Wednesday, 2 January 2019

REVIEW: Best Hip Hop Albums/Mixtapes from African artistes in 2018

We had an amazing 2018 in terms of Hip Hop which is why I felt it will be decent of us to appreciate those artistes or should I say those body of works that made 2018 such a wonderful Hip Hop year, with that being said, I present to you the Best Hip Hop Albums/Mixtapes of 2018.
The criteria is that these albums were released in 2018 and of course they have to contain at least 70% rap songs. Also this is not a countdown nor is it a chart list; this is just a list of the best of the best hip hop albums of 2018 in no particular order.

1.      M.I Abaga - Yung Denzel - A Study On Self Worth: M.I was responsible for the change of the hip hop game in 2018 and this was due to his controversial single titled You Rappers Should Fix Up Your Life, which by the way was the only single that was released off this album. Like we all know M.I has never been shy of changing the face of rap in Nigeria, so after putting out this song I was so eager to hear what his next album was going to sound like, then when I heard Yung Denzel: A Study On Self Worth, I was completely blown away. To me this not just an album, it is more of a cross examination of M.I's personal life, though I have to say this album reminds me of Jay Z's 4:44 album, that’s if we are talking about the concept. Now you might be asking, did M.I imitate Jay-Z? The answer is Hell No, M.I has been talking about this album way before Jay-Z dropped his album, as a matter of fact many critic thought M.I was just talking tough and could be one of those tricks artistes use to get some kind of attention, because we waited over a year before M.I finally decided to drop this album on the 24th of August 2018. This is a matured and deep album from M.I, for you to truly appreciate and enjoy the album even better, it will be best you listen to it from track one to track ten, don’t listen on shuffle mode because you might not just understand the full essence of the album.

2.      Terry Tha Rapman - Life Of Joe Spazm: I have  always said it and I would say it again Terry Tha Rapman is the most underrated OG in the rap industry, why many critics don’t rate him that much stills baffles me a lot because this is one guy that has held rap down in the last 2 decades and still counting. Terry Tha Rapman was the one that prepared me for what 2018 hip hop was going to sound like after listening to his Life Of Joe Spazm mixtape which dropped on the 26th of January 2018 as a birthday gifts to is fans. Haukane (Crazy) was the first single released off the 21 tracks mixtape and this was way back in 2017 and till date the song till remains one of the best hip hop singles ever. Terry Tha Rapman experimented on a lot of sounds on this mixtape but made sure everything stayed within the hip hop environment giving us one of the best hip hop mixtape of the year.

3.      LadiPoe - T.A.P (Talk About Poe): I know many people will come for my head if I don’t talk about this project, after so many years of waiting for LadiPoe to drop a body of work, the rapper who has been in the industry for more than 4 years and recently got signed to Mavin records finally dropped his debut project tilted T.A.P (Talk About Poe). This is a mixtape that also outlines the struggles of the rapper, some of the things he went through to get to where he is and I have to tell you I got stock on this mixtape for a month. The 9 tracks mixtape which was released on the 5th of October 2018 kicked off with the beautiful song called Voices (ft. Efya), if you ask me, this was a perfect tone to get us ready for the mixtape. Two songs you should really watch out for is Double Homicide (ft. Ghost of SDC ) and Mood, if you ask me, these are the two best songs off the album.

4.      Show Dem Camp - Palmwine Music (Volume Two): This rap duo of Ghost and Tec broke into the music scene in 2011 and ever since then they have gone on to be regarded as one of the best rappers in the industry. Their debut album Dreamers Project remains one of the best rap albums in the industry and in 2017 SDC took the industry by surprise when they dropped Palmwine Music Vol. One out of nowhere. There was no single released no media hype, nothing, we slept and woke up to an album that went on to be one of 2017's best album and with that success, fans were eagerly waiting for the Vol. two and finally on the 15th October 2018 they dropped Palmwine Music Vol. 2. To be honest the best way to describe what this album sounds like it, is exactly what the title says it is, it is true Palm Wine music, for those of you that have drank original palm wine, that smooth feeling you get, is the same exact feeling you will get listening to this album. The 10 track album kicked off with the song titled Under The Influence which is more like a warning to what is about to come on the album. If you are not a fan of hip hop songs and you want to give it a try, this is your go to album; this album feels so good that you won’t even realize that you are listening to rap music. On a personal level, this is my number two best hip hop album of the year.

