• Sam Jones

Top Ten Favourite Albums of 2018: Hip Hop, R&B

#1: TA13OO

  • By: Denzel Curry

  • Length: 43min : 13 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: BLACK BALLOONS, SUMO, SIRENS

  • Most Skippable: THE BLACKEST BALLOON

This album solidified Denzel Curry in the rap scene. Every song is a must-listen. I feel bad for putting THE BLACKEST BALLOON as the most skippable song on this album because it is an amazing song. TA13OO is split into three acts: LIGHT, GREY and DARK. Each act shows us the mind of Denzel Curry, and how even the lightest parts of his life (the LIGHT act) have dark undertones that show they are tainted by his negative mental state and hard upbringing. This album also shows that Denzel Curry is not scared of discussing the darkest spots of human life in the DARK act while also presenting this grey area in life (GREY act) that he seems to be stuck in the most where he doesn’t know how he should feel anymore. Overall, one of the greatest albums I have ever listened to.

#2: Astroworld

  • By: Travis Scott

  • Length: 58min : 17 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: HOUSTONFORNICATION, SICKO MODE, CAN’T SAY

  • Most Skippable: ASTROTHUNDER

This is an album where you can recognize the amount of attention to detail put into each track. Every track has its own sound that creates the intricate and ethereal world that is Astroworld. Inspired by the now-defunct amusement park Six Flags Astroworld in Travis Scott’s hometown of Houston, the tracks transition smoothly from one to the other in a means of exploring a new flavour of traditional Atlanta-inspired trap music. It also has an impressive guest list and the unique difference between beats shows the listener the diversity of Astroworld. The only thing that I would pick at is that Travis Scott can sometimes be overshadowed by a feature on a track. *cough* Don Toliver on Can’t Say *cough*.

#3: ONEPOINTFIVE

  • By: Amine

  • Length: 34min : 13 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: DR. WHOEVER, RATCHET SATURN GIRL, REEL IT IN

  • Most Skippable: CHINGY

The Portland rapper releases this project which maintains the feel-good tone of his previous projects. The songs are relatively common in sound but somehow each portray a different vibe which makes this album unique. The songs carry a wit and brightness that sets him apart from fellow “mumble” rappers who have resorted to a common theme of constant drugs and violence. The album also describes the struggles Amine encountered when adjusting to his newfound fame.

#4: FM!

  • By: Vince Staples

  • Length: 22min : 11 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: Outside!, FUN!, Tweakin

  • Most Skippable: Brand New Tyga - Interlude

Easily one of the most creative albums I have listened to, FM! Is a short and sweet project by Vince Staples that is by far his best. It uses uplifting beats, lyrics and rap styles to portray a stereotypical radio station. The tracks flow between each other in a way that feels like you are listening to one large track. This includes cleverly inserting promotions from other rappers and giveaways that you would traditionally hear on the radio. The tenth track on this album, (562) 453-9382 - Skit, is a perfectly crafted skit that includes a contest to guess seven famous people whose names start with V. The contestant fails to name Vince Staples, which creates meaning in this album that despite his songs being played constantly he is still being slept on. The worst part of this album is the Tyga interlude because I can’t stand Tyga.

#5: Whack World

  • By: Tierra Whack

  • Length: 15min : 15 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: Hungry Hippo, Fruit Salad, Pet Cemetery

  • Most Skippable: F**k Off

A short but sweet album, Tierra Whack perfectly exemplifies a unique sound in a number of short one minute songs. Nearly every song is amazingly produced and leaves the listener wanting more. This works to its advantage but also contributes to why this album is lower on this list. At times I wish that I could have gotten more of each sound. However, amazing project that leaves me excited to hear more.

#6: KIDS SEE GHOSTS

  • By: KIDS SEE GHOSTS (Kid Cudi, Kanye West)

  • Length: 23min : 7 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: Feel The Love, Reborn, Cudi Montage

  • Most Skippable: Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2)

#7: NOIR

  • By: Smino

  • Length: 58min : 18 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: KOVERT, Z4L, WE GOT THE BISCUITS

  • Most Skippable: KLINK

#8: Testing

  • By: ASAP Rocky

  • Length: 52min : 15 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: F**k Sleep, Praise The Lord, Tony Tone

  • Most Skippable: CALLDROPS

#9: iridescence

  • By: BROCKHAMPTON

  • Length: 48min : 15 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: NEW ORLEANS, THUG LIFE, J’OUVERT

  • Most Skippable: LOOPHOLE

#10: Daytona

  • By: Pusha T

  • Length: 21min : 7 Songs

  • 3 Top Selections: If You Know You Know, Santeria, What Would Meek Do?

  • Most Skippable: The Games We Play

Honourable Mentions: Goodbye And Good Riddance (JuiceWRLD), ? (XXXTentacion), DiCaprio 2 (J.I.D.), Some Rap Songs (Earl Sweatshirt), Hoodie SZN (A Boogie)