Renowned producer-rapper Hit-Boy has been one of, if not the most diligent figures in hip-hop over the past year.
Collaborating with Big Sean and Fivio Foreign on “Salute,” producing Nas‘ Grammy-award winning album King’s Disease and executive producing the movie soundtrack for Judas and the Black Messiah in January, Hit-Boy yet again reasserts his surmounting influence in the game — recruiting Kendrick Lamar’s pen for the Apple Music Exclusive track “Back in Traffic.”
Released on June 5 for Apple Music’s Juneteenth-inspired Freedom Songs (a collection of covers and originals), Hit-Boy is no stranger to working with both rap legends and up-and-comers alike. Teasing future releases with both Benny The Butcher and Freddie Gibbs, he has also previously alluded to a potential Nas and Jay-Z collaboration album in the works.
Detailing his personal journey as a musician, Hit-Boy spits inspirational lyrics over menacing trap production. KIRBY (aka Kendrick Lamar) lent both lyrics and the hook to the Juneteenth single, further bringing the song “to life.” Hit-Boy later shared in a post on his Instagram story Saturday, revealing: “Lyrics/melody written by Kendrick Lamar, brought to life by [KIRBY]. Can’t thank y’all enough.”
But don’t get back and fall again
I’m right on time for calls, my friends
The lanes have changed but the trust, it never ends, ends
Never endsHit-Boy — “Back in Traffic”
While Hit-Boy continuously proves his multi-faceted talents in every track he touches, he’s right at home on “Back in Traffic,” rapping over a self-produced beat wearing his heart on his sleeve. It’s important to note that when someone is able to employ the talents of Kendrick Lamar — who has nearly gone four years without a release — further illustrates the respect Hit-Boy has garnered over the years.
Maybe, he can talk to Kendrick about that album… But for now, listen to “Back in Traffic” below.