rap albums released in 2020

22: DeJ Loaf – “It’s A Set Up!” Milo’s best work who told you to think​?​?​!​!​?​!​?​!​?​!, was sonically denser and more abstract – but that’s not to say Purple Moonlight Pages is a straightforward or an easy listen. 10: Quando Rondo – “QPac” 25: Tory Lanez – “DAYSTAR” Aminé has always been a figure who is simply fun and entertaining to listen to because of a certain swagger, persona and energy. Black Habits is a real treat. 2: 21 Savage & Metro Boomin – “SAVAGE MODE II” Gotta add The Odd Squad and Bombay & Phil Most Chill albums to my list above.

In the second half of this year, we especially look forward to expected releases by Black Star and Ab-Soul and rumored projects by Q-Tip, LL Cool J, KRS-One, De La Soul, and Kendrick Lamar. The album sure is a trip, a total mindf*ck. The record’s title, as well as its content, nod to CJ Fly’s Caribbean heritage – RUDEBWOY is full of energy, summertime vibes, and good old fun. The whole album is packed with nods to classic songs and styles from acts like Run DMC, EPMD, Eric B & Rakim, UTFO, LL Cool J, Roxanne Shante, Mantronix, Cold Crush Brothers, Melle Mel, and many more of the 1980s legends – from the title of the album, to the cover art, to the beats, to the samples, to the turntablism, to the lyrics – this project is the best kind of trip down memory lane any old-school Hip Hop fan could wish for.
– a masterpiece of conscious Hip Hop, and because of its positive thinking and positive imagery a breath of fresh air in the era dominated by gangsta rap – celebrating life instead of death. Jay Electronica – A Written Testimony As God Intended is another jewel in Apollo Brown’s crown and the official arrival of Che’ Noir to the Hip Hop Majors. For the unfamiliar:  Sankofa is a Fort Wayne-based emcee who collaborated with underground Hip Hop mainstays like CunninLynguists, Tonedeff, and many others, and who has dropped a bunch of great projects in the past decade – he had an especially fruitful 2019, with two excellent full-lengths and one dope EP. Curly Castro and PremRock debuted as a duo with Cobalt, their 2019 debut EP. Reks is better than an honorable mention. So, in 2020 we have two distinctly different brands of boom-bap flooding the market: the more traditional, 90s-centric kind, and The Face Of Jason kind of neo-boom-bap with dark, dirty, and dusty instrumentals. He has been responsible for a couple of the best Hip Hop albums released in the 2010s, especially his last two albums as Ka are low-key classics that have gained him a host of loyal fans. Fire albums. This album was created throughout four years of psychedelic usage and reality-based life-changing events. The tracks with Don Tolliver (and pop rapper Big Sean), Lil Durk, and also the one with neo-soul king Anderson .Paak (“All Bad”) will most likely not appeal to fans who were there with Nas from the beginning, these songs are clearly meant to give Nas an in with new audiences. 5: Chris Brown & Young Thug – “Slime & B” 31: Hit-Boy & Dom Kennedy – “Also Known As” Hood” Logic sounds more focused and less irritating here than he did on a lot of his earlier projects, and his lyrical performance is helped in great measure by elite producer No I.D.’s work on the boards – like he was on his 2014 debut Under Pressure. Where RTJ4 is hard-hitting and in-your-face, Shrines is more subtle and layered – but no less intelligent and thought-provoking. Not included are instrumental albums, compilations, and EP’s. Take Care and As God Intended is Apollo Brown’s first major project of the 2020s, for which he teamed up with Che’ Noir. These days there seem to be a lot of people suffering from ‘Eminem Derangement Syndrome’ – lots of folks are ready to sh*t on everything Eminem does, no matter what (just like they will auto-praise anything media darlings like Kendrick Lamar and Tyler The Creator drop, no matter what). Stand-out tracks: “Gotta Be Dope”, with incredible rhyming by R.A. and his protege A-F-R-O, and with cuts by the legendary DJ Jazzy Jeff, “The Slayers Club”, the best posse cut you will hear this year (featuring Ice T, M.O.P., Onyx, Brand Nubian, Vinnie Paz, Chris Rivers, and Chino XL), “Dragon Fire”, the other posse cut (with Ghostface Killah, Masta Killa, and Kool G Rap) that’s almost as dope, “Golden Oldies” (with Atmosphere and Eamon) with all its nods to classic Hip Hop, “Who Do We Trust” featuring Immortal Technique, with its eery beat and thought-provoking lyrics, and the deep and emotional single “Wondering”. 6: Lil Uzi Vert – “Eternal Atake” Only a few months after his collaborative album with top-producer The Alchemist, the excellent The Price Of Tea In China, Boldy James dropped this completely different but equally captivating project. 3: Gucci Mane – “So Icy Summer” His pen game and lyrical performance on King’s Disease are as strong as ever and Hit Boy’s easy-listening beats, for the most part, do justice to Nas’ introspective rhymes. I like it, but Negro by pinksiifu is a hardcore punk album containing no rapping. Washington DC-born and Atlanta-based Sa-Roc has been of the most interesting artists out in the past decade, with a bunch of great but underappreciated projects on her name before signing with Rhymesayers (especially Nebuchadnezzar (2014) is an awesome album).
This is a perfect album for the HHGA demographic and an AOTY-contender. Shrines has vocal contributions from Quelle Chris, Earl Sweatshirt, Akai Solo, Curly Castro, Pink Siifu, and R.A.P. The number of top-quality projects he has put his stamp on in this decade is amazing. Standout tracks include “Living Happy”, “Graphic Bleeds Out”, “Black Twitter”, “Grease From The Elbows” (featuring billy woods and Pink Siifu), “Sacred Safe”, with a show-stealing verse from Homeboy Sandman – but Innocent Country 2‘s strength is its consistency, it’s a perfect album to keep on rotation in the summertime (and in other seasons too, for that matter). About Safe Space Invader from Paris’ own website: “In this era of reckoning for American policing, increases of instances racism fostered by the most incompetent president in modern times, and a global pandemic that has affected all areas of life as we once knew it, voices of dissent in entertainment have become more relevant than ever. Immortal Technique. 31: Curren$y & DJ Fresh – “The Tonite Show” Despite all these guests, this is very much a Rugged Man album, though – he is never outshined and nowhere overcrowded. Throw in Killer Mike and El-P’s respective solo work and they’re all-timers. and

