Best of 2018: The Album Picks of the Year

Our definitive list of the albums we’ve had on rotation all year.

As always, the past 12 months have brought us more great albums to stream, download, and share with our friends. And per usual, it has become increasingly difficult to narrow down our top 5 picks from the whole year. Who could forget the insane amount of albums that Kanye West produced? Or the handful of collaboration albums that surprised even the most loyal of fans.

One surprise album that we’re still playing is the soundtrack to the successful Marvel movie Black Panther. Produced and curated by Kendrick Lamar and the TDE crew, the soundtrack perfectly matched the modern hero and more importantly, made soundtracks something to be excited about again. J. Cole’s KOD was picked as the number one album of 2018 by many online sites and they’re not wrong. While we’re not placing a numeric title to our choices, KOD would definitely rank high up there for us. J. Cole’s direct message to young rappers is a true testament to his growth as a recording artist and as an inspiration to the new generation.

While many people were introduced to Smino this year by way of his album NOIR, the young rapper has been a staple in the underground hip-hop community. His latest totally blew our minds away, with a rap style that is unique to his own while also representing his hometown St. Louis. Another new artist that you may have been hyped on this year was H.E.R., an enigmatic modern R&B/soul singer. She made her mark on 2018 with a two-part album: I Used To Know Her: The Prelude and Part 2. If you haven’t checked out her music yet, then what are you waiting for? Her roller coaster of emotional songs will warm up even the coldest hearts out there. Finally, last but not least, we can’t forget Travis Scott’s wild ride known as ASTROWORLD. I’m sure we’ll be playing tracks like “SICKO MODE” a few more times in 2019.

Review our top picks for the best hip-hop, rap, and R&B albums below and let us know which album should have been included with the top 5!

J. Cole – KOD

Black Panther The Album – Music From And Inspired By

H.E.R. – I Used To Know Her (The Prelude and Part 2)

Smino – NOIR

Travis Scott – ASTROWORLD

Honorable Mentions:

Jorja Smith – Lost & Found

Post Malone – beerbongs & bentleys

Teyana Taylor – K.T.S.E.

Keep that same energy for 2019!

Marc Mangapit

Editor and freelance writer from Los Angeles. Pizza hunter and burger snob. He misses the old Kanye, the "I can't even go to the grocery store without some Ones that's clean and a shirt with a team" Kanye.

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