My top five hip-hop albums of 2018


Courtesy of thecomeupshow

“Denzel Curry released the best rap album of 2018”

  1. Kanye West – Ye

Kanye West released his first album since The Life of Pablo in 2016. He spent over a year working on the project in Wyoming and referred to the five-track album as “Wyoming Sessions.” Watching the live streamed listening party in Wyoming — where a couple hundred people circled around a bonfire, dancing to West’s previously unreleased music — captivated me and made my initial listen that much better. Though I had to wait several hours after the expected release time for the album to come out, Ye brought back an introspective Kanye that I had been missing, with songs like “Violent Crimes” and “Wouldn’t Leave” discussing the intricacies of a faltering relationship in the eyes of the media and being a father in today’s society.

  1. Brockhampton – Iridescence

Iridescence, brockhampton’s fifth studio album, hits all the marks I had expected it to, but doesn’t necessarily exceed them. After several album announcements that didn’t come to fruition, the group finally released their first post-Saturation-era album in September. As expected, there are several headbanging moments throughout the album, and several sweeter, slower moments as well. On Iridescence, brockhampton incorporates bearface better than they has before; rather than attaching him to the back of the album and giving him his own song, he has his own hooks and verses, specifically on “Thug Life” and “Tonya.”

  1. Anderson .Paak – Oxnard

Since releasing Malibu in 2016, Anderson .Paak has been making waves around the music industry. Every single song he touched was blessed, and his features helped me dive into other artists’ discographies. The diverse production and erratic lyricism was a different approach than he had on Malibu, but it worked for .Paak perfectly fine. The only downsides to the album that are hard to overlook are the last two tracks, “Sweet Chick” and “Left to Right.” If .Paak had cut the two from the project, leaving it a well-rounded 12-track album, Oxnard would definitely have been my album of the year; however, the highlights, “Cheers” and “The Chase,” surrounded by a well-balanced rap album, are enough to propel the album into my top three.

  1. Kids See Ghosts – self-titled

Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s much anticipated reunion in the summer is a mix of hip hop, rock, and R&B. Unlike any other Kanye project, it was riddled with production only a handful of artists could create. It is, hands down, the most unique hip-hop based project I’ve heard this year. The duo’s ability to embrace mental struggle, a topic covered much throughout the album as well as West’s album Ye, was inspiring, to say the least. Kids See Ghosts brought forth a new type of hip hop project I wasn’t expecting to hear, but, as long as Kanye West continues to make music, I should learn to expect the unexpected.

  1. Denzel Curry – Taboo

Just thinking about Taboo gives me chills. As one of the grimiest, darkest rap albums I’ve heard ever, Denzel Curry’s album lives up to the hype surrounding the Florida rapper’s name. Curry gives us flows that if you blink, you’d miss it. One of the most memorable hooks of the year is “Pockets too big, they sumo” off of “Sumo,” one of the precursory singles on the album. Though it is a trap album, and with trap albums come a reputation of unmeaningful music, Curry is also socially aware on this album; One of my favorite lyrics is “Speakin’ honestly, we livin’ in colonies, CNN sit-comedies / Monstrosity run rampant all throughout United States” on “Sirens.” Taboo delivered on all fronts: it is socially conscious, banged from wall to wall, and propelled Denzel Curry on a superstar trajectory.