XXL's 50 Best Hip Hop Projects of 2017

XXL's 50 Best Hip Hop Projects of 2017

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2 Chainz - Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

2 Chainz - Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
June 16, 2017
Critic Score
78
10 reviews

Although a bit reliant on features, resulting in lost opportunities for 2 Chainz to really dig deep within himself and give the listeners more of Tauheed Epps the man, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music is an explosive collection of songs that showcases the colorful rhyme animal at the top of his game.

21 Savage - Issa Album

21 Savage - Issa Album
July 7, 2017
Critic Score
64
11 reviews

All in all, 21 Savage manages to craft a fairly concise project with Issa Album about all the things that make him such a compelling rapper in today’s hip-hop landscape.

A$AP Twelvyy - 12

A$AP Twelvyy - 12
August 4, 2017
Critic Score
72
2 reviews

Action Bronson - Blue Chips 7000

Action Bronson - Blue Chips 7000
August 25, 2017
Critic Score
72
9 reviews

Aminé - Good For You

Aminé - Good For You
July 28, 2017
Critic Score
69
8 reviews

Good for You proves his meteoric rise up the charts is far from the start of the ending and more of precursor of what’s to come. His versatility shines as he offers feel-good moments with more thought-provoking material.

Big K.R.I.T. - 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time

Big K.R.I.T. - 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time
October 27, 2017
Critic Score
79
7 reviews

Big K.R.I.T. has managed to rise to the occasion and return to form with 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time. The opus is dominated by the reflective introspect and soul-searching that first made rap fans disciples of the Mississippi spitter and lacks the contrived attempts at radio airplay that littered his previous offerings.

Big Sean - I Decided.

Big Sean - I Decided.
February 3, 2017
Critic Score
68
15 reviews

I Decided. may be more sentimental than boisterous, but that doesn’t mean that it’s without the prototypical club bangers that we’ve come to know Big Sean for.

Brockhampton - Saturation II

Brockhampton - Saturation II
August 25, 2017
Critic Score
80
8 reviews

The writing on Saturation II is often witty and revealing, and even when it’s not, each member of the boy band manages to sound enthusiastic.

CyHi The Prynce - No Dope On Sundays

CyHi The Prynce - No Dope On Sundays
November 17, 2017
Critic Score
72
4 reviews

No matter which way you slice it, CyHi The Prynce excels in his delivery on his official debut, making No Dope on Sundays a serious contender for one of the best albums of the year.

DJ Quik & Problem - Rosecrans

DJ Quik & Problem - Rosecrans
April 20, 2017
Critic Score
82
1 review

Drake - More Life

Drake - More Life
March 18, 2017
Critic Score
76
23 reviews

More Life ... is less of a return to form and more of an expression of Drake’s hunger for widespread acclaim beyond the borders of rap, and is indicative of where the arc of his career and legacy is trending towards.

Fat Joe & Remy Ma - Plata O Plomo

Fat Joe & Remy Ma - Plata O Plomo
February 17, 2017
Critic Score
67
6 reviews

With both touching on their experiences in the prison system and their rise to the top of the food chain, Plata O Plomo is a triumphant return for Fat Joe and Remy Ma.

Freddie Gibbs - You Only Live 2wice

Freddie Gibbs - You Only Live 2wice
March 31, 2017
Critic Score
76
8 reviews

The fact that Freddie Gibbs created You Only Live 2wice as a concise, to-the-point body of work without fillers and ultimately for a greater purpose than just simply rapping makes it one of, if not the, strongest installment in his catalog thus far.

Future - Future

Future - Future
February 17, 2017
Critic Score
66
13 reviews

If he continues to focus in making projects of this caliber and lacing his beats with plenty of Kill Bill sirens, it may not be a stretch to start putting Future Hendrix in the GOAT category.

G Herbo - Humble Beast

G Herbo - Humble Beast
September 22, 2017
Critic Score
77
3 reviews

GoldLink - At What Cost

GoldLink - At What Cost
March 24, 2017
Critic Score
68
6 reviews

His cadence and dance party-made flow make light of his more serious situations in a way that translates well to listeners. His rhymes are relatable and the beats are bumping—a true win-win.

Gucci Mane - Droptopwop

Gucci Mane - Droptopwop
May 26, 2017
Critic Score
72
7 reviews

Gucci Mane’s latest may be business as usual, but Drop Top Wop gives the customer exactly what they’re looking for, which is a tried-and-true art within itself, making it another quality offering in the Atlanta legend’s extensive catalog.

IDK - IWASVERYBAD

IDK - IWASVERYBAD
October 13, 2017
Critic Score
83
2 reviews

J.I.D - The Never Story

J.I.D - The Never Story
March 10, 2017
Critic Score
79
2 reviews

Jay-Z - 4:44

Jay-Z - 4:44
June 30, 2017
Critic Score
81
28 reviews

While this project falls short of his more seminal offerings, 4:44 is among JAY-Z’s more meaningful bodies of work to date and showcases another dimension of the greatest rapper alive.

Joey Bada$$ - ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$

Joey Bada$$ - ALL-AMERIKKKAN BADA$$
April 7, 2017
Critic Score
77
16 reviews

All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ encompasses everything we’ve come to love about Joey over the past few years with an added sense of social responsibility that is needed in times like these.

Kamaiyah - Before I Wake

Kamaiyah - Before I Wake
November 8, 2017
Critic Score
76
2 reviews

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.
April 14, 2017
Critic Score
92
35 reviews

DAMN. may be Kendrick’s most commercially viable body of work to date and contains a number of breezy tunes that should keep him on the Billboard charts for the foreseeable future, but it is at its best when the rapper delves inward.

