These 7 US rap albums that we haven’t told you enough about in 2018!


An article which is neither a ranking nor a best-of, but a little bit anyway …

Funny year this year 2018. While rap has never been so diverse, with the movement now consisting of countless genres and subgenres, the past twelve months have seemed to mark an end of cycle.

While we celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversaries of monuments Doggystyle and Enter the Wu-Tang, symbolically, many of the game’s leaders who grew up with these discs struggled to convince, when they haven’t flopped in large widths.

In truth, past the media turmoil of the first week, who deigned to listen to the very lukewarm releases of Nas, Kanye West, A $ AP Rocky, Jay Z, Drake, Nicki Minaj and other Eminems?

Certainly some old timers à la Meek Mill, Pusha T (the man who saved the yeezy season) or Lil Wayne were able to pull their pins out of the game, but overall the proposed spectacle was confused with that of a comet tail.

For the excitement better go look for Cardi B’s side (yes Invasion Of Privacy is very good), from Kodak Black, from the triple CD of Rae Sremmurd orAstroworld by Travis Scott.

So rather than going over what has already been said, why not zoom in on these artists evolving off the beaten track whose quality of projects would have deserved more visibility?

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The 10 US rap albums you shouldn’t miss in 2017 [DOSSIER]

Flatbush Zombies ‘Vacation in Hell’

Released April 6 on The Glorious Dead.

Question capital sympathy, difficult to do better than Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick Arc Elliott, alias the Brooklyn Migos.

Not walking dead for a penny, they continue their standardization process with a second album less bizarre than their previous projects (because less psychedelic, less « Trippy ») without diluting what makes all their salt.

If a few lengths are felt here and there (19 titles is always too much), they are quickly forgotten as our three lads have made it a point of honor to vary the moods and flows. And too bad if the instrumentals are not necessarily the most flashy, we are not here to listen to a rap that is used to feed the playlists of crossfit rooms.

More initiatory journey than vacation in hell, this true-false double disc stuffed with qualities and defects constitutes in the end an excellent introduction to their universe.

« Victory Lap » by Nipsey Hussle

Released February 16 on All Money In No Money Out & Atlantic Records.

Crenshaw is in the house! Expected for almost four years, this first official album released after ten years of career does better than not disappoint expectations – which in itself was no small feat.

King of a G-Funk here completely revitalized, Hussle raps for an hour like he’s running a 400m, and this without losing your breath at any time.

Helped in his race by handpicked featurings which fit perfectly into the tracklist (Kendrick, Puffy, YG…), at 33 years old he gives the impression of never having been so fit.

Of course it would be easy to write after the fact that it was only a matter of time before heir to the Snoop and Cube of the great era is not fully realized, but given the pressure nothing was decided in advance.

Who said replay ? Who said top 3 of the year?

Jay Rock’s « Redemption »

Released June 15th on Top Dawg Entertainment & Interscope Records.

A third album that almost never saw the light of day, the least prominent rapper of the TDE crew who narrowly failed to leave his skin there a few months before following a motorcycle accident that left his body in lint.

Rock has however lost none of its bite, quite the contrary. Even though the experience of her own admission made her more humble, she also and above all increased tenfold his rage to win, to the point of making the latter the real common thread of the disc.

Completely in his zone, he relies on his unparalleled science of storytelling to finally find this consistency and homogeneity which was lacking in his previous projects.

Even more than a redemption, at 33 it’s a resurrection that we have witnessed.

« Room 25 » by Noname

Released September 14 as an independent.

Forget Cardi, Forget Nicki, the female emcee of the year is she. And by far.

After his Telephone 2016, which quickly became a cult among insiders, Fatimah Warner put the cover back with his recipe mixes jazz, spoken word and gospel that neither his soul sisters à la Erykah or Solange, nor his elder rappers from his native Chicago at the Common or Chance.

Still, if the ingredients remain the same, a new step has been taken.

More dense, more polished, more melodic, Room 25 makes it a point of honor to take care of the smallest details (the choice of instrumentals in particular, but not only) without falling into the trap of a first listening too intellectual or too choppy.

A small miracle of balance so to whom time is likely to give even more value.

Saba’s “Care For Me”

Released April 5 on Saba Pivot, LLC.

Critics’ favorite this year, the emcee chicagoan (still want one) perfect finally the formula that he has been developing since that day in 2012 when his very first mixtape was released, GETCOMFORTable.

Placed under the seal of the recent death of his mentor and cousin, the ten tracks recorded (still want a short album) have however the good taste of not falling into melancholy with big hoofs – which paradoxically allows a better highlighting.

Sometimes playful, sometimes triumphant, always posed, if Saba is perhaps not the genius that some would like to see (yes sometimes it’s a bit boring), at 23 years old he nevertheless poses. the foundations of an extremely promising second part of a career.

Well, after not saying that he will soon be at the top of the charts.

« Drip Harder » by Gunna & Lil Baby

Released October 5 on YSL / Quality Control / Motown / Capitol.

Or when two rookies about to become full rap stars find themselves, find their sound and find their audience.

Direct heirs to Young Thug, the two young men perfectly tune their violins, each feeding on the energy of the other. Very smart, moreover, who can say which of the two is doing the best? of this mixtape which only has a mixtape in name.

Fruit of the creative turmoil that reigns within the Atlanta scene, Baby and Gunna here carry on their shoulders the promise of a bright future.

Finally, special mention to the Turbo beatmaker (eight prods or co-prods on thirteen titles) for his instrumentals able to make the crowd of any club walk on the ceiling.

“Collection 1” by SAINt JHN

Released March 26 as an independent.

Do you like Future? Tory Lanez? Bryson Tiller? You will clearly love SAINt JHN, the « Renoi in Kawasaki » not really a singer / not really a rapper.

Without revolutionizing the genre in the least, this son of a pastor raised between Brooklyn and Guyana, former lyricists for Joey Bada $$, Usher or Jidenna and model in his spare time, manages to make all his singularity heard thanks to a sound at the crossroads between what is done today and what was done yesterday (trap, pop, cloud, electro…).

Add to that what-it-takes-but-not-too many emo touches and show off, a definite talent for melodies that don’t sound like it and some solid bangers (3 Below, Roses…), and it makes you wonder if it does not exist a parallel universe where this guy is not already a superstar.

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The 10 US rap albums you shouldn’t miss in 2017 [DOSSIER]

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