Hip-Hop Albums For People That Can't Stop Complaining About Rappers These Days

August 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

We all have that friend that's posting constantly on Facebook that Hip-Hop isn't what it used to be.  I assume that most of them mean the 90's with maybe an adventure or 2 in to the early 00s.  The below list is not intended to try and introduce them in to some new style (HEY EVERYBODY LISTEN TO AESOP ROCK!), but rather give them some contemporary (released between 2015-now) albums that should fill that lonely hole in their heart.

 

Skyzoo "Music For My Friends" and Torae "Entitled"  Skyzoo and Torae are two New York peas in a Hip-hop pod.  So much so they released an epic album in 2014 as The Barrel Brothers.  Whether together or apart, they are formidable MC's, well versed in their hometowns deep history, as well as contemporary kings of it's heyday sounds.  For fans of: Gang Starr, Nas, Reasonable Doubt era Jay-Z.

Big K.R.I.T. "All My Life" Big K.R.I.T. is the heir apparent to the Dirty South kingdoms cultivated by rappers like Nelly, Ludacris, and T.I.  With anthem ready hooks, more to say than most of his peers, and an unmatched work ethic, he's sure to have some longevity.

Royce Da 5'9" "Layers"  Royce has been his own worst enemy for most of his career, something that may have held him back from sitting next to rap royalty like Eminem, than man who gave him his shot.  The past few years have been kind of a reset for him.  He got clean, teamed up with DJ Premier to form PRhyme, and in 2016 he put out his first proper solo album since getting clean with Layers, which is a prelude to something he promises will be more.  Lot to love here from a master MC.

Lushlife "Ritualize" Philly MC/Producer Lushlife teamed with CSLSX to release potentially the first (or at least best) ever shoegaze hip-hop album.  While his indie rock leanings may make one think he would be pigeon holed amongst a certain subset of hip-hop, Ritualize is actually an impressive ode to classic rap stylings.  His lyrical style recalls classic Ghostface albums, and the beats are majestic enough to shut down all of the haters.

 

N.O.R.E. "Drunk Uncle" If you miss the 90's style of hip-hop, go with a tried-and-true 90's rapper.  N.O.R.E. has been a love em or hate em rapper since 1998's S/T album (his time with Capone remains relatively undisputed).  Drunk Uncle is his strongest solo effort to date as he attempts to get back to the top tier of rap.

 

Diddy "MMM"  See above.  Considered just a mixtape, I guess, but really this is a fantastic return to form for the rapper/producer/business mogul.  The best thing he's done since the 90's

 

Vince Staples "Summertime '06"  If Kendrick Lamar is the heir apparent to the kind of epic, socially conscious, yet also mainstream and profitable rap that Tupac helped pioneer, Vince Staples is the direct result of his infamous Thug Life tattoo.  Street level, wise beyond his years, and with one of the sickest flows in the game, when most of his peers don't seem concerned not only with what they say, but how they say it.

Jay Rock "90059" A gritty west coast rapper that carries on a rich tradition of "too hot for prime time" Watts-based street level rap.  Silky smooth raps over groovy beats that aren't vying form the spotlight, but relish in their low end brilliance.

 

BJ The Chicago Kid "In My Mind" One for the R&B set, the kind that long for the types of fruit that collaborations like 112 and Biggie or K-Ci, Jojo and Gang Starr would bear.  Smooth R&B that never loses it's hip-hop sensibilities.


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