BEST HIP HOP ALBUMS OF 2019

1. Dave – Psychodrama

Dave - Psychodrama
MARCH 8, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
88
10 reviews

2. JPEGMAFIA – All My Heroes Are Cornballs

JPEGMAFIA - All My Heroes Are Cornballs
SEPTEMBER 13, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
86
14 reviews

3. Rapsody – Eve

Rapsody - Eve
AUGUST 23, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
86
7 reviews

4. Kano – Hoodies All Summer

Kano - Hoodies All Summer
AUGUST 30, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
86
12 reviews

5. Little Simz – GREY Area

Little Simz - GREY Area

MARCH 1, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
86
16 reviews

6. Tyler, the Creator – IGOR

Tyler, the Creator - IGOR

MAY 17, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
85
21 reviews

7. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib - Bandana

JUNE 28, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
84
24 reviews

8. Maxo Kream – Brandon Banks

Maxo Kream - Brandon Banks
JULY 19, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
84
5 reviews

9. slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain

slowthai - Nothing Great About Britain

MAY 17, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
83
16 reviews

10. Denzel Curry – ZUU

Denzel Curry - ZUU
MAY 31, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
82
10 reviews

11. Megan Thee Stallion – Fever

Megan Thee Stallion - Fever
MAY 17, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
82
7 reviews

12. Danny Brown – uknowhatimsayin¿

Danny Brown - uknowhatimsayin¿

OCTOBER 4, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
81
17 reviews

13. K.Flay – Solutions

K.Flay - Solutions
JULY 12, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
81
5 reviews

14. Lizzo – Cuz I Love You

Lizzo - Cuz I Love You

APRIL 19, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
81
25 reviews

15. Injury Reserve – Injury Reserve

Injury Reserve - Injury Reserve
MAY 17, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
81
8 reviews

16. Malibu Ken – Malibu Ken

Malibu Ken - Malibu Ken
JANUARY 18, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
79
9 reviews

17. YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy

YBN Cordae - The Lost Boy
JULY 26, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
79
7 reviews

18. 2 Chainz – Rap or Go to the League

2 Chainz - Rap or Go to the League
MARCH 1, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
78
10 reviews

19. Quelle Chris – Guns

Quelle Chris - Guns
MARCH 29, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
78
5 reviews

20. Giggs – BIG BAD…

Giggs - BIG BAD...
FEBRUARY 21, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
78
6 reviews

21. Swindle – No More Normal

Swindle - No More Normal
JANUARY 25, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
77
7 reviews

22. Young Thug – So Much Fun

Young Thug - So Much Fun
AUGUST 16, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
77
9 reviews

23. Boogie – Everythings For Sale

Boogie - Everythings For Sale
JANUARY 25, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
77
8 reviews

24. Skepta – Ignorance is Bliss

Skepta - Ignorance is Bliss
MAY 31, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
76
14 reviews

25. Kevin Abstract – ARIZONA BABY

Kevin Abstract - ARIZONA BABY
APRIL 25, 2019
CRITIC SCORE
76
5 reviews

ED O.G

Edward Anderson (born November 27, 1970) is an East Coast hip-hop artist from Boston, Massachusetts, United States, better known by his stage names Ed O.G. and Edo G.. Although not widely known in the mainstream, Ed O.G. has a cult following in Boston, and an international fanbase.

Born in Roxbury—a working class, predominantly black neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts. Anderson then known as Ed Rock started his career in the late 1980s at age 15, in a crew called F.T.I. (Fresh To Impress). They had a song called “Suzi Q” on “Boston Goes Def!” Vinyl LP compilation released in 1986. Three years later, with the help of New York’s Awesome 2 duo (Teddy Ted and Special K) formed Ed O.G and Da Bulldogs in late 1989. He released his first album in 1991 with his group Da Bulldogs, titled Life of a Kid in the Ghetto. The album included the song “Be a Father to Your Child,” which received airplay on local Boston radio stations, and “I Got To Have It”, which was sampled later by Mary J. Blige on the track “Ooh!“. The group was dropped from Mercury Records in 1993.

