Well, here we are! Our Top 10 albums from 2018. I literally listened to hundreds of projects this year so giving you a top ten was no easy task considering not only the number of albums but also the quality. And these lists are always prone to spark debate and conversation, but that’s part of the fun, isn’t it? I simply wanted to shine a light on my favorite joints this year and in part give my definitive salute as a fan to these artists and their body of work. Here we go…Enjoy!!
Rasheed Chappell’s new album with producer Kenny Dope, First Brick, is going to garner plenty of consideration for Album Of The Year. And rightfully so. Every well-executed track seems laid together perfectly up against the other. It is laid together in much the same fashion as Nas’ Illmatic, in 1993. Quite the comparison, huh?
Well on this track, My Epic, Chappell puts his life on display for all to see through his music over the drums and horns of Kenny Dope.
Rasheed Chappell is back and reintroducing himself and narrating street tales in the freshest of fashions over this Kenny Dope production. It’s really good to hear him bless the mic again, as it has been too long in coming, and this beat is the perfect type of hype!
This is the first release from his new EP, First Brick.
DJ Low Cut just dropped his second album, Dead End, on Friday. And let me tell you, this was all it was built up to be. The production bangs throughout the project, and each guest spot is impeccable to me. Some of my absolute favorite emcees are on this joint.
This cut features the oft requested Rasheed Chappell, as people avidly are requesting a second album from this emcee. His flow and voice are so distinctive in a genre that often lacks that element. He implements intelligence and message in his every bar. And this beat from Low Cut showcases everything…the horns…the vocal sample…the guitar…the drums. You get the full repertoire here
It’s never easy. I like to think that I know music and have an open mind to all different sounds but you always run the risk of leaving out a dope release. I have, in my collection, combed over 250 albums (purchasable or free) for 2011 and this is my grand list. There was a lot of great music out there, and I am sure some of you will find holes in my picks. I judged each album based upon it’s content, production, ingenuity, and flow of the tracks. Love it or hate it, here it is:
Awthentik – Foreclosure – This release just cracked my Top 10, but it’s definitely deserving of that status. It is the only free release on this list and certainly worth the listen. Awthentik is a no frills emcee who aims to deliver his thoughts and ideas direct and to the point regarding his life and surroundings. It is just raw hip hop coming out of the DMV.
Silent Knight – Busy Is My Best Friend – This album seemingly took forever to hit the streets but when it did, we could all say that it was worth the wait. There are lots of good tracks with varying levels of dope production. This is a diverse project when it comes to content and the sound that it’s covering. Silent Knight shows you throughout the album why he is a master of his craft.
Torae – For The Record – I didn’t have time to review this album but it really is on point. Torae enlisted a ‘who’s who’ of production talents to go along with his strong flow and lyricism. You’ve got Torae rhyming over beats of the likes of DJ Premier and Pete Rock and that is just a win-win every time. I think Torae is highly unappreciated but this release makes him pretty hard to ignore.
Rasheed Chappell – Future Before Nostalgia – I will file this one under ‘I am so sorry I slept’. Chappell is a beast on this album. The knowledge he drops and his observations on life make this album remarkable. It took me forever to listen to this album and after I was done listening the first time, it never left rotation. This is intelligent music made for the head-nodding thinking man.
Cold Heat – Raising The Bar – Cold Heat represent everything good about hip hop and they go about their craft in the right way. They have stayed true to their identities and drop an album full of bangers that flows exceptionally well from one track to the next. If you want a sampling, you have to check out Danielz’ flow on the track, Flashing. Even the most hardened of hip hop heads have to appreciate that. Cold Heat really has meant consistency when it comes to making good music over the last couple of years.
L*Roneous – Notes Of The Righteous Outlaw – LR came back this year and dropped this outstanding album. It is so dope that it cracked the Top 5 albums of the year much do in part to his trademark lyricism and flow. His style is indescribable and you won’t hear another one like it. This is the album you can listen to over and over again without it getting old. Timeless…
The Regiment – The Panic Button – The Detroit based tag team did not have a single track in the Top 50 tracks from 2011. But their complete effort definitely did not go unnoticed. They were able to put together one of the most complete projects of 2011. Their talents just flow from track to track so effortlessly. Hipnott Records (Kevin Nottingham’s label) has put out a few dope records over the last couple of years, but none has been better than The Regiment’s album, The Panic Button. This is true school hip hop with a lyrically advanced flair.
Premrock and Willie Green – Self-Titled – Even though these artists declared their aim was not to make a blog’s Top Ten, I couldn’t help it. The album is really too good to exclude. The duo really expound upon hip hop on their self-titled debut. It’s a little old school, a little funky, a little soulful and very lyrical, They show great chemistry and divergence from the norm. Willie Green shows incredible versatility making beats. This album is progressive and pushed hip hop in a very positive direction for 2011.
Moke and Tone – The Shot Heard Around The World – This album is one of the more well rounded projects to drop in 2011. The sad part about it, is that it will probably be the most overlooked project on the list. Conceptually, they really created some special music. The lyricism on the project is second to none. The production knocks. It meets every criteria for one of the best albums this expiring year. Moke and Tone play off one another exceptionally well. I love this album.
Kaimbr and Kev Brown – The Alexander Green Project – “The Budget is Low but the stakes stay high!” This is my pick for best album of the year for multiple reasons. Kev Brown used Al Green’s music seamlessly to create his own sound and Kaimbr gave a dominating on the mic throughout the album. It was impossible to ignore what the two did in terms of making cohesive and extremely dope music . From start to finish this album is consistently dope. They took care to make sure the entire project was as close to perfect as it could be and it shows. The project’s review on our site was also the most viewed post on the site this year. If you were to ask me, I consider this to be a classic.
This list of emcees is the “in-list” right now. I mean these guys are all very sought after guest shots right now. This is that ‘classic’ type of posse cut right here. The beat is titillating but not overbearing with the keys. This is the first single off of J57’s forthcoming EP, 2057. You know we will be watching out for that!
One of my worst sins this year was sleeping on Rasheed Chappell and his album, Future Before Nostalgia. I knew he was dope, yet I kept on putting off copping this album. I finally gave it a listen and was blown away with his lyrical prowess. The intellect and talent behind this release hasn’t been duplicated. He packs a lot of knowledge in a few bars.
Ooooh….this song is deep and dope at the same time. Be sure to check for Rasheed Chappell. This is a voice that needs to be heard in hip hop.