The Year 2018 in Review
Author: Patrick Taylor
As a lifelong hip-hop fan, I continue to be impressed by where the younger generation is taking hip-hop, and how the older generation is continuing to make interesting and relevant music. The endless flood of music means that it is easier than ever to ignore stuff I don’t like and discover stuff I connect with. I also think that the fact that albums are no longer viable commercial products means that to some extent artists have more freedom to use the medium to express themselves. People are taking more artistic risks and putting out weirder stuff that manages to find an audience.
Here are the hip-hop albums that stuck with me this year. I won’t say they are the best, because what do I know? Hopefully you’ll see a few things you missed that you might end up liking.
Black Milk, “Fever”. Proving that you can age gracefully in hip-hop.
The Carters, “Everything is Love”. An album by a celebrity couple about how in love they are and how much money they have should have been terrible, but when it is Beyonce and Jay Z, it works.
Homeboy Sandman and Edan, “Humble Pie”. Possibly the best unlikely duo since Run the Jewels.
Hprizm, “Magnetic Memory”. Because sometimes you need some old school underground NYC hip-hop.
Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, “Everything’s Fine”. Because you have to laugh to keep from drowning in the horror of it all.
Leikeli47, “Acrylic”. Missy Elliot’s spiritual successor, and the Pen n’ Pixel album cover is icing on the cake.
Chris Orrick, “Portraits”. Because sometimes you need a little reflection and self-loathing. And the dude changed his name so as not to be confused with any MRA nonsense.
Saba, “Care for Me”. Arty rap about serious ish.
Serge Severe, “The MC”. Because sometimes you just want some battle rhymes over boom-bap beats.
Vince Staples, “FM!” Because we just wanna have fun.
I also loved albums/EPs by Mick Jenkins, Atmosphere, Open Mike Eagle, Amine, Tuamie, Henry Canyons, Huey Briss, Czarface, Skyzoo, and Royce Da 5’9″, Anderson.Paak, Nef the Pharaoh, the Black Panther Soundtrack, and Earl Sweatshirt.
Non-rap Albums I Listened to the Most:
Mitski, Blood Orange, serpentwithfeet, Kali Uchis, Black Belt Eagle Scout, Superchunk, Ariana Grande, Mary Lattimore, Kamasi Washington, Sleep, Yob, Windhand, GABI, Ex:Re, and Tirzah.