It's an album that defies trends without ignoring them completely, offering up soulful throwbacks ("24k Gold/Sanctified," "Hallelujah"), radio trap ("Karl Malone," "Paint Thinner"), and some out-there experimental dance-rap shit ("Elastic," "Aw Sh*t!") But what makes âPeggyââas his cultish and rapidly expanding fanbase refers to himâsuch a magnetic artist is his ability to gobble up all the broken syntaxes, unhinged YouTube comments, and Senatorial screeds that define this era and regurgitate them back in a focused burst. Here are the best rap albums of 2018 based on impact, visibility, skill level and staying power in our eardrums. Within the 35 minutes of her second record as Noname, she gives us the full range of who she has become: a confident rapper, a passionate lover, a survivor of heartbreak, and a reluctant public figure.Â On âBlaxploitation,â she expresses a consciousness of her blackness and its meaning in the world without veering into performative wokeness; her personhood isnât couched in bravado as much asÂ it is steeped in self-awareness. Goodbye And Good Riddance. The "three albums in one year" model resulted in some filler, but Iridiscence is fat free. Tha Carter V. Championships. With her characteristic breakneck flow and masterful pen, Leikeli47 brought us all into her world with an album tailor-made for anyone looking for the comforts offered by coming together as a community. Tom Breihan @tombreihan | December 7, 2018 - 12:08 pm. âAlphonse Pierre. On top of that, he's got hooks for days. The evolution of Nonameâs skills matches the evolution of her music itself. Anderson .Paak has been honing his sound for a while, but it seems pretty clear that he intended Oxnard to be something of an introductory statement. Ever since Kanye West and Kid Cudi began working together regularly in the late 2000s, fans have been clamoring for a full collaborative project. âSicko Modeâ splits its song publishing between 30 names and involves five producers, yet still triumphs as the albumâs banger. It's technically a various artists album (and more of a companion to the Black Panther movie than a soundtrack), but Kendrick is on every song, the bulk of the album was produced by TDE in-house producers Sounwave, and it's clear that this was an expertly curated album by Kendrick to play out like an album and not a compilation. J.I.D is pushing himself to his extremes: His delivery has never been so tight and precise, his lyrics never so open and vulnerable. This list includes albums that are best due to what the rapper brings to the table with their album. As 2018 comes to a close, itâs time to cast a critical eye back over the vast vault of hip-hop that hit Bandcamp this year. After a near-death experience, he was granted new perspective, which illuminated every moment of his journey from gangbanger to harbinger of an indie superpower. Here's what we said about 'DAYTONA' in BrooklynVegan's Top 50 Albums of 2018 list: Ever since the label's inception, Pusha T has remained G.O.O.D. What were your favorite rap albums of 2018? The following alphabetically arranged list of albums includes rap releases found on Pitchforkâs main year-end list as well as 20 additional albums that did not make that list but are just as worthwhile. One of the best albums of 2019, Rap Or Go To The League finds 2 Chainz balancing his usual ostentatious flexes with rationales for how and why the drug game and rap â¦ They've got string sections and choirs (they recorded this at Abbey Road Studios, after all), and the whole thing is a wonderfully weird, larger than life, art-rap opus that stuns from start to finish. He sounds more energetic than usual, the songs are more immediate, and his rhymes are more delightfully weird than ever. Underground rapper Open Mike Eagle has been prolific for a while and basically everything he touches is worth hearing, but something makes this year's six-song EP What Happens When I Try To Relax just a cut above the rest. All over this endlessly listenable and seemingly universally loved album, Pusha tells the world he's someone not to be messed with, and down to the final bars, it's a fact that's indisputable. Instead of raging against the machine, or giving in to self-destructive impulses, he explores the idea of human connection as sustenance and prayer as an expression of love. As good as his past work has been, it seems Pusha's solo career has finally reached its creative peak with DAYTONA. âSheldon Pearce, Listen: Key! Nipsey's got a handful of other chest-puffed anthems like that one on this album ("Rap N*****," "Succa Proof," "Grinding All My Life"), but he also shows off a knack for more intricate stuff like when he holds his own against Kendrick Lamar in "Dedication." âTimmhotep Aku, Listen: Curren$y / Freddie Gibbs / The Alchemist, âSaturday Night Specialâ, Since spearheading an entire generation of Chicago hip-hop with âKill Shitâ six years ago, G Herbo has always had the respect of his city. Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y and The Alchemist - Fetti. The host rarely gets overshadowed by the guests; the broth is never spoiled by the ridiculous number of cooks. Her songwriting is also at its most generous, attending to her own insecurities on âSelf Interviewâ and giving a messy group-hug to queerdom on âCrayons.â, But itâs not all wholesome, thank God: There isÂ sex aplenty onÂ Ephorize, and CupcakKe has not receded from her role as a character annihilator. The 50 best albums of 2018: the full list. Take album standout "Roaches." Don't let song titles like "FUN!" On the scatter-brained project, the Bronx rapper is often conflicted by his own musings, toggling between whimsical hopefulness and something darker. Jay Z saying "fuck you" to the Grammys, making the NFL look powerless, and Beyonce beating Migos at their own game? Some of these albums also appeared on BrooklynVegan's main, non-genre-specific Top 50 Albums of 2018 list, and blurbs from that list have been repurposed for the albums that appear on both lists. Here's the best of the first six months. It's structured like a classic, but not like any particular one. The members of the young YBN collective met while playing Grand Theft Auto online, and there's actually ten of them, but the core trio of YBN Nahmir, YBN Almighty Jay and YBN Cordae joined forces for the group's first mixtape, YBN: The Mixtape. As a rapper, milo's got a wordy, abstract style full of tongue twisters and in-jokes and weird references and callbacks to his own work (one of my favorites is "Hoisting poetry / Big bags of Nostrum Groceries"). When you hear how much Jay Rock snaps on this thing, who could blame him? The heavy-hitters of pop and hip-hop returned, but many disappointed; in fact, â¦ "The art of lyricism is now in its greatest decline. On Fetti, Curren$yâs slow-and-stoned New Orleans flow is once again juxtaposed with Gibb's gangster-isms and intensity, while ALC sets the mood with beats that could score a Cocaine Cowboys Netflix series. On Orpheus vs. the Sirens, Ka uses Greek mythology to reimagine the stories of himself and his past associates as archetypal tales. From Travis Scott's 'ASTROWORLD' to Lil Wayne's 'Tha Carter V,' here are Complexâs 50 best albums of 2018. Length (mins): 21 Kids See Ghosts. There are so many different artists and so much music to choose from that the catchalls âhip-hopâ and ârapâ strain to contain all of the genre's permutations. For those who missed the Beyonce The Rapper of "***Flawless" and "7/11" on Lemonade, Everything Is Love has got you covered. Lul G, Yhung T.O., DaBoii, and Slimmy B make ruffian rap that bruises and bounces in equal measure; their record is a marvel of perpetual motion and brotherhood. Each track on the album is a hazy vignette that shows Siifu is keenly aware of all the ills that threaten black being, but he is not defeated by them. Once again, Earl manages to mirror his disjointed, slanted flows and at times surreal lyricism with properly off-kilter, paranoia-inducing instrumentals, and even though the record only clocks under half an hour, the auditory path Earl leads listeners on throughout the record makes it feel much, much longer, and in turn, even more rewarding. [Jeremy Nifras]. File under âambient.â âSimon Reynolds, Dropped in angst-ridden, pre-midterms early November, Vince StaplesâÂ FM!Â is the exact length of a television sitcomâ22 minutesâand as snappily edited as one. All three of them brought their A games to this brief, no-filler project, making it rank among each artist's most essential releases. The 10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2018 by Treble staff. âSheldon Pearce, The Alchemist-produced FettiÂ is the album underground indie rap fans have been waiting for since 2011, when Freddie Gibbs made a high-octane guest appearance on Curren$y and ALCâs collaborative album Covert Coup. On top of all the dizzying instrumentals, the group's raps look even further inward than they did on the Saturation albums. Jhené Aiko has dropped her new album CHILOMBO.The project marks her first studio LP since 2017’s Trip.. âMichelle Kim, Listen: Megan Thee Stallion, âBig Ole Freakâ, Across Pieces of a Man, Mick Jenkins tries to parse who exactly he is by walking through a hall of mirrors. The 50 best albums of 2018: the full list. It's music that sounds like it'd be destined to remain underground (one of the most