Ed O.G. has subsequently gone on to release four solo albums and two EPs, toured around the world, and worked with other artists including Pete Rock, DJ Premier, RZA, KRS-One, Common, Black Thought of The Roots and Masta Ace.

On his solo album The Truth Hurts, he combined with DJ Premier and Pete Rock; “Wishful Thinking” was a sequel of his first solo performance. The connection with Rock turned into a partnership for the album My Own Worst Enemy. One of the album’s songs, “Wishing” (featuring Masta Ace), was featured on The Boondocks in episode 9, Return of the King.

In 2005, Ed O.G. started a new group called Special Teamz with fellow Boston rappers Jaysaun (of Kreators) and Slaine (of La Coka Nostra). They released a mixtape on November 11, 2005 entitled The Mixtape. Special Teamz released the album, Stereotypez, on September 25, 2007, which featured production from Pete Rock, DJ Premier, and specialist producer Marco Polo, who had previously collaborated with Jake One and Ill Bill. Appearances on the album included Buckshot and Sean Price of Boot Camp Clik, Ill Bill, Akrobatik and Devin the Dude.

Ed O.G. proceeded to work on a new album with Masta Ace. The first single, titled “Little Young” was released via Myspace. The album was scheduled for release in October 2009, but the release was delayed by a cease-and-desist order from A&E Television Networks, which required a complete revision of the album cover artwork and design, due to copyright issues, as Edo and Masta Ace called their duo “A&E”.

Albums

  • The Truth Hurts (2000)
  • Wishful Thinking (2002)
  • A Face In The Crowd (2011)
  • Intelligence & Ignorance (2013)
  • After All These Years (2014)[5]
  • freEDOm (2017)

Collaboration albums

AppearancesEdit

  • 1992: “Do Whatta I Gotta Do” (from the Brand New Heavies album Heavy Rhyme Experience)
  • 1994: “As Long As You Know” (from the Scientifik album Criminal)
  • 2001: “Rollin’ Dolo” (from the Guru album Baldhead Slick & da Click)
  • 2001: “Gunz Still Hot (Remix)” (from the Rascoalbum Hostile Environment)
  • 2004: “Wutuwankno” (from the Masta Ace album A Long Hot Summer)
  • 2004: “CpH Claimin’ Respect #2” (from The Boulevard Connection 12″ EP CpH Claimin’ Respect #2/G.A. (Remix))
  • 2005: “Official” (From the Big Shug album Never Say Die)
  • 2005: “Experience (Why Don’t You?)” (from the Sadat X album Experience & Education)
  • 2005: “IllState MASSive pt2” (from the Earatik Statik album Feelin Earatik)
  • 2006: “Heart” (from the Shinsight Trio album Shallow Nights Blurry Moon)
  • 2007: “Time & Place” (from the Marco Polo album Port Authority)
  • 2007: “Nothin’ You Say” (from the Snowgoonsalbum German Lugers)
  • 2007: “Crowd Control” (from the Oak Lonetree album The One)
  • 2007: “No More” (from the Verb T album Broken Window)
  • 2008: “Who Made the Rules” (from the King Magnetic album Everythings a Gamble Vol. 1)
  • 2008: “Nobody Like Me” (from the DJ K.O. album Picture This …)
  • 2008: “Raining” (from the Snowgoons album Black Snow)
  • 2009: “Hip-Hop Lives” (from the JR & PH7 album The Standard)
  • 2009: “Miss Those Years” (from the Earatik Statikalbum Good, Bad & Ugly)
  • 2010: “Tribute To The DJ” (from the M-Dot & DJ Jean Maron album Run MPC)
  • 2010: “Fiyah” (from the Capitol 1212 EP History of Silence)
  • 2010: “Fall Back” (from the Omega Red album RedTape Vol.3)
  • 2010: “Freestyle” feat. Jean Marron (from the Dany Dan album A la régulière)
  • 2014: “No Hooks 2014” (from the Far From Ya Average album “The Basement LP”)
  • 2016: “Plane Gang” (from the Reks album “The Greatest X”)
  • 2017: “Verbal Assault” (with Akrobatik and King T

