It’s been quite the year in terms of music projects, in fact I often felt like there was too much music to consume throughout the year which was draining and tiresome (here’s hoping 2019 slows down). As a result, some projects got left in the dust in favour of others, but of the albums I listened to here is my personal top 10 most enjoyable projects.
10) YG – Stay Dangerous
West coast rapper YG stays true to his roots and comes through with some slapping bangers whiles providing introspection on his life as a gangster rapper. A fun project with good energy and some lyrical depth sprinkled in.
Fav song: 666 (Feat. YoungBoy Never Broke Again)
9) Kanye West & Kid Cudi – Kids See Ghosts
It’s been a notorious year for Kanye West, with all his extracurricular activities his music has taken a back seat and it definitely showed. YE is Ye’s most forgettable project, but luckily it wasn’t all disastrous for the Chicago rapper. His joint project with Kid Cudi found both artists getting back to form by bringing the best out of each other which made for a memorable album.
Fav song: Cudi Montage
8) 6lack- East Atlanta Love Letter
Off his freshman album Free 6lack in 2016 (pronounced “black”), 6lack took the industry by storm and made himself a staple in the game. With such a strong debut, the anticipation for his sophomore album bore a colossal amount of pressure for 6lack that many artists often fail to meet. However, his work on East Atlanta Love Letter was up to par and it did not disappoint in terms of the sound and style that fans look to hear from 6lack.
Fav song: Sorry
7) Buddy – Harlan & Alondra
The 25-year-old rapper from Compton who I knew little to nothing of other than a feature on Nipssey’s album, made his album debut this year and it was a great surprise for unfamiliar listeners like myself. Harlan & Alondra provided a background on where Buddy’s from, who he is as a result of his upbringing, and what it took for him to get here. It’s a strong effort from start to finish.
Fav song: Shameless (Feat. Guapdad 4000)
6) Travis Scott – ASTROWORLD
One of the most iconic albums of 2018, ASTROWORLD took Travis Scott to heights unseen with incredible production, seemly features, and well crafted vibrations. It’s a future proof album to the likes we’ve never heard before.
Fav song: YOSEMITE
5) Tory Lanez – Love Me Now
Tory was one of the busiest artists this year with his release of Memories Don’t Die, his work on an unreleased all-Latin project titled El Agua, countless features, and his recent solo release of Love Me Now. Despite his top of the year release of Memories Don’t Die being received well, it wasn’t until later in the year that he got back to form.
That creative space led to his best commercial body of work on Love Me Now: an album chalked full of hits with more of a mixtape feel that early Tory fans are familiar with.
Fav song: If It Ain’t Right (Feat. A Boogie)
4) Pusha T – DAYTONA
After a two and a half year hiatus, King Push made his long awaited return with his self proclaimed “album of the year” project DAYTONA. An entirely new seven song project produced solely by his GOOD Music label mate, Kanye West, that flourishes with lyrically lavish dope bars and backed by beats from one music’s greatest minds. DAYTONA was memorable for a lot of reasons this year.
Fav song: Santeria
3) Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap
Victory Lap is undoubtedly Nipsey Hussle’s best album to date. It’s in the top two for most complete album of 2018 from top to bottom (toss up with Book Of Ryan). Nipsey speaks nothing but the truth through his songs and empowers listeners to venture out and make something of their own that they control. It’s a masterpiece that held it down this year and will continue to hold it down for many more.
Fav song: Young N—-s (Feat. Diddy)
2) Jay Rock – Redemption
There’s no other way to describe Redemption other than solid rapping on dope beats. Jay Rock finds his lane on this album and it made for one of the best projects this year. Songs flow well together on a playthrough and there’s many highlights in terms of where and how features appear on the album. It’s hard to find any faults on Redemption.
Fav song: The Bloodiest
1) Lil Baby & Gunna – Drip Harder
YSL label mates, Lil Baby and Gunna, have produced nothing but hits when the two get in the booth together so a full fledged collaboration album was a no-brainer this year as the rookies of the year gained popularity. Drip Harder was my personal favourite album of the year and I didn’t even enjoy it upon the first playthrough.
It’s not until I took in the dynamics of their styles, flows, and lyricism that I began to see their stardom. Of course songs like Drip Too Hard and Never Recover were hits from the start, but there’s a lot of hidden gems in other titles like I Am and Underdog that really pulled me in. Gunna & Baby are officially appointed rap’s PB&J from here on out.
Fav song: Underdog