If were a hip-hop album, it'd be about time to usher in the bonus tracks. That is to say, the year is coming to a close.
So, there's no better time than to look back on the last 51 weeks and reflect on the best music produced for and by the culture. Many of hip-hop's heavyweights took an off year from dropping full-length projects— DrakeJ. His breakout record "Suge" set things on fire, and by the time he dropped Kirk in September, songs like "Bop" and "Intro" detonated. Lil Nas X did the same, dominating the No. But the vets got busy, too.
Tyler, The Creator pushed his creative limits and created a hit "Earfquake". And J. Cole dropped the biggest single of his career "Middle Child" while also blessing a few feature slots. Meanwhile, Freddie Gibbs and Madlib dropped one of the year's most cohesive and consistently dope albums, Bandana.
Lots of gems on there. XXL sifted through a year's worth of music to pick out the 50 best songs to drop in the past Rewind your favorites and update playlists with the new knockers.
Categories: MusicNews. Back To Top.Like other sectors of music, hip-hop was experiencing transition. Elder statesmen stepped out to make room for a slate of exciting new acts, many of whom—like Megan Thee Stallion and Little Simz—shook up the culture in the process.
Here are our favorite hip-hop and rap records of the year, ranked. Freddie Gibbs and Madlib are two of the best at their individual crafts, both involved in some of the best hip-hop records and singles of the past decade plus. Far from fiction, Clipping. Fear runs rampant across each track, but instead of channeling nightmares through imagination, the L.
There Existed an Addiction to Blood is the deranged culmination of everything Clipping. With a carefully constructed chaos, Clipping. Last year, the Washington D. At only 21, Nasty dropped a fast-paced, multifaceted experiment with a wide range of styles that sounded like the musical version of frantically trying on different outfits in a vintage shop. Anger Managementher mixtape with friend and Nasty producer Kenny Beats, is a little tighter, but it goes just as hard—if not harder.
Rico Nasty remains one of the most aggressive rappers in the game, yet she stretches and elongates her voice throughout this record, showing the potential for more melodic verses.
GREY Area thrives in the extremes—her smooth subtlety and forceful venom are equally potent. Taking cues from jazz, funk, grime and soul, Little Simz knows when to pull a punch or go for the kill-shot. Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion is an icon in the making, a force majeure in the lineage of Houston rap.
Feverher first official mixtape, maintains the high-octane rap of her earlier work, all delivered with a sneer and a smile. On the first listen, it feels a bit discombobulated, even disconnected. But upon repeated listens, the pieces start to come together, miraculously so.Radiomuseum schematics
All My Heroes Are Cornballs toggles between ambience and hi-fi insanity. All My Heroes is a glitchy, neon-tinted journey. Danny Brown always seemed immortal. His music got better. He was invincible. He sounds healthy, if in a high-cholesterol way.
Share Tweet Submit Pin. Tags danny brown freddie gibbs jpegmafia lil simz megan thee stallion rico nasty the creator tyler. Also from Best Albums. Also in Music.Few albums are worthy of the title "greatest," while others are good enough to make the list.
Killer Mike is really good at rapping. El-P is really good at rapping and excellent at making beats. Put these two together and nobody could screw it up. Amid the thugged-out reign of N. Raw, uncut, and X-rated tales of female conquests abound.
Most of the album was recorded in a closet without air conditioning, which imbues it with a raw feeling. Fame proved elusive for the Brooklyn emcee, but Jeru's talent and Premier's mind-blowing compositions made his debut one of the quintessential '90s hip-hop albums.
It's a portrait of the jungle through the eyes of the prey. Despite a Grammy snub, it was well received by fans, critics, and peers.Chillhop Yearmix 2019 ☕️ jazz beats & lofi hip hop
A combination of Juvie's melodic flow and Cash Money's high-end production made " Degreez" a Southern rap favorite in This mid-career success for The Roots was a huge step forward from the righteous fury of their first three LPs. While his cousin Ice Cube was busy stirring up the gangsta rap scene, Del was laying the foundation for what would become a healthy alternative-hip-hop landscape.
Xzibit molds his voice into a gruff instrument, overpowering the beats when necessary. It's a brilliant gambit when it works. SV's experimentation with neo-soul and quirky raps flung the door open for groups such as Little Brother and Tanya Morgan. Unlike most hip-hop albums of its era, "Enta Da Stage" eschewed confrontational raps and opted for a brooding, electrifying brand of hip-hop. This is where it all began.Shopify impulse
Wyclef's debut set the bar high for the rest of the Fugees' solo efforts. It was a critical and commercial smash. The year is and hip-hop heads aren't so sure about live instrumentation.
Busta's second album is arguably his most consistent work. Hip-hop in was a misogynistic place. Tupac Shakur was fresh out of jail when he released "All Eyez on Me," and you could hear the raw thoughts of a man grappling with his inner conflict. On one side were the brazen cuts that showed his tough side; on the other, he was soft as a pillow, immortalizing dead homies on the sentimental "Life Goes On.
