The 18 For 2018: The Antcipated

music-07

2018 is looking like it’s shaping up to be another one for the record books. 2017 was an awesome year musically, but it felt like something was missing. I can’t fully place my finger on it but when compared to years like 2015 or 2012, there was a significant dip. 2018 to me feels like there will be much more of a balance and we’ll get stellar releases from Vets and Rookies alike…Below are 18 of the drops I’m looking forward to. Here’s to a most fire 2018!!!

 

1. Nipsey Hussle-Victory Lap

171130-Nipsey-Hussle-Victory-Lap-Album-Cover

Finalllllly!…..Nipsey is dropping arguably his most anticipated album of his career. I say arguably because this is literally HIS FIRST ALBUM of his career. Although he has given us a slew of stellar mixtapes and projects…This looks like it will shape up to be a most fitting end to the marathon.

 

2. Lupe Fiasco- DROGAS Wave

ede63622a3d1630d38eb8ccc830fb60f.600x600x1

2017’s Drogas Light  yielded mixed reviews from the supremely talented lyricist.  Admittedly he said that the release was purposefully “light” and that the follow up would be a lot more dense and would be what Lupe stalwarts have grown accustomed to. Either way you look at, I viewed Drogas Light as the warm-up and I’m expecting Drogas Wave to exceed expectations…Possible album of the year.

 

3.  Maxo Kream- Punken

 

Maxo-Kream-Punken-Album-Cover-Full

If  I was Dr. Jeykll, Maxo Kream would without a doubt be Mr. Hyde. I have often referred to him as my Rap Doppelganger.  Since 2013’s QuiccStrikes I’ve been down with the Kream Klicc so to speak and each release has gotten better.  Expect this album to rattle trunks sooner than later.

 

4. Black Panther: The Album 

kendrick-sza-all-stars-single-1024x582

Marvel’s Black Panther has already been forecast as 2018’s First Blockbuster, making well over $100 Million dollars opening weekend. In Recent news, Kendrick Lamar and TDE have been pegged to curate/helm the soundtrack. Based on the sound of the first single “All The Stars” Black Panther will be a moment…An Epic Moment…I  Cannot Wait!

 

 

5. PRHYME- PRHYME 2

download

DJ Premier and Royce Da 5’9 are PRHYME. When their eponymous debut came out in 2014, It literally took the year by storm and it was highly ranked in many year end lists. Its been a long 4 years since then so hopefully we’ll get this project sooner than later.

 

6. Travis Scott-Astroworld

travisscott1250

 

I am here for anything La Flame decides to give…Even the Huncho Jack offering with Quavo has grown on me. So with that being said…Astroworld is the place where The Birds in the trap sing McKnight.

 

7. Drake-TBD

images

On Drake’s Playlist “More Life” he said “he’d be back in 2018 to give us the summary”.  Welp, who knows how far into 2018 we will get until we get a proper Drake album…Here’s hoping he comes back with and drops a classic.

 

8.  Judas Priest- Firepower

 

download (1)

I must admit I cackled when I saw this purposed cover art for the the forthcoming Judas Priest album…It does give me that feel of 80’s hair metal and that’s something I’m definitely here for. Don’t be surprised if you see me around town in full air guitar mode. It’s bound to happen so you’ve been warned.

 

9. BrockHampton- Team Effort

brockhampton-song-title-genius

 

After their breakout monster year, Hip-Hop’s first(?) boy band BrockHampton will drop their 4th album in a years time. Team Effort will look to further solidify the group as a true force in Music and satiate their ever growing rabid fan base.

 

10.  Jack White-Boarding House Reach

download (4)

Whew its been Four years since Jack White released Lazoretto…but I’m proud to say that the wait is now over. I’m honestly not sure what to expect from this upcoming album so that by itself has me intrigued.

 

11. Elzhi/Khrysis- Jericho Jackson

download (7)

2018 will also see the continuing trend of One MC/One Producer led projects. Khrysis who is fresh off his Grammy Nods for his work on Laila’s Wisdom will jump back behind the boards to give underrated wordsmith Elzhi some top notch beats to lace time and time again…Another early contender for Album of the Year.

 

12. Gucci Mane- Evil Genius

gucci-mane-the-evil-genius-album-teaser-01-480x320

There is no slowing down for La Flare. Fresh off of a normal year which saw 3 releases, Gucci Mane has already announced another album for 2018. I know I’m speaking for myself but I really enjoyed El Gato and I would not mind getting another offering from Guwop without any features.