Kodak Black - Painting Pictures

Kodak Black - Painting Pictures
March 31, 2017
Critic Score
63
3 reviews

Controversy stemming from his constant legal troubles may be hampering his progress as an artist ... but Painting Pictures is an admirable effort and indicative of the path that Kodak Black is on, which is on the way to becoming one of the premier mouthpieces for the streets for the foreseeable future.

Lil Uzi Vert - Luv Is Rage 2

Lil Uzi Vert - Luv Is Rage 2
August 25, 2017
Critic Score
69
11 reviews

Despite the long-winded nature of the album, Uzi definitely got it right with Luv Is Rage 2. The songs are catchy, the beats are hot and Uzi gives a vocal performance that redefines the term rap rock star. He still might be searching for his magnum opus album but if he keeps putting out projects like this, and growing along the way, Uzi will find his classic sooner rather than later.

Logic - Everybody

Logic - Everybody
May 5, 2017
Critic Score
59
9 reviews

Complete with unbridled lyricism, top-notch production and conceptual brilliance to tie it all together, Everybody is a hallmark release that further solidifies Logic solid standing in hip-hop.

Meek Mill - Wins & Losses

Meek Mill - Wins & Losses
July 21, 2017
Critic Score
67
5 reviews
The LP finds Meek at his most concise and focused in some time.

Migos - Culture

Migos - Culture
January 27, 2017
Critic Score
74
21 reviews

Culture is a tour de force of all that makes Migos great while showcasing all of the group’s strengths — the gift for catchy hooks and melodies, unique flows, incredible group chemistry and phenomenal one-liners. After over a dozen releases since 2011, Migos have ascended higher than ever before on Culture.

Mozzy - 1 Up Top Ahk

Mozzy - 1 Up Top Ahk
August 18, 2017
Critic Score
76
1 review

Playboi Carti - Playboi Carti

Playboi Carti - Playboi Carti
April 14, 2017
Critic Score
68
4 reviews

Carti is focused more on the energy of his records rather than the deeper meaning. Nevertheless, the rapper delivers a debut opus indicative of his brand, where good vibes, an escape from reality and flexing can be found.

Rapsody - Laila's Wisdom

Rapsody - Laila's Wisdom
September 22, 2017
Critic Score
84
6 reviews

The end result is Laila’s Wisdom, one of the best LP’s of 2017 and a reminder that the Jamla/Roc Nation artist belongs in any discussion about the rap game’s best lyricists.

Rick Ross - Rather You Than Me

Rick Ross - Rather You Than Me
March 17, 2017
Critic Score
70
9 reviews

Whereas his 2015 album, Black Market, revolved around entrepreneurship, ownership and authenticity, Rather You Than Me conflates all that we’ve come to love about Rick Ross.

Smino - blkswn

Smino - blkswn
March 14, 2017
Critic Score
70
1 review

Tee Grizzley - My Moment

Tee Grizzley - My Moment
April 7, 2017
Critic Score
59
4 reviews

Ty Dolla $ign - Beach House 3

Ty Dolla $ign - Beach House 3
October 27, 2017
Critic Score
74
9 reviews

Beach House 3 truly is one of Ty Dolla $ign’s best works to date. He manages to please with his collaborative hits and hooks all while maintaining artistic integrity with his more introspective tracks.

Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy

Tyler, the Creator - Flower Boy
July 21, 2017
Critic Score
80
20 reviews

Since his Bastard mixtape dropped back in 2009, every two years, Tyler has progressively become a better writer, rapper and producer with each album. Flower Boy follows suit as Tyler delivers his most complete and sonicly appeasing album to date.

Vic Mensa - The Autobiography

Vic Mensa - The Autobiography
July 28, 2017
Critic Score
67
15 reviews

While the LP is worth the wait and a worthy debut, it lacks the explosive selections and raw exuberance that put Vic’s Innanetape mixtape in classic territory and ignited his buzz. However, the rapper manages to deliver an album that puts you in tune with who he is as a person, marks the horrors of his past, and is indicative of his bright future as one of the more impactful artists in hip-hop.

Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory

Vince Staples - Big Fish Theory
June 23, 2017
Critic Score
86
26 reviews

A focused collection with no egregious misses or lapses in quality, Big Fish Theory should only assist in Vince’s ascent as he continues to lay the foundation to what looks to be a legacy that will put him among the greatest scribes of his generation.

Wale - Shine

Wale - Shine
May 5, 2017
Critic Score
66
5 reviews

Five albums in, Wale remains one of the more mercurial talents in rap, with SHINE serving as further evidence of his abilities as an MC and a reminder of his lyrical radiance.

Wifisfuneral - Boy Who Cried Wolf

Wifisfuneral - Boy Who Cried Wolf
August 18, 2017
Critic Score
65
2 reviews

Wiki - No Mountains in Manhattan

Wiki - No Mountains in Manhattan
August 25, 2017
Critic Score
84
3 reviews

XXXtentacion - 17

XXXtentacion - 17
August 25, 2017
Critic Score
55
3 reviews

YFN Lucci - Long Live Nut

YFN Lucci - Long Live Nut
April 4, 2017
Critic Score
80
1 review

Young Dolph - Thinking Out Loud

Young Dolph - Thinking Out Loud
October 20, 2017
Critic Score
74
1 review
Original Source: http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2017/12/best-hip-hop-projects-2017/
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