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
48) CHAI – WINK
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
37) IDK – USEE4YOURSELF
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
13) JPEGMAFIA – LP!
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
8) BROCKHAMPTON – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW ROAD
7) Kanye West – DONDA
6) Injury Reserve – By the Time I Get to Phoenix
5) Backxwash – I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES
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.
Hello everybody! Happy April! Somehow we are already one quarter done with 2021. How did that happen? This past month was jam-packed with great music. Although I did struggle finding a lot of good albums to write about, there were a lot of great singles and even EP’s released in March. There’s a lot of music I want to point in your direction, so let’s just jump into my monthly favorites!
Song Honorable Mentions:
Osay – How Many Licks: If you are a boring person who gets offended over songs like WAP, then you might want to sit this one out. Chicago-born rapper, Osay, dropped a short track about sex. With a song title like that, what else would this song be about? When listening to this expect some hot bars and impressive rapping. Although the beat isn’t amazing, Osay’s charisma is able to carry this song. Although it is easy to dismiss a short sexual trap song like this, I do admire Osay’s talent. After listening to this track, and some of her other singles like “Bad Girl”, “Off Brand”, and “Shimmy Season”, you can tell that she is passionate about her craft and hip hop in general. I can’t wait to see what Osay does in the future. Give her songs a listen.
Mello Music Group, The Lasso, & Open Mike Eagle – Gold Gloves: The independent music label Mello Music Group has been churning out tracks with several different artists and producer’s for an album called Bushido. It is out now! They’ve dropped several singles for this project, but “Gold Gloves” is probably my favorite. I just love how suffocating The Lasso’s production is at the beginning, but it quickly smooths out when Open Mike Eagle hops on. Both Mike and the track itself are pretty chill for the most part. The magical outro is really cool. It’s a hypnotic experience. Check out “Gold Gloves” and Bushido.
Aesop Rock – Long Legged Larry: Aesop Rock rapping about a frog named Larry saving the day is something I didn’t think I needed, but I am glad it exists. It’s such a cute song. I just love the innocence and child-like whimsy in the lyrics. If I had a kid, you best believe my kid and I will be bumping “Long Legged Larry” in the whip. Fuck “Baby Shark”! My kid will be bumping Aesop Rock thank you very much. Seriously though, the rapping and production are top-notch even though the lyrics are very playful. Aesop Rock has always been good at being a descriptive storyteller when he raps, so seeing this skill set being implemented in a song that is basically a nursery rhyme honestly makes sense. Out of all the rappers out there, he is probably the guy you would want making nursery rhymes. I genuinely wouldn’t mind more songs like this.
ZillaKami – Chains: For some reason, I don’t talk about ZillaKami as much as I should. He does have one of my favorite voices in hip hop. It is so rugged and animalistic. It pairs well with the trap metal fusion he has been doing on not only his material, but also with SosMula on City Morgue. “Chains” is a perfect example of the type of music City Morgue and ZillaKami are known for. On this track, ZillaKami is shouting and rapping over trap beats and energetic electric guitars. It’s abrasive and kind of catchy. I recommend checking this song out if you are curious about this weird trap metal fusion. If you do enjoy it check out City Morgue.
AG Club – TRUTH (feat. Sam Truth and redveil): I wasn’t really familiar with this rap group, but AG Club impressed me a lot. I love the rebellious energy in this track. This track starts off with a bang. Jody Fontaine sounds so focus while the beat sounds so hard-hitting. Jody’s pre-chorus is catchy and it segues nicely into the sung chores from Sam Truth. I love how the production transitions into a beat switch. I think the new beat fits well with redveils rapping style. I think everybody kills it on this track. It’s a great posse cut. Give it a listen.
Laura Les – Haunted: One-half of 100 Gecs, Laura Les, dropped “Haunted House” this past month. 100 Gecs is a guilty pleasure of mine, so you know I was excited when this song dropped. Like many 100 Gecs tracks, this song does a great job at blending cuteness with insanity. The beat starts off pleasant, but as soon as that inaudible chorus hits you get reminded its a hyper pop song. I absolutely love the crazy energy on the chorus even though I have no idea what she is saying. I think her verse was pretty good. The monotone delivery contrasts nicely with the crazy chorus. The only bad part about this song is that it is too short. I want more!
