The distinction between albums, mixtapes and EPs seems to get blurred more and with each year that passes. Some artists claim they released a mixtape despite it being a studio LP and others will label a 15-track project an EP. Simply put, there’s not much rhyme or reason anymore.
But whether it’s just a label or artists releasing mixtapes and EPs in the traditional sense, plenty of these projects are still being delivered despite the ambiguity. HipHopDX has complied the best of the best in an effort to help fans keep track of what’s dropped in 2020.
Here are the Best Mixtapes and EPs of 2020 … so far.
(December 1, 2019 – January 28, 2020, releases from January 31 will be included next month.)
13LOOD 1N + 13LOOD OUT MIXX – Denzel Curry
Denzel Curry surprised fans with the 13LOOD 1N + 13LOOD OUT MIXX, giving listeners a brief but potent set of music that recaptured the feeling of old school mixtapes with its grainy quality and stitched together songs. The album received a score of 4 out of 5 from DX, with contributor Josh Svetz writing, “Curry’s latest release pays homage to his roots, while also showing off Zel at his most anarchic. It’s the blueprint for how to release scattered singles and snippets, without a cohesive idea or concept to tie it all together.”
The Circus – Mick Jenkins
Although Mick Jenkins referred to the EP as a prelude to his next full length project, The Circus can easily stand on its own as a body of work. From moody instrumentals to memorable lyricism, the seven tracks perfectly showcase the MC’s skills. The album received a score of 3.7 out of 5 from DX, with contributor Josh Svetz writing, “He employs a head-bopping flow with a throwback 90s boom-bap flair, making his verses pop. The Circus is an overall creative win and a nice precursor for his next album.”
The Appetition – Raekwon
The Chef hit the Red Bull Studios in New York and cooked up a brief three-track offering that proved his pen game remains sharp, making it clear the Wu-Tang Clan MC still is a force to be reckoned with at 50 years old.
EnterFear Level 2 – Tech N9ne
With the amount of music Tech N9ne drops, it’s easy to overlook some of his projects, but EnterFear Level 2 includes four tracks that shouldn’t be overlooked. The project follows the EnterFear Level 1 EP, which dropped in November.
3 Joints – Redman
Redman doesn’t waste a single bar on his three-song EP, as he comes out swinging from the opening track. The veteran MC proves he’s still at the top of his game 30 years into his storied career.
This list will continue to be updated monthly with our favorite 10 albums. Check back at the end of each month. In the meantime, check out the Spotify playlist below with some of DX’s favorite songs of 2020 … so far.