I’ll be honest, this year has been a pretty impressive year for rap music. We’ve had our share of beefs throughout hip hop and we saw the culture unite for Meek Mill, who was sent to prison. From the rise of Cardi B to the collaborative album by two of my favorite artists, Fabolous and Jadakiss. It’s been a very exciting year in hip hop where we got a surprise album from Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar dropped out of nowhere. Below I’ve put together the top 10 rap albums I’ve heard this year. What’s your favorite albums of 2017?
10) 2 Chainz Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
Been a fan of 2 Chainz aka Tity Boi since he was running around with Luda and Disturbing the Peace. The album produced some dope tracks, but the biggest deed from the album was the pink house. The pink house was featured on the local news here in Atlanta. It was used as a HIV testing center for the community. As far as the album, it still gets much play and my favorite track from the album is probably Good Drank featuring Gucci Mane and Quavo. The album was released on June 16th and it has gone gold since its release.
9) Joey Badass All Amerikkkan Badass
Before the album, wasn’t a huge fan of Joey Badass, but this album changed that. Amerikkkan Badass was an album that I didn’t have a favorite cut, but I can listen to the album without skipping. This album made me look at him differently for his lyricism and speaking about significant issues. Amerikkkan Badass debuted at number five when it was released on April 7th.
8) Freddie Gibbs You Only Live 2wice
I remember the first time listening to Freddie Gibbs on a track. This was when Gibbs used to run with Jeezy and of course, they fell out and he threw shots Jeezy’s way. After that, Gibbs started dropping tracks and appeared on several projects. In 2016, he was arrested in France for a rape that took place in Austria. Gibbs proclaimed his innocence and later in the year he was acquitted of all charges. On March 31, he released You Only Live 2wice and it was the Gibbs that made me a fan of his. My favorite track off the EP is Crushed Glass, but this is something I’ll listen to the entire album.
7) Rapsody Laila’s Wisdom
In an era of Nicki Minaj and Cardi B, Rapsody is more of my flavor as she’s another artist who talk about significant issues. After years of gaining popularity after several splendid features, which includes Complexion from Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly. Rapsody finally released her much-anticipated debut album, Laila’s Wisdom on September 22nd. She signed with 9th Wonder, so he handled the majority of the production on the album. The features on the album included Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, BJ the Chicago Kid, Anderson Paak and Musiq Soulchild. Too many tracks on the album to have one favorite, but it’s well worth a listen and a must for your collection.
6) Fabolous & Jadakiss Friday on Elm Street
This has been teased for well over a year now and they finally dropped it on November 24th. Last year, they released Rapture, which had the Anita Baker mixed and it was a dope track. When you put two of the dopest lyricist ever together for an album, you get straight BARS!!! The album features Jeezy, Styles P, Future, Swizz Beatz and French Montana. The best track off the album has to be Soul Food for me, but there are other dope tracks on the album.
5) Cyhi the Prynce No Dope on Sundays
Finally!!!!! Cyhi finally released his major label debut called No Dope on Sundays. After being a ghostwriter for Kanye West and dropping classic mixtapes, his time has come. This is an album I’ve been waiting on ever since he dropped his Royal Flush mixtape. If you didn’t pay attention to his mixtapes, the track So Appalled from Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album. The lyricism of Cyhi is hit or miss, but he’s on point for the most part. The album features Kanye West, Pusha T, Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, Jagged Edge and BJ the Chicago Kid. There are several tracks on the album that stand out, so cop the album that was released on November 10th.
4) Big KRIT 4Eva Is a Mighty Long Time
One of my favorite artists since he came out, KRIT hit us with a double album. One of my favorite things about KRIT is that he reminds me of UGK, Outkast and 8Ball & MJG rolled up in one. KRIT is also nice on the beats as he produces most of his work. For me, he’s up there with Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, but for some reason he’s never tasted the success of those two. There are many standout tracks on the double album like Price of Fame, Drinking Sessions, The Light and Bury Me in Gold. 4Eva is a Might Long Time is a very underrated album as this is one of the best releases of 2017. The album was released on October 27th.
3) Jay-Z 4:44
Jay-Z released his 13th album in a 21-year span and all his projects debuted on top of the charts. Leading up to the release, there were rumors about Jay working on a new album. A couple of weeks before the release there were promos with the 4:44 from Tidal, but no one knew exactly what it meant. The album achieved platinum status upon its release as Sprint purchase one million copies as part of the Sprint-Tidal partnership. The top tracks off the album is The Story of O.J, 4:44, Family Feud and Kill Jay-Z.
2) Rick Ross Rather You Than Me
Many people aren’t fans of Rick Ross, but I think he’s underrated as an MC. One thing about Ross over the years and that he knows how to pick beats as he has an ear for music. With the release of Rather You Than Me, he proved that he’s far from done. Normally, when I listen to an album I’ll check it out a few times before my mind is made on the project. With Rather You Than Me, my first listen I was in awe of the project. Nas, Raphael Saadiq, Jeezy, Gucci Mane, Wale, Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, Anthony Hamilton and Future are some of the guest appearances on the album. The album was released on March 17th and this project has been getting much play all year.
1) Kendrick Lamar DAMN
Anticipation began when he released The Heart Pt. 4 as he hinted at dropping on April 7th. Damn was released on April 14th, but the lead single, Humble was released a couple weeks before the album dropped. The album was well-received by everyone as it vaulted to #1. The album has been labeled as the best rap album of the year by damn near everyone. Kendrick went in a totally different direction from the To Pimp a Butterfly album as he eluded to on the track, Element. It depends on what day, but as of now my favorite tracks on the album are as followed. Duckworth, God, Fear, Love, Humble, Loyalty, Feel, Element, Yah and DNA. This is my top album of 2017 and this should be in your collection if you’re a fan of hip hop or music in general.
As of this writing, I haven’t listened to the new Jeezy or Scarface albums. There are other albums that I didn’t fully listen to like Migos, Future and a few others because they didn’t rub me the right way. What are your top rap albums of the year? Leave a comment below and five me some feedback.