Albums of the Year | 2018

My top ten favourite albums of the year:

Roc Marciano – Behold A Dark Horse

Roc Marciano – Behold A Dark Horse

“Roc Marciano made a conscious effort to increase his musical output for his fans – since the start of 2017 he’s dropped at least five separate projects – and that newfound focus has resulted in some of his best and most cohesive work in the form of Behold A Dark Horse. With its near faultless production palette that is predominantly created by Marci himself, with additional contributions from the likes of Alchemist and Q-Tip, the New York rapper is equally impressive with his usual delivery of street tales and slick rhymes.”

Royce Da 5’9 – Book Of Ryan

Royce Da 5’9 – Book Of Ryan

“Royce’s rap skills have never been in question, but his ability to create an album that correlates with his technical prowess has cast doubt over his reputation in the eyes of some Hip Hop fans. However, all that doubt has been eradicated with Book Of Ryan as Royce’s efforts over a career spanning circa 20 years finally has its seminal work, something that the man himself recognises by calling it his most important album and the one he’s been waiting to make.”

Pusha T – Daytona

Pusha T – Daytona

“With all of the Drake-centric hype that eventually surrounded the release of Daytona, some may have forgotten that Pusha – with the help of Kanye on production – made a concise Hip Hop masterpiece, driven by his familiarly vivid portrayals of his former life as a drug dealer. That Pusha can avoid diverting from his favoured topic without sounding stale or repetitive is a testament to his rap skills, not to mention being the reason for some of Kanye’s best production work in years.”

Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist – Fetti

Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist – Fetti

“Despite the difference in the lyrical content delivered by Curren$y and Gibbs, there is an unquestionable musical synergy between the two, and with Curren$y and Alchemist already having completed two projects, it would be unsurprising if fans demanded something similar from Alchemist and Gibbs. Before its release, Fetti had the potential to be one of the strongest hip-hop albums of the year due to the skilled people involved and it has no doubt fulfilled that promise.”

Black Milk – Fever

Black Milk – Fever

“For a time, it felt as it Black Milk wrestled with being tagged as ‘underrated’ despite being one of the most consistent rapper/producer’s over the past decade, boldly showcasing the diversity of his musical talents through various projects. Now, instead of arguing his case vehemently, he’s quietly focussed on improving the standard of every project released and Fever is just another example of his development as a producer and emcee, without compromising the elements that drew listeners to him in his earlier years.”

The Internet – Hive Mind

The Internet – Hive Mind

“For the third album in a row, The Internet have managed to continue harnessing their groovy and soulful sound that has gained them many new listeners over the past few years. The likes of ‘Come Over’, ‘Next Time/Humble Pie’ and ‘Hold On’ are of the archetypal style that they have built their reputation on, bringing the essence of an era gone by into the 21st century. Although perhaps not containing as many obvious standout tracks as previous albums, Hive Mind certainly maintains the band’s upward trajectory.”

Masègo – Lady Lady

Masègo – Lady Lady

“Since introducing the idea of his “TrapHouseJazz” sub-genre during his early career, Masègo has developed and sharpened the concept through his supreme musical talents, all of which are emphasised on Lady Lady. He takes different sonic directions throughout the album to display his different moods, beautifully demonstrating his versatility as a producer and songwriter.”

Phontè – No News Is Good News

Phontè – No News Is Good News

“For fans of Little Brother’s Phontè Coleman, the wait for another solo Hip Hop album has been excruciating, but they should certainly feel that the seven year hiatus was worthwhile. No News Is Good News sees Phontè at his reflective best as he details the realities of his current life through raps and a sprinkling of singing that he usually saves for his work with Nicolay as part of The Foreign Exchange. ‘Tè also takes jabs at the modern state of the genre he’s a part of, as the uncrowned Hip Hop king shows he has not lost his touch.”

Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap

“The aptly titled Victory Lap is Nipsey combining the most potent elements of his previous material into a triumphant celebration of his success. He flaunts a varied repertoire of songs that range from west coast gangsta anthems to introspective storytelling, which prove that it’s not just Nipsey’s business mind that has earned him plaudits, but also his ability to rap at a considerable level.”

Children of Zeus – Travel Light

“The potential that Children of Zeus displayed on their mixtape The Story So Far has been refined and sharpened on Travel Light, with the debut album acting as a continuation of their beautiful blend of Hip Hop and Soul. Konny and Tyler as individuals are by no means new artists, but the pair’s seminal work certainly comes in the form of this impressive effort.”


Honourable Mentions

Pac Div – 1st Baptist
Ghetts – Ghetto Gospel 2: The New Testament
Billy DukesThe Intervention
Kali Uchis – Isolation
Flatbush Zombies – Vacation In Hell


Albums of the Year | 2017
Albums of the Year | 2016
Albums of the Year | 2015

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