ENTER THE WU-TANG

Years ago, the Wu-Tang Clan blessed the world with their debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers). Masterminded by the group’s de facto leader RZA, the album paired grit-sodden, lo-fi production with razor sharp rhyming skills from the nine-man troupe who claimed Shaolin (as they’d re-christened Staten Island) as their fortress. The album’s influence has become legendary: It helped restore New York City rap pride in the face of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s g-funk dominance, Raekwon and Ghostface’s rhyme styles inspired the subsequent work of Nas, Jay Z and the Notorious BIG, and RZA’s tick of speeding up soul samples struck a chord with a young Kanye West who then embraced the technique for his own early break-through productions.

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) was the first stage of worldwide dominance for the Clan. (Meth even claims that as their goal on one of the album’s slang-saturated skits.) But while the album, its iconography and its lead singles are now solid pop culture fixtures, there’s also a mysterious underbelly to the project. Here’s15 factoids about the Wu’s jump-off moment that might have passed you by.

1. The Demo Tape Off-Cuts
The demo tape which begat Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is a fascinating affair. “Bring the Ruckus” is fleshed out with a (subsequently unclearable) sample and some alternate lyrical performances, while tracks that never made the final album include “Wu-Tang Master,” “Problemz” and “The Wu Is Comin’ Through.” Most intriguing though is “It’s All About Me,” which references De La Soul’s “Me Myself And I” and flows forth in an uncharacteristically lackadaisical manner. 

2. Passing the Bone
During “Clan In Da Front,” the GZA makes one of the album’s many references to weed when he implores, “Pass the bone, kid, pass the bone.” But beyond the blunt craving, the line also nods to the rapper’s prior unsuccessful career when he called himself the Genius and was signed to the Cold Chillin’ label; “Pass the Bone” was a ruggedly chugging production that was left off his debut album, 1991’s Words From the Genius, but added to a 1994 re-release. (The song also features RZA in his Prince Rakeem guise and he name-checks Raekwon.) Self-referentially, the bone passing saga continued when Masta Killa updated the song for 2006’s Made in Brooklyn

3. The Album Was Fueled by Canned Goods
The Clan’s early image involved the idea that they were a bunch of scrappy, striving artists from the slums of Shaolin. ODB certainly mined a look you could kindly call “disheveled poverty chic.” According to 9th Prince, RZA’s younger brother, the low budget living was a true part of their life and Ghostface would frequently make shoplifting trips to the local store to help feed the Clan. “Ghostface would throw on his big, oversized coat and just stack four or five cans in his coat pockets, and we’d walk out,” he told the Village Voice.

4. “Protect Ya Neck” Cost $300 to Record
The Wu recorded their debut album at Firehouse Studios, which also facilitated rap hits from Audio Two, MC Lyte and Das-EFX. According to Yoram Vazan, the studio’s owner, the crew’s first single, “Protect Ya Neck,” cost $300 worth of studio time to complete. They apparently paid him in quarters.

5. The Tenth Wu-Tanger
The official ranks of the Wu-Tang Clan number nine: RZA, GZA, Ghostface, Raekwon, U-God, Masta Killa, Inspectah Deck, Method Man and the now departed Ol’ Dirty Bastard. Cappadonna became something of a semi-member but never secured water-tight Wu status. According to the RZA though, he came close to offering a local Staten Island MC named Scotty Wotty an official place in the crew. You’ll hear the character’s name shouted out later on occasional Wu releases, and he also put in an appearance on a 1998 indie rap release by Shadez of Brooklyn under a new guise as Jackpot.

6. They Paid for Syl Johnson’sHouse
A large part of the charm of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) is its lo-fi sonic ambiance. But that still didn’t stop the group (or its label, Loud) paying up to sample a chunk of classic soul or funk. In the case of blues man Syl Johnson, whose “Different Strokes” ended up being part of the Clan’s funky fanfare on “Shame on a Nigga,” they paid handsomely enough to let him snaffle up some real estate. As he put it in a 2010 interview, “I’m sitting in the house now that was built with the Wu-Tang money!”

