Best Albums Of 2018
2018 has been an eventful year. Our favorite artists have found creative ways to drop their latest projects. The state of music is dominated by streaming platforms like Apple Music and Spotify but somehow artists like Pusha T and J-Cole have stood out. They have found ways to make the hype around their music into events. G.O.O.D. Music created buzz around their projects by dropping 7-track albums every week for 5 weeks straight, leaving us without a second to breathe.
And artists 6lack and Teyana Taylor were able to overcome the sophomore jinx by dropping introspective albums this year that set them apart from an already saturated Hip-hop/Soul market.
All in all, this year has given us more music then we know what to do with and hardly anytime to catch up. So, without further adieu, here are our picks for the best albums of 2018.
6. 6LACK – EAST ATLANTA LOVE LETTER
The year is 2016 and 6lack came out of nowhere with an admirable debut, Free 6lack. Fast forward two years and 6lack has gone on a nationwide tour while being featured on tracks with Timbaland, Syd, Khalid, and more. Now with the release of his sophomore album, East Atlanta Love Letter, 6lack takes us on a ride through his hometown, sharing his heartbreak and grind. 6lack’s ability to pen vulnerable and transparent verses and his knack for riding over any beat are major standouts. Add a tracklist full of trap-soulful melodies and this album is more like listening in on a therapy session than a collection of love songs. 6lack’s subject matter may not give you butterflies in your stomach, but it will make you sit back and reflect.
– Our Pick: Pretty Little Fears
5. NIPSEY HUSSLE – VICTORY LAP
Nipsey Hussle has been in the game for quite a while now. After nearly 15 years of slanging mixtapes, the Los Angeles native has finally released a soundtrack for hustlers, Victory Lap. Nipsey includes ambitious tales of drug dealing, gangbanging, and evolving into a self made millionaire. This album will inspire his fans and critics alike to get on their respective grinds. With his ability to showcase his storytelling over some of today’s hottest beatmakers, Neighborhood Nip delivers a project reminiscent of The Game’s Documentary and provides us with a manual on building our own empire.
Well done Nipsey, well done.
– Our Pick: Blue Laces 2
4. TEYANA TAYLOR – K.T.S.E.
Four long years. That’s how long its been since Teyana Taylor’s first G.O.O.D. album, VII, debuted. Fast forward to 2018, Teyana has blessed us with that sultry soul we have been longing for with the release of K.T.S.E. (Keep That Same Energy). Out of the gate, you can hear Kanye’s fingerprints all over this 8-track project. K.T.S.E. is the last of the Wyoming sessions but is quite possibly the most ambitious, behind Pusha T’s Daytona. Taylor and Ye combine to create an album that highlights both TT’s deep vocals and Mr. West’s beat selections. Perhaps the only thing missing from the project is a few more tracks. After a four year hiatus, the listener might feel robbed by the length of this album. Bringing the tracklist up to at least 10 songs for Taylor to caress us with her luscious vocals would have been R&B heaven.
But, like good sex, Ms.Taylor leaves us begging for more.
– Our Pick: Gonna Love Me
3. JANELLE MONAE – DIRTY COMPUTER
There is something special about Janelle Monae. The artist/actor/activist’s ability to manipulate different genres of music to deliver her message of sexual liberation, black excellence, and feminism is unmatched. Janelle’s album, Dirty Computer, is a mirror reflecting the fight for equality and recognition that many minority groups are facing today. Not one to be put in a box, Dirty Computer showcases both Janelle passion for rap and her seductive vocals similar to the legendary Lauryn Hill. Monae’s latest masterpiece pushes us to celebrate ourselves and our differences. We are left inspired and with the desire to be on the front line to stand for those who are unable to stand for themselves.
– Our Pick: Django Jane
2. J COLE – KOD
On 4/20, North Carolina rapper J.Cole cleverly dropped his fifth album titled KOD (Kids On Drugs) as a follow up to his 2016 hit 4 Your Eyez Only. This marks the Dreamville CEO’s 3rd album in a row without a single feature. Truth be told we wouldn’t want it any other way. With this project, Cole puts his own personal struggles with drug abuse, money, the relationship with his moms, and the current state of hip-hop culture on display. Cole has no problem diving deep and pulling his skeletons out the closet.
Through his experiences, J.Cole guides the listener and offers his insight on the struggle of fame and fortune. KOD gives Cole fans a project that is both versatile in flow and production while enlightening the new generation on the consequences of seeking instant gratification. And we’re addicted.
– Our Pick: 1985
1. PUSHA T – DAYTONA
May 25, 2018, is the date Pusha T delivered not only the greatest work of his legendary career but also the album of the year. Push takes what seems like an eternity to put out new work but, like any great architect, he realizes greatness takes time. In an era where average artists cram 18 plus songs on an album, saturated with more fillers than hits, Push decided to go another route with Daytona. This seven-track Magna Opus delivers Pusha in his purest form over Ye’s soulful production, raw and uncut. Pusha’s in his bag with flawless tales of hustler life and drug dealer code of conduct.
The G.O.O.D. Music president is unafraid to throw methodical and not-so-subliminal jabs throughout the album at Rapper-turned-Popstar Drake. Push digs into his arsenal, sending a couple lethal shots on the final track of the album, Infrared. Pusha relishes in his role as the villain to Drizzy’s Boy Wonder. Of all the summer of seven releases by the G.O.O.D. music family, Push had the best product by far. The combination of hard-hitting bars laced over Ye’s signature samples left hip-hop fanatics fiending for another fix.
If you know you know. EGHCK!
– Our Pick: The Games We Play
So there you have it. The 6Piece for best albums of 2018. Drop a comment below and let us know your top 6 picks for 2018.
B.Overall, the last year of this decade has been somewhat noiseless for quite a few of the heavy hitters in music. Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna, and The Weeknd have continued to stay under the radar by not dropping any solo projects in 2019. The...
When I was in Portland a few weeks ago I stumbled across a discussion with co-founder of The Hundreds Bobby Kim about his new book. I had to check it out.
Goodbye Louis Vuitton: Devlin Carter’s ‘SIA’ Is Changing The Fashion Game And Inspiring Future Black Designers
Last week, I attended an intimate event put on by Devlin Carter for entrepreneurs, artists, designers, and creatives. It changed my life.