2018 was trash but the music was memorable, especially in the last quarter. I wanted to give my personal reflections of my top 5 favorite albums of the year [key word = albums]. One thing about me is that I enjoy full bodies of work. Mostly because I’m always taking a road trip but also because I appreciate the thought artists put into making a whole project. All five albums (and the honorary mentions) below have all held a special place in my heart this year. Here is my personal reflection.
1. kod x j.cole
If you don’t know, J. Cole is my favorite rapper. I always talk about how much his bodies of work resonate with me personally on my platforms. Cole always seems to drop something at a time when I’m going through a pivotal moment in my life. At that point in the year, I faced a very low point in my life as I going through major professional and personal changes and really just my beginning stages of becoming a woman. Music has always been my coping mechanism, especially J. Cole’s.
“I’d rather see you stand up and face them than run away”
Honestly, this album is my favorite body of work Cole has dropped since Friday Night Lights [my favorite mixtape of ALL TIME. Yes, I said all time.]
Top 3: Window Pain, Once An Addict, FRIENDS
2. victory lap x nipsey hussle
West Coast rap always reminds me of the summer time. I’m a firm believer of full bodies of work being cohesive. Nipsey never fails to deliver. All summer 2018, I had this in rotation as I made my trips up and down the east coast [follow my Moves w/ Blu highlight on Instagram, by the way].
"I done took my name and carved it in the cement"
In my opinion, Nipsey has that thing that Jay, Rick Ross, & lately, even Meek, has. The ability to influence people to go harder. That get up and get to the money music. Nipsey though, has what they don’t have which is that ability to make it sound/ feel like a relaxing summer day.
Top 3: Blue Laces 2, Grinding All My Life, Double Up
3. beloved x styles p & dave east
As some may know, I have two older brothers. One is a rapper, one is a producer. I also grew up on the North side of Jersey (the best side), traveling to the Bronx almost every other week. When I tell y’all, I grew UP on New York rap, I really mean that. The Ghost has always been one of my brothers favorites so any time I hear him, along with others like: Nas, DMX, and throwback Jay, it feels nostalgic. This album was where my childhood and my adult life met. Dave East is one of my current favorite rappers and Styles is what I grew up on. This album seemed to make me feel like I was that little girl in the backseat on my brothers Chevy Malibu again but this time, I’m driving my own whip down I-95.
“I ain’t dead or in jail so now momma can brag on me”
This album was gritty and truly what New York rap is. This duo was really the best thing I’ve heard to come out of north in a brick.
Top 3: In The Jungle, Do You Know What Time It Is, For All My N*ggas
4. tina snow x megan thee stallion
Now let me tell y’all about my HOT GIRL. I found out about Megan Thee Stallion on Twitter through this freestyle [here]. She gives bars and body. Every song on this album gives you those dancing in the mirror when you're supposed to be getting ready vibes. Megan, in my opinion, had the best project that came from a female rapper this year. When she said “Everything I write is a bad bitch theme song” she really meant that. This year was truly the re-rise of Freak Nasty female rap. 2019, Stalli is coming for you heauxs!
“I don’t hang with b*tches I ain’t getting money with”
Side note: I’m really here for a Beyoncé x Megan Thee Stallion collab. Do it for Texas, ladies. Please.
Top 3: Good At, Tina Montana, Neva
5. detoxic x jayme shayne
In 2018, my love life was in shambles and I don’t know how I would’ve got through it without this album. For about two weeks straight in June, I literally played this album as I cried outside my office before going into work. Yea, it's *that* kind of album. This album had it all from radio bangers to melodic ballads. This album was raw, unfiltered, and soulful.
Sidenote: Twitter is the source of a lot of new music/ artists I find [Shoutout to @Jo_GotGame because he’s the reason why I know who Jayme Shayne is].
“N*ggas gon be n*ggas, and these boys they gon be boys, but these men they gon protect you”
This whole album, top to bottom, has been the therapy that I didn’t know that I needed. This album holds a special place in my heart because I was going through that stage in my womanhood when I came across it and music [and dance] has always been my coping mechanism.
Top 3: Ready, Michelle, Cuddy (Honorary Mention: Fool For Love)
Karma 2 x Dave East
Top 3: Levelin’ Up, Russia, Cut Em Off
Invasion of Privacy x Cardi B
Top 3: Get Up 10, Best Life, She Bad
Everything Is Love x The Carters
Top 3: Boss, Nice, Friends
Eazy Call x Eric Bellinger
Top 3: Main Thang, Ain’t Ya Ex, Role Play
Fully Loaded x Shy Glizzy
Top 3: 30s 50s 100s, Where We Come From, I Need Mo
listen to my favorites on tidal & apple music below.