Who’s The 2017 King of Hip-Hop?


Photo Courtesy of The Source.

After about a decade of trash hip-hop artists like Soulja Boy, Iggy Azalea (if she even counts), and Chief Keef, it seems as though the lyrics have become important to the music again, and I could not be more thrilled. Some artists have already delivered solid albums in 2017:

  1. Kendrick Lamar

It seems like Christmas came early this year because Kendrick dropped his latest (and greatest) album to date, DAMN., on April 14th. The album, which is much different from his previous album, To Pimp A Butterfly, is quite personal. Kendrick takes us on a journey. The album is much less political than the last, but he makes sure to incorporate just enough to remind us how he feels about the subject matter. We don’t see as many features on this album either, but all of the songs feel extremely authentic. The first single “HUMBLE.” was released a few weeks prior, and it peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Song suggestions: “ELEMENT.” and “XXX.” feat. U2

  1.  Joey Bada$$

When he released All-Amerikkkan Bada$$, Joey showed why we should start paying attention to him. This is his most successful album to date, and the album’s title is a tribute to Ice Cube’s 1990 album, Amerikkka’s Most Wanted. The album is confrontational, direct, unapologetic, and it touches on many of the controversial social justice topics that have been in the media for the past few years. This album will definitely give you those “Oh snap. Did he really say that?” moments.

Song Suggestions: “Land of the Free” and “Legendary” feat. J. Cole

       3.  J. Cole

Speaking of J. Cole, it’s very necessary to add him to this list—even though his album came out in December of 2016. But, that basically counts as 2017, right? This was one of the most honest and clever albums I have ever listened to. 4 Your Eyez Only follows the journey of a young man who is troubled by his surroundings and environment. He experiences a great deal, but over time, he falls in love, starts a family, and shares his story with his daughter so that she can listen to the story after he passes away. The concept is incredible, and the storytelling is even better.

Song Suggestions: “Immortal,” “Change,” and “Ville Mentality”

4. Big Sean

I Decided. debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, and I’m sure most of you have been talking about all of the Ls you’ve taken while singing along to his song “Bounce Back.” Big Sean’s last album, Dark Sky Paradise, exposed him to a larger audience with his very bitter anthem “I Don’t F*** With You,” but this one’s a bit different. It makes Big Sean seem a little bit more mature, but to be honest, this album doesn’t even compare to the albums that have already been mentioned in this list. Valiant effort, but keep trying Sean.

Song Suggestions: “Halfway Off the Balcony” and “No Favors” feat. Eminem

      5. Drake

This may have been Drake’s seventh straight No. 1 album, but it was complete garbage. At this point, it seems like all Drake has to do is sneeze on the record, and people will buy it. I will cut Drake some slack though because he described it as more of a playlist of music, which would explain why there’s absolutely no theme, no underlying message, and honestly no point. I can admit I scream “Fake Love” at the top of my lungs when I’m in the car alone, and I definitely bop my head along to “Gyalchester.” But, even with the help of artists like Kanye West and PartyNextDoor, this album is just a bunch of song samples and experimenting with sounds. Maybe this will grow on me over time, but for now, Drake can definitely stay at the bottom of this list.

Song Suggestions: “Teenage Fever”and “Blem”