BROCKHAMPTON – BUZZCUT (feat. Danny Brown): BROCKHAMPTON, the best boyband since One Direction, are back with a FUCKING BANGER! I absolutely love this song. The instrumental sounds like something off Iridescence, but on crack. It is insane! Weirdly, Kevin Abstract is the only member rapping on this track besides the feature Danny Brown. They both brought in a chaotic, yet infectious energy to the track. For some reason, Kevin sounded like Denzel Curry to me. Danny sounded like he was in his prime form again. I also really love the outro. Joba’s beautiful singing and Merlyn’s adlibs finish off the song nicely. I can’t wait for their new album. I’M SO HYPED!
EP Honorable Mentions:
S. Reidy – I Started Grieving Today: Oklahoma rapper, S. Reidy just dropped an EP this past month. It is very short with it being only four tracks and it is barely over 7 minutes long. He comes across as a pretty angry, moody, and passionate rapper. His lyrical content are basically passionate rants half of the time. You can feel the passion on tracks like “Pity Party”. His voice sounds so bold on that track. I believe Die Cute is the producer. If he did produce the EP, I think he did a great job at making a very moody aesthetic for S. Reidy. Not a bad EP. I just wished the songs were longer. Check out this short gem.
JAHMED – ARMANI: This is such a fun and addicting EP. JAHMED is such an entertaining rapper. I love the different flows and vocal inflections he does on this EP. He reminds me a lot of rappers like Vince Staples, Baby Keem, ScHoolboy Q, and Ski Mask the Slump God. Like those rappers, JAHMED is good at being an expressive rapper. The hard-hitting trap beats suit his voice nicely. It’s hard not to be pumped up after listening to a lot of these tracks. Freddie Gibbs has a great feature on “GLIMPSE”. The skits are entertaining. JAHMED has a lot of potential. He is definitely a rapper you should keep an eye on.
Moore Kismet – Vendetta For Cupid: Moore Kismet is a very talented young individual. At only 16 years old, Moore Kismet is producing insane electronic dance music. The production on this EP can be harsh and abrasive, but at the same time, it can be very pretty. The hard-hitting beat drops are chaotic. The features are great as well. They add a lot to the music, but Moore Kismets’ production always shines through. I hope we get more music from them soon. If Moore keeps up the great work, I can see them becoming one of my favorite producers right now.
Michigander – Everything Will Be Ok Eventually: This one for my indie rock fans out there. This EP is my first introduction to Michiganders music. After giving this EP a listen, I instantly became a fan. Michiganders music is very relatable. This EP is about being heartbroken and trying your best to be better again. This man is in his feels big time. Although the subject matter is pretty sad, the music itself sounds pretty uplifting. The instrumentals are pleasant to the ear. Lead singer, Jason Singer, singing is filled with so much emotion. I can’t get enough of this EP. Pretty please with a cherry on top, give this EP a listen.
Benny The Butcher & Harry Fraud – The Plugs I Met 2: If you have listened to Benny The Butcher or Griselda in general, then you should know what you are getting into before listening to this EP. If you have never listened to a Benny project you should expect great drug rap and grimy beats on every project. This EP is no exception. Benny is dropping fire bars. Harry Fraud kills it on production. It sounds very classy. This is some high-class drug talk. Chinx, 2 Chainz, and Jim Jones were great features. I don’t know if I like this more than the first one, but The Plugs I Met 2 is a great rap EP.
