Towards the end of last year, fans began to speculate the releases of new music from their favorite hip-hop superstars. Rumors of all the top tier artist dropping projects kept the internet at the edge of its seat awaiting what new musical ventures were in store for listeners. We are now halfway through the year and have received a significant amount of music. The Carters, Cardi, Kanye, Migos, Drake, and even Nas have all dropped projects to freshen up the music scene with new production, subject matters, and creative concepts. Since their releases, we’ve had plenty of material to marinate on but of the many which ones met or exceeded expectations?
Below is a list of the 3 best of the most anticipated albums this year.
3. Invasion of Privacy– “Ion dance now, I make bloody moves”! Tired of hearing that? Yeah, me to but it still made this album. Nevertheless, Invasion of Privacy came as no surprise to some and a wake-up call to others. The rap-stress planted the seeds of her discography by opening up with a hard club banger explaining her life “Get up 10”. Here she gives a brief synopsis of what’s going on in her life currently, similar to how she did in her mix-tapes but with a bit more skill and articulation. Throughout her album, she takes us on a journey from club anthems to ballads that almost seem like pages ripped from her personal diary. A few must here songs are “Best Life” in which she and Childish Gambino flaunt their social liberties and triumphs as well as “Be Careful”, and “I Do” ft. SZA. Of course, it wouldn’t be Cardi if there weren’t some club-ready joints, Bickenhead, Drip, and Moneybag will surely get you up out your seat rather your tipsy or not. Features from the album include Migos, SZA, Kehlani, 21 Savage, Bad Bunny, J Balvin, and Chance the Rapper. How did this album make the list? To be honest, It wasn’t due to amazing production or superb lyrical skill, but how relatable it is for so many. Cardi is a storyteller. No matter what track she’s placed on you believe whatever narrative she tells you. She puts her own essence into everything she does and this makes her exceptionally entertaining and addictive. If she keeps this up, this album will be the beginning of a very prevalent music career for the Bronx native.
- 2. EVERYTHING IS LOVE– When Beyonce randomly announced a joint world tour with her husband, we didn’t know what to expect. Neither of them had put out any music besides a few features and a song with Dj Khaled that left as quick as it came. But on June 16th without warning, she posted a clip of a music video featuring her and Jay in some museum with black female dancers without a caption and the internet went wild. The clip turned out to be a music video for one of the songs on the album, “Apeshit” and the album was present on Tidal and streaming platforms everywhere. Following the couples latest solo projects, “EVERYTHING IS LOVE” is where they are currently in their marriage-happy grateful and high on life. Topics of pro-blackness, influence on culture, and their relationships inside and outside of the entertainment industry seem to be the focal point. Classified as rap, the album features Jay-Z and Beyonce both rapping on the songs with some occasional harmonies and adlibs from Beyonce. What makes this album so intriguing is how Jay and Bey discuss their personal lives while referencing the advancement of blacks and addressing injustice. Each song is personal yet public because it is easily relatable to the controversial issues facing minorities in America. Must listen songs are “BOSS”, “NICE”, FRIENDS, and “BLACK EFFECT”. The Carters are considered music royalty for their tremendous influence and contributions together and separately on the culture and this album adds another milestone to their well-established discographies.
1. Scorpion– After being dragged through the depths of social media due to the massacre diss track “Story of Adidon” put out by Pusha T Drake has finally released his highly anticipated album, Scorpion. Although we are used to his formula of hits, his 12th studio album is a bit different than expected. It’s a double album with tracks on side A being majority rap and side B being primarily pop songs. Layered in catchy hooks, clever punchlines, and arguably some of his best production, he sends us on yet another personal tour through his current life and perceptions. As far as content, he confirms fatherhood, heartbreak in past relationships, and failed friendships within and outside of the industry but this is hardly what makes the album such a treasure. The two things that make scorpion stand out from its contemporaries is the features and the production. Drake really outdid himself this time around, the arrangement in features on this album is iconic. There’s a wide range of artist of different genres and commercial success that aided in making this album one for the books. Featured are the likes of Jay-Z, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Freeida, City Girls, Plies, and the legendary, Michael Jackson. If that’s not enough to get your attention the production sure will. Drake worked with various producers for this project including his go-to man, Noah (40) Shebib, No I.D., and PartyNextDoor, Samples include Mariah Carey’s ” Emotions, Nicki Minaj’s “Boss Ass Bitch” (Remix), Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor”, Aaliyah’s “More Than a Woman” and many more. Each track was mixed efficiently and executed well as Drake murders rap beats on side A and glides on pop beats with side B.
So far it seems that Drake has everyone beat this year in terms of rap albums but the year is only half over and there are sure to be more exciting releases to follow the rest of the year.