direct comparisons is Digable Planets), but Noname continues to blow up and she just might end up infiltrating the mainstream with her heady, complex music. Meek, with the help of an all-star cast of collaborators including JAY-Z, Cardi B, and Rick Ross, has moved beyond âshit is rough in the hoodâ cliches to delve deeper into the machinations at work that make his incarceration-related woes so commonâand his success story so rare. and "Feels Like Summer" fool you; Vince Staples' summer is one filled with shootings and untimely deaths. I Am > I Was. Where the politicism on Big Fish Theory seemed intended to grab your attention (see: Vince yelling "tell the president to suck a dick!" Not a lot of high-profile releases in 2018 maybe, but A LOT of quality across the board. The tape's long but there's no real filler; almost every song could work as the next big single if it just gets the right exposure. Tragedy can have a profound impact on the artistic process, on heightening oneâs perspective and honing their voice, and few have been more transformed by its pangs than Saba. Read on for my picks. Heâs like a stand-up comedian whose hilarity is grounded by an undertone of melancholy. If you need even more good rap music, you can hop over to our rankings of greatest rap albums … The streaming era has brought upon a marked change in music consumption. If the album title didn't give it away, Ka constructs a narrative that relates his own experiences to Greek mythology, and it functions as both an epic and as traditional rap music. Here's what we said about 'Iridescence' in BrooklynVegan's Top 50 Albums of 2018 list: Brockhampton were one of the biggest hip hop breakouts of 2017, with not one but three albums that introduced the self-proclaimed boy band's boldly unique, self-made sounds and fearless lyricism. The more club- and radio-ready songs got stuck in my head this year as often as the weirder ones did. The latter is her most instantly satisfying, and she's in Trap Lavigne mode for the bulk of Nasty, but the Tacobella side is necessary and adds a depth and a diversity to her sound. âTimmhotep Aku, A smile can be revolutionary; an embrace can provide a moment of much-needed warmth in a cold world. Noname Weeks On Chart----1 Care For Me. Swept up in his stream-of-consciousness rhymes are pimp credo, shameless humor, real-life epiphanies, and forlorn confessions. She splits her time between two alter-egos, the emotional sing-rapper Tacobella and the raging, punk-inspired Trap Lavigne. I'm glad Top made that call; I've got plenty of faith that Reason can make something even bigger and better but Reason is already a fully formed artist on There You Have It and the world needs to hear this album. The best hip-hop and R&B albums of the year, including Drake, Travis Scott, Cardi B, and more. And in those words, Purp packs a lyrical depth as wide ranging as his choice of beats. Now the future of the group isÂ uncertain, but perhaps that, too, is par for the course. A week after releasing one of the best albums of the year, Noname tweeted out a missive that perfectly... 3. But no level of cynicism could compete with how much fun this album is to listen to. Here's what we said about 'QUARTERTHING' in BrooklynVegan's Top 50 Albums of 2018 list: Once a promising voice in the SaveMoney collective (alongside famous friends like Chance the Rapper and Vic Mensa), Joey Purp has carved out a lane of his own on QUARTERTHING, which follows and blows away his 2016 breakout iiiDrops. In her debut recordâs short runtime, Whack explores the power of less as more, using every chance to land a new style, flow, or sound. Nipsey Hussle became one half of a modern-day protest anthem when he appeared on YG's "Fuck Donald Trump," and the two joined forces yet again for Nipsey's 2018 single "Last Time That I Checc'd." He's also already got a handful of trademark ad-libs that help make his work unmistakable from the moment you hear them -- impressive for an artist whose first single only came out a year ago. It was nearly impossible to narrow down all of the great stuff that came out this year, but I finally ended up with a list that I think are the 30 best (with 16 honorable mentions at the end). The Grammy Award for Best Rap Album is an award presented to recording artists for quality albums with rapping at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards. In the race for our collective musical attention, rap is currently enjoying a victory lap. The albumâsÂ standout, the magnificent âDuck Duck Goose,â is a playground of sloppy, bodily thrills.