AOTY 2023
Snoop Dogg - From Tha Streets 2 Tha Suites
On 'International Weed Day' Snoop Dogg dropped his 18th studio album, and what do you know - it's not bad at all, unlike most of Snoop Dogg's recent (and not-so-recent) releases. It's been a while since Uncle Snoop released a really consistent album, and From Tha Streets 2 Tha Suites isn't that album either, but this one is solid Snoop - admittedly with no real stand-outs, but with no real throw-away tracks either. Sure, some songs are stronger than others - "Gang Signs" is the ... read more
Awon & Phoniks - Nothing Less
Phoniks (from Portland, Maine) and Brooklyn-born Virginia-based rapper Awon have given us a series of superb Hip Hop projects in the 2010s, individually and collaboratively – their collaborative debut album Return To The Golden Era (2013) is a masterpiece, Knowledge Of Self (2015) and The Actual Proof (2018) are not far behind. With Nothing Less, Awon and Phoniks continue their streak of excellence.

The album is laced with Phoniks signature jazz-infused, boom-bap production style and ... read more

Krum - Black Lung
Harry Krum is a producer/emcee based in Dallas, Texas. Krum’s work on the boards is outstanding, the instrumentals on Black Lung are FIRE – some of the best you’ll hear this year. Krum cooked up a heady blend of psychedelic vibes and dusty but crisp boom-bap beats laced with some exquisite sampling – reminiscent even of the best work from icons like Madlib and MF DOOM.

The strength of Black Lung is its consistency as well as its thematic and musical cohesiveness – ... read more

Beneficence & Confidence - Stellar Mind
The Element Of Surprise, Confidence's collaborative album with Rashad is one of the best Hip Hop albums released in 2011 – Stellar Mind is on par with that release. Beneficence is a real lyricist who made his recording debut in 2004, he has dropped a bunch of solid projects since then – his last one, Basement Chemistry, in 2016.

16 tracks strong, Stellar Mind features guest appearances by Masta Ace, El da Sensei (of Artifacts), Phantasm (of Cella Dwellas), Craig G, Lord Tariq, ... read more

Yelawolf & DJ Muggs - Mile Zero
DJ Mugg's production is wasted on someone like Yelawolf.
Armand Hammer is a duo consisting of experimental Hip Hop titans billy woods and ELUCID. For Haram Armand Hammer hooked up with producer extraordinaire The Alchemist The question is: is Haram on par with billy woods' and Armand Hammer's earlier releases? The answer is: yes, Haram 100% met expectations - it may even one-up the stellar Paraffin as Armand Hammer's best work yet. On Haram, the Islamic term meaning "forbidden", billy woods and ELUCID explore all kinds of taboos - ... read more
Killah Priest - Lord Sun Heavy Mental 1.1
Heavy Mental (1998), Elizabeth (2009), The Psychic World of Walter Reed (2013), and Planet Of The Gods (2015) are the standouts in Wu-Tang Clan affiliate and Sunz Of Man member Killah Priest’s vast catalog – along with Rocket To Nebula and The Third Eye In Technicolor, the two LPs he released in 2020.

Exactly 23 years after the release of his debut solo album Heavy Mental, Killah Priest drops Lord Sun Heavy Mental 1.1. Similar to Rocket To Nebula, the instrumentals on Lord Sun ... read more

Blak Madeen - Let The Good Get Even
Blak Madeen is a Boston-based duo consisting of lyricists Al-J and Yusuf. Let The Good Get Even holds 11 excellent tracks, full of clever rhymes over dope boom-bap beats laced with vintage cuts & scratches. Produced by C-Doc, the album features guest appearances by Hip Hop icons like Chuck D, Sadat X, Tragedy Khadafi, Daddy-O, Freeway, El Da Sensei, and others. Let The Good Get Even is a great presentation of intelligent grown-people Hip Hop, capturing a perfect throwback vibe, without ... read more
DJ Muggs & Rome Streetz - Death & The Magician
In DJ Muggs’ own words: “Death And The Magician is a sonic and lyrical onslaught on a dark rainy night in NYC, and is based on the Major Arcana cards in the tarot deck. The Death card signals that one major phase in your life is ending, and a new one is going to start. You just need to close one door so the new one will open. The past needs to be placed behind you, so you can focus your energy on what lies ahead. When the Magician appears it points to the talents, capabilities, and ... read more
Giallo Point & SmooVth - Amongst Wolves
Hempstead's SmooVth teamed up again with British producer Giallo Point for Amongst Wolves, their fifth album together. Amongst Wolves is one of the strongest of the five. Giallo Point rarely misses, and he doesn’t miss here. The cinematic instrumentals on Amongst Wolves are deliciously dark, perfect for SmooVth’s lyrical content. SmooVth is at his best here with a laidback delivery but with razor-sharp bars, and thankfully the features are kept to a minimum: no more than 5 of the 17 ... read more
Jazz Spastiks - Camera of Sound
Jazz Spastiks never disappoint. This collective of producers and DJs from the UK has been responsible for plenty of dope music over the years, and Camera Of Sound is yet another excellent addition to their body of work - in fact, this is one of their best.

