Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Our Thoughts :: Top Albums of 2017


No matter how much time lapses in between posts, you can always count on this one to make the cut.  The annual tradition continues.  A panel of lucky number 7 again, we all took some thought and compiled our lists individually of what made the cut for the Top Albums (projects) of 2017.  Check it out after the jump!

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LOAF

Big Boi - Boomiverse

Big K.R.I.T. - 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time

Big Sean - I Decided.

Big Sean & Metro Boomin - Double or Nothing

Jay-Z - 4:44

Joey Badass - All-Amerikkkan Badass

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
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Elton

@theerj

Albums

1. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar


- King K. Dot continues to hold the crown! This joint dropped in the middle of the year & maintained its position as an album with infinite replay value. "DUCKWORTH" is hip-hop storytelling at its finest. And the visuals? Man...they made already incredible songs even better. Kendrick can do no wrong.

2. Ctrl by SZA


 - A couple years ago, I spent some time with SZA's "Z" EP. Shit put me to sleep faster than a pitcher full of lean. Fast forward to 2017 and I'm fully awake while vibing out to "The Weekend," "Love Galore," and "Broken Clocks." R&B was a bit lackluster this year, but SZA still managed to be one of the few genre highlights.

3. 4.44 by Jay-Z - This LP was a perfect example of grown man raps. Jay dropped a project that forced everyone to live their truth (shout out to C Tha God!) and confront their problems head on. Forget the rumor mills! This album breaks down the in's and outs of Jay's recent triumphs and struggles perfectly. Might need to cop me a building in Dumbo now...

4. Laila's Wisdom by Rapsody-


It's good to know that Roc Nation is doin' right by 9th Wonder's excellent femcee. I've seen Rapsody live and witnessed her greatness in person. The incredible bars and confidence she displays onstage translates perfectly to her full projects, especially this one. And the features? Raps' knows how to pick em, boy...

5. E 14th by GQ - Imagine my surprise when I hopped on YouTube and spotted a new music video from GQ. Repeated listens of "Can"t Run" forced me to check for his latest joint. And I'm glad I gave GQ my full undivided attention. From front to back, "E 14th" is an easy listen full of quotables and highkey fire production.


Mixtapes/EP's

1. More Life by Drake - Drake can call this joint whatever he wants. This "playlist" ended up being one of his stronger bodies of music. It had ignant shit, singsongy cuts and songs where Drizzy rapped his ass off. "FREE SHMOKE, FREE SHMOKE, AYE!"

2. Magnolia by Buddy -


Buddy seems to be more comfortable with letting 5-song EP's go instead of full-length projects. And that's just fine with me. "That Much" and "Who Shot 2 Tall" have gotten plenty of playtime. Buddy filled my head with images of a young man making his way through Compton. He's the living, breathing embodiment of "It Was a Good Day."

3. Ocean & Montana by Buddy & Kaytranada - Kaytranada is undefeated when it comes to producing some of the most inventive beats ever heard. Buddy is the perfect dude to feature over said beats. He may not be spittin' or singin' about some deep ish, but I'm not always lookin' for that. This EP is "chill at ya homegirl's crib or an overpriced lounge" worthy.

4. Nasimoto (Nas & Madlib Mashup) by D Begun -

I love a good ol' musical mashup. Legendary Nas joints backed by Madlib's Quasimoto production is a match made in Heaven (if Heaven was in the middle of Queensbridge).

5. Ringside 5 by Smoke DZA - Confession: I'm a diehard wrestling fan. And 29 years old. Get ya jokes off now...aight cool, let's get back to my list. Smoke DZA loves him some wrestling, too. He showcases his love for it by floating over beats that sample wrestling tunes. DZA rapped over Kurt Angle's theme, bruh. That's reason enough to give this whole tape a listen!

Singles

1. Rapture by Fabolous & Jadakiss feat. Tory Lanez -

 AKA the one good song that should have ended up on that Recycle Bin worthy "Friday on Elm Street" album. Tory shined all over this joint while Fab and Jada do what they always do - Spit. Hot. Fiya!

2. Portland by Drake feat. Quavo & Travis Scott - I legit giggled at the flute sample pushing this lil' diddy along. I was like "Why Mask Off have to start this shit?" After bumping it in a car with plenty of bass backing it, I fell in love with it. Crazy how Travis took MVP honors on this joint.

3. Family Feud by Jay-Z feat. Beyonce -

 "My wife in the crib feedin' the kids liquid gold." Man...I paused it right at that point and visualized how baller that shit is. Then I took it off pause, listened to all of Jay's actual factual bars and replayed it a million more times. Beat is mucho fuego, too!

4. Heads Up Eyes Open by Talib Kweli feat. Rick Ross & Yummy Bingham -

Talib has been slept on for far too long now. His latest album provided the world with a strong cut featuring the masterful chorus control of Yummy and vivid imagery of Ross' bars.

