Asset.Radio is a playlist of new hip hop releases curated by OGM contributor Aidan Werder (@aidantheasset) updated every week.
Tune in weekly for a fresh batch of 25 (ish) new releases, or throw on shuffle for a random sampling of new music from some of the most original and compelling artists in hip hop – hopefully painting a fairly accurate picture of what the cutting edge looks like.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and fair warning that some selections come with an acquired taste. While you may not love every song, there is definitely something for everybody. With that said, the goal of Asset.Radio is to answer questions like: Which artists are bringing something new to the table? Who is an asset to the culture?
And keep in mind, this is all in the humble opinion of Aidan the Asset.
With plenty of exceptions, the selections usually feature a few distinct sounds that encapsulate the current prevailing sounds in hip hop: what you might call “New school gangster rap,” Soundcloud 2.0 and smooth or even acoustic R&B-leaning hip hop – with a mix of artists from up-and-coming to mainstream. Showing a bit of personal bias from yours truly, there is also usually a strong showing from NYC artists, as well as the West Coast.
Starting with some of the more well-known artists on the list, it seems only right that Kevin Gates starts off with a powerful “Intro” after the electric week he’s had. The underappreciated crypto kingpin Money Man claimed the second spot with “Big Money.” There were also some unexpectedly dope collaborations this week like Pharrell’s “Cash In Cash Out” with 21 Savage & Tyler the Creator, and French Montana’s Harry Fraud-produced “Drive By” with Babyface Ray – who also joined Ryan Trey for the impressive R&B-leaning “Only Us.”
The reason for the “new school gangster rap” title is to distinguish the street-oriented music and drill rap of today, much of which sounds different and comes from different places than the golden-era gangster rap of yesteryear. Represented in this list by the likes of Florida-natives Yungeen Ace, Nardo Wick and Trapland Pat – joined by Baton Rouge-native Fredo Bang on “Astronaut Status.” There’s also Detroit’s Baby Money, Atlanta’s Hunxho and LA’s Ralfy the Plug, flexing his understated, unorthodox style over Kendrick Lamar’s “Rich Spirit” following a rather unfavorable review of his new album. Underground ATL powerhouse Tony Shhnow also probably belongs here more than anywhere else with his pluggnb-trap hybrid style.
While the “new wave Soundcloud underground” title doesn’t fully capture the genre, it is meant to refer to the increasingly popular sounds amongst the digital-native – from energetic rage to calm pluggnb to basically anything one would find on a platform like DotComNirvan. This growing lane is represented by Cochise‘s lightning-in-a-bottle “Turn It Up,” the incredibly catchy Lil Tecca-inspired “Bounty” by Rich Amiri, the self-produced “TRIBULATIONS” by Eem Triplin, and the laidback “Great Xscape+++” by DMV-native Mikey Polo. Another definite standout from this week is the powerful rage banger “Pay Up!” by underground OG UnoTheActivist.
Smooth melodies and R&B vibes are provided this week by Ryan Trey, Generation Now’s secret weapon, Seddy Hendrinx and Young Money’s one-of-a-kind crooner, Reese Youngn.
NYC entries this week are also particularly smooth, from Harlem-native Neek Bucks’ super catchy “Southside” with K Goddess to Flatbush-native Bam Vito’s soulful “Shopping Spree.” And getting us in the zone for a Sexy Drill Summer is Dee Aura’s “Gotta Get It pt. 2” feat. Keora and 27 Delly’s “Super Bizzy” with the sexy drill architect himself, Cash Cobain.
Promoting equal coast representation, the West Coast is repped by Ralfy the Plug as well as “All About Fetti,” an unlikely collab between LaRussell and DaBoii organized by DJ Gutta Butta. There’s also another hidden gem in SF-native Karri’s “Bambi,” a pretty impressive west coast-infused collab with the quickly rising Kalan.frfr.
The list closes with two tracks that don’t quite fit in any other box: a nod to the lyrical-miracle with Danger Mouse’s “Because” featuring a powerhouse combo of Black Thought, Russ and Joey Bada$$ – and XXXTentacion’s “Jocelyn Flores” in light of the release of LOOK AT ME: THE ALBUM that accompanied the new documentary detailing the impactful young artist’s rise and unfortunate demise.
Overall, Asset.Radio.22.6.2 sets a really good example for the types of artists and the kind of music one can expect to find on Asset.Radio.
For anyone curious, the cover image is from Jay Z and Jack Dorsay’s March 4, 2021 announcement that Square had acquired Tidal – a sequel to last week’s image of Jay DJing in a cowboy hat that accompanied his Memorial Day playlist (with some notable inclusions like Babyface Ray, EST Gee, Vince Staples, and Kodak Black that can also be found all over Asset.Radio).
In closing, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter once said: “My Playlist game is A++.”
Listen to Asset.Radio Below & Tune in Next Week