By Xavier Basso, Staff Writer
From Migos, to Kendrick Lamar, to 21 Savage, to Jay-Z. Hip-Hop has completely taken over the year 2017. Almost every artist has released albums and the year is not even over yet.
Hip-Hop took over 2017 so much that it has become the most popular music genre for the first time in United States history, according to Neilsen Music.. With that being said, here are our picks for Top 10 albums of 2017.
10. Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 – A$AP Mob
After almost a year Cozy Tapes Vol.2 came out. This 17-track album is filled with bangers, with some songs sounding like “Lords Never Worry” Mob. This albums features artist like Big Sean, Playboi Carti, Gucci Mane, Schoolboy Q, Lil Yatchy Pro Era , and Flatbush Zombies. The album does a good job of using its features. The song “Frat Rules” featuring Playboi Carti and Big Sean the back and forth between Rocky and Sean is very unique and rarely used in today’s era of hip-hop. Another song similar to that is “What Happens” which features The Mob, Flatbush Zombies and Pro Era. The artists finish each other’s sentences in a unique way. With What Happens” we finally get to hear Flatbush Zombies, Pro Era, and A$AP Mob all hold it down for New York. If you are looking for a banger than the track “Bahamas” is definitely one to check out -. with Lil Yatchy rapping the chorus and Schoolboy Q dropping a verse this is one of the more heavy hitters in the album. If you enjoyed previous A$AP Mob projects then you definitely enjoy this one!
9. Drop Top Wop – Gucci Mane
After being released from jail Gucci Mane has been on a mission and with Drop Top Wop he has dropped his best project since he has been released. This 10 track project has songs like “Met Gala” ft Offset, “Lost 4 Wrdz” ft Rick Ross and “Both Eyes Closed” ft 2 Chainz and Young Dolph that really set the album. “Met Gala,” which has Offset at his best, is one of the best songs of the year. With Metro Boomin behind the production he really gave Gucci some bangers. The song Lost 4 Wrdz has one of the illest beats I’ve heard all year and Rick Ross delivers a mean verse to go with it. If you are looking for some good Gucci Mane bangers than this is the album to turn to.
8. Culture – Migos
The Migos have completely taken over 2017 with their Culture album. This 13 track project is completely filled with bangers from track 1 to track 13. Everybody went crazy with “Bad Boujee” , however; songs like “Get Right Witcha”, “Slippery” ft Gucci Mane, “Deadz” featuring 2 chainz, Call Casting, and T-Shirt are also tracks to get into with most of them being better than Bad and Boujee. Migos really delivered and set the standard early in the year with this project and with talks about Culture 2 Migos are looking to change the game if they have not already.
7. Neva Left – Snoop Dogg
After releasing “COOLAID” about a year ago Snoop Dogg is back and claiming that he still has it and he never left. This 13 track album gives a reminiscing feel of old school West Coast music. Snoop Dogg delivered one of the best albums of 2017 with songs sampling some East Coast hits like C.R.E.A.M. by Wu-Tang and Check the Rhime by A Tribe Called Quest and giving it a little West Coast flavor. Songs like Moment I Feared and Vapors will give that old school feel. The one song you should look out for on this album is Mount Kushmore which features Redman, Method Man, and B-Real – each artist bodies their verse. But if you want to sit down, relax and meditate then the song 420 (Blaze Up) is the song to listen to. With a harmonic auto tune sound to it the song also features Devin The Dude and Wiz Khalifa. This album really topped COOLAID, and if you are looking for new music give this album a shot especially if you are a fan of West Coast rap.
6. Rather You Than Me – Rick Ross
Rick Ross has really made a statement with Rather You Than Me with 14 songs and 15 features including Chris Rock who mainly talks on the album. Don’t really expect anything from this album only thing was a very big hit that would make the album. From top to bottom this album is very deep and smooth. Some songs even get personal. The song “Idols Become Rivals” tells a story about how Rick Ross idolized Birdman but when Birdman disrespected several artists like Dj Khaled and Lil Wanye he changed his mind.. Then you have songs like Apple of My Eye featuring Raphael Saadiq, Santorini Greece, and Scientology that take Rick Ross’s to the next level. This is one of Ross’ most lyrical projects yet. Bangers on a Rick Ross album are always expected. It is nice to see Rick Ross showing versatility. Definitely check this project out.
