Best of 2019: Hip-Hop & R&B Albums

Ranking the best hip-hop and R&B albums we had on repeat this year.


10. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana
(June 2019)

Starting the list off with one of the most anticipated collaborations that hit our speakers this year. The legendary producer Madlib linked up with rapper Freddie Gibbs to create one of the best hip-hop albums to come out in recent years.



9. ScHoolboy Q – CrasH Talk
(April 2019)

TDE had an amazing 2019 and ScHoolboy Q was at the forefront of the record label’s rap movement with this dope album full of amazing featured guests.



8. Free Nationals – Free Nationals
(December 2019)

After numerous singles later, this funky, genre-bending band finally dropped their debut album and it was well worth the wait. This is just the beginning for this crew and we’ll be expecting some great albums from them in 2020 and beyond.



7. SiR – Chasing Summer
(August 2019)

Representing Inglewood, California, TDE artist SiR once again proves he can turn any song into an instant hit. He definitely stands in a class of his own in the TDE crew and that’s what makes his new releases much more anticipated.



6. Snoh Aalegra – Ugh, Those Feels Again
(August 2019)

The Swedish siren dropped one of the most sensual R&B albums towards the end of the Summer season and it was the perfect vibe that helped us transition into Fall and Winter.



5. Anderson .Paak – Ventura
(April 2019)

We’re halfway into this list, so these next albums are the best of the best. Well, at least in our opinion. If we missed your favorite album, comment down below and speak on it.

This Oxnard artist was born to be seen and heard, every official studio album he drops have made us more of a fan each time. The instrumentals, the lyrics, the beats, this dude is a musical genius. Funky to the core, with a twist of hip-hop/rap that is unique to the West Coast. Yes lawd!



4. Kaytranada – BUBBA
(December 2019)

Coming in strong towards the end of this current decade, the Haitian-Canadian DJ and record producer, Kaytranada, surprised us all once again. Much like the elusive Frank Ocean, Kaytranada will drop a song out of the blue and instantly become a trending topic in many music circles. It also helps that he manages to gather together some of the best artists in the world to be featured guests on the album.



3. Summer Walker – Over It
(October 2019)

We are focusing on Summer Walker’s amazing music, that’s it, no more no less. Summer’s personal lyrics hit a little too close to home for many people and maybe that’s why we couldn’t get enough of Over It. It’s the R&B album we’ve been waiting for but also, didn’t even know we needed. Here’s hoping we get more music in the future from this talented artist.



2. YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy
(July 2019)

If you’ve been reading The 5th Element Mag this year, then you already know that YBN Cordae is easily one of our staff’s favorite rapper at the moment. The Lost Boy gave us songs that deserved to be on radio rotation, with tracks like “Bad Idea” and “RNP” giving listeners something new in the rap genre. And if the radio ain’t ready for YBN Cordae then his fans will continue to bump this album for many years to come.



1. Dreamville Records – Revenge Of The Dreamers III
(July 2019)

J. Cole’s Dreamville Records said let’s get as many dope artists as possible for this ROTD3 album and ya, they definitely achieved that. This is how you do a compilation album. With artists like Smino, EarthGang, Ari Lennox, DaBaby, Vince Staples, Guapdad 4000, JID, T.I., Bas, Buddy, and so many more adding to this epic album. Was it fair putting a compilation album in the number one spot? Probably not, but if there was one album we played the most this year from beginning to end, then ROTD3 easily takes the lead.


Notable Mentions:

Khalid – Free Spirit

Kanye West – Jesus Is King

Tyler, the Creator – Igor

Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding

Tinashe – Song’s For You


Cheers y’all and have an amazing 2020! May we be blessed with more amazing music drops in the upcoming decade!


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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