For my final post of 2018, fellow blogger Klevis Mazreku (Klevy’s Korner) and I have each decided to break down the best albums of this year.
Before I dive into what I feel are the five BEST albums, here are some honourable mentions:
Freddie Gibbs & Curren$y – FETTI: An amazing album that highlights the genius of producer Alchemist and the unique chemistry of the two MC’s.
Noname – Room 25: A soothing, therapeutic, poetic album where Noname gives a candid reflection of her life and ambitions.
#5 JID – DiCaprio 2
Okay, I know this came out like… last week. But this album has everything you want from the Dreamville artist. J.I.D. utilizes features, a vast range of production, and wild flows that fit his understated persona. If you haven’t heard of him yet, this album is the perfect introduction with standout tracks like ‘Off da Zoinkys’ and ‘Just da Other Day‘.
#4 Mac Miller – Swimming
A fitting and touching final album from an artist that wanted to deliver nothing but the best for his fans. We discuss a lot about how he sadly never reached his peak, but ‘Swimming’ was truly a culmination of his musical strengths put on display. The grooves of ‘Ladders’, the introspection on ‘Self Care’, and the harmonious self-reflection of ‘2009’ are moments that will likely define the legacy of Mac Miller.
#3 Denzel Curry – TA13OO
With an eccentric delivery and loud production, Denzel Curry has now solidified his place in the rap game. Carol City’s finest stepped it up in every way and created a four-act structure of an album that can appeal to all listeners. The hooks are catchy, the wordplay is outstanding and the references are absurd (especially the Rikishi one). This album is always worth revisiting and highlights everything great about the Florida rapper. Standout tracks include ‘BLACK BALLOONS’, ‘SWITCH IT UP’, and ‘CLOUT COBAIN’
#2 Travis Scott – Astroworld
People try to say this album didn’t live up to the hype…
Travis had a 90-second Stevie Wonder harmonica solo on here, what ELSE do you need?
I outlined a lot of this in my first post, but something that is not highlighted enough is how accessible it is. At every point in the day there is a song I can go back to and play at full volume. The soothing sounds of ‘YOSEMITE’ are heavenly, but the refrain on ‘NO BYSTANDERS’ will make you feel like you can go 12 rounds with Tyson. Unlike a lot of other albums this year, this one feels it was meticulously crafted and highlights the strengths of Travis as an all-around artist and performer.
#1 Pusha T – Daytona
When I heard that Pusha T was making his return with a seven-track, 21-minute album I didn’t know what to expect.
But as soon as the beat hits at the 35-second mark of the very first song, I knew it was going to be special.
While others try to fill an album tracklist with features and producers, sometimes it’s better to have a 1-2 combo of a legendary rapper like Push and a legendary (and problematic) producer like Kanye West. Headlines aside, Kanye created a vibe to this album that allowed for Pusha T to flow in a way I have never heard.
This album comes in at number one because it is nearly flawless.
Every track feels urgent and rapid like it’s the final lap in Mario Kart. The samples, the verses, and the changes in beat all set the stage for Pusha T to solidify his greatness. It felt like this was the classic we were waiting for since Push signed with G.O.O.D Music, and I’m happy he delivered.
Last Week’s post on Meek Mill