Kanye's first album, "The College Dropout," was one for the ages. His hunger on this album is unmatched. Warm, sample-heavy production backs up Mr.It's the perfect time to celebrate the best hip hop albums and the best rap albums of all time. Last year hip hop the grand old age of It's essential viewing and has some great tracks from the best hip-hop albums. And what better way to celebrate this most colourful, confrontational and controversial of musical artforms than by rounding up the definitive 30 greatest hip hop albums of all time.
You can read our in-depth selections below.Fsaerodata
Vote for your favourite. And you can submit unmissables we may have missed below. Voted Your No1 Nas - Illmatic Nasir Jones made this debut album at the age of 20, already armed with the calm perceptiveness and been-there-done-that attitude of a much older ghetto vet, though sometimes his inner callow youth shows itself.
View now on Amazon. Previous Next. Related: Best in ear headphones review. Related: Best Record Player. Nas - Illmatic View at Amazon Year : Raw, powerful and unforgettable, Illmatic opened the doors for a new generation of MCs to burst through.
Speaking of which…. It not only introduced the world to a collection of colourful characters, but redefined the sonic language of hip hop. He was one of the greatest rappers of all time. Not only was The Chronic acclaimed immediately, it ushered in a new sound within hip hop — G-funk. Instantly recognisable due to the use of synthesisers and an all-encompassing bass, it made a solo star of Dre, and introduced his latest rap ward to the world: Snoop Doggy Dogg.
The notion of a credible white rapper was a joke for eons — not helped by Vanilla Ice. All that changed with Eminem. Dre — he released three classic albums on the spin in the late-Nineties and early-Noughties. It was the middle release — The Marshal Mathers LP — that captured the witty, irreverent and rebellious spirit best.
All Eyez On Me changed all that. After a spell inside, 2Pac was focused and angry ahead of his magnum opus. This attitude was channelled into 27 tracks of sparkling virtuosity. The thug life with which he had previously flirted with is wholeheartedly embraced and the result is an epic record of G-funk and gangsta rap that managed to take on the mainstream. And win. There must have been something in the air in November Dre released his debut set.A debut album is a mission statement. Fans and critics alike look to debut projects as the perfect balance of technical skill and promise, of potential and execution.
I agree with her sentiment. Fans were patiently waiting for the exact album she delivered. Not only does she deserve nominations, but Ari deserves awards for this piece of work. I hope she realizes that changing lives with music is enough.
With apologies to Megan Thee Stallionwere there any other viable contenders here? Even if Kirk constituted a minor step backward, DaBaby has a long and prosperous career ahead of him, and we have the triumphant urgency of this record to thank for that. The Lost Boy gets better every time I listen. Cordae brings a little of everything to the table. YBN Cordae is on that shortlist. She is here to soundtrack your breakups and come-ups alike, with equal parts visceral emotion and charismatic verve.
The project features 18 songs. Fifteen have been saturating my playlists since my first listen. Reach through your speakers and touch the sounds on the other side. Reckoning with the past has never sounded so beautiful. What more can I say? Let The Sun Talk takes you somewhere—a dusty, soulful place with no address, but plenty of poetry.
Best albums of 2019 so far
Polo G gives us a vision of Chicago we cannot ignore. He does not sensationalize. He does not pander. He does not sugarcoat. From Young Thug to DaBaby, these are the best three-song runs of For your reading and viewing pleasure, here is our favorite album art of Best Of. Year of Mac.AJ Tracey. As a statement of intent, AJ Tracey certainly got off on the right foot with his debut album.
Best hip hop albums of all time: classic hip-hop albums revealed
The Migos rapper paid tribute to his four children with the title of his debut solo album, which also marked the final part in a trilogy of releases from the three members of the globe-conquering Atlanta rap trio. Ghostface Killah. This year-old has lost in some ways and won in others, and asks us to listen as he tries to find some answers. The lessons you learn with Dave are sure to live long in the memory.
This is the best rap record of the year so far. Lots of rap fans, particularly young rap fans, found that his music resonated with their own experiences, just as Juice intended. I guess I supposedly save lives. People tell me all the time that I save their lives.
Best hip hop albums of all time: classic hip-hop albums revealed
All the time, brother. Make no mistake, 2 Chainz is the boss here. Tyler, the Creator. Tyler — sorry, Igor — returned in May with his largely rap-light but still very spectacular sixth album. Has Giggs finally transcended his revered command over the UK music scene and achieved superstar status further afield?
From start to finish, this is the Giggs we know and love. A lot of people are putting their faith in Northampton newcomer Slowthai as one of the few emerging voices worth listening to in this depressing and shambolic Brexit-y era.
