Welcome back to RapNerdLeeb.Com! I know its been a longggg time since we last spoke, but time had to be taken, things had to be done and frankly, I needed to reboot and replenish. Now that the hiatus is over I’m here to present to you all my list for the top 25 albums of 2017! Read On and Enjoy!!!
Release Date-February 9th, 2017
Ceej and Jace(Retro Sushi) , Cartier Dave and Lightskin Mac11(FatkidsBrotha), Curtis Williams and Key! form the Atlanta-based collective known as Two-9. When they dropped their “B4 Frvr” mixtape back in 2015 I knew this crew was something special. A full two years later you could hear the growth from all the artist leading up to their debut album. Mike Will has a few gems on his roster and these are a few of them.
24. Dave-Game Over
Release Date-November 3rd, 2017
Ever since Drake and A$AP Rocky crossed the pond to the UK, I started opening my ears to the music scene even more so than I already had before. I knew of Skepta and Stormzy but once I heard Dave and Drake on “Wanna Know” I knew this kid was special. This EP is brash, inventive and I look forward to hearing what more he has in store for 2018 and beyond.
23. Sean Price-Imperius Rex
Release Date- August 8th, 2017
“First things first Rest In Peace Sean Price…He’s nice.” This album was a much more fitting tribute to one of the last Bar-barians to grace the mic. A low key sequel to “Monkey Barz” , Imperius showcased P’s at his most savage lyrically and reminded the rap world of a true fallen giant that will be missed until the end of time…Rest On P!!!
22. G Herbo- Humble Beast
Release Date- September 22nd
G-Herbo (fka Lil Herb) finally gave the streets what it has been asking for since at least 2012. One of Chicago’s youngest phenoms, Herbo raps with such presence and poise you would think that he was a grizzled veteran on his 12th project, but in actuality this is his debut album. A great introduction to the rap fans that may not have been aware of his talent.
21. Amir Obe-None Of The Clocks Work
Release Date- March 30th, 2017
The curious case of Amir Obe. Ever since I heard “Detrooklyn” back in 2014, I’ve been waiting for his debut album. A few EPs and flirtations with OVO later, I’ve been met with yet another EP. It’s not a bad release by any means as it’s what I’ve come to expect from his sound, this material makes me long for a full length project that will make him accessible to the masses.
20. Thundercat- Drunk
Release Date-February 24th, 2017
If you were to go on an expedition through the deep recesses of my mind, this would undoubtedly be the album that the tour guide would plug into the aux cord. This is such a fun album from top to bottom. Jazz fusion never sounded so good. Do yourself a favor and really sit down with this record. Do whatever you do to get you in that mood and just press play…Thank Me Later, You Are Very Welcome.
19. GoldLink- At What Cost
Release Date-March 24th, 2017
On the way back from my mind to the safety of your home, this debut album from GoldLink would be that soundtrack. a very ambitious project that combined different sounds and provided a very palatable canvas for your ears and mind. Dope project from One of the DMV’s brightest stars.
18. Karriem Riggins- Headnod Suite
Release Date-February 24th, 2017
How many superlatives can I lay down on this gem of a project in a short amount of time? I’m not sure but i’ll tell you this, if you enjoy instrumental albums, look no further. Coming from the man who literally put the finishing touches on the J Dilla classic “The Shining”, I knew I was in a for something special. I affectionately called this album “More Donuts” and “Still Shining”. It is a such a worthy successor to the legacy of James Yancey and all that he has given us. You would be hard pressed to find a better instrumental album to drop within the last 10 years.
17. 2 Chainz- Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
Release Date- June 16th, 2017
This is without a doubt 2 Chainz’ best album to date. He has truly hit his stride musically and I am absolutely looking forward to hearing where he takes his content as a elder statesman in the trap….I’ll be there for it 100%.
16. Willow Smith- The 1st.
Release Date-October 31st, 2017
The GROWTH of this young woman is astounding. Listening to her craft this album in all its organic rawness was a very pleasurable if not damn near spiritual experience. There was something highly ethereal about this project. I absolutely love the direction in which she is taking her music. There is something truly grounding about this future person and it made this listen that much more enjoyable.
15. Drake-More Life
Release Date- March 18th. 2017
Drake’s “follow-up” to his mixed reviewed but commercially successful “Views” put him on the precipice of over saturation and thereby diluting his brand. So what does he do? puts together a compilation/mixtape/playlist/album featuring many of his world music peers and collaborators. I wont lie, I like this project more than Views and wish he would have released this instead of Views, but that’s just me being selfish.
14. Logic- Everybody
Release Date- May 5th ,2017
Logic has finally found his voice….that was always my biggest criticism of him but on his third album, he seems to have found his stride and plucked all of the highlights from his previous efforts and what we have here is his best project to date. Here’s hoping he stays on this trajectory and doesn’t fall back into emulating his contemporaries and continues to make music that is unique to him.
