AllMusic 2015 Year In Review

Favorite Rap and Hip-Hop Albums -

 Dr. Dre surprised everyone by finally releasing a new album, Compton, while Kendrick Lamar delivered the intricate To Pimp a Butterfly and young Mississippi duo Rae Sremmurd broke out with SremmLife. Find out what other rap and hip-hop albums our editors selected as the best of 2015.
At.Long.Last.A$AP

A$AP Rocky

At.Long.Last.A$AP

A bittersweet tribute to crew member A$AP Yams bookends this ambitious, positive, and psychedelic effort.

Mr. Wonderful

Action Bronson

Mr. Wonderful

On this excellent LP, the chef turned rapper enters the big leagues with all his underground cred intact.

Twelve Reasons to Die II

Adrian Younge / Ghostface Killah

Twelve Reasons to Die II

The Wu-Tang rapper reunites with film composer Younge for this excellent sequel, which features a new nemesis.

Grandeur

Apollo Brown

Grandeur

The Detroit hip-hop producer delivers an excellent LP with help from Chino XL, Vinnie Paz, Sean Price, and others.

Dark Sky Paradise

Big Sean

Dark Sky Paradise

On his third album, the Detroit rapper reflects on life's bittersweet journey, but there's still room for both club bangers and Kanye West.

Bad Neighbor

Blu / Madlib / MED

Bad Neighbor

The avant hip-hop trio reunites for a loose and fun album with numerous special guests.

Touch Down 2 Cause Hell

Boosie Badazz

Touch Down 2 Cause Hell

After his release from prison, the rapper returns with an album more ambitious but as hardcore as before.

The Growing Process

Dizzy Wright

The Growing Process

The Funk Volume rapper offers an aptly titled step up with this excellent second LP.

Compton

Dr. Dre

Compton

After 16 years the veteran producer returns with an excellent album that was inspired by the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton.

I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside

Earl Sweatshirt

I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside

The Odd Future member gets heavy and kicks hope to the curb on this draining, yet excellent, sophomore effort.

Odds & Ends

Finale

Odds & Ends

After six years off tending to a family and a "normal job," the Detroit rapper makes a triumphant return with Oddisee as his producer.

DS2

Future

DS2

Drugs and hooks fill the rapper's hallucinatory and excellent 2015 LP.

Thoughtiverse Unmarred

Georgia Anne Muldrow

Thoughtiverse Unmarred

Usually a producer, Muldrow presents an album where she's strictly an MC and the results are excellent.

Shedding Skin

Ghostpoet / Clare Uchima

Shedding Skin

More guitars and a live band back the gifted MC, but the lyrics and music are as daring as ever on this third album.

Detroit's Son

Guilty Simpson

Detroit's Son

The veteran underground MC teams with Australian producer Katalyst for his most varied effort to date.

Living Legend

Gunplay

Living Legend

Finding a suitable home on Rick Ross' Maybach label, the rapper's debut solo LP is a perfect balance of gangsta and slick.

Eat Pray Thug

Heems

Eat Pray Thug

The former Das Racist rapper introduces his solo career with a quirky yet heavy debut.

Church in These Streets

Jeezy / Young Jeezy

Church in These Streets

The veteran Atlanta MC offers an ambitious concept album with Janelle Monae and Monica as his only guests.

All Love Lost

Joe Budden

All Love Lost

With bad love as the theme, the Slaughterhouse MC offers one of his best solo albums.

Can't Fly Without Gravity

k-os

Can't Fly Without Gravity

The kinetic rapper offers a loose "vacation" of an album, but the results are rich and filling.

To Pimp a Butterfly

Kendrick Lamar

To Pimp a Butterfly

Not the sophomore slump, but another LP of elevated excellence, the Compton rapper offers a dark and deep journey on this epic release.

Hud Dreems

Knxwledge

Hud Dreems

The underground producer makes his beat tape debut the same year he lands a production on the landmark To Pimp a Butterfly.

Riot Boi

Le1f

Riot Boi

Debut LP from the iconic New York rapper features a kaleidoscope of topics, from sexuality and race politics to pain and hope.

The Incredible True Story

Logic

The Incredible True Story

The one they call Young Sinatra returns with an excellent sophomore LP that doubles as a sci-fi concept album.

Tetsuo & Youth

Lupe Fiasco

Tetsuo & Youth

This ambitious and excellent album about growing up in Chicago puts the rapper back on hip-hop's top tier.

GO:OD AM

Mac Miller

GO:OD AM

After kicking his demons to the curb, the Pittsburgh rapper offers a soulful and vibrant third LP.

Future/Vintage

Mayday!

Future/Vintage

The veteran crew return and prove they can offer something more subdued and polished without losing their punch.

Dreams Worth More Than Money

Meek Mill

Dreams Worth More Than Money

The rapper's varied sophomore effort features Drake, Rick Ross, Diddy, and Nicki Minaj.

Have a Nice Life

Murs

Have a Nice Life

The underground rapper goes for the mainstream and offers an alluring set of songs, some political, some pornographic.

The Good Fight

Oddisee

The Good Fight

Inspired, infectious, and heavy, the underground rapper's tenth album is an excellent blast of retro soul and social commentary.

Man Plans God Laughs

Public Enemy

Man Plans God Laughs

A hard, lean, fast and furious record from an older, wiser, but not more mellow PE.

SremmLife

Rae Sremmurd

SremmLife

The Tupelo, Mississippi duo surround their hits "No Type" and "No Flex Zone" with worthy follow-ups.

Black Market

Rick Ross

Black Market

Bolder and in many ways bigger than his previous efforts, Black Market is a more introspective and ambitious album from Miami superstar Ross.

STS X RJD2

RJD2 / STS

STS X RJD2

Up-and-coming rapper makes his debut with the veteran producer and the listener is the winner.

Silverback Gorilla 2

Sheek Louch

Silverback Gorilla 2

The LOX member returns with his first solo album since 2010 and he's as raw and rough as ever.

Malta Bend

Stevie Stone

Malta Bend

Kevin Gates, Tech N9ne, and Ces Cru help the St. Louis rapper deliver this excellent biographical effort.

Indie 500

Talib Kweli / 9th Wonder

Indie 500

Pride and retro-soul both fuel this underground duo's excellent collaboration.

Welcome to Los Santos

The Alchemist / Oh No

Welcome to Los Santos

Two hip-hop producers inspired by the GTA5 video game offer an excellent genre-blending collection.

The Documentary 2

The Game

The Documentary 2

Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube help the West Coast MC celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Documentary album.

The Documentary 2.5

The Game

The Documentary 2.5

Nas, will.i.am, ScHoolboy Q, and others help the West Coast MC celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Documentary album.

Rodeo

Travis Scott

Rodeo

On this weird, wonderful album, the producer and MC becomes a ringleader with Justin Bieber, Juicy J, and the Weeknd as guests.

Summertime '06

Vince Staples

Summertime '06

With Clams Casino and No ID, the West Coast rapper makes his official debut an excellent double LP.