The Best Hip-Hop Albums 6 Months into 2018

2018 already looks set to be better than 2017 when it comes to the quality of hip-hop albums that have been released and the scary thing is there’s another 6 months left.

There’s been so much output over the winter months (summer for those across the sea) that choosing just 10 is almost impossible now already, but there’s also been complete duds as well. The first major letdown would have to be Migos’ Culture II. I know it wasn’t the original album they intended to release as they lost it, but the follow up to Culture was a failure. Let’s just call it what it is and to make matters worse it was grossly overshadowed by the release of a Lil Wayne mixtape. The other letdowns are Testing and Die Lit of ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti. I’m just taking into account albums I’ve listened to myself.

There’s also been really well crafted albums that were released, but that won’t be considered for the year end list. They don’t even crack the top 10 of albums released for the first 6 months. The biggest and probably most shocking omission is the Black Panther soundtrack. Yes, it’s packed with amazing musicians and pretty awesome songs, but there’s better releases out and most likely still to come especially local. The others missing out completely for 2018 are: Ye by Kanye West, Sr3Mm by Rae Sremmurd, Nasir by Nas, The World is Yours by Rich the Kid, the SUPERFLY soundtrack and KTSE by Teyana Taylor. These are all amazing albums in their own right, but…

… the cream always rises to the top and these are the ten best albums to come out of 2018 thus far. We’re going to start with the last major release in Drake’s Scorpion. Now as of this writing I’ve heard the album only 5 times, but there was no way this album was going to be poorly received. You’ll be hearing it for sometime. The only major release locally that cracks the top 10 for now is AKA’s Touch my Blood. The remaining 8 albums are all international as the South African summer releases are still set to come. The others in the top ten are: EVERYTHING IS LOVE by The Carters, DAYTONA by Pusha-T, KIDS SEE GHOSTS by KIDS SEE GHOSTS, Redemption by Jay Rock and the surprisingly enjoyable Invasion of Privacy by Cardi B.

The one’s previously mentioned might not stick around until December as locally PDotO is scheduled to drop, Blaklez is scheduled to drop, YoungstaCPT is scheduled to drop and many others, but the following three are most definite strong contenders for album of the year this early. We’re starting with Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap. The debut is the measuring stick for debut albums from here on out. That’s what I said in my review and I’m sticking to it. We knew little to nothing about Royce da 5’9 until he released Book of Ryan and now the world is abuzz and know more about him from one album than he’s whole discography previously taught. The biggest contender and this is probably not a surprise is J. Cole’s KOD. It’s described as being one of the most important albums of our time and those who think that are right.

There’s another long 6 months ahead and with releases already looking this strong it’s going to be a cruel summer/winter.

Khris Blaze
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