Across 18 tracks, Camera Of Sound offers close to 45 minutes of buoyant jazz-flavored boom-bap beats, complemented by artisanal cuts & scratches and dope wordplay by masters of the craft. When it comes to fresh throwback Hip Hop, it ... read more

Marlon Craft - How We Intended
Marlon Craft’s is an emcee from Hell’s Kitchen, New York whose name had been buzzing around the internet for a couple of years before he dropped his official debut album Funhouse Mirror in 2019. Funhouse Mirror turned out to be a thoroughly solid listen, with excellent jazzy instrumentals and great bars with a lot of substance and depth. How We Intended is Marlon Craft’s sophomore album, and it is a confirmation. Marlon Craft shows and proves he understands how it’s ... read more
Dark Time Sunshine - LORE
Seattle-based alternative Hip Hop duo Dark Time Sunshine (rapper Onry Ozzborn and producer Zavala) return after a 9-year hiatus with LORE, their third full-length studio album together. Despite such a long time between DTS projects, there’s been no drop-off in quality. Like their 2012 album Anx, LORE is an excellent album. Arguably slightly more accessible than Anx was, LORE still is left-field enough to stand apart from today’s crowd of generic rap and Hip Hop releases.

Full ... read more

Bronze Nazareth & Leaf Dog - Bundle Raps
Disappointing. An interesting pairing on paper, but the potential unfortunately does not translate into a strong project. Veteran UK emcee/producer Leaf Dog has had lots of better projects than this one in his long career, two strong ones (one solo, one with his Four Owls crew) last year alone. Bronze Nazareth output has been hit-and-miss over the years, Bundle Raps falls in the 'misses' category for both artists.

The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2021: ... read more

M.C. K~Swift - Pottery Class Volume 1: The Clay
M.C. K~Swift is a veteran emcee from Brooklyn, New York, and founding member of the progressive Hip Hop collective New Rap Order; K~Swift has been recording and performing since 1994. Pottery Class Volume 1: The Clay is the first of 12 projects K~Swift intends to release in 2021 - one every month.

Lyrics with a message and instrumentals that are not thirteen-to-the-dozen on this project. "Fiend" and "Tell Everybody (I'm Your Favorite Emcee)" are the stand-outs, but overall ... read more

Breeze Brewin - Hindsight
The Juggaknots is a veteran trio consisting of siblings Breeze Brewin, Queen Herawin, and Buddy Slim. Hindsight is billed as the debut solo album from Breeze Brewin, with production from Marco Polo, Black Milk, De La Soul’s DJ Maseo, DJ Spinna, Sebb Bash, and others. With Hindsight Breeze Brewin gives us 13 pretty good songs, with socio-political insights (“Devil’s Advocate”, which has Breeze criticizing former President Donald Trump), his view on the music industry ... read more
Edo. G & Drunken Monks - Destiny
Edo G has dropped some real strong albums (solos and collaborations), ever since his low-key classic debut Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto in 1991. He is also responsible for a couple of duds, and this one is part of the weaker part of his catalog. BoFaatBeatz's boom-bap beats are as generic as they come and the lyrical performances of Edo G and his host of guests are all forgettable (there are so many guests the album kind of feels like a compilation), even KRS One comes with an ... read more
Lil Skies - Unbothered
Unbothered. Unambitious. Uncreative. Uninteresting. Uninspired. Unfresh. Unlikable. Unsubstantial. Unsatisfactory. Uncharismatic. Unskilled. Unfortunate. Unnecessary. Unpleasant. Unwanted. Unacceptable. Unmemorable. Unbearable.

Lil Skies comes with 14 tracks of sleep-inducing beats and lazy autotuned flows, this project is painfully bland and forgettable, even for a trap album.

Unbothered is background music at best.

The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2021: ... read more

Logic - Planetory Destruction
A couple of months after his supposed retirement Logic is back as Doc D with Planetory Destruction, a project that seems to be intended as a tribute to MF DOOM. Logic is not MF DOOM of course, but surprisingly he succeeds admirably in capturing some of the aesthetics that made MF DOOM such a unique artist. Planetory Destruction is a solid listen, it could even have been great if Logic hadn't gone overboard with skits and interludes and such (even if MF DOOM was wont to do the same).

