12 Months,12 Artists: A Recap of 2018's Stand Out Albums
Updated: Dec 31, 2018
You every pour too much liquor in your cup. Or maybe poured too much sugar into your coffee. Well, the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes a little too much is actually a good thing. More liquor could lead to a better time, and more sugar always makes your coffee sweeter. And that's exactly what happened this year with music. And let me be specific here; I'm talking about Hip-Hop music. I'm talking about Rap music and of course, and I'm talking about R&B music. And you can't deny that 2018 brought us an abundance of music. And from that abundance, great music emerged. But was there so much music that you often forgot about some? Well have no fear, Phinesse is here. And I'll be counting down each month starting with January and ending with December showcasing the best album of each month.
January 19th-Sir November
Most of you probably thought I was going to choose Culture II as the number one album that was released in January but honestly the Migos really didn't deliver in the 24-track album. But this Sir album... It was a master piece that really showcased the growth in Sir. November was story within a story. He was literally going through a journey into space, and telling a love story at the same time. Beginning tracks make reference to his bachelor ways. Until reality hits him when his love interest leaves him a voicemail after being feed up with their relationship and this very voicemail is the central theme surrounding the track "Never Home". The sound of this album is so futuristic but the message of troubled love is timeless. My favorite album of the year hands down!
February 16th-Nipsey Hussle Victory Lap
"Spoke some things into the universe and they appeared/I say it's worth it, I won't say it's fair/Find your purpose or you wastin' air"
And that's exactly what Nipsey did this year, he spoke the success of Victory Lap into existence. Arguable album of the year, Mr. Hussle provided lesson after lesson to his target audience, and boy did he inspire a lot people with his powerful words. His a Real Crip, a Real Businessman, a Real Prophet and from this lyrics we can expect a lot more from the Crenshaw Boss.
I also want to point that February was a big month for releases. Let's not forget about Black Panther: The Album that was executively produced by Kendrick Lamar himself. 2 Chainz, Cozz, Kodak Black, Gunna, Moneybag Yo, 6ix9ine, Currency, Stalley and many other artist also put out albums in February as well.
March 2nd-Mozzy Spiritual Conversations EP
So we can argue that Spiritual Conversations wasn't an official album but it to me was the best project that came out in March. Mozzy did exactly what Mozzy does best, which is to open-up and talk that real shit. I often feel like when listening to him, he's reading from his Gangsta Diary. If you can't relate to any of the stories in his music, you can definitely hear the struggle in his voice and struggle is relatable in all humans. Lyrics aside, the beats featured on this project were hard-knocking but angelic at the same time. I see the reason for the title now as everything about this EP was spiritual.
April 20th-J Cole KOD
Both KOD and Invasion of Privacy toped at No. 1 on the Billboard Charts in April but KOD trumps IOP in many different ways, and I'm here to explain why its the better album. 1. KOD had no features, Cole is able to carry an album by himself, and maybe this is the very reason why he was featured on so many other tracks this year. 2. The album addressed issues that rap is shy from talking about; it made global awareness of the dark side of human trama. 3. KOD had an important central theme that was best captivated in its cover art.
I would also like to say that Cardi B had a ground-breaking career in 2018 and Invasion of Privacy was really one for the books, regardless of her lyrics, her hustle this year was inspiring enough. Again, another busy month for music as Famous Dex, Flatbush Zombies, Princess Nokia, Saba, and Post Malone put out albums in March as well.
May 25th-Pusha T Daytona
Styles P, Wale, Royce da 5'9'', Nick Grant, Tee Grizzley, Playboy Carti, Lil Baby, Currency, Juice WRLD, Rae Sremmurd are just a few of the names that dropped in May but of course Daytona takes the cake in this battle. The seven track album, executively produced by Kanye West is being crowned as Album of the Year to some. The album was full of dope music, like literally dope music. It consisted of hard knocking bass paired with tons of word-play. Most exciting thing about this album was that Pusha put his problems with Drake on the forefront. It was no more hidden shots, this album was a full blown attack and boy did it lead to some other really good music. Probably the most controversial album of the year.
June 16th-The Carter's Everything is Love
Following the release of Pusha T's album June was a really big month for the G.O.O.D Music family, but it was the element of surprise that stopped all the hype surrounding them. The Carter's shocked the world when they dropped Everything is Love. The album is an expression of Black Love in the 21st century. Nine tracks of transparency from the Carter's. Nine tracks of inspiration. Nine tracks that signified the important of love.
I want to also highlight that Nas, Teyana Taylor, Jay Rock, Black Thought, Freeway, Ye and Cudi all dropped dope projects in June as well.
