This decade has seen a rap revival, and a rap evolution. There’s more content out there now than there ever has been, rap has hit a boom, becoming the most listened to genre in all of music. The list below is the top 10 rap albums of this decade, as voted for by the members of Viberant.
This is Travis Scott’s arrival album, the one which made him a superstar across not only America but the world in general. He had success with previous mixtapes but never managed to broaden his horizons quite like he does on this borderline masterpiece. 90210 remains the most inventive and brilliant song of his career and tracks like Antidote, Nightcrawler and 3500 are true trap classics from the greatest trap album of all time. It is an accidental concept album if you could even begin to fathom that one out but it is gripping, compelling and above all, it slaps very hard indeed.
9. Acid Rap
Before Chance The Rapper changed the game winning Grammy’s, he was created the Acid Rap mixtape, which is one of the very best mixtapes of all time. From start to finish we got brilliant bops and cool features. His unique vocals and fun flow made for an amazing release with easily his best work on in Acid Rap and Lost. There’s no weak spots on the whole mixtape, it’s nothing but enjoyable.
8. Because The Internet
Before Childish Gambino was soothing our ears with his soul R&B, he dropped one of the best rap albums in recent times in Because The Internet. At the time this was his finest album yet, it could be argued that it still is. Donald Glover had a massive part in the production of the album which is always an added bonus of an album, self production is always a plus. 3005, Sweatpants and Telegraph Ave. are some amazing tracks that show of Gambino’s lyrical skill and R&B vibes perfectly.
7. The Money Store
It took a hell of a long time for me to get on board with the idea of Death Grips but after numerous thought processes and an open mind, I have come to not only appreciate but admire them as an experimental outfit. They truly are the kings of experimental rap music and this is their best project going. It is one of just three albums given 10/10 by popular YouTube reviewer Anthony Fantano and it has the most insane production and sampling you’re ever likely to hear; ranging from the Williams sisters playing Tennis to a Middle Eastern ringtone package. This is the band at their most accessible and even then it’s done at breakneck speeds and I love every second of it.
6. Take Care
After the release of his debut studio album, Thank Me Later, in 2010, Drake didn’t waste time when it came to producing a follow-up. A year later, Take Care was released, and while Thank Me Later was an exciting display of the promise that he carried as an artist, it is his sophomore album where he truly shines brightest. It’s difficult not to admire Drizzy’s versatility showcased on this record, as he strikes the perfect balance between bravado fuelled bangers like Headlines and HYFR, and broken-hearted anthems like Marvin’s Room and Doing It Wrong. Throw in some stellar features from the likes of Rihanna, The Weeknd and Lil Wayne and you have the finest piece of work you’ll find in Drake’s entire discography.
5. Run The Jewels 2
The huge collaboration of Killer Mike and El-P works an absolute dream on all three of their Run The Jewels ventures, but it is the second instalment, released in 2014, that takes a place on this list. It is simply the best the duo have to offer on a full length project and it knocks your socks off with bizarre but majestic production from El-P and proof in his bars and flow that Killer Mike is one of the best rappers alive right now. They grab the headlines with huge collaborations with Travis Barker from Blink-182 on All Due Respect and Zack de la Rocha from Rage Against The Machine on Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck). If it’s boom blast hip-hop you’re after then look no further.
4. Atrocity Exhibition
Danny Brown is one crazy man when it comes to rap. Atrocity Exhibition is the most underrated album on this entire list. It was the best rap album of 2016, above Kanye, Chance and Travis Scott. The production is simply mental, as you would expect from Danny Brown, who I would describe as the most unique man in rap. The album is unorthodox, something which makes it one of the best, you’ll hear nothing else like it.
3. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
A couple of years into the decade Kendrick Lamar released his second studio album, Good Kid, M.A.A.D City, the album which took Kendrick from being a very respectable rapper, to being considered the current king of rap. It was jam packed with some absolute bangers, nothing of which have ever felt overplayed. Aside from the commercial success of the albums singles, Sing About Me, I’m Dying Of Thirst, is one of Kendrick’s very best songs ever, it’s 12 minute masterpiece inside of a 68 minute masterpiece.
2. To Pimp A Butterfly
He’s gone back to back. Kendrick Lamar is the only person to feature in this list twice, which is a credit to how amazing he is as an artist, he’s near enough untouchable in the rap game. To Pimp A Butterfly was a surprise drop, one which had the entire world gripped. Themes of racism are apparent throughout, more so than in his other projects. It’s a different style of rap as well, a lot jazzier, at the time of release it was the coolest thing anyone had heard for years. It’s not only regarded as one of the best rap albums ever, but it’s widely regarded as one of the greatest albums ever.
1. Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Who else but Ye? It feels like here at Viberant we talk about this album every day, and with good reason. It’s very possibly the best rap album ever, and a top 10 album of all time. It’s masterful production throughout along with Ye’s genius bars really does just propel it to the next level. Every single feature from start to finish do a fantastic job, it’s clear that Kanye was meticulous in selecting what verses made the album. There’s not many albums from start to finish that are jam packed with great songs, so this is in a very rare bracket of album, simply exquisite.