The year 2020 has been a lot, but it’s good to know that music was the one failsafe thing to count on during quarantine time and COVID news. Thanks to these artists for providing a soundtrack to an unforgettable year.
Victoria Monet – Jaguar
Lil Baby – My Turn
Standout tracks:“Emotionally Scarred”, “How”, “Hurtin”
A guide to the highs, lows, and stresses of trap life as told by one of the leaders of the next school.
Kehlani – It Was Good Until It Wasn’t
Standout tracks: “Can I”, “Water”, “Toxic”
With tales of heartbreak and its aftereffects, Kehlani’s storytelling style outshines her vocal abilities.
T.I. – The L.I.B.R.A.
Standout tracks:“On the Hood”, “Horizons”, “Thank God”
T.I. successfully blends his trap and woke perspectives into one accord.
Teyana Taylor – The Album
Standout tracks:“Made It”, “Come Back to Me”, “Still”
This album is conceived by Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, and Missy Elliot.
Nas – King’s Disease
Standout tracks:“Spicy”, “Full Circle”, “All Bad”
Nas unnecessarily answers the age-old conundrum of delivering quality lyricism over up-tempo production in a superb fashion.
Jhene Aiko – Chilombo
Standout tracks: “P*** Fairy”, “One Way”, “B.S.”
Queen of Vibe music, this album represents mid-tempo moods—that perfect soundtrack for chill time.
Saint JHN – While the World is Burning
Standout tracks:“Roses”, “High School Reunion”, “Gorgeous”
The diversity of this album sounds like it’s played on shuffle.
Chloe & Halle – Ungodly Hour
Standout tracks: “Forgive Me”, “Do It”, “Lonely”
With each track, the duo paints vivid pictures using their skilled harmony and vocal flexibility.
Benny the Butcher – Burden of Proof
Standout tracks: “Famous”, “Where Would I Go”, “One Way Flight”
Supreme lyrical descriptions backed by a passionate voice.
Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemists – Alfredo
Standout tracks:“Scottie Beam”, “Babies & Fools”, “God is Perfect”
Gibbs remains an underrated MC whose flow always rides comfortably over any beat.
Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath
Standout tracks: “Don’t Be”, “Master Fard Muhammad”, “YUUUU”
Veteran MC Busta proves real artists get better with time and that his rhyme style is the most diverse in Hip Hop.
Megan Thee Stallion – Good News
Standout tracks: “Shots Fired”, “Body”, “Freaky Girls”
Megan’s subject matter may be predicable, but that doesn’t discount her ability to own every song and rap with a confidence and carefreeness that sounds like chilling with the girls.
Jay Electronica – A Written Testimony
Standout tracks: “Ghost of Soulja Slim”, “The Neverending Story”, “A.P.I.D.T.A”
Despite the long wait and unfair Jay-Z assist, this album delivers a spiritually influenced perspective that’s more teaching than preaching.
Royce da 5’9 – The Allegory
Standout tracks:“My People”, “On the Block”, “Overcomer”
Royce’s growth as an artist is matched only by his clever wordplay and diverse subject matter.
Mulatto – Queen of Da Souf
Big Sean – Detroit 2
Pop Smoke – Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon
Queen Naija – Misunderstood
Westside Gunn – Pray for Paris