2017 Best Rap Albums Brought To You By Killing The Breeze
2017 Best Rap Albums
There are 21 albums that made this year’s cut and it features some familiar names, new names, and even a few collaborations. Because she has no album, Cardi B will not appear on this list though Bodak Yellow was without a doubt the song of the year.
21) Perception – NF
NF is the stage name of rapper and composer Nate Feuerstein from Gladwin, Michigan. Feuerstein endured a hardship-filled childhood in which his parents divorced, his mother’s boyfriend physically abused him, and his mother eventually killed herself. This is the height of Christian rap, and there is one word I would use to describe this album. That word is inspirational.
20) Without Warning – 21 Savage, Offset & Metro Boomin
21 Savage, Offset from Migos, and Metro Boomin are three of the hottest names in the game now. Without Warning, which most definitely describes the release of this album, is about a return to trap music after having successful dalliances in pop music. It’s both dark and dense despite being only 10 tracks and 33 minutes long.
19) The Bigger Artist – A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
Artist Dubose combines melody with strength. This album considers the highs and lows of fames, tackles issues such as police harassment, and also reveals some of the Bronx MC’s soul.
18) Project Baby Two – Kodak Black
This is the sequel to his 2013 mixtape Project Baby. Kodak’s voice is gruff, but melodic and he rhymes over what is seemingly jazz, blues and big band beats about topics such as jail and suicide.
17) Gemini – Macklemore
This feels like a compilation album with all of the features, but it does show how flexible Macklemore is. This album is like Macklemore himself, uncool, not commercially viable, but honest as hell.
16) Grateful – DJ Khaled
Khaled has once again created chemistry between top tier artists by seeking out both intriguing contrasts and complementary voices. “Another one!” is apt when describing this album.
15) Super Slimey – Future & Young Thug
Future and Young Thug are definitely similar but have hardly ever worked together sans a third party. They both contestly test the limits of melody and tone, and Super Slimey is a testament to thick dueling bars split between singing and rapping. When it comes to their voices, they both have no problems pushing it to the limit.
14) Quality Control: Control The Streets, Vol. 1 – Various Artists
Formed in March 2013, Quality Control is the shared vision of Kevin “Coach” Lee, a 40-something dad who used to manage Young Jeezy and Gucci Mane, and Pierre “Pee” Thomas, a 35-year-old Atlanta native who “used to wear a lot of jewelry” and grew up idolizing No Limit entrepreneur Master P. Together, they invested deeply in a carefully curated roster of young rap talents — as influential local producer Zaytoven puts it, “They’ve got all the hottest artists in Atlanta” — the most successful of whom is Migos, who command roughly $40,000 a performance. This compilation is about Migos, Yachty and the roster of producers they use.
13) Future – Future
All of Future’s personnas are featured on this album. He’s the party starter, the ladies man, the hustler and the hedonist all over 808 and warped synths. The jittery rhymes are still there making this self titled release a true peak into his mind.
12) HNDRXX – Future
HNDRXX was released two weeks after Future and is more about reaching a mainstream audience than paying homage to his mixtape past. There are big time guest appearances, but it remains honestly hedonist in the attitude of Future.
11) Flower Boy – Tyler The Creator
This album explores the softer side of Tyler. He isn’t any less thoughtful or edgy, but the dark wit and inetrnal conflict he is known for has gotten more substantive and is accentuated a bit more with an early 90’s sound.
10) Luv Is Rage 2 – Lil Uzi Vert
Luv Is Rage 2 is Lil Uzi’s proof of his declaration that he is indeed a rock star. He dares to look for the unknown on this album. His melodic flow is aimed towards his triumphant success though he does go deeper reflecting on some of the pain he has felt as a result of relationships. I really don’t want to call this a classic as some have, but it’s really good and should last over time.
9) Mr. Davis – Gucci Mane
Gucci got out of jail in 2016, and has grown his base which was developed through a lengthy mixtape catalogue. Southern street rap is Gucci and he has collaborators and producers who clearly turned in spirited performances for Mr. Davis, his 3rd album released in 12 months.
8) Run The Jewels 3 – Run The Jewels
Disses, heavy bass, and precise scratching fueled by social injustice and the game is the heart of this album. Killer Mike as social activist and political advocate is an interesting feature of this album.
7) Everybody – Logic
This album covers the milestones and obstacles Logic has encountered on his road to stardom. He talks about his biracial background in depth, and continues to show humility and vulnerability while speaking uncomfortable truths.
6) Culture – Migos
This is Migos’ arrival into stardom. Contagious trap anthems on a project that can only be described as tracks on tracks on tracks.
5) Pretty Girls Like Trap Music – 2 Chainz
We always knew 2 Chainz could make hits, but this project shows he wants to do far more than that. With strong production, 2 Chainz tells us his life story, shits on the government and mumble rap, and gives Nicki Minaj a platform to amplify her beef with Remy Ma.
4) I Decided – Big Sean
This is a grown Big Sean confronting reality, baring scars, and sharing lessons learned. All the fire and lyrical skills are still there, but with an admission of mistakes made and redemption for them.
3) More Life – Drake
This album was billed as a playlist for all of Drake’s friends and family over the last 10 years. South African house, UK grime, and Atlanta trap music combine to celebrate Drakes’s musical interests.
2) 4:44 – Jay Z
The title comes from the time of morning Jay woke up to record the title track. Jay is the repentant father on this album. NO ID produced the whole thing where Jay has words for himself, his wife, and his disciples. This albums demontrates how the GOAT is still the GOAT.
1) Damn – Kendrick Lamar
Damn is an attention grabbing declaration that is blunt, complex and unflinching. It is visceral and in many ways “extra” as the kids would say. No topic is too big to tackle and the album ends how it begins, signifying the completion of a journey.