So here are my top albums of the year and this is not up for debate. This is simply a list of albums that were constantly in rotation in the year of 2017. I didn’t rank them in any particular order either. Instead I just split them up by categories; top 6 rap and top 6 R&B albums.
Top Rap Albums
King Kendrick! Everyone knows how much I love Kendrick Lamar. He can do no wrong in my eyes and he definitely made my proud this year with this album. Humble was my theme song the entire year, I don’t care how overplayed it was on the radio. You couldn’t pay me to stop hollering “my left stroke just went viral!” for at least 3 months. Kendrick Lamar always does an amazing job with having several layers to his albums. Every time I listen to his music, I hear something new. Kendrick always delivers the ultimate package in my opinion. This album has amazing production, hit singles for the radio, heartfelt lyrics that touch your soul, and thought provoking lyrics. Not to mention, the concert was lit! My favorite show I went to in 2017.
Jay-z – 444
444 has been called adult contemporary hip hop and we really appreciate that content that Jay delivered with this one. Jay-Z didn’t just give you what you wanted to hear, he gave you what you needed to hear. He was very transparent when discussing his faults, his relationship with his Queen, the importance of family, generational wealth, supporting black owned businesses, etc. Jay dropped so many jewels in this album that you can’t do anything but respect his hustle and the man that he has become. This was definitely a different side of Jay that we haven’t really seen and I loved it.
Big Sean – I decided
This may be one of my favorite Big Sean albums to date. Listening to this album, you can see his growth as man and rapper in this game. I love how he is open about his progress and his growth as an artist and as a man. The titled track, “Voices in my head/Stick to the plan,” is my favorite song off the album. The song makes me want to go harder in everything I do. I struggle with being consistent so when Big Sean is chanting, “stick to the plan, b***h stop playing,” I feel it on another level.
Big Krit- 4eva is a Mighty Long Time
My love. My heart. Krit. I had been waiting on this album for a mighty long time and was so excited when it finally dropped. It had been two years since Krit dropped an album but it felt like forever. Now my friends know I can talk about Krit for 4eva and a day, but I will keep it short and sweet. I loved this album because it really shows Krit’s growth as both a man and artist in this two part album. I loved hearing my traditional Krit bangers like “My Sub pt. 4,” “Big Bank,” “Confetti,” and “1999,” but I loved the Justin Scott side of the album even more. That side of the album gave us a deeper insight on Krit’s struggles, insecurities, his love life, and his growth as a man. The album was amazing and I just love watching him grow as an artist.
Cyhi tha Prynce- No Dope On Sundays
A lot of people were waiting on Cyhi to release an actual album and not a mixtape. He has been teasing fans for awhile with his mixtapes, features, and amazing work with Kanye West. He’s been said to be Kanye’s ghostwriter for years and we’ve been dying to hear an album of his own. With Kanye’s production expertise and Cyhi being a lyrical genius, I didn’t expect any less than amazing. And they didn’t disappoint. The recurring theme of the album is faith and religion but it isn’t quite a gospel, rap album. Cyhi keeps it real and true to himself by giving you a interesting parallel between his religious beliefs and the streets. I love how Cyhi is giving his testimony and letting these younger dudes who may be in the streets that it’s ok to pray and get closer to God. He delivers testimony without being too preachy and it was perfect. Cyhi definitely proved that he is one of the best.
Rapsody- Laila’s Wisdom
It’s been a longggggg time since I’ve been a fan of female rapper. I had been waiting on female rapper that talks about more than her ass and beefing with the next woman every other bar for a mighty long time. Then Rapsody comes through with a lyrical masterpiece and I was shell shocked. Rapsody’s lyrical ability can be held up next to some of the heavy hitters; it makes me so happy that a woman is out here killing it without being oversexualized. Rapsody tells us story about self love, insecurities, politics, struggles, and love.
Top R&B albums
Daniel Caesar – Freudian
I don’t even know what to say about this album besides saying it’s amazing. Daniel gives you those good vibes; those I just want to love you for an eternity vibes with tracks like “Best Part,” and “Get You.” He’s definitely my favorite newer R&B act. He has the voice and the lyrics, and it warms my heart hearing all of these beautiful love songs. I also really appreciated hearing real R&B music without the trap inspired beats or migos sounding sing/rapping trend that some “singers” love doing. Daniel Caesar didn’t try to force anything with a rap feature, that usually throws the entire song off for me. It was just him and beautiful vocals from a few women who are also new faces to the music scene and are killin it. Overall, the album is wonderful and refreshing.
Sza – Ctrl
This lady has had an amazing year with her debut album, Ctrl. To be honest I don’t even know how to describe this album. It was definitely a different vibe for me, eclectic I will say, but I really enjoyed it. It was standout project, in a league of his own. Sza surprised us all with this album being completely different from her previous mixtape work. You could see the growth that had taken place from the first mixtape released back in 2014. Sza discusses feelings of self doubt, infidelity, and love. The album was brutally honest and I loved every bit of it. Some of my favorite tracks off of Ctrl are Supermodel, Broken Clocks, Garden, Wavy, and Love Galore. I’m just wondering did anyone else wish “Wavy” was a full song and not an interlude? Man! It’s my jam!
I wanted to put HER on last year’s album of the year blog, but it was sort of short and said it was an EP. But after HER came through and delivered the second part of HER to create one album, I had to put her on the list this year. HER gives me all of the throwback R&B vibes I’d been missing in this new generation of music. The music is beautiful, grown, and sexy and she has a vibe for every emotion you may be feeling. This album is one of my favorite vibes of the year.
DVSN – Morning After
This duo isn’t really a popular one, but they delivered one of my favorite R&B albums of the year. This is their second project and this one is just as good as the last album, “Sept 5th.” DVSN gives you a bit everything on this album. Love song, break up songs, Caribbean grooves, and that contemporary R&B feel that I have begun to fall in love with. One of my favorite tracks on that album is “P.O.V,” which they sampled one of my favorite R&B songs of all time, Fortunate by Maxwell. When the beat first drops and I hear that sample, I’m immediately skeptical like bruh you are not about to ruin my favorite song! But I was pleasantly surprised with how DVSN used that sample and made it their own. Some other tracks I loved on that album, “Keep Calm,” “Nuh Time, Tek Time,” “Morning After.”
Chris Brown- Heartbreak on a Full Moon
Chris Brown received a lot of flack about putting out an album with 45 songs. Some people said, he didn’t put out good enough albums to put out a 45 song album, while others were waiting to see exactly WHY he put 45 songs on one album. Clearly, I was the fan wondering why and couldn’t wait to hear and he did not fail me. Now I won’t say I loved every song on this album but bayyyybe I love about 20 songs or so. CB put out an album for all of his fans, which happened to be young teens and adults. The album shows every side of Chris Brown that people love. He gave you his dance tracks that cater more to the younger people and then the heartfelt love and heartbreak songs that caught my attention. Songs such as “Tough Love,” “Nowhere,” and “Tell Me What to Do,” are some of my favorite love songs. But I can’t say I don’t love the fast paced dance tracks like “Pills & Automobiles,” “Questions,” & “Party.”
- Best Part – Daniel Caesar
- Every Kind of Way- HER
- Weekend- Sza
- Redbone – Childish Gambino
- Humble- Kendrick Lamar
- Mask Off – Future
- Teenage Fever – Drake
- Unforgettable – French Montana & Swae Lee
- Magnolia – Playboi Carti
- Rake it up- Yo Gotti
- One For Me – Wiz Kid
Here’s my playlist featuring a couple songs from each of my favorite albums this year. Enjoy!