 

13.  Kid Cudi-TBD

download (5)

 

Hey!, Mr. Raaager, Mr.Rager
Tell me where you’re going, tell us where you’re headed”

The rumor mills are churning with speculation that Kid Cudi and Kanye West are working on a album together. I don’t know about you but an entire project with Cudder and Kanye is going to be a must listen whenever it drops.

 

14. Lil Wayne-Dedication 6: Reloaded

Lil-Wayne-Dedication-6-Reloaded

Dedication 6 showed flashes of the brilliance that still exist within Wayne and still gives me hope that his title of Greatest Rapper Alive remains. “Family Feud”  only further bolstered that notion for me and only brought up my anticipation factor to astronomical levels. If I get at least 10 “freestyles” like Family Feud, I’ll be more than comfortable saying Weezy is back.

 

15.  Cardi B-TBD

XTektkqTURBXy8wMDk5NTk1MzlhNDdjMzdhMDc0Yjk0OTY3Y2RlMjQ2YS5qcGVnkpUDSwnNAyPNAcSTBc0DIM0Bwg

2017 brought Cardi B her first number one song in the country. That momentum should carry her into 2018 with her Debut album that will probably drop late in the first quarter. I’m excited hear the growth and the content to see if she will be a mainstay in the mainstream for years to come.

 

16.  Key!-777DS5Rrv6VMAAbkjI

 

Fatman is back with some new material on the horizon. 2017 saw the release of  Two-9’s album along with frequent collaborations with the A$AP affiliate “AWGE”. It’s great to see Key! get much deserved shine and as of yet, He has not dropped one bad song.

 

17.  A$AP Rocky-TBD

1392848379_image_72

 

A$AP Rocky is primed and ready for another solo release.  Its been 3 years since his last solo outing and while it may be have been deemed too artistic for some. It was still lauded as a brilliant addition to his catalog. Look for something epic to drop soon.

 

18. Pusha T- King Push

download (3)

 

 

This is one of my main question marks for 2018. Along with Tha Carter V, King Push is the now long awaited 2nd LP from Pusha T. If this year comes and goes without this album dropping…I will officially cast it away to DetoxLand…Never to be spoke of again.

 

The Year In Nerd 2017: The Playlists

playlists

What would you do without your playlist? The literal soundtrack to your life, the drum pattern that mirrors your own heart beat, the sequential order in which you tell time, the energy you need that replaces caffeine or java or breakfast altogether. Oh wait….that’s just me, that’s how I go about my daily routine. I normally cant move from my seat unless my phone and heads phone are fully charged so I can go about my day without worry or care. I’m not sure what I would do without my playlists or music general, but whatever it is, i’m sure it would be boring.  Below are three links to playlists that I made for my listening pleasure as well as yours….CLICK AND ENJOY…Oh and Happy New Year! May 2018 bring you all that you want and need and so much more.

 

Tidal:   https://listen.tidal.com/playlist/145294e5-6e7e-498c-bfeb-ed00ae3ee3a3

Apple Music:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/theyearinnerd2017/pl.u-Zmbllpf0VbZDD

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLfiB-brt_K3JjeAOV9Coy02M4G9JGkJkG

 

 

RapNerd Leeb’s Honorable Mentions of 2017

honorablementions1-e1512936365355

2017 was quite the year musically I must say. So much so that I found this year to be extremely difficult when deciding which albums would make the final cut.  Was it the rust of me being on hiatus or was it the sheer volume of QUALITY material that dropped during the calendar year? Either way I know it was fun going through all of these albums. It literally took me about a month and a half to bring you all the final product that you are seeing now. Not to mention I’m also dropping a playlist on New Year’s Eve so be on the lookout for that…Okay now I’m starting to ramble….Here are the Honorable Mentions for 2017.(In no particular order).

 