5. Pretty Girls Like Trap Music – 2 Chainz
After dropping several small projects like Hibachi for Lunch and Daniel Son; Necklace Don, 2 chainz has finally released a full album. This 16-track album was highly anticipated. Pretty Girls Like Trap Music delivers a hard and smooth sounding album. Songs like Riverdale Rd, Door Swangin, OG Kush Diet, and Trap Check bring out the hard sounding 2 chainz and songs like Rolls Royce Bitch, It’s a Vibe, Blue Cheese ft Migos, and Bailan ft Pharrell Williams bring out the soft and smooth sounding 2 chainz. This is a top to bottom album.
4. DAMN – Kendrick Lamar
After dropping his best project with To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar is back with “DAMN.” The 14 track album made history as No.1 for four straight weeks, then remained in the top three for 13 straight weeks and returned to No.1. The album was so successful that all 14 songs were on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It stayed in the Top 5 until August. Although the album was not as great as “TPAB,” it still is a top album and debatably the album of the year. Songs like DNA and Humble have made a big impact as well as Loyalty ft Rihanna. Some songs even have a To Pimp A Butterfly feel. The songs Fear and Duckworth have that feel. Overall the album is great and worth the listen. Kendrick never fails to drop some heat.
3. I Decided – Big Sean
After releasing “Dark Sky Paradise” in 2015 Big Sean fans finally got a top album this year. From the songs’ messages to the transitions this album was uniquely made. Many of the songs were relatable in some way. Songs like Jump Out The Window, Bounce Back, Same Time Pt.1 with Jhene Akio, Owe Me, Halfway Off The Balcony, Voices In My Head/Stick To The Plan, Inspire Me, and Bigger Than Me featuring The Flint Chozen Choir are all relatable. Sean dropped a great Top to Bottom album. If you like lyricism than this is the album to listen to.
2. Flower Boy – Tyler the Creator
After releasing “Cherry Bomb” in 2015 Tyler The Creator is back with the 14-track”Flower Boy.” The album is smooth and unique. Tyler does not fail to produce a great album. People sleep on Tyler’s production and if you saw the Cherry Bomb documentary you will see that he perfects his craft. Songs like “Garden Shed”, 911/ Mr.Lonely”, “Boredom”, and “Enjoy Right Now, Today” are songs you would sit back and relax to while songs like “Who Dat Boy,” “Droppin Seeds,” and “I Ain’t Got Time!” bring out the rapper in Tyler The Creator. The features on this album are always perfect for the songs they are on. Songs like Where This Flower Blooms features Frank Ocean and See You Again ft Kali Uchis are very unique. This is another top to bottom album with most songs relatable if you listen to artist like Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yacthy, 21 Savage, or Migos. This album is probably not for you. This album is for people who enjoy actual music and sound. This is Tyler’s best album next to “Wolf.”
1. 4:44 – Jay-Z
Nobody could believe that Jay-Z was dropping an album and no one knew what to expect, especially after “Manga Carta” being so disappointing. For 4:44 this was not the case. Jay-Z is yet to create another timeless project that spreads some knowledge. Another top to bottom album and clearly the best album of the year when it comes to lyrical content. The song The Story of O.J. alone captures truth. Then you have 4:44, a song that touches on Jay-Z cheating on Beyonce. Quoting “And if my children knew I don’t even know what I would do. If they ain’t look at me the same I would prob’ly die with all the shame.”
“You did what with who?” What good is a ménage à trois when you have a soulmate? “You risked that for Blue? If I wasn’t a superhero in your face. My heart breaks for the day I have to explain my mistakes” Jay-Z really touches a personal level that we have seen from him in a while. This album is definitely worth the listen especially if you love true hip-hop.