5.      Mode 9 x Kid Konnect - Long Story  EP: I’m sure Mode 9 doesn’t need any form of introduction, if you don’t know who Mode 9 is then it’s obvious you don’t know anything about Nigerian rap. After dropping his Insulin album in 2016, the rapper whom many have tagged as the greatest rapper out of Nigeria, made a surprise announcement saying he was done releasing albums in Nigeria which is why this Long Story EP with extraordinary producer Kid Konnect came as a shock to many.. I have to be honest, a lot of us slept on this album and I can bet it with you that many are still sleeping on it. According to the rapper the 5 tracks album consist of songs that were recorded in 2007 when he and Kid Konnect met, still this is Mode 9 at his best as always. All the tracks on this EP are worth listening too and credits have to go to Kid Konnect, he did a brilliant job on the production of the EP which was released on the 19th of May 2018.

6.      Boogey x ChX - Never Enough: I would say this to anyone who cares to listen, Boogey will go down as one of the greatest rapper to come out of Nigeria, yes I know many might have not heard of him and those who have heard of him might not even rate him that much but if you are a true hip hop person then you know when it comes to rap, Boogey is not someone to joke with. After becoming second in Terry Tha Rapman's “Zombie Rap Competition” in February 2012, Boogey has gone on to release 6 singles (five solo efforts and one joint project with Paybac'Faceoff'). Never Enough will be his 7th studio album and on this one he collaborates with producer Charlie X (ChX). The project kicked off with the track titled Never Enough and the first few seconds tells us the concept behind the project as Boogey and ChX share a phone call, before bouncy beat kicks in as Boogey goes into an onslaught mode addressing fans who say there are no more rappers in the game, explaining why the project had to be done. In terms of lyrical delivery and production, this is probably one of the best effort coming from Boogey as you can say that Boogey finally found a balance to his art. The six track album which was released on the 9th November 2018 might not get the recognition it deserves in terms of mainstream rap conversations because somehow people don’t see Boogey as that mainstream rapper, they see him as too rigid but Boogey knows his fans which may be few, but trust me they will surely appreciate this one. On  a personal level this is my number one best hip hop album for the year

7.      Blaqbonez - Bad Boy Blaq: On the 31st of August 2018 Blaqbonez dropped his debut album titled Bad Boy Blaq. Blaqbonez broke into the industry in 2012 after winning the Terry Tha Rapman's “Zombie Rap Competition” but things haven’t been easy for him since then, still the young rapper didn’t give up on his quest to be generally accepted. This album consist of all kind of rap sounds, from Trap to classic hip hop and hardcore, Blaqbonez really made sure this album would be generally accepted as they were also danceable songs on the 10 track album. The album kicked off with Accommodate, this song eases you perfectly into what the album will sound like, though I have to be honest here this is probably not the best effort Blaqbonez could have done on this project, I think he focused more on being a mainstream artiste rather than just enjoying himself but that isn’t to take anything away from the album.

8.      A-Q x Loose Kaynon - Crown: A-Q is another rapper that doesn’t need an introduction but for those that might want to ask 'who is this guy?', remember the track where Vector dissed Reminisce titled Distraction, Yes A-Q actually owns that song and Vector was featured on it. From that moment I have followed A-Q and just like every real noncommercial rapper A-Q too has struggled over the years to be accepted into the mainstream rap music though I have to say his acceptance level increased 3 years ago and last year when he dropped his Blessed Forever album. As for Loose Kaynon, is rap career hasn’t been all that smooth simply because he hasn’t been consistence to some extent though he has an album to his name which he dropped in 2016 titled Gemini. One thing that has helped Loose Kaynon gain some sort of fame is the fact that he is under M.I Abaga who is the Executive Producer of this joint album. I’m sure I won’t be out of line if I say this is probably the best joint hip hop album of 2018, both rapper went in real hard on this project, I mean what do you expect when you have M.I heavily involved in it?. The 10 track album which was released on the 15th of August 2018 started with Out of This World and this was a tone setter for what to expect from the album.

So there you have it guys, the best of the best hip hop albums of 2018, if you are not satisfied with this list or probably you feel there is an album that should or shouldn’t be there, please feel free to express yourself in the comment section. 

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