July 20th-Buddy Harlan & Alondra
So of course I'm aware that Beast Mode2 came out this month. And I also know that Legends of the Summer came out this month and Dave East definitely dropped Karma 2. Even Wiz Khalifa and Jay Park both dropped projects but I believe Buddy deserves the crown for July. The track "Black" from the Harlan & Alondra album was the loudest, most direct praise to black culture this year. At a time where racism is so high in America this song was an statement on how amazing it is to be black. And on top of that Buddy can sing and rap, and you can really hear the versatility in his music. He's hard to categorize and really is on the path to making his own sound. His the artist on this list that I want to hear more from.
August3rd-Travis Scott Astroworld
Okay so without a doubt Astroworld was amazing, I mean its still amazing. "Sicko Mode" could be named song of the year. The production and marketing behind Astroworld was... just... different... "Stargazing", "5% TINT", "WHO? WHAT?", "Butterfly Effect", and the hit list goes on and on. There is a song for every mood on this album. I feel like there has been so much talk about this album that I'm not sure what else to even say about.
Milky Way by Bas was released in August as well but didn't received the recognition that it should have. The late Mac Miller also released an album in August by the name of Swimming and of course it wouldn't be right if I didn't bring up Queen by Nicki Minaj and Kamikaze by Eminem who also dropped in August. Regardless all these albums they where in the shadow of Astroworld.
September 14th-6lack East Atlanta Love Letter
6lack has a voice that is both captivating but so mellow, it can described as relaxing sorrow. He writes love lyrics that perfectly match with the emotion in his voice. You can hear the roller-coaster of his love with each passing song in EALL. His music connects us all as we all face the troubles that come with love. With features from Future, J Cole, Offset and Khalid, East Atlanta Love Letter had playboys from different genres of music talking about love.
I didn't choose the Carter V as the standout album because it was a bunch of Wayne tracks piled together. It had no true form or structure but there were a few hits on the album but the most significant thing about the album was simply that Wanye was back. Not to mention Noname, Logic, and Kevin Gates also released albums in this month too.
October 5th-Sheck Wes MUDBOY
If you don't know who Sheck Wes is by now, then you've be under a rock all 2018. "Mo Bamba" literally can get any event, club, party whatever you wanna name it jumpin. It has become the go to song to livin' up any crowd. And this is the same energy that is felt throughout the MUDBOY. Sheck Wes makes your head-nod. His tracks have bass that could literally knock a speaker out. No fancy word play here in this album but lost of organic artistry and energy.
What's even more interesting about October 5th is that T.I., Mozzy and Lil Baby and Gunna all dropped on this day as well. Quavo Huncho dropped on the 12th and Mick Jenkins dropped late October as well.
November 2nd-Swizz Beatz Poison
The features alone on this album are really what put it as one of the top albums of the year. Nas, Jadakiss, Styles P, Lil Wayne, Pusha T, Kendrick Lamar, Jim Jones, Young Thug, Giggs, 2 Chainz and French Montana. Like that's a hell of an lineup! And what makes this album even better is that Swizz was able to produce beats that fit the characteristic of each artist perfectly. We heard each artist in their purest form.
Styles P's Dime Bag also released in was my favorite pure rap album of the year. If you haven't listened to it and your Style P fan I advise you to listen it. Vince Staples, Takeoff, Wifisfuneral, Smino, Lil Durk, Cupcakke and 2 Chainz all put out projects. We even got albums from BIG K.R.I.T., Jaden Smith and City Girls. Champions from Meek Mill was definitely a classic, J.I.D's DiCaprio 2was super amazing, and who could forget that Earl Sweatshirt but out an album. And if it wasn't for the features on Poison I would have chose Anderson .Paak's Oxnard album. November 2018 may go down as the month where the most music was released.
December 21st-21 Savage I am> I was
Honestly the pick for December was the hardest out of all the months. Kodak, Gucci, A Boogie, Domo and the late XXXTentacion all dropped albums. I think the reason why I chose I am > I was due to the features on the album. It was an unexpected lineup for me. I was impressed by 21. Shit the title alone just shows the growth in 21. I like this 21 and I'm intrigued to hear more from him.
I have to say something about YoungBoy Never Broke Again because he also dropped in December as well. Youngboy dropped 6 projects this year. Him and Styles P get my worker of the year award because they put out so much music this year. I can't forget about Cole because he was like feature man of the year. 2018 was just a great fuckin year for music, I loved every bit of it.
And if there are any projects that I didn't mention that you know I'm not going to know about please tell me. I'll be listening to 2018 while in 2019.