1.  Gucci Mane- El Gato: The Human Glacier

2. Travis Scott and Quavo(Huncho Jack)- Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho

3. Scarface- Deeply Rooted: The Lost Files

4. BrockHampton-Saturation 1,2,3

5. Tyler The Creator-Flower Boy

6. Jeezy- Pressure

7. N.E.R.D.-No One Ever Really Dies

8. Tanya Morgan-YGWY$4 (You Get What You Pay 4)

9. Currensy & Lex Luger-The Motivational Speech

10.  Juicy J- Rubba Band Business

11. Big Sean and Metro Boomin-Double Or Nothing

12. Marqus Clae- P.T.S.D.

13. Jacin Trill-Happyland

14. CyHi The Prynce-No Dope On Sundays

15. Fabolous and Jadakiss- Friday on Elm Street

16. Nav & Metro Boomin-Perfect Timing

17.  Cam’Ron-The Progam

18. Yo Gotti- I Still Am

19.  OverDoz-2008

20. Meek Mill- Wins and Losses

21. Bjork-Utopia

22. Miguel- War and Leisure

23. Talib Kweli-Radio Silence

24. J.I.D.-The Never Story

25. Lil Uzi Vert- Luv Is Rage 2

RapNerd Leeb’s Top 25 of 2017

30-best-hip-hop-albums-of-2017-so-far-ranked-the-best-hip-hop-albums-of-2017-so-far

 

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!!!

 

 

25.  Two-9-FRVR

Release Date-February 9th, 2017

 

download (5)

 

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

220px-Game_Over_by_Dave_cover

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

268x0w

“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

220px-Humble_Beast

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

download

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

download (4)

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

Goldlink-at-what-cost-album-cover-art-630x630

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

a0490008365_10

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

220px-2ChainsPrettyGIrlsLikeTrapMusic

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

willow-smith-the-1st

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

 

download (1)

 

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

LogicEverybody

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

1992deluxe

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.

 

12. Sampha-Process

Release Date-February 3rd, 2017

download (6)

 

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

download (3)

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

220px-Big_Boi_Boomiverse

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

downloadThe 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

a2735827702_10

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.

 

7.Jaden Smith-SYRE

Release Date-November 17th

220px-SyreJadenSmith

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

Drop_Top_Wop_cover

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

Blkswn

 

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

220px-Big_K.R.I.T._4eva_Is_a_Mighty_Long_Time_disc_1

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

800px-4-44_album_cover

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

220px-RapsodyLailasWisdom

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.

 

 

 

1.Kendrick Lamar-DAMN

Release Date-April 14th,  2017

220px-Damn._Kendrick_Lamar

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.

RapNerdLeeb’s-Top 25 of 2016

The Year 2016 was a year that will undoubtedly go down as one of the most trying times in recent human history. Social unrest and complete upheaval were the norm for the past 365 and a unusually high number of celebrity deaths accented a year that was full of personal lows for many people, myself included. The  music that came out in 2016 offered a mixed range of emotions. While some gave off jubilant vibes, others took on a more somber, darker tone and it created a unique listening experience. Without further delay, here are the Top 25 Albums of 2016.

 

25.   Anonymuz- Vice City

170x170bb
This project was the first time I had ever heard of Anonymuz but I was pleasantly surprised. His unrelenting flow and lyrical ability coupled with superb production made this a very enjoyable listen and I implore you all to give “Vice City” a spin.

24.  Drake-Views

drakeviewsfromthe6
2016 saw Drake catapult into the “Hip-Pop” stratosphere  with is most commercially successful album to date. I do find it a bit ironic that this has to be my least favorite of his projects, but hey 4 million+ love this album so what do I really know right?

23.  Gucci Mane- The Return of the East Atlanta Santa

the_return_of_east_atlanta_santa_cover
2016 also saw the return of Radric Davis otherwise known as Gucci Mane or The East Atlanta Santa. When he was released from prison he hit the ground running and dropped three separate albums with this being my favorite of the three…Here’s hoping that Guwop stays with this trend of improving with the music so we can get the ultimate Gucci album that we’ve all been waiting for.

22. Kanye West- The Life of Pablo

the_life_of_pablo_alternate
Kanye is a genius for better or worse. He’s also one of the most polarizing figures in the culture. Although this album was an improvement over “Yeezus” ,it’s still hit or miss with a lot of people…I for one will continue to support and I hope he’ll find his way back to the music soon.

21.  The Lox- Filthy America….It’s Beautiful

the_lox_filthy_america-_its_beautiful
After years of waiting, Hip-Hop heads were finally treated to a proper Lox album. To say it was worth the wait might be a bit of an overstatement as many expectations were not met. But the album served its purpose as it held down long time fans of the group and introduced younger fans to a trio that stood the test of time.

21. Bj the Chicago Kid- In My Mind

bj_the_chicago_kid_in_my_mind
Bj is a very talented singer and songwriter. I was more than pleased listening to this album as he displayed all of his talents and brought them to the forefront.  This project is a slow burn but will age very well if you give it a chance.

