The Hip-Hop Albums I’m Listening to During Quarantine
I am am a big hip-hop fan, and my primary rotation of songs mostly consists of rap. Since we should stay inside and follow social distancing rules during this pandemic, I have relistened to some of my favorite hip-hop albums from last decade.
Here are the albums I would recommend you listen to if you haven’t already:
Acid Rap – Chance the Rapper
Revenge of the Dreamers III – Dreamville
The Perfect LUV Tape – Lil Uzi Vert
1. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – Kanye West
“My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” is one of West’s greatest works. Kanye shows his musical abilities on this album, with elements of rock and electric music next to along with his classic rapping style. Similar to his previous albums, West talks about serious issues within his music, such as race and struggling with his fame.
“In this white man world, we the ones chosen.” — Kanye on “POWER”
With artists such as Jay-Z and Rihanna, the album has strong features as well. This is also one of Kanye’s darkest recordings.
“POWER” and “Monster” are the most well-crafted tracks on the album. “POWER” features strong lyricism where Ye talks about his mental health issues and problems plaguing the United States. In an interview shortly after the album’s release, Kanye claimed that he spent 5,000 hours of work on “POWER” alone. On the other hand, “Monster” takes some of the load off of Kanye’s back with great verses from Jay-Z, Rick Ross, and Nicki Minaj. The song has a catchy chorus and some great lines from West as well.
This album was a critical success and is considered to be Kanye’s greatest work. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum with over 1 million sales in the United States alone.
MBDTF has strong lyrics, instrumentals, and features that explain its numerous accolades. MBDTF is one of the greatest rap albums of all time and was a great start to the decade for hip-hop.
Best Song: POWER
2. Take Care – Drake
In “Take Care,” Drake takes an R&B approach to get his message across. Drake’s unique sound is present throughout his second studio album; with its slow-tempo and emotional content, Drake expresses his feelings on relationships and his rise to fame.
“I guess we’ll never know what Harvard gets us
But seeing my family have it all
Took the place of that desire for diplomas on the wall” — Drake on “Crew Love”
Drake does it all on this recording; he talks on his struggles growing up and the issues he faces now, creating a track that many can relate to. The soft, melodic instrumentals make this album a great introduction for people who aren’t big fans of rap music.
Drake also pairs up with Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar to headline a star-studded features list.
It’s easy to tell that this album was a critical success; it was on the Billboard 200 for over 6 years.
Best Song: Marvin’s Room
3. Rap or Go to the League – 2 Chainz
The most underrated album on this list, “Rap or Go to the League” did not get nearly as much love as it should have. This album was created with the help of well-known producers Pharrell Williams and Mustard, but the executive producer was LeBron James.
The album’s title “challenges the notion that the only way out of the inner city is either to become a rapper or a ball player,” according to a press release by Def Jam Recordings.
In the album, 2 Chainz talks about issues that affected him earlier in his life like the abusive NCAA payment policies and having to sell drugs to survive.
“Let me get this straight, if I drop 40 today
You don’t care if I eat, you don’t care if I ate” — 2 Chainz on NCAA
Besides features from stars Ariana Grande and Travis Scott, 2 Chainz was able to get Kendrick Lamar on a song. “Momma I Hit a Lick” is one of the few songs that Kendrick has done since the release of the Black Panther Album.
The album had the features and the producers to make it a success, and 2 Chainz tied everything together to create a masterpiece.
Best Song: Girl’s Best Friend
4. The Lost Boy – YBN Cordae
“The Lost Boy” is YBN Cordae’s debut studio album, and it was a critical success. In this album, Cordae tackles American politics, his struggles growing up, and his newfound fame.
The album is accompanied by three singles, “Have Mercy”, “Bad Idea”, and “RNP” which are all critical to the album’s prosperity. In “Bad Idea”, Cordae outlines the difficulties in his life when he was younger.
“Uh, ramen noodles on the regular
Add some seasoning and some hot sauce for a better touch
Peanut butter, jelly and syrup sandwich, etcetera.” — YBN Cordae on “Bad Idea”
The album is certainly not lacking in features, with verses from Chance the Rapper, Meek Mill, and Pusha T. The instrumentals on the album are also great, with J. Cole helping out as one of the producers.
The album has been nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2020 Grammy Awards as well.
“The Lost Boy” was a great start to Cordae’s career and a great end to the decade for hip-hop.
Best Song: Way Back Home
We have to make the best out of the situation we have been given, so if you find yourself bored and want to listen to new music, give one of these albums a try.