10. Playboi Carti – Die Lit
Whenever someone says they hate mumble rap, they are almost always referring to Playboi Carti who blew up last year because in New York he milly rocks, hides it in his sock. Those are the only words that people know from that song because no other lyric was distinguishable. On Die Lit Carti says ‘Fuck that mumblin’ shit, fuck that mumblin’ shit, bought that crib for my mama off that mumblin’ shit’ Mic drop. Leave this kid alone.
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9. Saba – Care For Me
Saba lost his cousins and mentor in a stabbing last year and every word that Saba says about his cousin on Care For Me is emotional and beautiful. Prom/King is a 7-minute long song and I’m still pissed it’s not 20 minutes longer. Saba might be the most underrated rapper in the game but that won’t last forever. Especially considering he has a Chance feature on the album. That’s how you get eyes.
8. Quelle Chris & Jean Grae – Everything’s Fine
Everything’s fine is a sarcastic deconstruction of a weird ass 2018 post-Trump world where the New York Times writes profiles about how Nazis live normal lives just like you and I and how anyone with a smartphone is a rapper. Jean Grae is the funniest rapper alive and Quelle Chris, coincidentally, is the second funniest. (There was another album put out this year by a married couple that 1000% will not be on this list. [extremely Nas voice] Fuck Jay-Z).
7. Joey Purp – QUARTERTHING
Quarterthing is the album on this list that I’ve played the most more than any other album. I’m listening to it right now. It doesn’t matter what time you read that previous sentence. Whether you read it the week I post this article or you read it a year from now, I am currently listening to Quarterthing.
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6. Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel
One of the most fascinating aspects of Courtney Barnett’s music is her insistence that she’s bad a communicating via the most easily digestible and easy to comprehend lyrics. Her self-doubt in what may be her best quality as a musician is a little toooo relatable.
5. Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs
We waited 3 years for more Earl bars and he gave us exactly what we need. I crushed this album up onto a mirror and snorted that shit like Uma Thurman. I mean Uma Thurman’s character in Pulp Fiction but I also mean just Uma Thurman. I love the way Earl raps like he hates rap. He’s so talented that he seems annoyed by it. Feed me all these ‘Ugh, I gotta rap again? Fine take this fire and leave me the fuck alone’ bars.
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4. Snail Mail – Lush
Lindsey Jordan is the Indie princess that was promised. I don’t want to turn this into a grand statement into the state of indie rock music but [insert gif of George Costanza shrugging]. Snail Mail is the perfect baton pass from bands like Beach House. Lush is fun and we’re all better people now that we’ve listened to it.
3. Travis Scott – ASTROWORLD
Astroworld was the biggest album in the world when it came out. This album got so huge that Nicki Minaj had a mental breakdown over its success. The biggest twist of 2018 was Drake at the beginning of Sicko Mode before the beat switches up. That was some M Night Shyamalan Sixth Sense level trickery.
2. Kali Uchis – Isolation
You can tell me this album was made in 1978 or 2018 and either way I’d believe you. Isolation is a timeless album. It genre bends from R&B to Soul to Funk to Bossa Nova to Dreamy Bedroom Pop. Y’all voted for Donald Trump? Kali Uchis is my president.
1. Soccer Mommy – Clean
21-year old Sophie Allison is a superhero and her special power is her ability to perfectly and clearly write exactly how she feels and transform those lyrics into absolutely perfect songs. When I was 21, I didn’t know what feelings even were. Clean is the best album of 2018 and no one can tell me otherwise.