5. Changes by Gucci Mane feat. Big Sean - I listened to a lot of beats this year that thrived cause of gospel samples. The one that resonated with me the most was this one. Gucci's clone (HA!) and Sean Don reflected on their past selves and how their previous triumphs/mistakes changed them for the better.

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Rashard


What's goodie??? I look forward to this alllllll year!!!

Top 5 Albums (In Order)
1. Big K.R.I.T- 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time

- Krit is one of the must underrated artist in the game and never fails to put out a classic album or mixtape that bangs from beginning to end #Classic

2. Kendrick Lamar- Damn
- Damn #NoPunIntended

3. Hov- 4:44
- Hov is my guy and I love this album, but the only reason this album is number 3 is because although the songs were dope and his wordplay was stellar, there weren't a lot of bangers compare to some of his previous albums...Don't get it f****d up, I f***s with 4:44

4. Rick Ross- Rather You than Me

- Ross always delivers...Side notes, every time I listen to "I Think She Like Me" I want to watch Crooklyn

5. Migos- Culture
-What can I say? This album went!!!

Honorable Mention
Logic- Everybody

- Logic is super lyrical...I truly believe he has the potential to be one of the greats in the future

Top Songs That Banged (No Particular Order)
1.


2. Future- Mask Off
3. French Montana- Unforgettable
4. Migos- T-Shirt
5. Migos- Bad & Boujee
6. Rick Ross- I Think She Like Me
7.


8. G-Eazy- No Limit
9.


10. Lil Pump- Gucci Gang

Honorable Mentions
1. A$AP Ferg- Plain Jane
2. Ty Dolla Sign- Love You Better
3.


4.


5. Meek Mill- Whatever You Need
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VITO



Top 10

Migos - Culture

Kodak - Painting Pictures

Playboi Carti - Playboi Carti

Devin the Dude - Acoustic Levitation

2 Chainz - Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

Jeezy - Pressure


Meek Mills - Wins & Losses

Pee Wee Longway - Blue M&M 3

Shy Glizzy - Quiet Storm


Honorables (crazy year for music, these deserve a nod)

Cyhi The Prince - No Dope on Sunday

Young Dolph -Thinking Out Loud

Lil Baby - Harder Than Hard

Kodak - Project Baby 2

Future - FUTURE/HNDRXX

Lil Duke - Life in the Hills

K Camp - Slum Lords 2

Jefe (Shy Glizzy) - The World is Yours

Jay Z - 4:44

Uzi - Luv is Rage 2

Tay K - Santana World

Starlito - Starlitos Way 4

Damian Marley - Stony Hill

Kevin Gates - By Any Means 2



Top Collab Projects

Moneybagg/NBA - Fed Baby’s

21 Savage/Offset/Metro Boom - Without Warning

Future/Young Thug - SUPER SLIMEY

Tee Grizzley/Durk - Bloodas

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S-CLASS


1) 4:44


2) Damn
3) No Church On Sunday’s
4) Wins & Losses


5) Rather You Than Me

Honorable

Raekwon The Wild
SZA
Le$ Midnight Club
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DESCENDENT

@DescendentMC

Rapsody- Laila's Wisdom
Kendrick Lamar- DAMN
Big Krit- Forever is a mighty long time
Freddie Gibbs- Only live twice

David Banner- The God Box


TOP 5 SONG


Fabolous & Jadakiss feat. Swizz Beatz- Theme Music

Jaden Smith- Icon


Scarface- Black Still


Descendent feat. Zaixp- Do For Love

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DOLCEZZA


After several reflections, I’ve confirmed this year that my theory of ‘i like certain music depending on my mood or where I am in my life’ is true. That’s a huge factor. If it’s contributing to a negative feel/thoughts… I’m not rockin. Lol. With my particular list, I rated them on which projects I played the most and/or which ones I could rotate the most songs on. Back to my theory, though. You’ll find that I mention the word ‘mood’ a lot this time around. It’ll all bring understanding to this statement.

5. JHENE AIKO- JUKAI


I listened to this by default. Honestly, it was new and I just put it on for background noise because I couldn’t think of anything to listen to at that moment. I went in with the expectation that my mood would probably be trash by the 5th cut and I’d have to turn it off. It turned out to be the complete opposite. I not only found myself replaying songs, BUT I found myself thinking… she is singing my exact thoughts. A personable raw album, JUKAI hit home in a comforting way. The side that I don’t really discuss, I felt someone understood. Across the board. Plus, she’s a rep for us petite women.
 Go Penny!
Favorites : Jukai, Nobody, Sativa, Moments