20. Rapsody- CROWN

rapsody-crown-mixtape-cover-art
Rapsody took absolutely no prisoners on this EP. Every song was lyrical and thought-provoking. To me this was a declarative statement that if ANY rapper, man or woman wants the proverbial “crown” they are going to have to run it by her first.

19.  James Blake- The Colour In Anything

the_colour_in_anything_blake
Every one that I ran this album by..left me scratching their heads…I know it’s not for everybody but this is poetry. The melodies, the lyrics, the vocal inflections, all make for a very enjoyable listen if you’re into the more nuanced side of R&B .

18.  De La Soul- and the Anonymous Nobody

and_the_anonymous_nobody_album_cover
De La Soul are underground heroes…I say that because they have consistently dropped stellar material for years and have managed to remain relevant organically…and this album is a testament to their endurance.

17. Elzhi- Lead Poison

elzhi-lead-poison-album-cover-620x620
Elzhi has to be one of the most underrated  lyricist in Hip-Hop today. The way he crafts his bars and uses them to create sonic masterpieces is truly remarkable..And I haven’t heard it done quite like him. Go listen to this album NOW!

16. Common Black America Again

common_black_america_again
Black America Again saw a return to form for the “Conscious MC” known as Common. I personally favored “Nobody’s Smiling” and its grim/bleak tone but this album felt like the rainbow after the storm. And that is where it’s brilliance lies.

15. Beyonce- LEMONADE

beyonce_-_lemonade_official_album_cover
Truth be told, Lemonade made me a Beyonce fan. This project could have been easily a series of Top 40 anthems and no one would have been mad because she is a brilliant entertainer. I feel that she made a conscious effort to go against the grain and make music that resonated with all women of color.

14.  Kid Cudi- Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin’

kid_cudis_passion_pain__demon_slayin_cover
Kid Cudi was at a crossroads in his career. With the less than favorable reviews of his previous effort “Speeding Bullet to Heaven”, Cudi realized that his core was alienated and he had to return to a sound and feeling that was more familiar. He achieved that with this record, a sound scape that can only be described as a kaleidoscope of emotions. I love it.

13.  Isaiah Rashad-The Sun’s Tirade

thesunstirade-jpeg
Isaiah Rashad continued the trend of stellar releases under the T.D.E. umbrella with The Sun’s Tirade. Not relying on the star power of the label’s “stars” Kendrick Lamar and ScHoolboy Q, Rashad was able to carve out his individual sound and simultaneously gained traction among the Top Dawg faithful that were solely fans of the other artists on the roster.

12.  Pete Rock & Smoke Dza-Don’t Smoke Rock

dont_smoke_rock
Pete Rock is without question on the short list for greatest producers of all time. Once he decided to team up with underground stalwart Smoke Dza, the response was universally positive. The pairing is surprisingly organic and it gave me some of Smoke Dza’s strongest lyrical performances to date.

11.  J Dilla- The Diary

caba3b70
Everyone that knows me knows J Dilla is the G.O.A.T. The steady output of posthumous releases in the 10+ years since his death only solidifies his status as the greatest producer to ever live.

10. Chance The Rapper- Coloring Book

chance_3
If 2013’s “Acid Rap” was a benchmark for the new generation, then 2016’s “Coloring Book” was the preface of whats to come in the future. Although there  was a slight departure in actual “raps” he more than made up for it with songs that resonated deeply within the culture.

9. Travis Scott- Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight

birds_in_the_trap_sing_mcknight
Travis Scott was quoted as saying “I wanted to get straight to the point with this album”. Did he ever…Every track blended together seamlessly  and this ended up being his most complete project thus far.

 

8.  Ab-Soul- Do What Thou Wilt

ab-souldwtw
Soul Brother No. 2 returned to the fray with a bold statement to make. That he is a lyrical tyrant that’s not to be messed with. As a wordsmith he’s easily top 10 in the game period. You can tell he actually listened to his fans  and gave them what they wanted, which was supreme lyricism.

7. Maxo Kream- The Persona Tape

cover
Maxo Kream is a talented MC. Even with his content being less than desirable to the purist out there,  they would be hard pressed to say that he is not a force to be reckoned with. His rapid fire flow and the unrepentant lyrics heard on this album prove that there is such a thing as lyrical “Trap Music” and he’s probably best out at the current moment.

6.  Anderson .Paak- Malibu

anderson-park-malibu-cover-billboard-650x650
I’ll admit I was late to the Anderson .Paak train as I only just started hearing him on Dr. Dre and Game’s previous projects. Once I got hip and delved into his solo work, what I discovered was a talent that is so raw but yet so progressive that it would be hard to not feel his music on a subconscious level..This album is THAT good.

