It’s often difficult to keep up with everything dropping over the course of the year. Countless new rap albums flood streaming services every week, making it easy to be overwhelmed. So, HipHopDX has narrowed down the essentials, providing readers with a list of the must-listen projects.
DX also made a list that includes the best R&B Albums of the Year, but this article is strictly for the best rap albums. This article is part of DX’s monthly “Best of The Year” series.
This month’s article includes albums released between December 1, 2019 – January 28, 2020. Albums from January 31 will be added during the next update. You can check out some of our other lists to stay up to date with all of the new music dropping this year.
- Best Hip Hop Songs Of 2020 … So Far (January – February)
- Best R&B Songs Of 2020 … So Far (January – February)
- Best Rap Songs Of 2020 … So Far (January – February)
- Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2020 … So Far (January – February)
- Best R&B Albums Of 2020 … So Far (January – February)
- Best Mixtapes & EPs of 2020 … So Far (January- February)
Check out the Top Rap Albums of 2020 so far.
Music To Be Murdered By – Eminem
Slim Shady’s Music To Be Murdered By — much like all of his recent albums — is another polarizing effort as his hyperawareness of the criticism has turned into a regular trope. Despite its flaws, Eminem’s latest LP displays incredible wordplay and once again gives fans of the art of rapping some new rhymes and patterns to marvel at. The album received a score of 3.8 out of 5 from DX, with contributor Scott Glaysher writing, Eminem “keeps his dazzling lyrical tirades on point with a plethora of verses that are damn near impossible to discredit.”
Please Excuse Me For Being Anti Social – Roddy Ricch
Roddy Ricch is the latest in a long lineage of Compton rappers to deliver a stellar debut album. Although the project lacks the lyrical depth some of his predecessors’ albums have, Roddy displays an uncanny ability to create melodies using his unique vocal inflection. Plus, “The Box” took on a life of its own. The album received a score of 4 out of 5 from DX with contributor Josh Svetz writing, Roddy “possesses all the tools to become a superstar. The appeal to Roddy is simple; the kid can write a hell of a hook. Roddy excels at producing choruses that stick and only get better with repeat listens.”
Gravitas – KXNG Crooked & Bronze Nazareth
KXNG Crooked has always been an elite lyricist, but his discography has been missing a clear cut album that stands above the rest as essential. That changed when the respected MC teamed up with Wu-Tang Clan-affiliated producer Bronze Nazareth, who orchestrated Crook’s best work to date on Gravitas.The album received a score of 3.7 out of 5 from DX with contributor Josh Svetz writing, Crook “gets personal, bringing it back to the Golden Era sound with some ill flow and respectable rhymes, supported by a sizable list of old school legends and new school MCs keeping the classic sound alive.”
Circles – Mac Miller
When the late Mac Miller suddenly passed away in September 2018, he left behind a small treasure trove of music, which Miller’s family and producer Jon Brion packaged into Circles, the sister album to 2018’s Swimming. Although the 12-track album is buried in ennui, it’s packed with enough emotionally charged lyrics to give fans a solid glimpse into Miller’s soul. The album received a score of 4 out of 5 from DX, with contributor David Aaron Brake writing, “Circles may be a culmination of the sounds Miller had been working towards, but it’s also his most intimate and vulnerable project.”
Revenge of The Dreamers 3: Director’s Cut – Dreamville
J. Cole rounded up his loyal Dreamville lyricists for another installment of Revenge Of The Dreamers last year, which found Lute, EarthGang, J.I.D and the rest of the crew firing on all cylinders. This month, the label returned with a director’s cut of the project featuring 12 new bonus tracks with the usual players delivering nothing but heat.
No Requests – Stretch & Bobbito
While No Requests isn’t a rap album per se, Stretch and Bobbito still made sure to pay homage to the building blocks of Hip Hop throughout their first album. From samples of Nas’ “N.Y. State Of Mind” and Souls of Mischief’s “93 til Infinity” to jazz-infused Latin rhythms and timeless soul, the 10-track project has a little bit of something for everyone.
Time Served – Moneybagg Yo
Moneybagg Yo continues to show promise as an artist to watch (no pun intended on the album cover). The album received a score of 3.7 out of 5 from DX with contributor Riley Wallace writing, “The 15-song effort is (if nothing else) a testament to the formula that Memphis native has seemingly perfected.”
This list will continue to be updated monthly with DX’s favorite albums. Check back at the end of each month.
- Sada Baby – Brolik
- Theolophilus London – Bebey
- Trippie Reddd – A Love Letter To You 4 (Deluxe)
- Madlib & Oh No – The Professionals
- Stormzy – Heavy Is The Head
- Atmosphere – Whenever
- Sean Price & Lil Fame – Price of Fame
- JACKBOYS – Travis Scott & Company