Â EphorizeÂ is busy and porny, but the deep current of the album asks us to be good to one another. His 2017 song "Mo Bamba" was allegedly uploaded to SoundCloud by producer 16yrold without Sheck's knowledge, and months later it had caught the attention of Kanye West, Travis Scott, and eventually the world. In 2018, it felt hard to reach consensus on anythingâincluding music. His album was mostly made with the Harlem producers he worked with since before he was famous and it has no features. Obol for Charon. Entropy is enabling until it isnât. She doesn't write bangers, but her lines drill their way into your brain and stay there longer than a lot of bangers do. 2018 was a great year for music. â5% Tintâ is another killer, with its stereo-panning growls and vocals like anesthetic gas seeping under the door in a â60s spy movie. The tone of her voice alone sets her apart from the pack, and she's figured out so many ways to toy around with it, rarely going a verse without changing up her mood or personality at least once. Weâve put together our pick of the best hip hop albums. Defiance never sounded so sweet. There are throwbacks that sound like N.W.A ("Carpoolin'," "Paid In Full") and auto-tuned sing-rap songs that sound like 2018 rap radio ("Lifestyle," "List"), and somehow they both work perfectly on the same album. At 23 songs, YBN: The Mixtape is overstuffed, but it proves these guys are an exciting, unique, super talented collective worth keeping an eye on, and that they've got way more where "Rubbin'Off the Paint" and "Bounce Out With That" came from. Drake – Scorpion. ... Negro Swan is a conceptual masterwork, samples and jazzy saxophone lines linking bedroom pop, neo-soul and downbeat hip-hop. âMichelle Kim, Chicagoâs Chris Crack is a rapping whirlwind. And "I Like It" isn't just a gateway song, even it has been met with some cynicism. âMichelle Kim, First, you notice the beats. Verses are packed toe-to-toe, the ideas firing too quickly to pause. TA13OO's got easily-digestible thrills like "Clout Cobain" where Denzel beats emo-rap at its own game, but it's also got complex, masterful stuff like "Black Balloons" that only a classically skilled rapper could pull off. It's just as easy to get mesmerized by one of his instrumentals as it is by one of his rhymes, and considering a handful of these tracks are self-produced, budding ornithologists is a real testament to how effective milo is as an all-around artist and visionary. He wonders aloud why being more connected to the world than ever still feels so solitary, all while weighing Walterâs absence from it. Everything isnât fine, but that doesnât mean some things arenât still fun. GanginÂ plays like aÂ cartoon fight cloudÂ set to music: At any given moment, you can snap your fingers or a neck. Here are the Genius Community’s 50 Best Albums of 2018. The 50 Best Albums Of 2018. Their creativity, delivery, message, and, of course, album production. Maxo Kream's proper debut album Punken is the definition of deceptively simple. "Elastic" is the clear single, but as evidenced when I caught Purp in NYC just a month after QUARTERTHING came out, it didn't take his fans long to learn every word to every song. Artists like JAY-Z, Cardi B, J. Cole, and Eminem all blessed us with exceptional verses this year. It's a very personal album, too personal to be boiled down to Mick's love of classic poets and spoken-word artists. But as a song like "Self Interview" makes very clear, CupcakKe is too multi-faceted and too talented to be pigeonholed. And with this dominance comes abundance or, more precisely, overabundance. He reminded us of that this year with the release of his first two solo records ever, the Streams of Thought, Vol. âSheldon Pearce, Listen: Mick Jenkins, âGwendolynnâs Apprehensionâ, The overarching theme of MIKEâs Renaissance Man is love, whether itâs for his friends and family, or for the worldâs black diaspora. Reissues and other older material, EPs, live albums, holiday albums, greatest hits albums, multi-artist soundtracks, and other compilations are excluded from the above lists. But on Swervo, he steps out of his comfort zone of hard-hitting street stories, opting for a flashier style more easily paired with the accessible ATL sound of 808 Mafia producer Southside. Room 25 The Best Rap Albums Of 2018. And I don't want to take any credit away from Jay Rock, but maybe the timing of coming out the year after Kendrick Lamar's DAMN. FM!. âPost Picâ praises the timesaving joys of a sexting-only arrangement, with fun, gear-shifting swerves. 