2018 has blessed us with some good music. In my first year of reviewing music, I’m off to a good start. What I appreciate is how personal people are getting personal with their music. It shows a new side of them that we rarely see.
However, there are always issues with some albums. Let me take this opportunity to address the artists. For the love of all that is good, stop feeding us with 20+ track albums. At least make all the tracks good. I wouldn’t complain if they were but they all sound like filler. Yes, I know they do that to boost streaming sales but it hurts the whole listening experience. There are many culprits in this category, Migos, Quavo, Drake, Lil Wayne, King Kaka.
Anyway, positive vibes. Positive vibes.
With the year coming to a close, here are some of the albums I found myself adding to my playlist. I know some people may be triggered but that’s just my opinion. Are we all in agreement? Good. Let’s do this.
Poppy – Am I A Girl?
Do I really need to talk about this album again? It’s one of these weird albums that I can’t get off my head. What I love about Poppy is her character and how she sticks to it. It’s one of the reasons why her album is great in the first place. I didn’t expect to like it as much but here I am talking about it for the second time. You can read more about it in the review.
Black Eyed Peas – Masters of the Sun Vol 1
Can I be honest for a moment? When I saw this album on my recommended listens on Apple Music, I thought it would be another pop album as we got with BEP’s two previous albums. What we get however are the original trio without Fergie, a hip hop album and a damn good one for that matter. The best part about it is how they were going back to their roots with their messages. It is the best hip hop album I have listened to this year and it certainly deserves a spot on my favorites.
Khaligraph Jones – Testimony 1990
I recently listened to Papa Jone’s debut album despite it being released months ago. Thankfully, I’m glad I got a chance to listen to it. To put it simply, it is the best Kenyan album of 2018. Testimony 1990 is proof that Kenyan music is on the rise. There is so much to like about it and despite it being 17 tracks long, it doesn’t feel like it is that long. All the songs are good. See? Just make your songs good and we won’t mind.
J Cole – KOD
This was the first album I listened to on Spotify before I joined Apple Music. Btw, it’s not because of preference; it’s because Spotify isn’t supported in Kenya. Plus, using good VPN adds an added cost when it shouldn’t be such a hustle.
Anyway, I have been a J Cole fan ever since he came out in 2010, I guess. It has been such a ride seeing him overcoming the odds. Who can ever forget the impact Forest Hills Drive had in the music industry. This year, we got KOD which was another great album. My particular favorite song has to be Motiv8. I put that song on repeat every day. Plus, he added himself as a feature in his own album so that people don’t get butt-hurt. Lol.
Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy
We all remember Bodak Yellow right? That song was lit. What I particularly enjoyed about it is that it was a breath of fresh air in the female rap game. I, personally, got tired of the Nicki monopoly for all those years. A change was seriously needed. Then came Cardi who showed the world what she can do.
It got even better when she released her debut album, Invasion of Privacy, which critics consider it as a great start for her. I loved it. It’s that simple. This is what I considered a true rap album. Oh yeah, Nicki dropped hers later on and I had issues with it.
We are now in the top 5. The best of the best, in my opinion. The ones that I can’t stop talking about with my friends.
MDQ – She
Testimony 1990 might be the best album of 2018 but She is my personal favorite. In my review, I mentioned how I loved the way her music made you feel at the end of it all. It’s mature, thought-provoking and fun to listen to. This is a definite recommend for all kinds of audiences. Fun fact, I was also late to review this album. Thankfully, MDQ accepted my apology. 😊
Ella Mai – Ella Mai
Boo’d up this. Boo’d up that. All the girls I know were singing this song. One of them actually downloaded her album on my phone and asked me to listen to it. I was very skeptical of it at first but I ended up loving it. My personal song has to be Naked. It’s honest, real and touching at the very best. My girlfriend keeps it on repeat and sings it to me. Good stuff I tell you.
Travis Scott – Astroworld
The album that made Nicki bitter AF. I don’t understand why she got all mad about the number stats when in real sense, Astroworld was a better album than Queen. Let’s get one thing clear, it’s not my favorite rap albums of all time but I definitely had a good time listening to it. The best part is Travis’ energy which he brings to every song. Who doesn’t want that? It is the only reason why it is so high in my list; it has good replay value.
Jorja Smith – Lost and Found
This album has a special place in my heart for two reasons. One, it is the first album I ever reviewed in the blog. Second, it is a damn good album. Jorja Smith revived my faith in RnB and Ella Mai strengthened it with her debut album. Lost and Found is proof that there is good RnB music out there and not this adaptation we are getting from rappers. Another must-listen-to album.
Let’s Eat Grandma – I’m All Ears
How I love I’m All Ears. I have never stopped talking about it since the day I listened to it. That alone should tell you about how good it is. As a matter of fact, read the review and look for the album. You’ll have a good time. I can guarantee you that.
Some honorable mentions. They were also good and some actually deserve to be on my list. It should be mentioned that compiling this list is the hardest thing I have done this year.
- Ariana Grande – Sweetener
- Eminem – Kamikaze
- King Kaka – Eastlando Royalty
- Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V
- Kids See Ghosts – Kids See Ghosts
- Pusha T – Daytona
- Kanye West – Ye
Those were my favorite picks. I know there are many albums that have been left out. Let me know in the comments so that I could give my opinion on them before the year ends.