May 9, 2020*
HHGA -
55
Predisposed not to like artists with Lil in their name or with colored dreds, or with anything else really that looks like its just another generic construct out of the trap factory, it's hard to go into a project like this with an open mind. While HHGA will always consider the use of autotune a sign of weakness - a tool to hide the lack of skill - this guy gets away with it, he probably doesn't even need it.

Lil Durk is a better rapper than most of his brethren, he is even capable of ... read more
May 8, 2020
HHGA -
79
Bishop Nehru is grown up. His most notable releases all dropped when he was still in his teens - like Nehruvia (2013) and his famed collaboration with MF DOOM NehruvianDoom (2014). Now, at 23, it seems he's ready for the next stage of his career - Nehruvia: My Disregarded Thoughts can be seen as his coming-of-age album. Cuts like "All Of My Years”, “Me & My Thoughts”, "Colder", the DJ Premier-produced "Too Lost", and the trappy "My Zone" ... read more
May 8, 2020
HHGA -
81
Odd Squad Family (not to be confused by the 90s Rap-A-Lot Odd Squad crew led by Devin The Dude) is an independent Hip Hop trio from Phoenix, Arizona. In 2016 founding member Frosty passed away, Odd Squad Family is now made up of Nubs, Snowman, and A-Factor (who joined the crew later).

The Flamingo Complex is Odd Squad Family's second full-length studio album. With 15 tracks and a full hour of playing time, this is a project that demands a substantial investment of time and attention, but it's ... read more
May 8, 2020
HHGA -
86
Jamo Gang consists of LA legend Ras Kass, NYC veteran emcee El Gant, and J57 on production. The album features DJ Premier, Slug from Atmosphere, Sid Wilson from Slipknot, Sick Jacken from Psycho Realm & Slaine from La Coka Nostra. Walking with Lions embodies head-nodder boom-bap infused with big sounding, lush soundscapes as Ras Kass & El Gant command the listener’s attention speaking on subject matter ranging from school shootings to what life would be like with a nuke arriving ... read more
May 6, 2020*
HHGA -
73
Tahir Jahi is a great writer, with positive and inspiring bars, and he has the lyrical talent and versatility to carry an album. On the loST ART, he teams up again with regular collaborator and fellow Pittsburgh resident BusCrates, who takes care of some of the beats on this project. the loST ART is a great album, offering 40 minutes of intelligent Hip Hop. Nobody is talking about this album and that's a shame - the loST ART will be a surefire contender for the title of the most underrated / ... read more
May 6, 2020
HHGA -
86
Don't Sleep Records is a record label with roots in Portland, Maine and Newport News, Virginia. Started in 2015 as a collaboration between Virginia emcee Awon and New England-based producer Phoniks the label specializes in jazz and soul-infused Hip Hop and limited-edition vinyl releases. Drawing inspiration from mid-90's jazz hop pioneers like De La Soul, Digable Planets and A Tribe Called Quest the duo of Awon & Phoniks has released a steady stream of head-nodding albums and EP's over the ... read more
May 6, 2020
HHGA -
72
Lunch Breaks is an Orlando, Florida-based duo consisting of Jakal and Swamburger. Both are producers first, Swamburger is the one who is rapping too. Orange State Project Vol. 1 is a refreshingly different kind of project, it doesn't really fit in any of today's genre boxes. It has nothing to do with generic mainstream rap, it's not jazz-rap, it can't be labeled as traditional boom-bap, nor does it fit the dark and dusty neo-boom-bap mold. Experimental boom-bap may be the best way to describe ... read more
May 5, 2020
HHGA -
35
Not as bad as expected.

"Poppin' bottles in the club
Fuckin' models, doin' drugs (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
And I can't do this anymore (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
I feel like an animal (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
Woah"

Unexpected lyrical depth too.

The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2020: https://hiphopgoldenage.com/list/the-best-hip-hop-albums-of-2020/
May 5, 2020
HHGA -
79
ANKHLEJOHN has been extremely prolific with a slew of LP and EP releases since his debut in 2017, some better than others of course, but overall his output has been pretty consistent. The Face Of Jason is one of his better projects, though - on par or maybe even better than Van Ghost (2018), arguably his best work up to now.

So, in 2020 we have two distinctly different brands of boom-bap: the more traditional, 90s-centric kind, and The Face Of Jason kind of neo-boom-bap with dark, dirty, and ... read more
May 5, 2020*
HHGA -
76
A remarkable thing in the boom-bap resurgence we are currently living through is that a lot of the best albums of this kind are created by non-American producers. Giallo Point (UK), Leafdog/The Four Owls) (UK), Kyo Itachi (France), Protektahz (Australia), DJ M-1 (Ireland), Bo Faat (Germany), Insideus (Australia), Kut One (Australia), Cotardz (Brazil) - just a few names of producers who were all involved with or responsible for dope traditional-sounding boom-bap projects that dropped this year. ... read more
May 4, 2020*
HHGA -
78
If there's one constant in Quelle Chris' body of work it's that he never does the same thing twice. Unlike many other artists who make the same album over and over again, this eclectic Detroit rapper never takes the easy way out, instead, he is always looking for new directions. Innocent Country 2 is sort of a sequel to 2015's Innocent Country. A sequel, but a direct opposite as well - where the initial Innocent Country focused on isolation, pessimism, and the notion of finding peace within ... read more
May 4, 2020
HHGA -
71
After a long hiatus and finally released by Aftermath records after being on the back burner there, Flint, Michigan's Jon Connor returns with SOS. On SOS, Jon Connor straddles the fence between a mainstream sound with a couple of songs with smooth instrumentals and poppy hooks alternated by a bunch of tracks with hard beats and fire bars. What could have ended up in being a incohesive mixed bag, turns out to be a surprisingly cohesive presentation.

