Best Hip Hop Albums Of The First Half Of 2020
Even though the past few months have felt like years with all of us sitting in our homes. But amidst all of the negativity that persists in the world, Hip Hop and rappers have continued to make history in the past six months.
Beyonce, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Nicki Minaj made history as the first four black female solo artists to occupy the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 with their respective hit singles, “Say So” and “Savage.”
Rap and Hip Hop have always been major platforms for rebellion. This year has seen artists making statements, push boundaries, and challenging the mainstream, even if that risks streams or album sales. In this article, we are going to talk about the best Hip Hop albums of the first half of 2020.
Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2020 To Look Out For
1. Run The Jewels: RTG4
Run the Jewels released their long-awaited follow-up to RTJ3 this year. Killer Mike and El-P are as always loud and boisterous, determined to rewrite ideologies surrounding “wokeness” today. This rap duo maintains their old-school flow but innovates with their complex lyricism and polished production to send a message of revolution.
2. Jay Electronica: A Written Testimony
A Written Testimony is a spiritual and philosophical account to illustrates a journey of freedom. The “Exhibit C” creator took JAY-Z’s help, taking on the role of co-star for Jay Elec’s first LP. While many thought Hov outshined his Roc Nation signee on the project, there is no doubt about Jay Elec’s elite lyricism. Let us wish that this project leads to a proper solo LP to prove the New Orleans-bred MC’s more than capable of greatness on his own.
3. Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats: Unlocked
Denzel Curry never fails in finding ways to switch things up and stay fresh. With Kenny Beats’s help, Zeltron concocted one of his most clever projects in the surprise release Unlocked. Each title looks like a computer file as if it was leaked without permission. Although the album lasts just for 17 minutes, the eight-song LP manages to effectively deliver on its concept. Accentuated by a visual component that bolsters the concept, Curry and Kenny’s Unlocked is one of Hip Hop’s most imaginative creations in 2020.
4. Royce Da 5’9”: The Allegory
Some rappers prefer 20-track albums as per the “quantity over quality” rule that dominates the current business, but an emcee like Royce Da 5’9” had clear intentions for each of the 22 on The Allegory. The album’s highlights are “Black Savage,” “Young World,” “On The Block” and “The Perspective” — Eminem’s spoken word interlude on racism and Hip Hop. there is no doubt that whenever Nickle Nine puts a pen on paper, he digs deep and pulls out something undeniably intense.
5. Mac Miller: Circles
Mac Miller’s sixth studio album, Circles, marks the legacy left by the young trailblazer. After his sudden death in September 2018, he left behind a small treasure trove of music, which Miller’s family and producer Jon Brion packaged into Circles. His production is evocative, and his lyrics are full of dreams and honesty. Depression and heartbreak are common themes in Miller’s music, but the pain in Circles is more than ever. The album received a score of 4 out of 5 from DX, and in the words of David Aaron Brake, “Circles may be a culmination of the sounds Miller had been working towards, but it’s also his most intimate and vulnerable project.”
Also Read: Top 6 Music Albums Of The First Half of 2020
6. Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist: Alfredo
There may not be a better rapper than Freddie Gibbs and he has proved it with Alfredo. Alfredo trades Madlib production for that of Alchemist and Gibbs continues to be lightyears ahead of his contemporaries. The highlights of the album are, “Michael Jordan, “1985”, “bitch I’m travelin’ with a cocaine circus,” and he raps along spaghetti western guitar strings on “1985.” Features from Rick Ross, Benny The Butcher, Tyler, The Creator and Conway, the Machine solidify the credibility Gibbs is back to confirm.
7. Smino: She Already Decided
Smino surprised fans with the release of “she Already Decided” in the midst of stay-at-home orders. The album is balanced with an even distribution of hypebeast, head-bob joints, and heartfelt slow grinds. The innovative subject matter in She Already Decided is perhaps flimsy amidst such powerful world events. Still, Smino never claimed to be anything else apart from a success story from “St. Lou.”
8. Megan Thee Stallion: Suga
Megan returned with a highly-anticipated follow-up to her second EP Fever, after attention over her contentious contract with 1501 Records. Suga revitalizes the BDE that surged on her last extended play but also brings a composure with it that maintains her rapid growth over the past year. Her cadence on these tracks reflects her persona as the hoodrat femme fatale—the “Savage Remix”.
9. Westside Gunn: Pray For Paris
Westside Gunn brings a deep-seated toughness with his rap that’s integral to New York. He took his inspiration for Pray For Paris from a high art world, releasing the most accessible album of his career — even more than the Griselda crew’s Shady Records debut WWCD. The LP is the ideal entry point for listeners who are new to the Griselda bandwagon but doesn’t compromise the foundation of what WSG has built. That makes it a great listen for newcomers and dedicated listeners, which is exactly where Westside needs to expand his influence in the music industry.
10. Polo G: The GOAT
The young Chicago spitter built on his existing strengths and drew a line in the sand with his second studio album, THE GOAT. Whether it’s floating through Windy City streets on “33”, solidifying his love life on “Martin & Gina”, or working through the pain on “No Matter What,” Polo G always raps with utmost conviction and passion. The album is also backed by production from celebrities like Mustard, Mike Will Made-It, Murda Beatz, and Nick Mira.
Some Other Hip Hop Albums From 2020 Are:
- Rudebwoy – CJ Fly
- All My Heroes Are Dead – R.A. The Rugged Man
- Everything – Kota The Friend
- Tha Chill – FOHEAD
- Beyond Bulletproof – Mozzy
- High Off Life – Future
- Wunna – Gunna
- Music To Be Murdered By – Eminem
- Studio Monk – Junia T
- Heaven Or Hell – Don Toliver
- Black Habits – D Smoke
- Reasonable Drought – Stove God Cook$
- Enter Fear – Tech N9ne
- Eternal Atake – Lil Uzi Vert
- High Off Life – Future
With that, we come to the end of our list of best Hip Hop albums of 2020. Even in such tough times, it is the artists who are constantly striving to deliver us some good content. Kudos to these talented people.