This much is clear: when Slowthai has something to say, you listen up. Sign in. Log into your account. Forgot your password? Password recovery.
Recover your password. The best rap and hip-hop albums of so far! It's been a strong six months for rap and hip-hop releases - and there's plenty more to come. Some of our picks of the best rap and hip-hop albums of Related Topics Rap.Ambient music has grown with the birth of streaming, ushering in big audiences to sounds both challenging and relaxing. Here are ten best records of the year that say so much without saying a word. Users operated like pirate radio stations.
They would blast an endless stream of noninvasive, wisely-chosen instrumental tracks meant for college students, desk jockeys, and any number of people who wanted to have a type of music on that could aide their focus.Systemctl status scripting
This was more than mere "background music" -- these were tracks of a specific aesthetic, one that was hand-picked and had an element of cool to it. All the algorithms in the world sometimes can't hold a candle to a keen, dedicated tastemaker, and this personal touch has paid off.
In July of when the Vice article ran, "ChilledCow", the premiere channel for this type of thing, had an astonishing 1. Today, as this PopMatters list is being written, it's more than doubled that count. The great thing about listener-curated streams of this nature is that it bucks corporate-driven narratives for artist discovery. The popularity of these channels has opened up ambient and instrumental artists from literally all walks of life to have fanbases that were previously impossible to fathom.
An instrumental outfit like Tycho now has Grammy nominations and sells out mid-sized venues easily. SUSS, a country-ambient collective whom PopMatters has covered beforehas multiple songs approaching over a million streams on Spotify.
With so much modern and archived music now available readily across a variety of platforms, ambient and instrumental albums are far from dusty old relics: they're cool now. Go ahead, put these on when you study. We won't mind one bit. The great allure of Utopiathe fourth full-length from the Danish duo of bassist Jonathan Bremer and piano man Morten McCoy, is how for an album so muted, so beautiful, and so simple in its presentation, it remains so oddly unclassifiable.
It's technically jazz in structure, maybe with a helping of neo-classical presentation. Still, with its occasional use of keyboard overdubs and light synth pads -- we're left unsure of which label to put on it, much less what to call it. What we do know is that we haven't been able to stop listening to Utopia 's flawlessly blissful melodies, as the duo's musical chemistry is simply unparalleled -- each new piece unraveling slowly before our ears, an origami crane folding on its own.
From the outside, Utopia appears fragile, bordering on precious, but the more time you spend with these finely-structured, elegantly executed tunes, the more they become fixtures in your mind. An absolute gift of an album. Last year, Bob Holmes' country-ambient project SUSS broke through in a big way, with the group's pedal-steel soundscapes connecting strongly with listeners, leading the band to rack up millions of plays on streaming services practically overnight. Picking up right where Ghost Box left off, High Line continues its chase of mythic ghosts across dusty backroads and starry country nights, with tracks like "Ursa Major" adding a bit more percussive propulsion to what we've heard from the group before.
While the pedal steel remains the star of SUSS' slow-burn shadow show, tracks like "Road Trip Part 3 The Lonely Path " and "The Walk Home" push simple acoustic guitar strums front and center, adding just enough changes in band's sonic makeup to keep things evolving. It's hard not to love a band like SUSS, especially when they're two-for-two in making us yearn for something out there in the Western sky that we can't quite articulate yet.
Aymara composer Elysia Crampton's first acoustic album pairs the Andean rhythms she's long worked into her sci-fi electronica with the stripped-down spirit of post-minimalist music. The composer's been a little less eager to explain or promote this record over the heady, conceptual music she's known for, which itself often requires some knowledge of its intent to even begin to understand.
But seeing as sales of Quirquincho Medicine benefit the American Indian Movementyou're doing more tangible good by picking up a copy than sifting through the dense tangle of references and influences that went into this music.
These pieces are mesmerizing enough by themselves: the slam of massive piano chords, tricky rhythms, and changes, a sense of grandeur that belies these songs' simple instrumentation. Fans of futurist epics like Demon City and American Drift might find this stuff too tricky even by her standards -- though it might help to attend one of her extremely out-there lecture-shows, where pre-colonial Aymara legends swim alongside visions of futuristic spider-people.
Though Robert Rich's association with new age limits his appeal among higher-minded consumers of ambient, his music is anything but centering. Like 's Calling Down the Sky, his new album Tactile Ground explores the instability of our environment, in this case the shifting tectonic structures on which we sit. Long, slow, flat, and massive, the 15 tracks on this two-hour monster resemble tectonic plates themselves.
Even as the record descends into its center in the second half, as if tunneling deeper into the earth, these plates never really slip. But that's beside the point. The album suggests that even when performing for sleeping audiences.
That's been the thread holding his dozens of albums together this whole time. You might find this album next to recordings of rushing waterfalls in your local record store -- but waterfalls sound pretty scary, too, once you've heard Robert Rich.
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