10. Is He Real? - IDK
I think Is He Real? could have definitely been a lot higher on this list, but the project’s ambiguity placed it where it is. I believe IDK even tweeted he wanted this album to be the Da Vinci code of hip-hop, so the obscurity is more-than-likely intended. My placement of this album could also be due to the fact that I haven't cracked the code on this album quite yet. Its core theme and the connected songs are generally up to the listener’s interpretation. I believe somewhere muddied in the album’s theme are IDK’s vices: money, women and sex, all of which may or may not have led to his mother’s death by AIDS, in one way or another. Don’t get me wrong, I think IDK is insanely talented. He can rap; he can sing; he can assemble a dope cast of features; he can piece together a solid, conceptual album. I just want to see IDK land the ship. I want to get a conclusion to this fascinating story. I’d also like to see what he has to offer on an album longer than 36 minutes, especially since the subject matter for Is He Real? is so dense. However, IDK has all but confirmed a continuation to this album entitled U See 4 Yourself, so hopefully we'll get more IDK in 2020!
9. uknowhatimsayin? - Danny Brown
8. Snubnose - Grip
7. Eve - Rapsody
6. Revenge of the Dreamers III - Dreamville
5. Bandana - Freddie Gibbs & Madlib
4. Mirrorland - Earthgang
3. The Lost Boy - YBN Cordae
2. Everything's For Sale - Boogie
This is a beautiful, introspective, lyrical album with a variety of different sounds and vibes. "Tired / Reflections" is, to no surprise, reflective. "Silent Ride" is thought-provoking. "Swap Meet" totes the line of love vs. lust. "Skydive" depicts insecurities in a relationship. "Soho," "Rainy Day" and "Self Destruction" are all bangers with deeper, conceptual meanings—something fellow Compton great Kendrick Lamar has mastered. Everything's For Sale is outstanding, and Boogie deserves all the credit.
1. IGOR - Tyler, the Creator
For Tyler, the Creator to do something completely different than anything he's ever done in the past with IGOR, especially after the success of Flower Boy at the peak of his career, and then going no. 1 on the charts in the process is such a remarkable feat. I'm so happy IGOR is up for a Best Rap Album nomination at the GRAMMYs. It's an incredible work of art that deserves all the flowers.
Foto - Kota the Friend
Rap or Go to the League - 2 Chainz
Wow... That's Crazy - Wale
K.R.I.T. Iz Here - Big K.R.I.T.
One of the Best Yet - Gang Starr
The Big Day - Chance the Rapper
With all of that being said, I do think this album was a little bloated. I don't think songs like "Hot Shower," "Ballin Flossin," "Get a Bag" and "Zanies and Fools" really fit the overall theme of this album. They are fun songs, but for the purposes of making an album about love and marriage, I think they probably could've been left off. I appreciated the theme and message of The Big Day, but I'll be interested to see what Chance's next move will be.
Hollywood's Bleeding - Post Malone
I don't want to sound like a hater. I actually enjoyed Hollywood's Bleeding. I think it's Posty's best album yet because I think he has realized that he shines when he sings. The majority of this album is Post Malone singing, and I'm okay with that. "Circles" and "Take What You Want" with Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott are the standout songs for me. Post Malone will continue to dominate, so lookout for his next move in 2020.