It was a great year for Hip-Hop in 2015. Kendrick dropped another classic thought provoking project, Dr. Dre dropped an album after a long hiatus, Future told us God was blessing all the trap n*ggaz, and Drake almost single handedly ended Meek Mill’s hip hop career. Here is MY take on Hip Hop in 2015. Please share your opinions. Debate is encouraged.
Top Ten Hip Hop Albums 2015
- To Pimp a Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar – 2015’s most thought provoking album. K-dot chose radical over conventional on TPAB. He opened up about his feelings on materialism, mental and physical temptation, survivor’s guilt, and racial discrimination. TPAB is an aesthetic masterpiece.
2. Documentary 2 and 2.5, The Game – Most sequels don’t go this well in hip-hop. Naming the album Documentary 2 was definitely a burden, but Game never fails. So what if there is a thousand features on the album, Game made great music on this album and had great production from legends such as DJ Premier and will.i.am.
3. Summertime 06, Vince Staples– Rappers usually don’t put out double disc albums until they become established vets in the hip hop community. Summertime 06 was Vince’s major label debut and he definitely delivered under the tutelage of legendary producer No I.D. For those that don’t know, Vince Staples is a crip from Long Beach, CA and Summertime 06 is the narrative of a young black male dealing with being black in America and fighting the temptation of being immoral in an environment that encourages such behavior.
4. Compton, Dr. Dre – Dr. Dre never gave us Detox like he promised us. Instead he gave us the soundtrack to Straight Outta Compton. The production is flawless as always. Features from Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Game, Snoop and Ice Cube make this album amazing from start to finish. The vinyl record sounds even better.
5. ALLA, Asap Rocky – ASAP avoided the “sophomore jinx” with his release of Long.Last.A$AP. He provided a diverse selection of tracks and features from John Fox to the late great Pimp C himself.
6. Tetsuo and Youth, Lupe Fiasco– Another thought provoking album released in 2015. Lupe continued with music meant to tell the truth and uplift the people. He proved he was still lyrically precise with tracks like “Mural” and “Body of Work.” He used a great deal of imagery and allusion throughout the album. Lupe proved that he still is one of the greatest lyricists of all time.
7. DS2, Future– This year was my first time ever listening to a Future album in its entirety. I was impressed with the material he put out in such a short time and the photo memes under the hashtag #futurehive. DS2 had a collage of bangers and Dirty Sprite and Percocet induced tracks. Perfect listen for the weed smokers and pill poppers. Future has a rock star type allure and through some of his lyrics you can tell he is still hurt by the break-up of his previous relationship with Ciara.
8. If You Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake – This is easily Drake’s worst album but his worst is better than most artists best album. He continues to prove why he is legendary with a combination of melodic verses and different lyrical deliveries. At the end of the day, Drake possesses a talent that no one else has.
9. Dark Sky Paradise, Big Sean – This was the first time Sean created some moodier music in my opinion. “Blessings” was a certified platinum single and he also had other big hits on the album such as “I Don’t Fuck With You.” Sean really opened my eyes on this album. I always felt he was all about the pop charts.
10. DA.$$, Joey Badass– The most slept on album of the year. Joey’s wordplay and delivery is impeccable throughout the album. I personally like him a lot due to his classic New York sound and subject matter. He is just 20 years old but his thought process is ahead of its time. If this was 1995, this album would have been 2x platinum. Tracks like “Paper Trail$,” and “On & On” display Joey’s talent at his best. Watch out for him to try to single handedly bring New York back.
Honorable Mentions: What a Time to Be Alive (Mixtape) Future and Drake, 90059 Jay Rock, Rodeo Travis Scott, SremmLife Rae Sremmurd, Church in These Streets Jeezy, The Ecology Fashawn.
Co-MVPs of 2015: Future and Drake
Biggest Winner in 2015: Future
Biggest Loser in 2015: Meek Mill
Best Video of the Year: Alright by Kendrick Lamar
Most Impressive Lyrical Track of 2015: Mural by Lupe Fiasco
Best Trap Music Track of 2015: Trap Niggaz by Future
Best Diss Track of 2015: Back to Back by Drake
Rookie of the Year: Vince Staples
Most Improved: Jay Rock
What do you think of my list!? Hit me in the comments below with what you think!