4. 2 CHAINZ- PRETTY GIRLS LIKE TRAP MUSIC


Yes we do. Music to get dressed to… party to.. ride to… serve as backdrop music to when we’re talking sh-t. Yep, all that. Even with the title, it wasn’t catered to females specifically, content wise. Fellas could enjoy it too. Everything about it, including beat switch/mash ups, made it a vibe.
Riverdale rd n----!
Favorites : All'em

3. RAEKWON- THE WILD

I was thoroughly impressed with this album and fully enjoyed it. HARD.  While one can, give or take, label it ‘mood music’, it was far from that. THE WILD didn’t get as much recognition as deserved. It was a stand out album in 2017, especially if you wanted to get away from the same songs the radio played.    The content for someone my age or older was refreshing.
Favorites : The Reign, Crown of Thorns, My Corner


2. TYLER- FLOWERBOY


Usually… ANY year that tyler has dropped an album, he has always made the #1 slot on my list. HOWEVER.. not this time. There is a reason. Keep reading...

This album is amazing musically! I watch this guy share his growth personally and melodiously each album.. content changes.. the whole nine yards. I ADORE ‘FlowerBoy’. However, this was probably the first album of his that I could not listen to in any mood. Certain songs yes, but overall… it wasn’t conducive if I was in a ‘removed’ place. I found that out the hard way. Has anyone heard ‘See You Again’ live? Refill my cup. 
Favorites : All'em except Glitter.

Which leads me to my number one album.

1. KENDRICK LAMAR-

Set scene. I was having a rough morning.  Amongst other things in the mental, I was getting the remainder of my root canal done that they halfway started the day before (don’t ask). On my way home after, I had quite a drive, so I threw on this album. It had just dropped. I like to listen to albums on shuffle before listening in order and the first to come on was the ‘Intro’ and then ‘FEAR’.  BRUH.  I probably played that for the remainder of the day without evening visiting the rest of the album. Fast forward. I found myself really enjoying the album like REALLY enjoying it.. no matter what mood I was in. Each song, whether the production.. lyrics.. or both, resonated in some way.  This is what I didn't know I was waiting for...  

Honorable Mentions:

LE$- MIDNIGHT CLUB
Skyline lights accompanying your relaxing cruise through the city. That’s what this was. LE$ did his thang. Oh and that Erykah sample on ‘Dreamin’… chile.  While I'm here, I'll note that he dropped SUMMER MADNESS later this year while summer was drifting away. Kids were back in school. Rush hour traffic returned to the norm since vacations were over. This kept the daydreams there.  Sample sample samples.  ‘Mary how could you go’ by Musiq.  WOW.  But most importantly… my highlight... the mix of Bowie…and then a drop into Loose Ends. INSTANT Groove
Favorites : Dreamin', Neva, Switch'd.


RICK ROSS- Rather You Than Me

What can I say, the man has a way of selecting beats. This was a good album! The replay value of the songs I LIKED were substantial.


PLAYBOI CARTI- (Self Titled)

I was introduced to Carti’s tunes a couple years back. I had NO idea that this album would be one of my favorites to come out this year. Along with fun memories associated with it, I could jiggy with that shit.


HOV- 444

I know I know… as a Hov ‘stan’ as some would say, one would expect this album to be in my top 5. It wasn’t for many reasons. For one, the song ‘444’ hit so close to home… I was ready to leave work for the day. Lol. Seriously though… I was ready to leave work for the day. Lol.
This is Jay’s most personable album, in my opinion, which is great that he’s being so open with his thoughts and experiences! I couldn’t vibe with it totally… in its entirety. Shoot me.  The replay value just wasn't there for me.
  My favorites however… those get play : The Story of OJ, Family Feud, Bam


DOLPH- THINKING OUT LOUD

Granted, I was doing my hair, BUT I slowed down the process so I could stay up til midnight for this.  From Bulletproof earlier last year, I was looking for new tunes from Dolph.  I didn't know I would get an entire project.  Quotables after quotables.  Literally, thinking out loud... I was pleased with this one.

Tiron & Ayomari- WET : The Wonderful Ego Trip.

The Wonderful Prelude Pt. 2 brought some clarity to things in my life.  Still Does.  WET was a nice variation of conscious and fun.  Their buzz is growing which I'm happy about.  Don't sleep on em.
Favorites : Greener Grass/Cleaner Water and ah fxck it... the whole thing. lol.

YOUNG NUDY- Slime Ball 2
Mann... ya'll know I like my shit... and this right here... is my shit.


In closing, 2017 was a great year for tunes.  Unfortunately, it was over saturated so there wasn’t much replay with most. Refer to this post to see exactly what I mean. I’m sure there are some that agree.

All in All.. enjoy. Keep it coming.

Until next time..




Previous Top Albums posts


On a more serious note...  I specifically waited for this day.  I want to dedicate this post to Tony on his anniversary today. From one music lover to another.
Continue resting peacefully… I Miss you. Love Always, ‘T.I.’

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