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Listen to these top rap albums of 2021

Is rap your favorite genre of music? 2021 has you covered with album hits from Young Thug to Lil Yachty and many more. – Photo by Young Thug / Instagram

2021 has been a great year for rap and hip-hop music. From the industry’s top artists to rising stars, there have been an impressive number of standout albums released this year.

Personally, this has been my favorite year for music since 2017 gave us Kendrick Lamar'sDAMN.,” Drake'sMore Life,” Tyler, The Creator’sFlower Boy,” Lil Uzi Vert’sLuv Is Rage 2” and more.

While there’s still time left in 2021 for artists to release music, here are six of the best rap and hip-hop albums so far:

“The House Is Burning” by Isaiah Rashad

The House Is Burning” is Rashad’s best work to date. Rashad is an artist that rarely releases music, but when he does it is a masterpiece. His previous album, “The Sun’s Tirade,” was released in 2016, and still holds the same impact and replay factor today as it did when it was released. 

On this new album, Rashad departs from his battle with addiction and depression as discussed in his previous works. This delivers a project that is an extension of his new found perspective and experiences.

“The House Is Burning” features SZA, 6LACK, Lil Uzi Vert and Smino, among other talents. It is more upbeat and positive than his discography, while still capturing reflective moments of mortality. 

Rashad is one of the best lyricists in the current generation of rappers, and his ability to construct both irresistible hooks and smooth production is captivating. This album only gets better with each listen and will surely live in the listener's minds for a long time.

“CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” by Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, The Creator is one of the biggest names in the game right now, and has been an influential artist for more than a decade. He's an incredible creative visionary who never produces two albums with the same sound.

His latest work, “CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST,” is not only one of the best albums of the year, but also is possibly the best work in his entire career. This is extremely impressive if you take a look at his discography.

“CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” is a return to his earliest works in regard to his voice’s flow, style and volume nodding toward his experimental production presented on his 2019 album, “IGOR.”

This album is a cohesive blend of his best elements produced throughout each era of his career. This is elevated with the maturity and precision developed over the years and encapsulated into a magnificent portfolio.

It’s almost as if he opened up a time capsule with the most powerful elements of each of his albums. And he combined them together to create a brand new element based on history but presented in the future.

“Punk” by Young Thug

Throughout Young Thug’s career, he has undergone a variety of different eras in his music like trap, summertime hits and more abstract rap tracks.

On “Punk,” Young Thug slows down into a more soft-pop sound that is often gentle and acoustic. The album features Juice WRLD, Mac Miller, Gunna, Travis Scott, Drake, A$AP Rocky and many, many more. 

In many ways, “Punk” forces listeners to reconsider everything they thought they knew about Young Thug as an artist. For that alone, it is an elite project that is one of his best works, and one of the best this year. 

“Vince Staples” by Vince Staples

Vince Staples’ self-titled album is another project in addition to those different from the rest of the his work.

Produced entirely by Kenny Beats, “Vince Staples” is more organic than the rest of his work, and grows with each listen. It is melodic and more rhythm-and-blues-heavy than we’ve ever seen from the artist.

Above all else, the most impressive factor is the album's consistency. Every track is sonically strong and masterfully produced, and delivers a cohesive body of work as the sound from track to track is similar in theme, yet unique and fresh. 

People sleep on Vince Staples. He's had an incredible career and has had his moments in the spotlight, but if there was ever a moment that he deserves the respect and recognition for his abilities, it’s on this album.

“Rich Shooter” by Young Nudy

Rich Shooter” is a return to Young Nudy’s roots. He has taken a step back from the more experimental works he has released recently, and is delivering a more polished trap album with a twist. 

Young Nudy makes music on his own terms which is not what he thinks people want to hear from him. And he only features two big names on the album, Future and Gucci Mane.

His flow and energy is electrifying, and the production on “Rich Shooter” features some of the best beats of the year. This album is alluring, engaging and explorative.

“Michigan Boy Boat” by Lil Yachty

Since his breakout in 2016 with his mixtape “Lil Boat” that put Lil Yachty on the map, he hasn’t quite been up to par in terms of his music and relevancy.

Michigan Boy Boat” completely flipped the script for the trajectory of his career. This album delivered the energy that originally attracted his fans, and his style on this project is nonchalant in the best way possible.

He’s enjoying producing incredible music alongside a plethora of rising Michigan rappers which is what people love best about Lil Yachty. His music is fun, yet this time around, experienced and precise. 

“Michigan Boy Boat” is also fearless and pushes the boundaries. This is completely different from what we hear from rappers and hip-hop artists these days. 

There’s still time left in the year for someone take over a spot on this list. But, honestly, it’s hard to top the talent and value that has been presented so far in 2021.

If you haven’t listened to any of these albums, you're missing out. And if you listened but weren’t a fan, give it another shot from a different perspective. You won’t regret it.


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