A-F-R-O. The album holds 12 tracks, all masterfully produced and expertly sequenced, with just the right amount of features. Majority are on the HHGA List, some of which are new discoveries…so props for the heads up…on some Fire Sonics. The album is as musical as you’d expect an Arrested Development record to be – but the work on the boards from British producer Configa gives this album an authentic Hip Hop vibe at the same time. J.Gemz -Interstellar Peters is an accomplished poet/author/MC & educator, Cervantes is a producer/MC/Ph.D. Just look past that Married With Children album cover (even if there are thematic links to that TV-series in the album title and album’s content), and give this project an attentive listen – no doubt you’ll quickly add Pow Bundy to your library. With a mostly Atlanta-based roster that features incredible artists such as rap duo EARTHGANG, R&B superstar 6lack and JID, it is not surprising that the result of the collective’s fourth project is of such high quality. Roc Marci re-pioneered and rejuvenated the ‘mafioso’ subgenre: tough-guy coke-rap street rhymes over dirty minimalistic beats. Boldy James’ pen game remains razor-sharp, and The Alchemist’s excellent soundscapes are perfectly suited for Boldy’s lyrical finesse. In this day and age of short hype circles, The Price Of Tea In China is one of the exceptions – an album that will prove to have staying power. It should be on the hip-hop adjacent list, if included at all. 8: Lil Durk – “Just Cause Y’all Waited 2” Following their 2019 collaboration 88 To Now, Michigan-native Sareem Poems and Newselph (from Alberta, Canada) teamed up again to drop this delightful little project. Syracuse rapper Stove God Crooks’ debut LP Reasonable Drought is produced entirely by Roc Marciano – whose name is featured prominently here of course, as it’s a mark of quality which will draw listeners to Stove God Cooks he might have not had without Roc Marci’s involvement. Popularity is all about marketing and hype these days, without a strong social media presence and/or major cooperation backing your music will not get much exposure.

This creation is certainly one of the strongest efforts from the Griselda trio, and helps to cement Conway as more than just a rapper with brief trends of underground acclaim. The Alchemist already had one of the best albums of 2020 on his name with his Boldy James collabo The Price Of Tea In China, Alfredo tops even that one. “Limbo” seems like a fitting piece in the evolution of an artist — the compilation follows a comedown and mature steps after initial fame and prominence. 17: dvsn – “A Muse In Her Feelings” So now here we have his third album, All My Heroes Are Dead. Staying in the public’s eye with this a new project every few months is being given higher priority than the actual quality of the music that is released.

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