. The Home Office
Perusing the credits to the original vinyl release of “Protect Ya Neck” reveals the Wu were using a Staten Island address as the headquarters of Wu-Tang Records. Google mapping 234 Morningstar Road today shows a squat domestic house next to a law office. Apparently, the building last sold for just under a quarter of a million dollars back in 2002.

8. The Masked Men
The story behind the album’s iconic cover has also become one of hip-hop’s favorite ruses. Only six members of the Wu-Tang Clan are pictured on it, and all are sporting stocking masks over their faces. The regular rumor has it that with certain members of the Clan otherwise inconvenienced for various reasons, some of the group’s management team stepped in to take their place.

9. RZA Used Borrowed Studio Equipment
Before the Wu-Tang Clan, Staten Island’s rap scene was focussed on the UMCs, a duo whose debut album, Fruits of Nature, peddled in post-De La Soul positivity. When it came time to record Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), RZA reportedly tapped up UMCs producer RNS and borrowed his Ensoniq sampler. Somewhat repaying the favor, RNS went on to work with Wu spin-offs the Gravediggaz and kid rapper Shyheim, while the UMCs themselves cut a second album in 1994 that seemed to take a creative cue from the success of the Wu’s grimy sound. 

. Method Man Might be the Clan’s Big Kid at Heart
The husky-voiced Method Man’s solo contribution to the album, the humbly-titled “Method Man,” opens with him invoking a line from the Rollings Stones’ defiant “Get Off of My Cloud.” But elsewhere in the song he decides to get inspired by family favorites like Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, the nursery rhyme “Pat-A-Cake, Pat-A-Cake Baker’s Man,” a snatch of the Tweety Pie and Sylvester cartoon, and Dick Van Dyck’s calling card “Chim Chim Cheree.” Consider it the least kid-friendly but child-referential song of the Nineties. 

11. The Snow Beach Jacket
For the group’s introduction to the world, the Wu showed a foppish commitment to mid-Nineties utilitarian fashion: Timberlands and Carhartt attire were the fabrics of the day. But for the “Can It be All So Simple” video, Raekwon donned what has become one of the most iconic pieces of hip-hop fashion: the Ralph Lauren Polo Snow Beach jacket. It now fetches high figure amounts among collectors. Consider it the ’93 equivalent of Kanye sporting an all-over bespoke Louis Vuitton body-suit.

12. The Sample Circle
RZA’s use of soul samples on the album is now well documented, but the Clan’s own grooves have been pilfered by other non-hip-hop artists in return. One early adopter were UK beat merchants the Prodigy, who nabbed the opening part of “Da Mystery Of Chessboxin’” to add some pep to their fiery “Breathe.”

13. Chronic Competition
The track that closes out the album, “Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber, Pt. 2,” is a stripped-down remix to a song that appears earlier in the line-up. It’s propelled by a cavernous bass-line whose monstrous tenor might well be capable of inspiring night terrors. Amping up the rebellious nature of the Wu’s assault, RZA has claimed that the album’s low-end attack was his attempt to out-do the deep bass work that Dr. Dre employed on his melodious The Chronic album the year prior.

14. Track-listing Anomalies
“Protect Ya Neck” was originally released on Wu-Tang Records in 1992. It’s the group’s official bow and features “After The Laughter Comes Tears” on the b-side. (The latter song would be renamed as the curt “Tearz” on the album.) But two different pressings of “Protect Ya Neck” exist, with a later version in 1993 swapping in “Method Man” as the new b-side cut. In other track-listing shenanigans, the vinyl and CD versions of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)contain slightly different running orders (which largely amount to the positioning of “Protect Ya Neck” in the proceedings).

15. Low Charting
Despite Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)becoming a worldwide phenomenon, its original attack on the charts was a limp affair. The album itself scaled only as far as number 41 on the Billboardcharts, while its four official singles fared little better with “C.R.E.A.M.” the highest placed at a sober number 61. The album eventually crawled to platinum status in 1995.