In between keeping up with all of the feuds, drama and tragedies that dogged hip-hop in 2018, there was still time to enjoy numerous top-tier records, including Cardi B's wild debut, Lil Wayne's long-awaited Tha Carter V, and Vince Staples' electrifying FM!.

Mi Vida Local

Atmosphere

Mi Vida Local

On their ninth album, the Minneapolis hip-hop duo continue to reflect on middle-aged life.

3rd Ward Bounce

Big Freedia

3rd Ward Bounce

Thrilling major-label debut EP from New Orleans' beloved ambassador of bounce.

Fever

Black Milk

Fever

The producer/MC's first rap album since 2014 is a tense, often grim, always riveting affair.

iridescence

BROCKHAMPTON

iridescence

Chart-topping fourth effort from the hip-hop crew blurs genres and sharpens their creative focus.

Invasion of Privacy

Cardi B

Invasion of Privacy

Impressive and entertaining debut from the Bronx rapper that balances her cartoonish boasts with unflinching vulnerability.

Czarface Meets Metal Face

Czarface / MF Doom

Czarface Meets Metal Face

Fun, somewhat casual sparring match between superhero Czarface (7L & Esoteric and Inspectah Deck) and villan MF Doom.

Three/Three

Dabrye

Three/Three

Almost 12 years after Two/Three, Tadd Mullinix completes his hip-hop trilogy with help from a cast including Doom, Ghostface, and Georgia Anne Muldrow.

TA13OO

Denzel Curry

TA13OO

Infusing his rhymes with deep introspection and substance, Curry dives into darkness while maturing on album three.

Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation

Dr. Octagon

Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation

Kool Keith reunites with the Automator and DJ Q-Bert for the first true sequel to Dr. Octagon's classic 1996 debut.

Some Rap Songs

Earl Sweatshirt

Some Rap Songs

The third album from this innovational rapper finds him taking risks with warped lo-fi beats and jagged, dreamlike production.

Humble Pi

Edan / Homeboy Sandman

Humble Pi

Brief yet explosive collaboration between endlessly creative MC Homeboy Sandman and psych-rap maestro Edan.

Everything's Fine

Jean Grae / Quelle Chris

Everything's Fine

On their first collaborative full-length, newly engaged couple Jean Grae and Quelle Chris reflect on staying normal and sane in today's society.

Ye

Kanye West

Ye

The outspoken rapper's complicated eighth set orbits around mental health and a difficult period of personal struggle.

Black Panther: The Album [Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture]

Kendrick Lamar / SZA / The Weeknd

Black Panther: The Album [Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture]

Powered by Kendrick Lamar, the soundtrack to the culturally momentous Marvel Studios film features SZA, Future, and several South African artists.

Kids See Ghosts

Kid Cudi / Kids See Ghosts / Kanye West

Kids See Ghosts

This eponymous debut from Kanye West and Kid Cudi is a compact, lushly produced, and thrilling collaboration.

Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2

Lil Peep

Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2

Culled from previously unreleased tracks, the posthumous sequel to this emo rapper's 2017 debut has an eerie significance in the wake of his untimely death.

Tha Carter V

Lil Wayne

Tha Carter V

The long-awaited fifth and final Carter volume exhibits the rapper on an upswing.

Culture II

Migos

Culture II

The sequel to the trio's 2017 triplet-trap breakthrough features an all-star guest list spanning 24 tracks.

Victory Lap

Nipsey Hussle

Victory Lap

After years of buildup, the South Central rapper makes his major-label debut without sacrificing his trademark authenticity.

Room 25

Noname

Room 25

Remarkable debut album from Chicagoan rapper/poet Noname, effortlessly blending introspection with humor over lush, jazzy arrangements.

No News Is Good News

Phonte

No News Is Good News

Second solo album from the Little Brother and Foreign Exchange veteran confronts grim realities and celebrates new love.

Daytona

Pusha T

Daytona

Characteristically terse and trenchant work from the GOOD Music president, supported by grimace-inducing beats from Kanye West.

Life After Fame

Quando Rondo

Life After Fame

Second mixtape from Georgia rapper who blew up overnight with his first release just five months earlier.

SR3MM

Rae Sremmurd

SR3MM

Three-part third album that presents a disc of Sremmurd tunes alongside a solo offering from both Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee.

Care for Me

Saba

Care for Me

Second album by this Chicago rapper is an emotionally complex and painfully vulnerable reaction to the murder of a close family member.

Free for All

Sami Baha

Free for All

Fascinating, innovative debut album from Turkish beatmaker Sami Baha, offering a global perspective on the trap phenomenon.

Color the Weather

Suicideyear

Color the Weather

Ambitious full-length from Louisiana's Suicideyear, whose variation on trap is stark yet complex and emotion-rich.

Masters of the Sun, Vol. 1

The Black Eyed Peas

Masters of the Sun, Vol. 1

Triumphant throwback to the trio's late-'90s focus on lyrical dexterity and boom-bap beats.

Everything Is Love

The Carters

Everything Is Love

Hand in hand, hip-hop's reigning couple triumph over marital strife with confidence and style.

Astroworld

Travis Scott

Astroworld

The Houstonian's third solo album, titled after his hometown's demolished theme park, contains some of his most vivid and vulnerable material.

FM!

Vince Staples

FM!

Brisk third LP from the Long Beach emcee that overflows with addictive beats and thrilling bars.

Cocoa Sugar

Young Fathers

Cocoa Sugar

The Scottish trio set out to make a "linear" third album but wound up with their least classifiable, most unique work yet.

Dr. Octagon