2017: The Best Year for Music… So Far
Did you think that music would thrive so much in 2017? If you answered no, you might want to check yourself. We’re eight months into the year, and music is undoubtedly the best it’s ever been. It seems like ever since we rolled into the new year, every artist has been trying to get their seat at the table. Hit to hit, it’s no surprise that hip hop is finally acknowledged as the most listened to genre ever! Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock for half the year, here are a few projects that’ve sat high on the charts.
Migos ended 2016 on a good note. They were sitting high on the charts after the release of their hit “Bad and Boujie” featuring Lil Uzi Vert. Migos aren’t shy about making hits. However, it seems like now more than ever, they are paving the way to a new culture. The hip hop trio continued to spew successful hits with their Culture album. Adding yet another milestone, the album reached platinum in only a matter of months. Migos entered 2017 with a bang and they haven’t stopped yet.
The Atlanta hit banger himself, Future, made everyone’s trucks rattle with the release of his self titled album in February. Hits like “Draco” and “Mask Off” still sit on the Billboard Hot 100 list. In this album, Future has set aside some of his mainstream acoustics and revisits some of the sounds and beats that made him who he is. We’ve watched Future grow from a featured artist to a head lining pioneer. Future is on top of his music more than ever.
After rumors of TDE’s princess SZA quitting music surfaced, it was hard to image if she’d be willing to release new content. Luckily, she came to our rescue with the release of her long awaited debut album Ctrl over the summer. On this album, SZA takes us through some issues of insecurity, while bringing to light self care and self love. In 2017, SZA has risen from her silence as an artist, and her name will continue to circulate. SZA’s stardom is at a high, being one of the most powerful singer/songwriters in the league.
Tyler The Creator, Flower Boy
It’s been a while since we last heard from Tyler The Creator. Two years ago Cherry Bomb let us to see a different side of Tyler. He continues this soft and touching narrative on his project Flower Boy, another summer debut. The album title speaks for itself, showcasing Tyler’s soft and carefree side. He’s proof that creating is parallel with reality and being yourself is self-love. Tyler takes production into his own hands and mind in Flower Boy. His MF Doom inspired acoustics are monumental and prevalent, adding his own unique assets to the table. A few songs are garnished with vocals from Colombian singer Kali Uchis, Frank Ocean, Rex Orange County and Estelle. Flower Boy is Tyler’s most empathetic album to date. It shows how much Tyler has grown creatively and sonically.
Kendrick Lamar, DAMN
Undoubtedly, wordsmith K-Dot levels up after every album release. DAMN holds this title true. With each track reflecting on self conflicting emotions like “FEAR”, “LUST”, and “PRIDE”, this album allows listeners to enter a world where each of these themes exist. DAMN showcases Kendrick’s phenomenal ability to tell stories and move an audience with his cut throat wordplay and hard-to-miss rhymes. Kendrick is here to eat, and he won’t stop until his voice is heard. This is why he’s hip hop’s most lyrical and powerful artist to date.
Playboi Carti, The Playboi Carti Tape
Atlanta is home to many rising trap stars, one of them being Playboi Carti. Carti has been thriving in underground music for a while, but 2017 serves as an apex year for the artist. Carti’s hustle and grind in his music landed him a spot on XXL’s Freshman List. Prior to that, the internet hopped on his wave with his self-titled project Playboi Carti. Overnight, the summer hit Magnolia placed high on charts, and stayed on repeat in everyone’s playlist. Another shining moment in Carti’s tape is his partner and newfound hitmaker Pierre Bourne. His video game inspired beats are what makes this tape have endless replay value. This project is on go from beginning to end.
Class is in session. Hip hop legend Jay-Z released his project 4:44 with almost no warning. Everyone was ready to hear what hip hop’s favorite rapper had to say after all these years behind the scenes. This album focuses on holding yourself accountable, making smart investments, and growing up. A lot of theories circulated around the theme of the album. Many think this is Jay-Z response to Beyonce’s Lemonade album; where we got a glimpse of what went on in the Carter home. Will this be the last we hear from Hov? Hopefully not, but until then, we’ll learn along with this project.
Lil Uzi, Luv Is Rage 2
After a while, it was looking like the second part to Uzi’s successful mixtape Luv Is Rage was never going to happen. Luckily, our worries turned around after Lil Uzi Vert finally released Luv Is Rage 2. This go-round, Uzi is aiming more at a hype-lit vibe than before. Luv is Rage 2 still contains Uzi’s rockstar aesthetic, along with more polished production. The rockstar brings two guest appearances from Pharrell Williams and The Weeknd. Track after track, Uzi laces each song with his signature hype and adlibs. . Go ahead and give this one a listen.
A$AP Mob, Cozy Tapes: Vol. 2
A$AP Mob collective knows how to drop hits. The group first came to light after the release of their first tape Lord$ Never Worry. Since then, the group has enhanced their sound, going on world tours, and adding looks in the fashion industry. Unfortunately, at the brink of their rise, the Mob lost founder A$AP Yams. The same man who brought these talented men together continues to inspire and motivate them post tragedy. Last year, in a commemoration to Yams, the Mob released Cozy Tapes: Vol 1. Now, the Harlem collective is back with part two in the installment. This go-round, the tape has an all-star line up of features. Artists Gucci Mane, Lil Yachty, Jayden Smith, Frank Ocean, Quavo, Key!, Joey Bada$$ and Pro Era, Flatbush Zombies, and Lil Uzi Vert contribute their lyrics and wordplay to the project. New Mob members Playboi Carti and 15-year old Bronx rapper Smokey Margielaa appear on the majority of the tracks as well. We hear dungeon inspired production from Zoneout Worldwide, Hector Delgado, and rising Atlanta hit maker Pierre Bourne. If you aren’t including this in your playlist, you definitely need to reconsider.
Well that about wraps it up. So far, 2017 has fed our ears with nothing but nonstop hits. Keep in mind, there’s less than 4 months left. Will the hits continue to prosper? By the looks of it, we’re only going up from here.