Best Albums/Songs of 2017

While 2016 was by far the best year for music in several years, 2017 did not disappoint. With releases from some of the biggest names, especially those in hip hop, the year certainly left music fans satisfied.

Best Albums of 2017

8. 17 by XXXTENTACION

The album starts off very pretentious and self-involved with the track “The Explanation,” but looking past the ego involved in this project allows one to enjoy its contents. Cuts like “Jocelyn Flores” and “Depression & Obsession” produce raw emotions, and the listener can tell that X was singing from the heart. This album also marked a surprising departure from X’s traditional style of rap with high levels of bass and generally meaningless lyrics. Instead, X chooses to incorporate more chill rap beats and softer sounds. This certainly works well for him, especially given the subject matter he sings about. Overall, this album is good to vibe with when you’re feeling down, and its songs express several different levels of/reasons for being depressed. It’s easy for a listener to find a song to relate to on this album.

Fave songs: “Jocelyn Flores” and “Depression & Obsession”

7. Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho by Travis Scott & Quavo

Travis Scott and Quavo delivered on their promise to release a collab album, and it did not disappoint. The two incorporated solid samples such as the one in “Modern Slavery” (which is such a bop btw). Both of their voices worked really well together, and I really appreciated a lot of the lyrical content out of this album, especially in the song “Best Man.” It certainly surpassed my expectations lyrically, and overall it was a very solid album.

Fave Songs: “Modern Slavery” and “Best Man”

6. Luv Is Rage 2 by Lil Uzi Vert

Although a lot of songs on this album blend together, there is a good amount of bops. Lil Uzi lets his unique style of rap shine on this project, and his talent can be seen in many of the albums more memorable cuts.

Fave Songs: “Pretty Mami” and “XO TOUR Llif3”

5. DAMN. by Kendrick Lamar

Obviously, Kendrick Lamar was going to make this list. Though I would say DAMN. is a step down from his earlier work, it is still an incredibly solid project, with lyrical content that could not be topped this year. Lamar raps of his own personal experiences on this project, and his talent could not be emphasized more. Songs like “DNA” and “BLOOD” portray a darker view of Kendrick and his reality than had previously been shown in prior albums. Additionally, those two tracks contain samples of Fox News criticizing Lamar’s song “Alright,” and he is easily able to make the hosts look like fools (which isn’t too hard considering it’s Fox News).

Fave Songs: “HUMBLE” and “GOD”

4. More Life by Drake

Even though this project is technically a “playlist” instead of an album, it still delivers so many radio-friendly bops (as Drake is known for). With features from everyone in the rap game, it was clear this album was going to be a massive success. Despite a lack of cohesion and a far too long tracklist, Drake released so many songs on this album that, for lack of a better phrase, are just fun to listen to. The Giggs features on “No Long Talk” and “KMT” were solid, and the song “Portland” with Quavo and Travis Scott slammed. The radio single “Passionfruit” was a fun, chill dance song that anyone could enjoy.

Fave Songs: “Portland” and “KMT”

3. Everybody By Logic

For starters, I must say this is 100% the best album cover of 2017. Moreover, the detail put into the cover also represents the attention put into the content of the album. Logic delivers on this album with lyrics that would blow anyone away. He talks about his personal experiences growing up biracial and in a poor, dangerous household. Logic takes this tragic upbringing and turns it into an inspiring story for his mostly teenage audience to tell them that life gets better. Tracks like “Everybody” present an inclusive view of society, and Logic demonstrates his belief in equality of everyone regardless of “race, religion, color, creed, and sexual orientation.” The breakout single “1–800–273–8255” is a powerful, moving track which has helped in suicide prevention, and the performance of the song at the VMAs could bring the most stoic of people to tears.

Fave Songs: “Killing Spree” and “1–800–273–8255”

2. Good For You by Amine

With such a fun bop as “Caroline” being released before the announcement of an album, expectations were high as Amine released his album in late July. The opening track “Veggies” is the ideal song to start off the album. It starts off the album with a beautiful clip featuring orchestral instruments (string instruments get me every time what can I say), and it follows up with fourteen other solid tracks. The whole album really fits with the aesthetic of yellow that Amine was going for. Overall, it is a very cohesive project, and it’s a really easy, pleasant listen. The songs often have fun, creative lyrics about love and life.

Fave Songs: “Veggies,” “Caroline,” and “Heebiejeebies”

  1. Freudian by Daniel Caesar

It’s not often that an album can be described as a masterpiece, but Freudian by Daniel Caesar is one of those times. Just as the album cover goes for a beautifully simplistic aesthetic, the album delivers on that theme. Each track is beautifully crafted as a pleasant R&B song, and all of the songs are meant to talk about Caesar’s most passionate love. Each song is full of gratitude, best expressed in the tracks “Get You” and “Blessed.” This album is perfectly crafted from start to finish and it’s an incredibly pleasant listen. It’s the perfect album for when you’re in love or just feeling happy. In a pleasant surprise at the end, the last track “Freudian” features a secret ending–a trend long forgotten, but one that should be brought back more often.

Fave Songs: very hard to pick but “Freudian” and “Get You”

Best Songs of 2017

10. Bank Account by 21 Savage

9. Portland by Drake

8. Heebiejeebies by Amine

7. Drowning by A Boogie wit da Hoodie ft. Kodak Black

6. XO TOUR Llif3 by Lil Uzi Vert

5. Codeine Dreaming by Kodak Black ft. Lil Wayne

4. Cherry by Lana Del Rey

3. Rockstar by Post Malone

2. Freudian by Daniel Caesar

  1. Chanel by Frank Ocean