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Lil Boat 2

What You Need To Know: Lil Boat 2 is the sequal to Lil Yachty's 2016 mixtape Lil Boat. It's the follow-up to last year's debut album Teenage Emotions which was marred by poor sales and reviews.

At A Glance: Lil Boat 2 sees Yachty leave the pop songs that were spotted through Teenage Emotions for a sound that hits harder than anything on his previous mixtapes. He's ditched any melodic material as if he's trying to prove to his fans and critics that he's back in a big way. Songs like Talk To Me Nice and BOOM! give us some of his most effective lyrics yet but much like Migos' Culture II the hooks don't stick. Additionally, he spends most of the time boasting about his wealth and artistic freedom which comes off as a paranoid response to the Teenage Emotions criticism. By trying to prove that he doesn't care, he's proved that he cares a lot. 

Must Hear Tracks: BOOM!, She Ready

In Short: An improvement from the last record that's too paranoid to be totally redeeming.



Cocoa Sugar

What You Need To Know: This is Edinburgh trio Young Fathers' third album, following on from their 2015 White Men Are Black Men Too. Last year, they contributed heavily to the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack.

At A Glance: Young Fathers are just as hungry and immediate as ever on Cocoa Sugar. Each beat thumps or thunders along with force and their melodies and bars are never bereft of intensity. It sounds like the sort of record only Young Fathers can make but that doesn't mean it's not unexpected. It twist and turns from accessible soul (See How) to primal raps (Turn) to Prince-referencing funk (Border Girl). It's an intense, demanding album but that only makes the rare subtle moments all the more rewarding.

Must Hear Tracks: See How, In My View, Turn

In Short: A hard-hitting, urgent record that takes soul music into a new dimension.



Bobby Tarantino II

What You Need To Know: This is the sequal to Logic's 2016 tape Bobby Tarantino. It was a surprise release that comes not long after the huge success of his biggest single to date 1-800-273-8255.

At A Glance: Bobby Tarantino II sees Logic rap about being a multi-faceted rapper without boundaries but there seems to be some attempt to remove the pop tags placed on him with his hugely successful last album. It's an attempt to make his relevance to the rap game known but instead it comes off as an imitation. On Midnight he attempts Travis Scott with bizarre rants about auto-tune and on 44 More the hook is staright out of Drake's chestpuff playbook. Where Everyday looked outwards, this tape is self-serving which is fine if it's convincing but it's not.

Must Hear Tracks: State Of Emergency (for 2 Chainz)

In Short: An aimless chestpuff that sets him off track after a big 12 months.



The Chocolate Box

What You Need To Know: This is Jeremih's first solo project since 2016's Late Nights: Europe and sees him deliver four new tracks worked on with producers like Pop & Oak and Retrofuture.

At A Glance: Jeremih's voice is so instantly great that he really could sing anything and it would be listenable. The Chocolate Box is more than listenable, it's very good. He aims for the bedroom with a set of sexually charged mid-tempos that go from graphic (SMTS) to romantic (Forever I'm Ready). His music no longer feels as forward-thinking as it did on Late Nights but it still hits the spot.

Must Hear Tracks: Forever I'm Ready, Cards Right

In Short: A strong return that'll satisfy fans but won't go much further.