasive and in your face, whilst also maintaining an air of vulnerability throughout its runtime. Our pick of the bunch comes in the form of ‘run!’, which harnesses a bustling bassline, and begins with whispering vocals, while piercing electric guitar riffs carry the funk-ridden anthem.

Gunna – ‘Whatsapp (Wassam’

Sounding quietly menacing, Gunna reflects on how he is leaps and bounds above the competition in his latest track, ‘Whatsapp (Wassam)’. Set to appear on his fourth studio album, the track has a bass-booming, military-inspired trap beat, accommodating Gunna’s seamless wordplay as he throws down lines that nod to his authority in the game.

WriterChris Saunders
Banner Image CreditInterscope Records