1. J.Cole – Born Sinner
This album was everything I expected, dope production, deep stories, pure lyrics and personal. Plenty to replay due to a bunch of relatable material. My album of the year.
2. Jay-Z – Magna Carta Holy Grail
Not the best Jay-Z album, this is something we know but this joint had much replay value. I bumped this consistently and discovered some gems after getting more and more listens.
3. Oddisee – Beauty In All/Tangible Dream
A smooth and complete 25 track personal collection from Oddisee. He continues to release consistently great material. This tape will take you on a real mellow journey.
4. Joey Badass – Summer Knights
This one got overshadowed by Jay-Z, Cole and Kanye’s album releases but it was a standout through all of that. Joey’s flow and wordplay matured and whoever is doing his beats gave him some head knodders that’s for sure. I bumped this one in the whip a bunch this year. Love this tape.
5. BIG KRIT – King Remembered In Time
There is just so much good material on this collection of tracks, songs like Meditate, Multi Til The Sun Die, and Purpose along with others that pack a punch to your heart and soul. KRIT keeps on delivering that timeless material to ride out to.
1. Tyler The Creator – Wolf
This album just flowed together. It doesn’t really sound like anything else but something that Tyler would make. I liked the story that was carried throughout the album. He addressed some crazy scenarios but also wasn’t afraid to share his thoughts on some social issues. He had songs that made you want to bust out laughing and he had songs that entrapped. He sung about missing his deceased grandmother, not having his father around and friends that changed shades when success came his way. His production game was top tier as well. He didn’t over do it with samples or synths.
2. Chance the Rapper – Acid Rap
I liked this project because it was something that I could listen to from beginning to end without the extreme urge to skip a track. He had some soulful songs sprinkled throughout the project and he had some comical moments. I kind of wish he had left some of the features off and maybe included Kembe and Alex up there. Chance’s talent shines when it comes to providing listeners with gritty visuals in such a unique manner. I do have to say that the last few songs of the project were placed perfectly because he didn’t end it on a weak note. He left you wanting to hear more.
3. Drake – Nothing Was The Same
Started…sorry I had a moment, but this album had a lot of moments. The way the album started with “Tuscan Leather” was ruthless. Drake pretty much gave the fans what they wanted. He had songs regarding relationships, he had songs where he talked about how fake some people can be, and he let you into his world to experience some of the struggles he faces. This was an even stevens album, meaning that the risks were minimum. This was an album that I played when I was on the road or at work.
4. J.Cole – Born Sinner
I’m still kind of reluctant to put this album on my list but lyrically there wasn’t a better choice. What I liked about the album was that he was kind of edgy of some songs such as Rich Niggaz, Villuminati, and Let Nas Down. This isn’t an album that I listen to all the way through it’s more like an album that I have a few of the songs synced to my pod. I have even more respect for Cole for how he flipped the sample to that Forbidden Fruit.
5. A$AP Rocky – LongLiveA$AP
Full of groovy ass music. Pretty flacko didn’t care what you wanted to hear, he gave the people what they needed to hear from him. The productions were authentic and you even got a jewel from Clams Casino. I can’t tell you how many times this year that I bumped that Pain. The songs at the end of the album were extremely tough. He made an album full of songs that he knew he could perform live and get a different reaction for each one. I like how he brought over that blended Houston-Harlem feel from LiveLoveA$AP.