Album Honorable Mentions:
Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram: Legendary rap duo, Armand Hammer, teaming up with legendary producer, The Alchemist, is a match made in heaven. Just like past Armand Hammer projects, Billy Woods and E L U C I D delivers great cryptic rapping, but this time it is paired with classy yet grimy production from The Alchemist. It is hard to decode what Armand Hammer is rapping about, but when a bar finally clicks your mind will be blown. I am actually surprised at how well The Alchemist is able to make Armand Hammer-like production, but it still has that elegant feel you expect from an Alchemist beat. You can tell this album was a team effort. This is no high school group project. Everybody put in the work. This includes the features as well. This is definitely one of the best rap albums of the year.
serpentwithfeet – DEACON: What a beautiful album. This is the first time I listened to serpentwithfeet and I am impressed. He reminds me a lot of Frank Ocean. They both have a similar chill and laid-back delivery. Serpentwithfeet sings with a bit more vibrato, but other than that I think they have a similar style. As the album’s description says, this album is about black gay love. Serpentwithfeet is in love and he is not afraid to show it. This album is very romantic. I love how pretty and heavenly the instrumentals are. If you want to listen to a good R&B album, then check this album out.
Kota the Friend & Statik Selektah – To Kill A Sunrise: Kota is back once again with another album. I was nervous before going into this album because I was afraid it was going to be more of the same chill raps. Although it is very chill, Statik Selektah comes through with lushes jazzy boom-bap instrumentals. The change in production helps spice up what Kota has been doing, but at the same time keep the chill aesthetic his fans love. I also like how Kota sounds more focused on this album. He is laid back for the most part, but he does sound energized in tracks like “Wolves”. I really hope Kota and Statik keep working together because this album is great. I would love to see more albums released from this duo.
Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats – UNLOCKED 1.5: Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats ARE BACK BABY! Earlier this month, they dropped a remix album based on their 2020 album UNLOCKED. They had an assortment of guests to provide their own spin on UNLOCKED. Artists like Smino, Joey Bada$$, Benny The Butcher, Kenny Mason, and Arlo Parks, just to name a few, came through with great features. Most of the beats were remixed by other producers like Robert Glasper, Charlie Heat, The Alchemist, and Jay Versace. With all these people helping on the album, this remix album ends unbecoming a totally different experience. Although I do like the original album even more, if you are a Denzel Curry fan this is a must-listen.
Favorite Song of The Month:
Silk Sonic – Leave The Door Open: Although there were a lot of great songs this month, nothing was able to top this masterpiece. Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak came through with probably the best song of the year and we still got nine more months left. They really took aspects from 70’s neo-soul music and modernized it. Doing this makes the song sound nostalgic, timeless, and forward-thinking at the same time. I am surprised with how well these two sound together. Even though they are similar in many ways, they do still find ways to compliment each other. Anderson comes through with some smooth and charismatic bars, while Bruno kills it on the chorus. His singing sounds so powerful and grand. I’m expecting big things from these two. I’m on the Silk Sonic hype train. We might be hearing a classic pretty soon.
Favorite EP of The Month:
CHIKA – ONCE UPON A TIME: CHIKA IS AMAZING! She really is such a brilliant lyricist. This conceptual EP has a very creative fairy tale theme going for it. I absolutely love how she is rapping about serious topics while constantly making fairy tale references. Before this EP, I preferred CHIKA’s singing over her rapping, but that has changed. She is an amazing rapper! The flow switches on the first track alone is mind-blowing. Her rapping is flawless. She makes it seem so easy. If she is putting all of this work in a short EP like this, it makes me wonder what a CHIKA album would sound like.
Favorite Album of The Month:
Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth: Last month I said that Genesis Owusu was my favorite discovery of the year. I gushed all over “Gold Chains”. Now that he dropped his debut album, I can now gush all over more of his music. This album is fantastic even though it was not what I expected. “Gold Chains” was such a smooth and cool track, so I didn’t expect a track like “On the Move!”. This track sounds like a Death Grips song for some reason. I like it, but I just didn’t expect it. Surprises like that happens a lot on this album. Genesis can come across as smooth, chill, aggressive, cartoony, serious, and even sensual. Genesis is such an entertaining and diverse performer. Each song on this album sounds different yet the album is still cohesive. I am absolutely in love with this album. I can’t wait to see how his career unfolds. I expect big things from Genesis.
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!