5. Solange- A Seat at the Table

solange_-_a_seat_at_the_table

Every Solange project has been something special. The perfect blend of love, power, grace, and just all around magic. So it serves as no surprise that ” A Seat at the Table” would be a culmination of all her trials and triumphs. This is literally  2016’s Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and the world is better for it.

4. Childish Gambino- Awaken My Love!

awaken_my_love
Childish Gambino came from left field with this album, but I mean that in the  best way possible. I totally wasn’t expecting this record to be pure funk and soul influenced. Every track oozed with so much saccharin nastiness that you might get an ear infection if you’re not careful. Gambino made George Clinton proud.

3. Game-1992

1992thegame
I’ve been a long time Game fan so I always knew that at his most focused, Game is Top 5 in the current era of Hip-Hop. People spent a lot of time  lamenting over his constant Name-dropping and his chameleon like abilities to rap like whoever was featured on his records. Game put an end to the nonsense and gave his fans and detractors 12 tracks of pure lyrical mayhem with NO features..1992 is hands down my favorite Game album in his entire catalog.

2.  ScHoolboy Q- Blank Face LP

blankfacelpcover

1. A Tribe Called Quest- We Got From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service

we_got_it_from_here_thank_you_for_your_service
A Tribe Called Quest has a very special place in my heart. Growing up listening to the entire Native Tongue collective taught me individuality. Walking around my house with my hand over my eye mimicking Dave from De La Soul on the “Award Tour” song. Telling my  mom I wanted to be a “Dungeon Dragon”  for Halloween. Getting into trouble playing on the roof wearing a Seton Hall Jersey. Being so hype to watch The Wayan’s Bros. opening sequence in the later seasons just to hear the chords of “Electric Relaxation”.  Losing Phife Dawg this year definitely hurt because for me, Tribe music was the soundtrack of my formative years. Even in early adulthood, hearing the music they created with J Dilla was something that I will cherish forever. This current album was a fitting tribute to brotherhood and overall harmony. It’s bittersweet because in the end, Phife passed on giving us his heart and soul and leaving it all in the booth. Phife…you’re a legend, I want to thank you, Q-tip, Ali Shaheed, Jairobi and everyone who contributed to the sound and shaped my childhood and the childhood of millions of others the world over…..Album Of The Year.

RapNerd Leeb 2016-The Playlist

Welcome to RapNerdLeeb.Com!  To all the new followers thank you for your time and willingness to explore my perspective and to ALL my folks that have been rocking with me since Day One…Thank You for your unwavering support on this arduous journey…This is the end of the beginning…….

Without Further Ado…I bring to you My personal playlist of 2016…these are the songs that kept me going for the past 365 and I’m sure I’ll carry them into 2017…Get prepared to press play!.

1.  Common-Pyramids 

With Common dropping his much anticipated follow-up to  2014’s  “Nobody’s Smiling”, 2016’s “Black America Again”  was a welcomed return to form for the Chicago MC…This track showcases Common at his lyrical apex and proves that he’s as cold as ever.

2.   6lack-Rules 

Now I’ll be the first to admit I was put on to his man’s music earlier in the year with his single “PRBLMS”. I found that single to be catchy and moody and I eagerly anticipated the release of a full length project. Once “Free 6lack” was released in November… I was able to stumble upon this gem of  a song. Don’t sleep ya’ll this is this years Bryson Tiller.

3.  ScHoolboy Q-Tookie Knows II

Now what would my playlist be without some T x D x E Representation!?  2016 saw the return of ScHoolboy Q. Every single and subsequent visual to this masterpiece of an album was truly a work of art. I don’t want to flood the playlist with all his music so just take this entry on my list as a sample size of what his album had to offer.

4. Anderson .Paak- The Season/Carry Me/ The Waters

Bruhhhhh….I don’t have enough superlatives to describe how great “Malibu” is. For lack of better terms I’ll just say that this album pure fire! If you haven’t heard it yet…PLEASE do yourself a favor and go handle that…Thank Me Later.

5.  Pusha T Ft. JAY Z- Drugs Dealers’s Anonymous

Even though Push did the pump fake with his is anticipated “King Push” LP he still managed to bless us with a summer time BANGER…ANDDD he even enlisted the help of The God MC H-O-V….Who arguably dropped the best verse of the year. This song is ridiculous.