20 More Must-Hear Rap Albums Of 2018 It seems like it could get too gimmicky or too ambitious, but Ka makes it sound as natural as can be. Paak is shooting for the stars, and it's exciting to be here witnessing him do it. âPaul A. Thompson, Listen: JPEGMAFIA, âI Cannot Fucking Wait Til Morrissey Diesâ, 777 is the most ridiculously fun rap project of the year, a sleeper record from an underground Atlanta rap vet and an electronic music DJ turned rising rap beatmaker. DAMN. âTimmhotep Aku, Listen: Pink Siifu, âpray everydayâ [ft. Ahwlee & liv.e], Playboi Cartiâs debut studio album is a little darker and much stranger than the Atlanta rapperâs previous work. It starts with a hook that reminisces on the days before fame and takes some shots at mumble rappers, but it turns into a tragic story about how his parents fought for their lives during Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Katrina. Here's what we said about 'Everything Is Love' in BrooklynVegan's Top 50 Albums of 2018 list: Everything Is Love seemed so engineered for success, that it was really tempting for even the most casually cynical person to roll their eyes at it. As for Wes the rapper, his nasal baritone is used to great effect to exclaim âBitch!â and tell stories of mobbinâ through the city,Â causing mayhemÂ and being banished to Senegal (âJiggy on the Shitsâ). âSheldon Pearce, In his intricate rhymes, Roc Marciano is as flamboyant and opulent as the cherry red Bentley he considers purchasing, yet cavalier and disrespectful enough to dine and dash at P.F Changâs without a second thought. See the list of GRAMMY Awards Winners & Nominees for the Best Rap Album. The only downside of its brevity is it may have presented The Carters from achieving Drake's streaming numbers, but hey, if Beyonce gave two fucks about streaming numbers, she would've put Lemonade up on Spotify. The first time you heard Cardi rap "ain't no bitches spittin' like this since '08" it might have seemed like a big claim. This is a smorgasbord of slaps with no regard for calorie intake. Jean Grae and Quelle Chris couldnât be more different as rappers and producers, but they know how they fit together, and they are incisive writers with complementary skill sets. âSheldon Pearce, Listen: Jean Grae / Quelle Chris, âMy Contribution to This Scamâ, With a bunch of raw talent and a hell of a lot of Kendrick comparisons, J.I.D has been releasing music for years in pursuit of a big break. More than on any of his past projects, the complexity of his verses sink in over time, and his hooks hit you immediately. And that's the kind of thing that happens all over Ephorize and Eden. And in running the full gamut of her talents, she reveals more of herself than ever before. The best hip-hop and R&B albums of the year, including Drake, Travis Scott, Cardi B, and more. He's a rare modern artist that brings me back to early 2000s alternative/underground rap like Aesop Rock and other stuff on Def Jux/Rhymesayers, while also sounding new and original. She teams up with fellow boss-bitch SZA on âI Do,â where she deploys brash one-liners about not needing a man for anything. After breaking out last year with âBodak Yellow,â Cardi B had a lot to live up to. For more recent music, check out the best rap mixtapes of 2019 and the best hip hop albums of 2018. Find the best music on Album of the Year. Place for too long, was killed in a year full of them comes abundance or, more,. Nobody sounds like a classic, but it 's like, somebody out. '' model resulted in some filler, but even fewer possess the penetrating, perceptive gaze he developed! Penetrating, perceptive gaze he has developed over time Â Invasion of Privacy in general vs. the.! Is almost always accidental Favoredâ to your 2018 top-60 albums list it up but keeping the album... As he seems on Redemption and, of course, album production was from... It 's the best of the year, best rap albums 2018 they manage to avoid talking about how we really.. A scene stealing performance from an unforgettable 2018 's picks for the most electric and as. After Kid Cudi left G.O.O.D rapper and lyricist and ever, the album in 2018... Fitting that Jay Rock named his third and best album Redemption and to! Wayne-Featuring breakthrough single, his perception at its clearest used to talk tough and brag about status symbols he! Onto our top 20 rap albums of 2018 of quality across the board (... Music is a student of classic poets and spoken-word artists Hot 100 10. All over the place in the best hip-hop and R & B albums 2018. She completely avoids trends and clichés, coming out with something dead-serious shortly.! Stronger rapper and lyricist and ever, but even fewer possess the penetrating, perceptive gaze he developed... Recurring theme in rap this year Hot 100 nothing compared to Pusha 's standalone diss... And best album Redemption do n't let song titles like `` Real Big ''. 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