Hello everybody! Happy February! I hope your 2021 has been good so far. So since I didn’t do a monthly favorites for December, this month will be a monthly favorites deluxe edition. I will be covering both December and January music. There is a lot of great music to cover so lets just jump into it.
Songs Honorable Mentions:
Quan – Came Back: Earlier this month I scrolling through Instagram when I stumbled across an ad promoting Came Back from Quan. I don’t usually check out the music in promos, but I’m glad I did this time because this is good. It’s not anything groundbreaking, but I’m loving this guy’s energy. He has a lot of charisma. I love his aggressive flow. His angry yet fun delivery reminds me of Denzel Curry. If you are into Denzel’s music then I highly recommend you check out Came Back. Quan has a lot of potential and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Yung Skrrt – McDonald’s: So this song is kind of stupid, buuuuuuut I love it. It’s exactly what you think it’s about. This song is about McDonald’s. Almost every line ends with Yung Skrrt rhyming Mcdonald’s with McDonald’s. Yung Skrrt is either monotone or he is using a high pitched baby voice. The beat is hard-hitting and distorted. On paper, this song shouldn’t work, but it does. Check out this banger if you dare.
Alice Gas – BALONEY (freestyle): This is for all you Hyperpop fans out there. This is a fucking banger! I like what Alice did with her vocals. I like the robotic vocals during the chorus. I also like the high pitch chipmunk vocals when she gives her verse. It reminds me of 100 gecs. Alice kills it on the vocals, but the beat is even better. It is so bubbly yet it also has an industrial feel to it. I love how the bridge flourishes. The outro is also amazing!
JPEGMAFIA – FIX URSELF!: Peggy blessed us with a ton of singles that turned into an EP last year and it seems like he is going to do it again this year. FIX URSELF! is the second single for Peggy’s upcoming EP. He once again kills it. I love how triumphant the beat is while still sounding like a JPEGMAFIA beat. As always Peggy’s use of autotune sounds amazing. There are several cool vocal passages. Peggy covers a lot of different topics in this one song, but this is by far my favorite line: “I love my baby like Trump loves Putin, in the deepest way”. How can you not love this man?
slowthai – MAZZA (feat. A$AP Rocky): This song was nearly my song of the month. MAZZA is the third single for slowthai’s upcoming album TYRON. It should be released next month and I am excited for it. Especially after the release of this single. MAZZA is a lowkey banger. The beat is perfect for slowthai’s animalistic energy and A$AP Rocky’s smooth feature. I am surprise on how well these two sound together on the same track.
Lice (Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman) – Ask Anyone: On New Years Eve the world found out that one of the most legendary underground MC’s, MF DOOM, passed away on Halloween. This is a huge loss in the world of hip hop. DOOM is responsible of some of my favorite albums of all time. DOOM made a huge impact on not only me, but on a lot of people all over the world. This includes Lice AKA Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman. After hearing about DOOM’s death they made a tribute song for DOOM. They rapped about how much DOOM meant to them while using a MF DOOM beat called Datura Stramonium. If you are a fan of MF DOOM listen to this tribune track.
BADBADNOTGOOD & MF DOOM – The Chocolate Conquistadors (From Grand Theft Auto Online: The Cayo Perico Heist): Speaking of DOOM, this song was the last song he released when he was “alive”. This song was made for GTA of all things. Most artist would phone in their music if it is for a movie or a video game. DOOM is different. This song is so fucking good! First of all, DOOM rapping in spanish is a treat to listen to. He doesn’t rap entirely in spanish, but he did at the beginning. DOOM’s delivery is smooth and insane as always. Although I am praising DOOM a lot, BADBADNOTGOOD did their thing. What a beautiful instrumental. The live instrumentation gives this song so much life. The second half of the song is all instrumental. It’s a grand and exciting way to end off this 7 minute beast. Even though I have a feeling we might still get more MF DOOM music, this song wouldn’t be a bad way to end off his discography.
EP Honorable Mention:
Kota the Friend – Lyrics to GO, Vol. 2: This is technically an album, but it’s only 15 minutes long so I am going to consider this an EP. If you are a fan of Kota’s music already you’ll enjoy this EP. This EP is just more of what you expect from Kota. Good raps with chill lofi beats. Fun fact! Kota claims that the beats are taken from YouTube. I looked it up and it’s true! He straight up rapped over Kota the Friend type beats. Great vibe music!
