5 Hip Hop Albums From The Past Decade You Should Listen To
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My Top 5 Favorite Hip-Hop Albums Of The Decade

You know this is just my opinion, right?


There's only a little more than a year left until 2020 and the start of a new decade.

Let that sink in for a second.

Crazy, right? I remember 2010 like it was yesterday. Sitting in Mr. Tomo's sixth-grade history class, impatiently waiting for the 2:36 P.M. bell to sound at Thompson Middle School so that I could run home and play Call of Duty Black Ops for seven consecutive hours.

Yeah, THOSE were the days.

It's hard to believe that the years of my youth have already passed. I'm now a determined college student with ambitions of being an attorney as well as an online journalist. Sounds odd, doesn't it? Well, I am an odd person, so you really shouldn't be shocked by these aspirations.

Throughout the course of my adolescence, I developed an interest in things, such as sports, history, and, perhaps most notably, music. More specifically, hip-hop music has gained my attention, starting with Kanye West's 2007 album "Graduation", which I listened to for the first time in 2010.

Since then, I've made it a priority of mine to stay up-to-date on the latest hip-hop releases, and I have recently compiled a list of my favorites from the past eight years. Rather than wasting your time with more background information, let's take a look at my top five hip-hop albums from the past eight+ years.

5. Future - “DS2”

I'm not a huge fan of the new wave of trap music that has infected hip-hop music over the past five years or so, but this Future project is definitely an exception. "DS2", an abbreviation for "Dirty Sprite 2", initially intrigued me due to its aesthetically pleasing cover art featuring blue and purple fumes intertwined with one another.

Fueled by melodic autotune and slick production, "DS2" remains the most well-rounded trap album I've listened to. While some of the beats may sound overwhelming in solidarity, Future is able to match the album's energy by aggressively vocalizing lyrics. I never liked Future prior to this album's release, but "DS2" changed everything.

Favorite Tracks: "I Serve The Base", "Rotation", "The Percocet and Stripper Joint".

4. Chance the Rapper - “Acid Rap”

Sure, "Coloring Book", an album which I actually wrote about in a previous article, may be the Chicago native's most popular project to date, but I don't think it's his best. Chance dropped "Acid Rap", his second official mixtape, in April 2013.

An ingenious juxtaposition of trippy beats and advanced lyricism define this project, which was met with acclaim by critics and underground hip-hop fanatics alike subsequent to its release. Despite his absence from the mainstream during this period, Chance was able to attract the likes of Twista, Childish Gambino, Action Bronson, and Ab-Soul for features on "Acid Rap".

Contrary to its title, you don't need to be tripping on acid in order to enjoy this mixtape. Chance has continued to progress over the course of his career, and "Acid Rap" can be thanked for pushing him towards prominence.

Favorite Tracks: "Lost", "Favorite Song", "Acid Rain".

3. Danny Brown - “Atrocity Exhibition”

I couldn't make this list without including at least one experimental hip-hop album. Danny Brown is one of the most unique artists in the history of hip-hop. Brown maintains natural storytelling ability unmatched by other contemporary artists, but his originality doesn't stop there.

On "Atrocity Exhibition", the Detroit-bred MC fluctuates between his trademark yelp and a voice of despair to elaborate upon his struggles with drug addiction and depression. Brown forces listeners to endure the pain he's experienced in this 15-part monologue, baiting in consumers with intoxicated promises but instead leaving them to withdrawal in a pit of loneliness.

Disturbing yet genius, that's Danny Brown.

Favorite Tracks: "Tell Me What I Don't Know", "Really Doe", "Ain't It Funny".

2. Kendrick Lamar - “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City”

I'll be honest: two Kendrick albums could have cracked my top five. K Dot has been such an influential figure in the hip-hop community in recent years, and his music speaks for itself. While I'm rather fond of "To Pimp a Butterfly" and both the social and political sentiments it conveys, I'm going have to go with GKMC for this list.

Following the release of his debut album, "Section.80", Lamar gained recognition on a nationwide level for his lyrical ability. GKMC serves as an advancement of Kendrick's artistry. Accompanied by banger west coast production, the Compton product spits impenetrable bars pertaining to his youth and the dangers of growing up in the hood.

As someone hailing from an upper-middle-class suburb, I am somehow able to relate to the difficulties encountered by Kendrick and inspired by his courageousness. GKMC is more of a story than an album; it is a story that anyone can comprehend and appreciate its inherent value.

Favorite Tracks: "The Art of Peer Pressure", "Money Trees", "Swimming Pools".

1. Kanye West - “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”

Kanye is my favorite artist. Of all time. Of any genre. I sort of like him A LOT, but giving Yeezy the #1 spot on this list isn't bias. MBDTF is the perfect hip-hop album and has rightfully earned its place on my list. It's seriously unlike anything I've ever heard before.

Known for his talent as a producer, this album is where Kanye makes his largest stride towards becoming an elite lyricist. Building off what he introduced on "808s and Heartbreak", Kanye continues to innovate on MBDTF, sampling beats never before thought of in the context of hip-hop production. Who else would feature Bon Iver on a hip-hop album? No one.

Kanye is one of the greatest artists of our generation. Rather than criticizing him and questioning his integrity outside of music, let's just appreciate all he has given us and remain hopeful that more good music is to come in the future. However, I don't think he'll ever be able to top MBDTF. It's just too perfect.

Favorite Tracks: "All of Them".

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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