5 hip hop & rap albums you need to listen to

 

As trends come and go, influential hip hop artists continuously thrive.

These lyrical geniuses are the creators of fresh, diverse, eclectic rhythms and vocals.

Their latest albums encompass their raw, progressive talent, giving listeners a taste of the nuances present in their music.

Hip hop and rap are phenomenal genres and the masters of the art are comprised of rich talent.

But what makes rappers really stand out is when they go above and beyond the norm.

It is when they give us a taste of something avant-garde, whether through lyrics or sound, that we become engrossed in their music.

Popular rappers of the era craft deep, expressive lyrics and beats with novel flavor, never leaving listeners with the mundane.

Here are five albums you absolutely must listen to…

 

 

Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!”

Childish Gambino, or Donald Glover, recently released “Awaken, My Love!”, an album straying away from his previous rap-centered projects.

Infused with soulful and funky melodies, the albums’ distinguishing facets are the impressive vocals of Gambino and the emotion lingering in the lyrics.

The r&b style of this album makes for an expression of Gambino that had not yet been unveiled to the world until the release of this intriguing, groovy work.

Featuring the hit single “Redbone”, “Awaken, My Love!” encompasses Gambino’s irresistible, groundbreaking talent.

 

Drake’s “More Life” 

As the winner of three Grammys and a distinguished career as a Canadian-born rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor, it is hard to not have heard of Drake.

Not only is Drake a sensational rapper and singer, but he’s a rapper who continuously drops albums that never disappoint.

His latest project, “More Life”, an album comprised of 22 songs, could be his best release in years.

With 89.9 million streams on Apple Music and including features like Kanye West and 2 Chainz, Drake claims this work is a playlist, rather than a traditional album.

This playlist offers a fusion of soul, rap, and refreshing beats while also incorporating African-American roots into various tracks.

“More Life” is unlike anything Drake has created before, comprised of sophistication and of course, his unfaltering unique sound.

 

Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” 

Chance the Rapper, 23 year-old Chicago independent rapper, recently made history, winning three Grammys– best new artist, rap album, and rap performance.

Chance the Rapper’s “Coloring Book” was the first streaming-only album to receive a Grammy nomination.

Being his third mixtape, featuring the hit single “No Problem”, there is an enticing blend of hip hop and gospel sounds.

With spiritual elements and a core theme of Christian faith resonating in the lyrics, Chance goes beyond traditional rap, making the crux of his mixtape revolve around his belief of God.

“Coloring Book” is an uplifting twist on his previous rap creations, with the influence of gospel choirs and hints of jazz illustrating his life.

 

Mac Miller’s “The Divine Feminine

Pittsburg rapper Mac Miller’s newest release “The Divine Feminine” is a contrast to his usual rap style and lyrics, focusing more on intimacy, love, and the connection between two people.

The album emphasizes the sensual and romantic aspects of relationships and exposes an intriguing talent of his- singing.

Mac Miller’s girlfriend, vocalist Ariana Grande, is a main feature on the album, singing beautiful backup vocals on various tracks and being a part of the duet “My Favorite Part”.

“The Divine Feminine” incorporates funk and jazz elements with piano and trumpet instrumentals, while defining the essence of love.

This album truly defines Mac Miller as an artist, unveiling his eclectic style.

 

Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo

 Since his “Gold Digger” days, Kanye West has become one of the most successful rappers in the industry.

The American rapper recently released his eighth studio album, a sensational piece titled “The Life of Pablo.”

This album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart and is intriguing for it seems to be messy and unstructured.

That is the beauty of it.

“Ultralight Beam”, with the influence of a gospel church choir, includes an energy-filled guest appearance by Chance the Rapper.

This crowd-pleasing album is strongly rooted in faith and Christianity, something uncommon to West.

 

 

by Shelby Cason

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