Album Honorable Mentions:
Renaissance Mic – The Renaissance Tape: Renaissance Mic deserves to blow up. This album is amazing! I am surprise Renaissance Mic only has 1,000 monthly listeners. This album is a jazz rap album. The instrumentation is phenomenal. Renaissance Mic is rapping about several serious topics. His rapping style reminds me of both Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole. If you like either of these two artists you will definitely enjoy Renaissance Mic’s music.
Moor Mother & billy woods – Brass: When I did my top 50 albums of 2020 list I tried my best to wait till the end of the year to release my list so that I don’t miss anything. Well I ended up missing this amazing album. Brass is an eerie rap album made by billy woods and Moor Mother. This is the type of album I personally need to be in a certain mood before jumping into it because it can be pretty intense. Especially since Moor Mothers performance is amazing, but really creepy. Billy woods did his thing. He sounds very heroic throughout this dark album. Impressive collaborative album. It definitely deserved a spot in my top 50.
R.A.P. Ferreira – Bob’s Son: R.A.P. Ferreira really decided to drop heat on the first day of the new year. Bob’s Son is a very chill layback sounding album. Each song has a lofi beat. There are several beautiful moments. R.A.P. Ferreira is once again rapping poetically. I really like how he raps. The way he emphasize certain words is cool to me. The combination of his rhymes and lofi beats give this album a warm feeling to it.
Navy Blue – Song of Sage: Post Panic!: Am I the only one that didn’t know Navy Blue is a professional skateboarder named Sage Elsesser, he does some modeling, and he is an Odd Future affiliate. How did I miss all of this? Well anyway this album slaps, but in a depressing way. Navy Blue’s lyrics are demoralizing. The beats are dusty and lofi with some cool sampling. Navy Blue has helped artists like Earl Sweatshirt and MIKE with production, so if you enjoy their work you’ll definitely enjoy this Navy Blue album.
Your Old Droog – Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition: I really like what Droog did with his album. Droog is an Ukrainian American and in this album he sprinkles in a little bit of his heritage. He does a great job highlighting his heritage in his raps and beats. Speaking of rapping, man this guy can spit. This album is filled with BARS! He has several quotables. Even though Droog is highlighting his heritage, that New Yorker charm is still there.
Favorite Song of the Month:
Brent Faiyaz & DJ Dahi – Gravity (feat. Tyler, The Creator): Man this is amazing! By far my favorite song of the month. This might be my favorite Brent Faiyaz song. This song sounds like it would fit perfectly in flowerboy. In fact, while listening to the song I forgot DJ Dahi produced this song. I thought Tyler did the production for a second. Speaking of Tyler his verse was short, but great. Brent definitely made a larger impact throughout the entire song. Plus Steve Lacey contributed on this song too. I don’t think this song will do amazing on the charts, but to me it sounds like a hit.
Favorite EP of the Month:
Cosmo Pyke – A Piper For Janet: For only having four tracks this EP was able to make a huge splash. First of all the production here is so good. The live jazzy instrumentation gives this EP so much personality. I would love to hear this EP performed live. Cosmo’s soulful singing is just as wonderful. His voice is so powerful yet soothing. If this is the type of music Cosmo would release on an EP, it makes me wonder how good an album worthy song would be.
Favorite Album of the Month:
Madlib – Sound Ancestors: MADLIB DOES NOT MISS! Everything he touches turns into gold! If you need further evidence on why people consider this man the GOAT hip hop producer look no further. Teaming with Four Tet, Madlib continues to experiment with his sound. What can I say? These beats are amazing! I love the sampling Madlib does on this album. I also love all of the vocal snippets sprinkled throughout the entire album. He does a great job at grabbing the listeners attention. There are several mind-blowing moments throughout the album. If you love Madlibs previous work you will definitely enjoy this album. Beautiful album! Give it a listen if you haven’t already.
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!