The Best ... read more

Th1rt3en - A Magnificent Day for an Exorcism
th1rt3en is a trio led by Pharoahe Monch, with Marcus Machado on guitar, and Daru Jones on drums. A Magnificent Day For An Exorcism is Pharoahe Monch’s first full-length project since his last solo album PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, released in 2014.

This album is underrated on this site. Pulling off a good rap-rock fusion is not an easy thing to do - Th1rt3en succeeded though. Even if musically A Magnificent Day For An Exorcism is kind of heavy on the rock side here and there ... read more

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Recent Review Comments
On Edo. G & Drunken Monks - Destiny
"Agreed. I still listen to his debut sometimes, as well as to his collab albums with Pete Rock and Masta Ace. This one will be quickly forgotten. "
On DJ Cosm - Natural Within
"Hadn't heard anything of DJ Cosm before, I might check that older project out based on this one. "
On Rater's review of MF DOOM - MM..FOOD
"👍 I'll drop the link here when it's up. "
On Rater's review of MF DOOM - MM..FOOD
"Great review! Would you be interested in having it republished on I'd create an author profile for you and link to this page. Just let me know if you're up for it, if not no problem of course. "
On Z.Younk's review of Kid Sublime - Straat Coach
"He's not saying anything worth paying attention to when he's rapping in Dutch either... He says somewhere something like "I'm not a rapper, I just talk some". He's a beatmaker - he should have recruited a bunch of real emcees and stayed off the microphone himself - his beats on this thing are sick a.f."
On Cut Beetlez - What Beetlez?
"My kind of Hip Hop, this. "
On POUNDS - There Is No Mafia
"I tend to iginore EPs, but yeah he's been pretty consistent in his output (although I didn't much care for his previous project). I liked this one though. "
On Tahmell - Home
"Haven't heard of that one, will check it out if I come across it ;) "
On Z.Younk's review of Tahmell - Home
"Out of respect for Rakim I may have overrated this thing a little bit, lol. "
On Logic - No Pressure
"Since when does the AOTY user score affect how good the album actually is? So it doesn't matter if I give it a 0 right? I think it's the end of a site like AOTY if it allows bot accounts to 'dirty' the ratings, it defeats the whole purpose of the site. Check them out, most of these 100s are new accounts with just the one rating. Anyway, it irritates me, so there you go. "
On AZIZ's review of Run the Jewels - RTJ4
"So you legitimately think Future, Lil Uzi Vert, and Don Toliver had better albums than RTJ4? "
On Eto - The Beauty Of It
"Agreed, he's one of the best and most consistent in this niche. "
On Future - High Off Life
"That it's a fact that Future's albums have greater cultural significance is a sad truth. Have to disagree on the songwriting ability claim though, I'd say it's the other way around."
On Future - High Off Life
"LOL. "Too much lyricism to digest, I do it on purpose Two of my bars is more lyrical than two of your verses, come on" (dixit RA The Rugged Man) "
On Jamo Gang - Walking With Lions
"Strong echoes of RTJ for me. Especially Ras Kass' collaborations have been great - I'm still listening to his 2015 Semi Hendrix album and the one he did with Apollo Brown. "
On NickBrick's review of Drake - Dark Lane Demo Tapes
"100% co-sign your sentiments. And it's funny to me how people can get upset if someone has an opinion that's different from theirs. "
On N.B.S. - Lost In Budapest
"Did it though? Wasn't it slated for a 2018 release, but delayed? "
On soundworld's review of Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony
"Great review too, makes me think I was too generous ;) "
On Grafh & DJ Green Lantern - The Oracle III
"Right. Who cares what Rome Streetz says though? He can go smoke WSG's cock as much as he can, maybe he'll be thrown some Griselda crumbs. Nobody cares about a random adlib here and there, me neither. But infesting every single song they do with those adlibs like WSG and his copy cats are doing is taking it to new levels of annoyingness. If that ruins an otherwise potentially great record for me, I'll keep on saying it. It's called an opinion, it seems you're not lacking opinions yourself. Rome Streetz, you and anybody who wants to can listen to grown men go 'pow pow pow' on their records all day for all I care, but I won't. White people bitching, huh? "
On Grafh & DJ Green Lantern - The Oracle III
""Ever get tired of bitching ab the same things on every album?" No. "Who even pays attention to ad-libs?" How can you not pay attention to them? Theyŕe there, and super annoying. "
On FACEMOVIES's review of Eminem - Music To Be Murdered By
"Good review. I've called it Eminem Derangement Syndrome" - lots of people will shit on Eminem no matter what (giving it a zero score after no more than a skim listen). I think this album had its problems, but it's nowhere near as bad a most Eminem haters here would have it. "

November Playlist