6. Drake- Child’s Play

“Views” is Drake most commercially successfu albuml of his career and for good reason…His formula and his ability to craft songs that cater to every genre with ease. Although Views is not my personal favorite when it comes to Drake albums, I have to give credit where its due. Here’s hoping his next album he’ll get back to bars or somewhat close to them.

7.  Meek Mill-Pray  For Em

In the year following one of 2015’s most epic  “beefs”  Many of the Meek Mill faithful wondered would he be able to recover  from the  “World’s Tour, Girl’s Tour” fiasco…Short answer…He did…Not as hard as I would have liked him to..But his lane is solidified after being battled tested.

8.  Bj The Chicago Kid- Love Inside

Bj is one of my personal favorites. His music resonates with me deeply and above that…its just damn good…Another slow groove banger for you to get right with your significant other. Trust Me.

9. French Montana  ft. Kodak Black- Lockjaw

Man I really wish French was able to have proper roll out for MC4…his singles for the project are monstrous and definitely would have had a successful run on the charts. This single is proof of that. Even the casual hip-hop listeners enjoy this song…. And Even with such a polarizing young rapper Kodak Black having such a prominent feature.

10. Beyonce-Sorry

ALL.HAIL.QUEEN.BEY!  “Lemonade” is arguably Album of the year and for very good reason…this album is amazing..Track for track  pure awesomeness..I even tolerated the country song…AND I HATEEE COUNTRY with a passion. But if anyone could make me listen and appreciate that genre, it would be Beyonce.

11. Childish Gambino- Me and Your Mama

Donald Glover you are indeed a wizard sir. This song much like the album is Pure..Unadulterated..Cosmic Funk! My goodness this will be in heavy rotation for much of my 2017 and I’m sure for years to come.

12.  Drama Duo Ft. Via Rosa-Hopes Up

If this song doesn’t get you moving and shaking, snapping and trapping, spitting  and skitting in your cubicle or while you’re commuting to and from work..Frankly you have no soul and I do not wish to ever come in contact with you a day in my life. Period

13.   Isaiah Rashad-Park

Another TDE entry on my playlist is Isaiah Rashad..and underrated and often-times slept on MC in the camp..He delivered a well-crafted, well executed follow-up to his criminally slept on “Cilvia Demo Ep”…You guys have no more excuses..his music is legit, consider yourself formally reintroduced…

14. Gucci Mane-First Day Out The Feds

G-U-C-C-I  M-A-N-E ..Guwop, The East Atlanta Santa, The OddFather, The BurrPrint, Mr. Zone 6…Hit the ground running since being released from prison and hasn’t looked back since. Now he has much better songs than this but considering this is the first song  he dropped since coming home, this was a great launching pad.

15. Nipsey Hussle-Stressed Out

Even though Im STILL waiting for the Victory Lap to drop…I used Nipsey’s “Slauson Boy” Mixtape to tide me over until that day happens. This song was one of my standout tracks on the tape and it rides to this day.

16. Kid Cudi-Surfin

After the year that was 2016…Probably the most challenging of  my adult life thus far, This song served as my personal anthem and as a beacon of hope and I’m sure it did the same for millions of listeners throughout the world..The positive vibes that flow from this record are undeniable and serve as a testament to true creative power.

17.  Solange- Cranes In The Sky

A Seat at the Table is an important album. Critical and commercial acclaim aside, this album is beaming with songs of reality and and triumph. Everything about it is stellar. The clean, melodic grooves and the overall flow of the record make for a groundbreaking listen and deserves to be mentioned alongside albums like “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” and “Acoustic Soul” by India Arie…This album is true artistry.

18. The Game-What Your Life Like

I’m not ashamed to say that I am a Game fan. Dude is arguably one the best lyricist on the west coast and probraly in the entire rap game..when hes not drowning his albums with features and just going for dolo with the bars and rapping like himself…He’s in the top 10 of current MCs…Easily

19. Travis Scott ft. Young Thug- Yeah Yeah

If I was counting unfinished songs as real complete ideas…then this would more than likely  be a top 5 song of the year…But I AM counting unfinished songs so therefore..This track rides without a doubt.

20. Kendrick Lamar-Untitled 07 (Levitate)

I’m not sure where this would have fit on To Pimp A Butterfly but since it was included on “Untitled.Unmastered” it was an absolute standout track with tons of replay value..I love this song.

…..And  there you have it good folks of the internet, RapNerd Leeb’s Playlist of 2016! Hope you all enjoyed reading and possibly heard some gems that resonate with you.. Peace til next time…….