10. Milo – who told you to think?
Milo’s 3rd album is one of his best yet, and he continues with his unique low-key, more relaxed style. However, as usual, he doesn’t let up with lyrical content, and keeps up with his trademark philosophical thinking in many of the songs.
9. Wiley – Godfather
Grime figure Wiley came out with another album this year, and is his best in my opinion. This is especially impressive because he’s been in the game so long. One of the self-proclaimed originators of grime, he does very well here to fit into modern hip-hop without losing his flair.
8. Quelle Chris – Being You is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often
This album sort of seems like Quelle Chris’ love letter to himself, and I enjoyed nearly every word of it. Although his style might not immediately appeal to everyone, his deadpan delivery really makes the album for me. I didn’t hear any other album like this one in 2017, and it’s definitely worth a listen.
7. IDLES – Brutalism
IDLES did very well with their first LP. The raw sound of their music comes off very well, and it even manages to be catchy from time to time. IDLES produced a great post-punk album to start themselves off, and I’m excited to hear what they have to offer in the future.
6. Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy
I think Tyler surprised everyone with this new album. He manages to perfect his take on the jazz rap fusion that he was experimenting with a little bit on Cherry Bomb. Staying true to his personality, he reveals a new side of himself with more mellow tracks on Flower Boy. However, he still includes songs like “Who Dat Boy” and “I Ain’t Got Time!” which create a good balance.
5. Common as Light and Love are Red Valleys of Blood — Sun Kil Moon
Sun Kil Moon completely disregards many of the conventional music, and tells stories about his life and beliefs in many of the songs. This makes the album a formidable 2 hours and 9 minutes long, but if you have the time, it’s worth the time.
4. Billy Woods – Known Unknowns
Billy woods is one of the best lyricists in hip-hop right now in my opinion, and he continues that trend with his latest album. Although it isn’t as focused as “History Will Absolve Me”, one of my favorite albums of all time, he still covers a broader range of topics well. He experiments with a lot of different styles here, and it leads to covering some fantastic new ground. Every listen I uncover some new meaning in this album, as is the fact with many of his projects.
3. Open Mike Eagle – Brick Body Kids Still Daydream
Open Mike talks about memories he experienced in a Chicago project that was recently torn down. In his mellow delivery, he tells many of the memories he had there, and what it was like growing up there. He adds humility to the projects, something that isn’t seen often enough in hip-hop in my opinion. He expresses both his anger and sorrow about the demolition through this unique album in his discography.
2. BROCKHAMPTON – SATURATION
As said in my review of the final album in the trilogy, these albums were very similar in diversity and quality, and I decided to only put the first one, my favorite of the trilogy, in the list. All things said and done, 3 albums in one year is absolutely amazing, and especially with the level of quality in each one. The range of talent in the group is astounding, and to stop myself from restating everything from my review, I’ll leave it at this: no artist in the world had a better 2017 than BROCKHAMPTON.
1. B.I.G. Krit – 4eva is a Mighty Long Time
This came out of nowhere. This double album by B.I.G. Krit includes a broad range of genres, all of which he fits into with ease. The first side of the album, where he identifies as his stage alias “B.I.G. Krit” is packed with a series of well executed bangers in the style of Southern hip-hop, along with a few tracks with an R&B flavor talking about things often seen in hip-hop, such as cars, girls, and guns. All of these are executed well, and there isn’t a bad track on either side in my opinion. On the second side however, he identifies with his birth name, Justin Scott. He gets much more personal, and talks about his struggles with religion, as well as dealing with life and negativity. This album came out of nowhere for me, and I’d never seen an album, in any genre for that matter, as polarizing as this one. All these things combined, 4eva is a Mighty Long Time is my top album of 2017.