AllMusic 2017 Year In Review

Favorite Rap and Hip-Hop Albums -

 Several of the year's finest rap and hip-hop albums came from its biggest stars, including Jay-Z's confessional 4:44, Kendrick Lamar's simultaneously mainstream-appeasing and thoughtfully-layered DAMN., and the powerful third album from dynamic duo Run the Jewels.
Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

2 Chainz

Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

Despite its slapdash presentation, this is a career high from the Grammy-winning veteran rapper.

Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy

A$AP Mob

Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy

The sequel to their 2016 debut features an all-star cast of guests as well as dense verses from Mob members.

I Decided.

Big Sean

I Decided.

The Detroit rapper's fourth full-length is a significant evolution in terms of depth, maturity, and self-awareness.

All the Beauty in This Whole Life

Brother Ali

All the Beauty in This Whole Life

After a five-year break, the prophetic, socially conscious rapper returns with a message that hits with the hammer of compassion.

Imperial

Denzel Curry

Imperial

Sophomore set from the Miami rapper whose intricate wordplay and engrossing storytelling place him levels ahead of his contemporaries.

Raskit

Dizzee Rascal

Raskit

Returning to the hardcore sound of his early work, Raskit is a stark about-face from grime originator Dizzee Rascal, and his most arresting work in ages.

Endangered Philosophies

Dälek

Endangered Philosophies

After 2016's Asphalt for Eden, the revamped lineup of New Jersey noise rap pioneers Dälek hits full stride with the triumphant follow-up.

Examples

Eric Lau

Examples

Elegant and uplifting third "beat tape"-styled album of sample-heavy instrumentals from the London-based producer.

HNDRXX

Future

HNDRXX

The second of two chart-topping albums released back to back in consecutive weeks, this is the introspective, brooding sibling of the pair.

Mr. Davis

Gucci Mane

Mr. Davis

On his 11th LP and ninth post-prison release, the Atlanta rapper delivers one of his best efforts.

SYRE

Jaden Smith

SYRE

Stylistically diverse full-length debut that finds the rapper thoughtfully tackling issues from relationship drama to societal ills.

4:44

Jay-Z

4:44

Shawn Carter's contrite and concise 13th studio album, produced by No I.D. with soulful finesse.

All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ [With Book]

Joey Bada$$

All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ [With Book]

Urgent sophomore set from the Brooklyn MC that honors the sounds of the golden era and takes aim at America's injustices.

Rap Album Two

Jonwayne

Rap Album Two

Plainspoken poeticism and downcast productions from the L.A. rapper/producer and associates, including Jameel Bruner and Low Leaf.

Headnod Suite

Karriem Riggins

Headnod Suite

Second delightfully distorted batch of crate-digging finds from the accomplished drummer and producer.

DAMN.

Kendrick Lamar

DAMN.

Pared as it might seem, the rapper's fourth proper album is just as rich as the platinum releases that preceded it.

Luv Is Rage 2

Lil Uzi Vert

Luv Is Rage 2

Official full-length debut from the unique Philadelphia rapper that bridges hedonism and vulnerability.

Everybody

Logic

Everybody

The rapper's third proper Def Jam album, his most panoramic and personal work, deals with prejudice, anxiety, and spirituality.

Gemini

Macklemore

Gemini

After finding multi-platinum pop success with Ryan Lewis, the Seattle rapper returns to his solo rap roots with this sophomore effort.

C U L T U R E

Migos

C U L T U R E

Sophomore LP from the north Atlanta trio that signals their mainstream arrival with next-level production and the ubiquitous "Bad and Boujee."

Captain California

Murs

Captain California

The California rapper's tenth solo set is yet another endearing and entertaining showcase for his witty rhymes and moving reports from the streets.

Perception

NF

Perception

Chart-topping third album from the Michigan rapper that delivers more of his intense, complex rhymes without cursing or profanity.

The Iceberg

Oddisee

The Iceberg

Although smooth and soulful on the surface, The Iceberg encourages you to look deeper for the greatest rewards.

Laila's Wisdom

Rapsody

Laila's Wisdom

Exceptional second proper album from the super-skilled down-to-earth rapper, supported as usual by 9th Wonder and the Soul Council.

Run the Jewels 3

Run the Jewels

Run the Jewels 3

The third installment in the duo's excellent catalog is their best to date, packed with agile wordplay, inspired guests, and tight production.

Imperius Rex

Sean Price

Imperius Rex

Released two years after his death, Sean Price's posthumous fourth album honors his legacy and stands up to his prior work.

Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines

Shabazz Palaces

Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines

Present-day dystopian sci-fi and murky funk on one of two simultaneously released albums from the left-field duo.

Vicious

Skepta

Vicious

Tight dose of dark, thrilling grime from the U.K. MC with guests like Lil B, A$AP Rocky, and Section Boyz.

Gang Signs & Prayer

Stormzy

Gang Signs & Prayer

Although featuring plenty of hostility and bravado, the album unfolds with touches of gospel and R&B that reveal Stormzy's inner workings.

Radio Silence

Talib Kweli

Radio Silence

Solo album eight includes some of the veteran rapper's most incisive work over beats from the Alchemist, Oh No, and Kaytranada.

Flower Boy

Tyler, The Creator

Flower Boy

An open-hearted creative leap from the Odd Future co-founder, featuring appearances from Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams, and Syd.

The Autobiography

Vic Mensa

The Autobiography

Remarkable proper debut from the multidimensional Grammy-nominated Roc Nation signee.

Big Fish Theory

Vince Staples

Big Fish Theory

Long Beach rapper's sophomore LP features an impressive list of guests on a footwork-inspired set.

Godfather

Wiley

Godfather

The veteran British MC reclaims his title as Godfather of Grime on his 11th (and purportedly final) studio album.