Disclaimer: More Life and Culture aren’t on this list, sorry.
My logic when making this is the “Deserted Island Hypothetical.” Meaning that if I was on a deserted island, with some albums from 2017, this is what I’d bring.
Honorable Mentions: Rather You Than Me, Everybody, I’m Brain, Rosecrans
10. (Spot Reserved for December Album)
There are lots of great albums still to come in 2017 so I don’t want to close out my list just yet. There could still be projects from Eminem, Kanye West, Travis Scott, and many more in late 2017.
9. Stormzy- Gang Signs & Prayer
Top Tracks: “First Things First,” “Big For Your Boots,” and “Cigarettes and Cush”
This album took me a couple listens to get into. Stormzy is 6’ 5” rapper from the United Kingdom so he has a very original sound.
8. BROCKHAMPTON- SATURATION II
Top Tracks: “Gummy,” “Junky,” and “Queer”
If you don’t know about BROCKHAMPTON, you should start listening now before they blow up. The group classifies itself as, “an American hip-hop boyband.”
7. Vince Staples- Big Fish Theory
Top Tracks: “Yeah Right,” “SAMO,” and “Big Fish”
Rather than vouch for Vince’s futuristic sound, I’m going to vouch for his comedy career. Watch an interview with this kid immediately, he’s one of the most talented and funniest people around.
6. Joey Bada$$- ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$
Top Tracks: “LAND OF THE FREE,” “ROCKABYE BABY (Feat. Schoolboy Q),” and “DEVASTATED”
From start to finish, AAB may be the best album of 2017. I enjoy nearly every song. However, it’s only number six on this list because it doesn’t have that one banger that puts it over the top.
5. Big Sean- I Decided.
Top Tracks: “No Favors (feat. Eminem),” “Sacrifices (feat. Migos),” and “Jump Out the Window”
I Decided has my favorite four-track run of 2017: “Bounce Back” to “No Favors (feat. Eminem)” to “Jump Out the Window” to “Moves.” An incredible 14-minute run where you don’t have to touch the skip button.
4. Jay Z- 4:44
Top Tracks: “The Story of OJ,” “Bam (feat. Damian Marley),” and “Family Feud (feat. Beyoncé)”
Jay Z offers sound financial advice in this album: “You wanna know what’s more important than throwin’ away money at a strip club? Credit.”
3. Vic Mensa- The Autobiography
Top Tracks: “Homewrecker (feat. Weezer),” “OMG (feat. Pusha T),” and “Say I Didn’t”
The most underrated album of 2017. Vic Mensa really has it all. Great story telling, witty rhymes, conscious raps, and amazing beats. Vic Mensa is a future GOAT in the making.
2. Tyler, The Creator- Flower Boy
Top Tracks: “911/Mr. Lonely,” “See You Again,” and “Boredom”
Known for his rude and perverted lyrics, Tyler, The Creator has finally broken through to the mainstream. On this album he showed that he has human emotions after all. He talks about things like love, becoming irrelevant, and even coming out as gay.
1. Kenrick Lamar- DAMN.
Top Tracks: “DUCKWORTH.,” “FEAR.,” and “DNA.”
This album is so good that I don’t allow myself to listen to it on a regular basis, I save it for special occasions. It’s not only the best rap album of 2017 and not only the best Kendrick Lamar album. It’s the best rap album ever.