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OGM ‘Top 5ive’: Drake, XXL Freshman, Joey Bada$$, more

June 13-20, Edition 1

Keeping up with music’s ceaseless news stream can be tasking, but we at OGM are cutting right through the noise. In our weekly news series “Top 5ive,” we’re saying things straight-up — unpacking the Top 5 most important news stories you need to know right now. Know the major players and what their latest moves are, as our new editorial series is dedicated to keeping listeners informed on the most harrowing, heroic and heartfelt headlines in hip-hop.

In this week’s edition (June 13-20), we revisit Drake’s Honestly, Nevermind, Frank Ocean’s headlining set for Coachella 2023, Beyoncé’s forthcoming Renaissance LP and so much more.

New Music Friday already featured a stacked lineup of new drops from Logic, Westside Boogie and more before Drake’s surprise LP stole the show. The 6 God not only traded in his de facto hip-hop and R&B pockets for atmospheric, thumping House beats, but saw him emphasize his singing ability more than ever before on Honestly, Nevermind. Drizzy’s new Dance project (and seventh studio album) is questionably out of place as an official release, yet made up for its jarring appeal with smoothly-crooned flows on “Falling Down,” “A Keeper” and “Currents” as well as a tantalizing 21 Savage feature (“Jimmy Cooks”).

While shocking in both genre and rollout, Honestly, Nevermind isn’t completely uncharted waters for the hailed Toronto emcee. Showing previous execution in Afrobeat-inspired tracks like “Passionfruit,” “One Dance” and “Signs,” Drake’s performance on HN was traditionally met with mixed feelings from fans — as he later responded to negative comments by saying that everyone “is just catching up.” While some thought it was too risky of a change, others applauded Drake for potentially setting music’s hottest summer trend: House. For more on the polarizing project, click here.

Apparently avoiding Drake’s cultural wrath, Joey Bada$$ delayed his highly-anticipated album 2000, but wasn’t completely absent this past weekend. Hopping on Chance the Rapper’s latest single “The Highs & The Lows,” the delay was reportedly caused due to “sample clearance issues.” In light of Drake’s surprise drop, Joey took to Twitter to let fans know that this was simply untrue. While he hopes to have it out in two weeks’ time, the official release date is still unknown. For more on the Joey’s album, click here.

Six years removed from her last Grammy-nominated solo album Lemonade, Beyoncé is looking to come back stronger than ever on her seventh studio outing, Renaissance. While much remains unknown about the project, it is currently to have 16 tracks (due to the iTunes presave) and it’s first single on the way tonight at midnight (June 21). With the project also labeled as “act 1,” it is unknown if this is the first part in an album series, or divided up and released in multiple parts. For more on the highly-anticipated rollout, click here.

Last week (June 14), XXL treated fans to one of the most anticipated compilation lists of the year, the XXL Freshman Class. A great opportunity for many young and rising artists in rap, the list shows off many of the genre’s young talents and how they can impact the game for years to come. In addition to the magazine cover, artists will also have interviews, freestyles and group cyphers to prove why they deserve to be 2022 Freshman. This year’s class consists of rising stars in Nardo Wick, KayCyy, BabyTron, and SoFaygo. For more on the class, click here.

After Kendrick Lamar finally released an album after a five-year hiatus, all eyes turned to multi-talented singer Frank Ocean (also on a five-year hiatus). Just after news broke earlier this month (June 2) that Ocean was in talks to make his directorial debut with studio A24, we now have confirmation that he is headlining Coachella in 2023. With this being huge news for an artist that has been mostly quiet over the years, it wasn’t the most important news revealed about the beloved singer. Ocean is reportedly also shopping around a new album, which is music to all fan’s ears. For more on the Frank Ocean’s eventual comeback, click here.