The 10 US rap albums you shouldn’t miss in 2017 [DOSSIER]
Is your favorite album of the year part of the selection of the year?
After a particularly tough 2016 financial year, 2017 saw a whole series of franchise players return to the market (Drake, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz, Meek Mill…), but also the emergence of many rookies (Cardi B, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty…).
Beyond the buzz and sales figures, question of quality it is not however these which marked the most the year.
Discover our ranking of ten best rap albums cainri released in the last twelve months… and go to the comments to discuss it!
The ranking of the 20 best albums of 2016 [DOSSIER]
10. Lil Uzi Vert – Luv Is Rage 2
Released August 25th on Generation Now & Atlantic Records.
Of all the mumblers and other Soundcloud rappers, Would the P’tit Uzi be the one who is doing the best when it comes to the exercise of the first disc?
Fed exclusively or almost on pure energy (juvenile tendency), this Luv Is Rage second of the name passes without batting an eyelid from a club track to more intimate atmospheres without ever departing from the ramshackle sense of melody for which its performer is famous.
Sometimes naive, sometimes desperate, sometimes both at the same time, the author of the banger XO Tower Llife 3 pose there the foundations of the up-and-coming rock star he claims to be.
If all is not perfect (a few messes and repetitions in particular), the future nevertheless seems bright to him.
9. Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me
Released March 17th on Maybach Music Group & Epic Records.
So commercially for a few years Rénzél no longer shines in the firmament of his glory, artistically speaking the Bawse still has it under his feet. Proof of this is with this ninth opus which, although a little too much praised by the US critics on its release, looks good in its discography.
Impeccable flow, carefully chosen productions (a bonus point for Beat Billionaire), very quali featurings, interesting variations around his character … RYTM unfolds its fourteen tracks without ever disappointing, but without ever really surprising either.
This is its strength and its weakness.
8. Future – HNDRXX
Released February 24 on A1 Recordings, Freebandz & Epic Records.
Not content to be back in history by ranking number 1 on the charts two albums released within a week of each other, the ATL monster once again demonstrates that it is one of the few (if not the only one since the Lil Wayne of the great years) to power reconcile quantity and quality.
When FUTURE evolves in known terrains, HNDRXX offers a more accessible sound, even if it means seeing the rapper happily pushing the song and flirting with the maintsream pop.
Listen if you’ve always wondered what would give a nineties r & b album recorded under codeine.
7. Run The Jewels – RTJ 3
Released January 13 in physics on Run the Jewels, Inc. & RED.
The El-P x Killer Mike combo continues its good momentum with an alternately dense, enraged, anxious and elated record.
Nothing new under the sun therefore, the quality is still there (read: superior to the competition), whether in terms of flows, texts and productions.
Politically charged, this third opus however never sinks into the militancy with big hoofs (Eminem if you read us …), nor in the sound a little too much » old « that too often goes with it.
An excellent introduction to their discography for beginners.
6. Migos – Culture
Released January 27 on Quality Control Music, 300 Entertainment & Atlantic Records.
Passed on the brink of oblivion after their hit Versace from 2013 (commercial failure of their first album Yung Rich Nation, imprisonment of Offset …), the most influential Georgian trio of its time finally landed the hit it so deserved with Bad and Boujee.
CULTURE is not however limited to this box so much the opus is rich in nuggets (T-shirt, Brown Paper Bag…). Having learned the lesson of their previous really grueling mixtapes, the rendering here is much more polished, the reruns bringing their share of added value.
If in 2017 everyone can rap in a triplet, nobody can do it like Migos.
5. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom
Released September 22 on Jamla Records & Roc Nation.
Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are
Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, Musiq Soulchild, 9th Wonder, Khrysis… to the statement of the guests present on this second album of the rapper signed on Roc Nation, hard not to instantly grant her the benefits of doubt .
Skillful synthesis between major aspirations and indie creativity, Laila’s Wisdom created this feeling of not being completely linked to one’s time without sounding dated or old-fashioned.
Clearly not the most trendy album of the year then, but without a doubt one of those who will listen to himself with the most pleasure in a few seasons.
4. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory
Released June 23 on ARTium Recordings, Blacksmith Records & Def Jam Recordings.
After the success Summertime ’06, new ball for the Californian who, rather than repeating the previous formula, ventures into more danceable atmospheres, with house and UK garage influences to support them.
The turn is such that Staples himself tweeted humorously that his album should compete in the electro category at the Grammys.
Be careful, this new artistic direction has in no way tainted his sense of observation, the City of Angels still bathing in total darkness.
Only regret here: the absence of a real hit just to get everyone to agree.
3. Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
Released July 21 on Columbia Records.
Seven years after the surge Odd Future, Tyler, The Creator makes the album that most resembles him, the one who touches as closely as possible his too long sketched potential.
This maturation is felt as much in the texts (his famous coming out), as in the artistic direction. Although he produces, composes, arranges and writes all the songs, a bit like a Kanye West of the great days, the Goblin does not forget to make a whole range of guests shine (Frank Ocean, ASAP Rocky, Anna of the North, Lil Wayne, Kali Uchis, Steve Lacy, Estelle, Jaden Smith, Rex Orange County…).
Kaleidoscopic without being messy, introspective without being voyeur, virtuoso without being flashy … in the game of balances, Flower boy is doing admirably well.
2. Jay Z – 4:44
Released June 30 on Roc Nation & Universal Music Group.
What if this thirteenth Jay Z studio album was actually Shawn Carter’s debut album?
Echoing the Lemonade of his companion released last year, the mogul speaks of infidelity, paternity, materialism, taking charge, all on a surprisingly sober and mature tone.
A tone that reflects admirably the musical case composed for the occasion by the veteran No ID which succeeds in offering something new by sampling in conquered lands (Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Donny Hathaway…).
Even more than the show of strength of a 47-year-old rapper who gets better with time, 4:44 can be listened to as a testimony to the time. An album perhaps more important than it seems.
1. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
Released April 14 on Top Dawg, Aftermath & Interscope.
After the jazz / soul / funk tribulations of To Pimp a Butterfly in 2015 and the semi-experimental freelance Untitled Unmastered in 2016, Kung-Fu Kendrick returned to kickage in good standing in 2017.
Result, 55 minutes of music later the little prodigy hangs like it’s nothing a new classic on his belt.
Always inventive, always authentic, always thoughtful, Kendrick Lamar recalls the heyday of a Michael Jordan or a Kobe Bryant when the latter were evolving at their peak.
Rap lovers of all stripes, do not shy away from your pleasure and enjoy: like him it’s only one per generation, and even.