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OGM ‘Top 5ive’: Frank Ocean, YNW Melly, Ab-Soul, more

July 6 – July 11, Edition 4

Keeping up with music’s ceaseless news cycle can certainly 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 five 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 (July 6-11), we recap another exciting week including a new episode of Frank Ocean’s blonded radio, an update on YNW Melly’s double-homicide case, the newest update on Ab-Soul’s next project and so much more.

R&B enigma Brent Faiyaz just released his highly-anticipated sophomore album Wasteland on Friday (July 8) and is already on his way to achieve the first No. 1 album of his career — all as an independent artist. The Lost Kids head honcho’s latest effort recruits Drake, Tyler, The Creator, Steve Lacy, Alicia Keys, Joony and others, as the album is on pace to sell between 105,000 and 115,000 first-week units, per Hits Daily Double. Similarly, the lusciously cinematic record saw eight tracks debut in Spotify’s Top 10 Songs chart on Monday (July 11) — further proving Faiyaz’s hold on the game as a singer with rapper energy. Faiyaz previously achieved independent peaks with his 2020 EP Fuck The World, upping the ante with the self-proclaimed “masterpiece” he brought forth this past weekend.

Frank Ocean’s name has been popping up more often than ever, announcing some new material on a new episode of blonded RADIO. While it’s not that album type of new material, the generational talent returned to his Apple Music radio show, blonded, which includes a conversation Frank had with a drug expert about the concept of micro-dosing. He also subtly announced that he has been recording in Malibu this summer, giving fans a sliver of hope that we might get that album he was shopping around after all. In the meantime, Frank also dropped new merch for the episode, including six shirts and a poster. This comes after Ocean was slated to headline Coachella in 2023 and news of an A24 film in the works. For more on the long-awaited return of blonded radio, click here.

Nobody received better news than YNW Melly did this week, as the Florida emcee was facing the death penalty for two accounts of first-degree murder. As of last Thursday (July 7), Melly’s legal team was successful in appealing capital punishment due to a technicality. While Melly still has a long way to go, he is one step closer to freedom. For more on the life changing YNW Melly news, click here.

It’s been six years since Ab-Soul dropped his critically-acclaimed Do What Thou Wilt., and other than a few singles, we haven’t heard much over the years about his next project. That was until he dropped off a plethora of news via Instagram Live, which included details about his forthcoming album. While it is still unnamed, we do know there are two visuals for the project ready to go and possibly a coinciding tour that could also happen. While we are unaware of any features for the project, Soul has attempted to recruit Kanye West, Rubi Rose and Latto. For more on the long-awaited project, click here.

While YNW Melly received good news in court this week, YSL’s Young Thug and Gunna didn’t have the scales tip on their favor. Both artists have been denied bond following YSL RICO charges — more specifically Gunna for the second time. Gunna has been rejected bond once more and will not have a hearing until Jan. 9, 2023. Young Thug’s bond was denied in a hearing on June 2 and was posted as a flight risk or a “danger to the community.” For more on the YSL situation, click here.