By: Alvindra |
2018 has been a great year for Hip Hop. Almost everyone in Hip Hop industry put out something, from Nas with his album Nasir, Jay Z and Beyonce’s collaboration, Kanye and Kid Cudi’s joint project, Travis Scott’s long anticipated album, to exclamations from up-and-coming rappers J.I.D, Anderson .Paak, and Denzel Curry. To celebrate the great year Hip Hop had, our team has come up with a list of top 10 Hip Hop Albums of 2018.
DROGAS Wave by Lupe Fiasco
The homemade, 24 songs 98 minutes album surprised us with great production that provides us with a rich sound that matches very well with Lupe’s signature conscious rap. His wordplay really shines in DROGAS Wave, something that has been Lupe Fiasco’s staple his whole career. Yet this album is probably his peak lyricism, he effortlessly flows from track to track with one recurring theme, humanity. His lyrics might sometime come off as patronizing, and DROGAS Wave’s length caused him to shift from the main story of a runaway slave too many times, however DROGAS Wave still shines through its homemade production and masterful lyricism.
iridescence by BROCKHAMPTON
After parting away with rapper Ameer Vann due to the latter’s sexual misconduct allegations, many people doubted that BROCKHAMPTON would bounce back from said incident. On iridescence, we see them come out of their comfort zone by incorporating new things into the album and moving on from their reliance on Kevin, Ameer, Matt, and Dom. Many members, especially JOBA play much bigger role than in the SATURATION Trilogy. iridescence is different from SATURATION Trilogy, and that is a good thing, even when the album is arguably not as good as SATURATION II and SATURATION III, it is still good enough to make our top 10 Hip Hop Albums.
Swimming by Mac Miller
Mac Miller’s last album is arguably the most emotional album to come out this year. Swimming was made after his breakup with Ariana Grande after their 2 years relationship and his drunk driving and hit and run arrests. The jazz-funk influenced album is his most honest album, where we see him talking about his struggles with addiction, depression, and losing a loved one. The very thin features list also made the album very personal. Swimming is an emotional yet peaceful album, and the circumstances give the album even more meaning and it is enough to make our top 8. Rest in peace, Malcolm James McCormick.
Astroworld by Travis Scott
Announced on April 2017, Astroworld has since become one of the most widely anticipated album. When it was released on August 3, 2018, Astroworld was met with great reception. Boasting numbers of prolific features, Travis successfully envisioned his childhood favorite theme park as an album. Never known as a lyrical wizard, Travis’ production more than make up for the lack of great lyrics. Still, tracks like “STOP TRYING TO BE GOD” and “HOUSTONFORNICATION” display some deep and introspective lyrics. The production, on the other hand, is one of the best this year, and it successfully put Astroworld on our number 7.
DiCaprio 2 by J.I.D.
When it comes to delivery, J.I.D is arguably the second best rapper today, coming only behind Kendrick Lamar. In DiCaprio 2, his lyrical ability is vastly improving. Combined with his delivery, this album has put J.I.D on top of other up and coming rappers. Trap and soul-influenced beats really fit his delivery and resulted in an album not only known for its lyrical mastery, but also for its great production and very impressive sonics. The features in this album are great, although J.I.D still successfully stands in the spotlight of his second studio album.
Some Rap Songs by Earl Sweatshirt
The short, self produced album saw Earl Sweatshirt coming back to the Hip Hop scene after three years of hiatus. Some Rap Songs is his most personal album where he talks about his depression, relationship with his parents, and his life struggles in general. The dirty, lo-fi Avant Garde Jazz-Hop beats accompany us cruising through Earl’s life story, and his unique flows and wordplays secured him his deserved 5th place.
Daytona by Pusha T
King Push’s luxurious drug dealer album is arguably his best album so far. Kanye’s production combined with Pusha’s delivery and ability of not sounding shallow while rapping about his life as a crack dealer gives us a great album, both lyrically and sonically. The 21 minutes album doesn’t really have any low and skippable track. The album features collabs with only Kanye and Rick Ross, giving this album an exclusive, luxurious vibe that supports the production and lyrics.
Oxnard by Anderson .Paak
Anderson .Paak’s newest album is very experimental and diverse, and it successfully gives Anderson .Paak a platform to jump to the next level. The production is bold and sonically rich. Features of this album range from Kendrick Lamar, J.Cole, Pusha T, Snoop Dogg, to Dr. Dre, and they play their role perfectly while still letting .Paak take the spotlight. Overall a great album and our third best Hip Hop album of 2018.
KIDS SEE GHOSTS by Kids See Ghosts
Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s chemistry is very apparent in this album, and they flow flawlessly through songs over perfect production by Kanye West. Kanye and Cudi’s different styles mash superbly in this album. The album tells us the story of a newly diagnosed bipolar man who is about to get kicked out by society for his shenanigans, a.k.a Mr. West, and a drug addict trying to come clean and break free from his addiction, a.k.a Kid Cudi. No apparent lows and some defining moments such as Kanye’s verse on “Reborn”, arguably one of his best verses, saved KSG a 2nd place on our list.
TA13OO by Denzel Curry
TA13OO is Denzel’s most personal project yet, featuring melodic soulful trap production and his signature delivery and flows. The three acts provide flowing storytelling, with the first act being the light side, the second being the gray side, and the third being the dark side. The album centers around Denzel’s frustration towards everything, from the music industry to the American political condition. The features of GoldLink and J.I.D are on point and provide some additional depth to the album. The combination of deep, conscious lyrics, wordplay, underlying substances, and sharp production is enough for us to safely say that TA13OO by Denzel Curry is 2018’s best Hip Hop album.