Oooh the end of 2015 is upon us, Hallelujah. I can admit that it was a rough year for many. Terrorism was alive and well…Racism was upon us in the truest form. Through it all, God reigns and music was plentiful!! I’ve seen a lot of list of the ‘Top Albums of 2015’ list, and I’m not surprised. There were certain albums that were undeniably relevant…Others that were not so awesome. I can not give you a top albums list without saying that these are my favorite albums of 2015. My rating system is really simple…How much did I listen to the album? How did it make me feel? Did it inspire me? Check out my list and let me know some of your favorites via twitter @DropaJewel
10. Tame Impala- Currents
Yup! Of course I was bumping this one. I’d been waiting for this album faithfully as they were dropping track after track. I was not disappointed!
9. Grimes-Art Angels
I’m not even sure how I caught wind of Art Angels…it must have been my endless blog browsing. Nevertheless, I was impressed with Grimes. You really can’t categorize this type of music. Most of the album had an electronic pop-ish feel and my eardrums were grateful. If you haven’t listened to it yet, check it out and expand your mind.
8. Fabolous-Summertime Shootout
Fab surprised me with his latest project. It was filled with a few artist collabs including Nicki Minaj and Trey Songs, but was a hip hop heads wet dream. I’ve had it in rotation since its release and I know it’ll sound damn good in the speakers next summer.
7. Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly
And now let us take a moment for the elephant in the room. This album was at the top of everybody’s list this year. I thought it was a really good effort on Kendrick’s part: the black power theme, the west coast love, the cohesiveness of the project and the ability to relate to our day to day lives. The issue I had with TPAB was not the actual project; it was the small minded individuals who forgot that hip hop has no one particular sound. All of the kudos I saw on social media and hip hop sites reminded me that SOME PEOPLE don’t listen to anything but mainstream radio. They lack the ability to be independent thinkers and enjoy what they were not PROGRAMMED to listen to. Kendrick can rhyme, and TPAB was a damn good project; however, he is not the second coming of Christ. I think he’ll collect quite a few grammys this go round. Hip hop has always been a fusion of other genres and inspirations…I challenge all artists to explore that ideology as they create their art. It makes for an authentic project. Keep up the good work, Kendrick.
6. Add 2- Prey For The Poor
This may be the most slept on album of the year. The beats were pure dopeness; shouts out to 9th Wonder as usual. Add-2 didn’t get nearly enough airplay as he should have. I think Prey for The Poor was suitable for old and new school listeners and was nice fresh breath of air from the fuckery in the hip hop industry today. I’m looking forward to hearing more from him in the future. Kudos.
5. Skyzoo- Music for My Friends
Yessuh! Music for my Friends is one of those projects that somebody puts you onto at the last second. I have a homeboy who ALWAYS gives me the heads up on great hip hop projects and this happens to be one of them. Skyzoo did his thing as so many of the tracks embody a humility not often seen in mainstream hip hop. Most of the songs had great break beats and dope hooks. I felt like this was some shit I would listen to riding along the streets of the Bronx as a kid in the summer. I felt like Skyzoo knew his audience BUT just wanted to make some feel good music for real people…including himself.
4. Game- The Documentary 2
Game came through with a game changer (pun intended) with The Documentary 2. I miss the day of raw hip hop and this gave me my fix. I think it’s rare for a hip hop artist to do a part 2 to their introductory album and still make it a worth while listen. Clearly, Game had a vision and inspiration from other west coast artist celebrated this year (NWA, Kendrick Lamar). Whatever the cause, I’m still very much thankful.
3. Foo Fighters- St. Cecilia and Songs From The Laundry Room
Boom! Foo Fighters have given me life all year long. They dropped St. Cecilia as a free download for their fans a few months ago. How noble in our time of turmoil?! They also dropped Songs from the Laundry Room for record store day and both EPs are in my heavy rotation playlist. All I ask for is good music that invokes good vibrations and positive energy. I love a good guitar riff any day of the week and this gave me just the soundtrack for closing out the year. #Respect
2. Lianne La Havas- Blood
My Lordy. I fell in love with this young lady in 2015. I’m not sure if it was my mood, but I have been playing this album out since its release this summer. Blood was my first real introduction to Ms. La Havas and I was grateful. The album has a mellow, jazzy, soulful feel to it…authentic and genuine. I’ve heard mixed reviews from other music sources, saying that it didn’t have her personal spin on it but I beg to differ. It’s important for artist’s sound to evolve and for them to work with different producers to create new sounds. Blood is nominated for a grammy award and I’m eager see if her hard work will be rewarded. Very dope project from Ms. La Havas.
1.The Internet- Ego Death
It is my understanding that Ego Death is nominated for a grammy. Well it’s about damn time! There really isn’t much to say about this album. It pretty much speaks for itself. Again, I felt all good vibe in listening and an interesting fusion of sounds. Ego Death reminds me of how good R&B used to feel, though I can’t rightfully place it in any specific category. The hip hop elements shine through a neo soul bed of casual feel good musicianship. Well done, great execution. Praise God.
Check out my homeboy Vegas’ blog Hiphopolitic.com for his top Hip Hop Albums of the year.