13. Princess Nokia- 1992 Deluxe
Release Date-September 6th, 2017
This album is as unapologetic as it comes, a supremely solid effort from One of the New York’s underground rising stars. Each song paints a vivid picture of her imagination and stark realities of her upbringing. Albeit disguised as trap bangers, once you bust down her lines, you’ll see she is a true force and will change the world.
Release Date-February 3rd, 2017
I’m going to say this one time and one time only, Sampha’s “Process” is his introduction to the world. Sure you made have heard his collaborating with various artists, but it’s an entirely different animal when you get a full length project from an artist whose voice and tone are unmistakable when you hear it. If this album didn’t wake up the rest of the music world then I don’t know what else to tell you all.
11. Rick Ross- Rather You Than Me
Release Date-March 17th, 2017
On Rozay’s 9th offering , we find William Roberts at his most expressive and most honest I think we’ve ever heard him. It was a great departure from the normal braggadocio that he displayed on past efforts. This album was truly deeper than rap and is a welcome addition to his already solid discography.
10. Big Boi-Boomiverse
Release Date- June 16th, 2017
Big Boi is one of the greatest to ever do it, Solo or Duo period. As one half of the almighty Outkast, there seemed to be a growing consensus that Andre 3000 was the better MC of the group. As a youngster I too considered Big Boi to be the lesser of the two, but boy was I sorely mistaken. While I continued to study rhyme patterns, flows and cadences, I began to realize that Big Boi is truly in a class by himself and I don’t know or understand how we as a hip-hop community ever allowed that narrative to begin with.
9. Lupe Fiasco-DROGAS Light
Release Date-February 10th, 2017
The title of the album if pretty straight forward. This project whilst it is an album and should be treated as such, it merely serves as a precusor to whats to come. Drogas: Waves and Drogas: Skulls. This album is best described as pizza, even when pizza is bad , it’s still good. Now while this album no where near bad, its still good when compared to the crop of bland mainstreams that came out this year.
8. Oddisee-The Iceberg
Release Date-February 24th, 2017
The tip of an iceberg is only a small, often unrepresentative portion of something much larger or more complex that cannot yet be seen or understood. That idiom perfectly describes the jewels that are hidden just beneath the surface of this album. Please do yourself favor and press play and get some of this game for free 99.
Release Date-November 17th
To sit and watch both Jaden and Willow grow into the future people that you may or may not have heard me speak about has been an joy and pleasure. To listen to them conceptualize their ideas and share them with the world is a true gift. We truly do not deserve Jaden and Willow Smith.
6. Gucci Mane-DroptopWop
Release Date-May 26th, 2017
Wizopppp….Has not looked back since “Everybody Looking” and has continued his prolific output, with each release becoming more concerted, its clear to see that Gucci Mane La Flare has no plans on slowing down anytime soon.
5. Smino- BlkSwn
Release Date- March 14th, 2017
I found this album by accident, I was looking for music by Via Rosa and saw she was featured on one of his songs (Long Run) from his full length debut project “BlkSwn”. This album is too good…TOO GOOD! Every song is like listening to maple syrup on lush production throughout the entirety of the project. What I initially perceived as a accident turned out to be stroke of good luck.
4. Big K.R.I.T.- 4 Eva Is A Mighty Long Time
Release Date-October 27th, 2017
The third time is indeed the charm for Big Krit. Due to label frustrations, his first two studio albums were met with lukewarm responses while his mixtapes were critically acclaimed gems. Since his release from Def Jam and fully embracing his independence, KRIT unleashed this double album that brought the fire of his mixtapes with the sequencing of his studio albums and it made this his most cohesive and awesome sounding project of his career.
3. Jay-Z 4:44
Release Date-June 30th
Sean Carter metaphorically killed Jay-Z on what would be considered by many to be his most important album of his career. The album finds Jay at his most honest, his most vulnerable, his most accountable. It was a mature album for the mature rap fan that had the ability to appeal to the younger generation without coming off as preachy or pretentious. Admittedly I am not a Jay Stan, but when its all said and done Jay-Z is one of our culture’s GOATS and this album further solidified that fact.
2. Rapsody- Laila’s Wisdom
Release Date-September 22nd 2017
Ms. Marianna Evans is bar none one of the best MC’s currently in game. No she isn’t just nice for woman rapper, she is nice Period. Her couplets, flows, cadences, breath control, are unmatched. She woke the world up when she made Kendrick get in his K.Dot bag and really try to out rap her on “Power”. If that isn’t a testament to her lyrical prowess, I’m not sure what more I can tell you. Laila’s Wisdom is a modern day classic.
Release Date-April 14th, 2017
Kendrick Lamar Duckworth has officially completed the Rap Trifecta. Three straight classic studio albums in a 5 year span. DAMN took the awesomeness of Good Kid, Maad City, mixed it with the angst and urgency of To Pimp a Butterfly and you have a clear cut ALBUM…a time capsule if you will. We as a community are witnessing one of the last Rap Superstars of the modern era. When it’s all said and done Kendrick Lamar will ascend to the God Tier of Hip-Hop.