This Past Semester's Best Musical Releases

It’s finally over. The anxiety of finishing up a project the night before it’s due, the alarm from hell that goes off at 7 a.m, the pressure of writing a 4,000 word essay — it’s all over, until next semester that is. Nevertheless, now it’s time to enjoy the holidays and enjoy some time-off. But school hasn’t been all bad. The best part of this past semester? The incredible albums that were released this past fall. So instead of looking back on all of the classes you missed, let’s look back on the great music that came out, shall we? Here are some of my personal favorites.

1. Juicy J - "Highly Intoxicated"

Juicy J, one of the founding members of Three 6 Mafia, released a mixtape early September by the name of "Highly Intoxicated." It features artists such as XXXTentacion, Cardi B, A$AP Rocky and of course $uicideBoy$, who also produced a large amount of this project as well, which is dark, grimy and rough. Juicy J’s flow is, like always, up-beat and melodic. The best song on this project in my opinion, would definitely be Freaky ft. A$AP Rocky and $uicideBoy$.

2. LCD Soundsystem - "American Dream"

LCD Soundsystem, a New York-based indie electronic rock band, came out with an album that no one really expected. They announced their break-up in February of 2011, so when they released "American Dream" this past September, it was a pleasant surprise. The project doesn’t fail to deliver their classic electric-dance instrumentals and groovy guitar solos throughout the album, declaring to the public that they are in fact still as strong as they were when they started in 2002. My favorite track on this one is American Dream (ironic, I know).

3. Jhene Aiko - "Trip"

As mentioned in my 10 Female Artists That Break Musical Boundaries article, Jhene Aiko decided to put out an extremely artistic album that instilled her presence as a talented alternative R&B singer. Along with the 22 incredibly written tracks, Aiko also put out a visual movie to represent some of the album’s grand themes. As illustrative that short movie was, it does not compare to how visually stimulating "Trip" is with support from Jhene’s feathery vocals and the album’s exotically sounding audio.

4. Future & Young Thug - "Super Slimey"

This collaborative mixtape is the equivalent to finding money in a jacket you just put on. Future and Young Thug, two hip hop artists that have greatly contributed to this new wave of glamorized “mumble rap” trap music, have put together a very strong hip hop project. Both of them are incredibly similar stylistically and have a similar fan base, so the duo is no shocker to regular listeners. However, their delivery and tones are quite different, yet complimentary. Very instrumentally pleasing and a “safe” rap sound, this mixtape won’t disappoint pre-existing fans.

5. 21 Savage, Offset, Metro Boomin - "Without Warning"

Just when you thought collaborative hip hop projects were over, the album "Without Warning" came out just around Halloween, portraying a horror film in trap form. Metro Boomin’s production is ghostly and conveys dark, yet roaring undertones. The contrast between 21 Savage and Offset offer something most albums don’t have. While Savage is typically lazy (in a good way) and mundane in his delivery, Offset is known for his upbeat expression and energy in his verses. The two artists mesh incredibly well, creating a combo that is relentlessly sinister, yet impactful.

As much as I am ecstatic that this long and strenuous semester is over, I can definitely appreciate the musical projects that were released. Thank you to these releases, for saving us during our dark times throughout the semester!

Photo credits: cover, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5