RESPECT.’s Best Albums of the Year (So Far)

It is hard to believe that the year is already a quarter of the way over. Winter has come and gone, while spring is here to carry us into the warmer months of the year. In the meantime, 2017 has blessed us with some unbelievable releases so far. We have heard new projects from the likes of Big Sean to Kodak Black; here are some of our favorites of the year so far.

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Kendrick Lamar "DAMN!"

The much anticipated follow-up to the critically acclaimed To Pimp A Butterfly, Kendrick Lamar pushes the boundaries of raw emotion on his latest project. Aided by a chart-topping single “HUMBLE.” and quirky interludes and skits from Hip-Hop legend Kid Capri, DAMN. is another thrilling project from Kung-Fu Kenny that will be in album of the year discussion all the way into December.

Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me

When Rick Ross announced his new album at the end of last year, I never thought that a Rozay release could hold substantial weight in the industry. Boy, was I wrong: Rather You Than Me is a return to form for the Boss hailing from the 305. Just like the city which Ross claims, his latest project is a tribute to the culture of Miami. Whether it’s the truth searing “Idols Become Rivals” or the luxurious “Maybach Music V,” Rather You Than Me ranks right up there with the best of Rozay’s discography.

Drake – More Life

An album or a playlist? Whatever Aubrey Graham wants us to call his latest project, there is no question that it’s one of his most intriguing offerings yet. More Life contains a heavy track list which is 22 records strong. While that may seem daunting, I find it kind of refreshing. Drake is known to have a diverse fan-base that picks and chooses at which version of Drizzy that they want to vibe to the most. This theory is put to the ultimate test on More Life due to the fact that every version of Drake does exist on this tape. For example: you have Toronto Drake in “Get It Together” and Atlanta Drake in the tracks “Portland” & “Sacrifices.” Even Dancehall Drizzy gets some love on the records “Madiba Riddim.” All in all, there is so much music on More Life that everyone will have a different way of experiencing it.

Migos – CULTURE

The trio from the north side of Atlanta took the music industry by storm after riding the wave of their smash record “Bad & Boujee.” The single later became the #1 record on the Billboard charts and the hype for Migos‘ next album was at a fever pitch. Quavo, Offset and Takeoff took the momentum of that hit and rolled out their most anticipated record to date. The result was CULTURE, a love letter to southern trap music. This project is littered with typical club bangers like “Get Right Witcha” & “T-Shirt,” while also experimenting with drug-induced melodies like “What’s the Price.” If anything, CULTURE represents the current state of Hip-Hop below the Mason-Dixon line and the Migos prove they are at the forefront of it.

Matt Martians – The Drum Chord Theory

Matt Martians

In his solo debut, one of the key members of Grammy-nominated band The Internet looks to bring his own unique style to a studio project. On The Drum Chord Theory, Matt Martians uses components from his previous mixtape series to create a sound unique to Matt’s style. If you were a fan of Odd Future back in 2011, this project will be a welcome addition to your playlist due to its Jazz and R&B undertones. On tracks like “Baby Girl” and “Calling On Me,” listeners can truly sense the fun Matt Martians was having while crafting this excellent release.

Check these new releases as well:

  • Smino  – Blkswn
  • Kehlani  – SweetSexySavage
  • Sampha  – Process
  • Joey Bada$$  –  All Amerikkkan Bada$$
  • Stormzy  –   Gang Signs & Prayer

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