Memo’s Top 50 Albums of 2021

Hello everybody! Happy New Year! It has been a while. School and work kept me very busy this year. It prevented me from writing a lot of blogs this year. With that said, nothing will stop me from telling you all my top 50 albums of the year. Even though no one asked. This year has been an amazing year for music. In my list, I have a mix of the biggest releases and some underground gems. Every album here is great in my opinion. Check out these albums if you haven’t done so already. 

Without further ado here are my top 50 albums of the year for 2021!

50) Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

49) Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti


47) Chief Keef – 4 NEM

46) J. Cole – The Off-Season

45) Shelley FKA DRAM – Shelley FKA DRAM

44) Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson

43) Vince Staples – Vince Staples

42) Olivia Rodrigo – Sour

41) Tony Allen – There Is No End

40) Adele – 30

39) EXUM – Xardinal Coffee

38) Zack Fox – shut the fuck up talking to me


36) Kota The Friend & Statik Selektah – To Kill A Sunrise

35) Rejjie Snow – Baw Baw Black Sheep

34) Pink Siifu – GUMBO’!

33) serpentwithfeet – DEACON

32) Bo Burnham – Inside (The Songs)

31) St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home

30) Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee

29) Clairo – Sling

28) Nas – King’s Disease II

27) Conway The Machine – La Maquina

26) Paris Texas – BOY ANONYMOUS

25) Your Old Droog – Time

24) Porter Robinson – Nurture

23) Lil Nas X – MONTERO

22) Blu – The Color Blu(e)

21) CZARFACE & MF DOOM – Super What?

20) James Blake – Friends That Break Your Heart 

19) GRIP – I Died For This!?

18) Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram

17) Turnstile- GLOW ON

16) Weezer – OK Human

15) slowthai – TYRON

14) McKinely Dixon – For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her


12) Black Country, New Road – For the first time

11) Tyler, the Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST

10) Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth

9) Magdelena Bay – Mercurial World


7) Kanye West – DONDA

6) Injury Reserve – By the Time I Get to Phoenix


4) C. Tangana – El Madrileño

3) Spellling – The Turning Wheel

2) Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

1) Silk Sonic – An Even with Silk Sonic

Let me know what you think?

P.S. Just like last year, I have a Spotify playlist for my top 50 songs of 2021. Check it out! I also started list week on my YouTube channel (FancyMemo), if you are interested.

BLACKSTARKIDS and the Next Music Hotspot: Kansas City

When asked if there were any movies they all loved TheBabeGabe led the emphatically unanimous answer “Kill Bill!”. This was one of the many enjoyable moments that occurred during my conversation with TheBabeGabe, Deiondre, and TyFaizon who comprise the Kansas City based group BLACKSTARKIDS. I was fortunate enough to not only learn about the group, but to learn about the burgeoning Hip Hop/Pop/R&B scene in Kansas City as well.

First of all, let’s hit the Indie Pong talking points. This song SLAPS. BSK earned not one, but two spots on this week’s playlist for best new tracks with the above, and the below track LEZER003.

When I asked about the clear house influence on this this track BSK explained that they have dabbled in a number of genres. They pointed out that they often make music that they feel like could be the soundtrack to movies they loved, particularly in the case of their 90s high school movie inspired bedroom-ceiling-gaze track Whatever!. The above three are from their new EP “Surf (Basement Demos)“, before which came their stellar second full length album “Surf” where you’ll hear bangers like LOVE, STARGIRL:

To answer to who their influences are, you have to understand a little bit about the thriving Kansas City, Missouri scene. According to BSK, who made it a point to emphasize the music of their community in addition to their own music, the artist-first pack mentality Kansas City has long been home to a big Midwestern Emo/ Punk scene. TyFaizon described the scene as very welcoming environment where bands are super friendly and supportive of each other. Shows are plentiful not only in the rock scene, but in the Hip Hop scene as well, which has been the latest thriving facet of the music scene in Kansas City. According to TyFaizon while there has always been a presence, there is new traction happening with this next young generation of Hip Hop coming out of Kansas City, a traction that you might not have found a few years ago. Deiondre cited Deaton Chris Anthony as an artist that a lot of the Kansas City music scene looks up to, as he was local in Kansas City until about 2016 or so. Check out a recent song of his with Clairo, Coco, and Clair Clair below:

Meeting as Juniors at Raytown South High School, BSK all came from different corners of the music landscape. They described there intersection and sound as a combination between two popular KC music collectives, Great.Wav (Deiondre and friends) and Drop Dead XX (TyFaizon, TheBabeGabe, and friends), with Great.Wav making more pop influenced records and Drop Dead XX being more hip hop focused. All groups, however, fall under the bright and ambitious BEDROOM RECORDS. Bedroom Records also includes the work of some other rising stars such as Drop Dead members Paris Williams (rap), Monogram (rap), and Medici (pop influenced).

We’ve seen musically gifted hip hop collectives rise up before time and time again ala OFWGKTA, Pro Era, or A$AP Mob, so don’t be surprised when it happens again by way of SuperBowl Champion Kansas City. All it takes is that one moment to catapult a group of talented artists like this into the spotlight, so get ready.