With a playing time of 1 hour and 17 ... read more
May 3, 2020
HHGA -
75
Protektahz Of Da Lost Art is an excellent throwback boom-bap project from Australian crew Protektahz. With appearances from big names like Cella Dwellas, Rockness Monsta, KRS One, Sadat X, Onyx, Ruste Juxx, Killah Priest, Prodigal Sunn, and Lords Of The Underground (among others), Protektahz recruited a bunch of names that help elevate this project to the next level. Right now Hip Hop is experiencing a boom-bap resurgence, there are lots of quality projects dropping that sound as if they ... read more
May 1, 2020
HHGA -
87
Descendants Of Cain is Brownsville, NYC emcee/producer Ka's seventh studio album, following 2018’s Orpheus vs. The Sirens, which he made with producer Animoss. Descendants of Cain is his first album under the name Ka since 2016’s Honor Killed the Samurai. He has been responsible for a couple of the best Hip Hop albums released in the 2010s, especially his last two albums as Ka are low-key classics that have gained him a host of loyal fans.

Following the solid Grief Pedigree (2012), ... read more
May 1, 2020
HHGA -
64
Does cover art play a role in the appreciation of a musical project? It shouldn't but... Go into an album with the cover unseen may give a different overall first impression, having seen cover art before listening possibly leads to some preconceptions about the music. Anyway, the cover art of this project sucks so bad, the mindset going into Embrace The Darkness for many will not be one of positive anticipation.

Embrace The Darkness is not bad, though - kind of generic 2000s-centric boom-bap, ... read more
May 1, 2020
HHGA -
73
Brooklyn's HDBeenDope is an atypical 'modern' Hip Hop artist as he doesn't seem to feel the need to drop a mini-project every three months to stay in the public's eye - BrokeN Dreams is his latest full-length album (running close to an hour), coming over 3 years after his previous release PHeace Be The Journey. The album's title represents HDBeenDope's feelings after living his dreams touring and performing, but then realizing that he was still broke afterward. BrokeN Dreams' overall message is ... read more
May 1, 2020
HHGA -
74
Big Head Science is a great album, arguably Casual's best since his underappreciated 1994 solo debut Fear Itself. Fellow Hieroglyphicans Phesto and Tajai make appearances, as do high profile guests like Ghostface Killah, Killah Priest, Ras Kass, and Planet Asia (king of features, lately). Casual can still spit and the beats on Big Head Science are universally dope - the whole album has a nice throwback-vibe going on, ideal for those who have been vibing with the Hieroglyphics crew since the ... read more
May 1, 2020
HHGA -
35
The most overhyped and overrated Hip Hop (adjacent) artist ever? It's truly a mystery how somebody with Drake's lack of personality and mediocre skill managed to become one of the biggest sellers of the past decade. Maybe people think that if someone like Drake can make it big, they surely can do it too - something like that must be part of the appeal.

Now, what of this Dark Lane Deno Tapes project? What all these pseudo-rappers usually have on their projects is some booming beats to cover ... read more
Apr 28, 2020
HHGA -
71
Killy Shoot and Onaje Jordan from the Hometeam collective teamed up for this collaborative effort. Killy Shoot comes with hard street rhymes, over cinematic instrumentals crafted by Onaje Jordan. Heavy Math is another one of those releases obviously inspired by the sound and aesthetics of Griselda, with the same brand of street rhymes and dark, minimalistic production - this is one of the better albums of its kind. Killy Shoot is an above-average emcee and contributions from General Back Pain, ... read more
Apr 28, 2020
HHGA -
72
Kollab Kong is Wisconsin native emcee Taiyamo Denku's second album released in 2020, after The Darker Side of Light. Taiyamo Denku and German-based producer Bo Faat team up again to release this collaborated album. Over the years Denku has earned the title 'Collab King' which he changed to "Kollab Kong". This album shows why he uses that title to describe himself. Collaborations on the Kollab Kong album include Busta Rhymes, Jim Jones, Benny the Butcher, Conway The Machine, 38 Spesh, ... read more
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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 https://www.albumoftheyear.org/user/hhga/album/194814-breakfast-at-banksys/ and the one he did with Apollo Brown. "
On StunningDeathIsBest'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. "
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