Thursday, December 17, 2015
BEST ALBUMS OF 2015!
One album per artist. Thought about curtailing the list at eight, but I'm a conformist and bowed to convention.
Some closing thoughts: Leave Young Thug alone, Future is good and important, J. Cole sucks, Rosenberg and Ebro suck, Charlemagne sucks, Troy Ave sucks, Travis Scott sucks, New York rap sucks. Jay-Z used to rule, but now he sucks. It's unclear whether Lil Wayne rules again or still sucks. Travis Porter is better than Badfinger, but the Monkees are better than Migos. Now's the time I should say, "See you in the 1-6!," but I know I'll write about some dumb song before the year ends #ocdboy.
1. FUTURE - DIRTY SPRITE 2
56 Nights was a tighter album and better concept. DS2 was more.
2. YOUNG THUG - BARTER 6
Barter 6 lacked the experimental ventures of Slime Season and pop smarts of SS2, but it felt the most like an album and I am a slave to the album structure. Blame Ahmet Ertegun.
3. MOZZY - BLADADAH
Old timers complaining about the decline of rap-as-craft either haven't heard Mozzy, always had horrible taste, or they enjoy complaining more than they like rap.
4. DR. YEN LO - DAYS WITH DR. YEN LO
Ka played Alan Vega, Preservation was Martin Rev. The best thing to come out of New York since Max B got locked up.
5. EARL SWEATSHIRT - I DON'T LIKE S, I DON'T GO OUTSIDE
Earl wasn't lying when he said his new music would have little in common with Earl. Thanks for that. Shouts to Nakel Smith for dropping the most #based verse of the year. Punk is dead, but its greatest contribution to the culture, the under-30-minutes album, is alive.
6. VIC SPENCER - THE COST OF VICTORY
A throwback that wasn't retrograde. What was rapping?
7. THE JACKA - DROUGHT SEASON 3 (NO BERNER VERSION)
Honestly I mainly listened to the Berner-less version cause every time his goofy ass stepped to the mic it bungled any mood and subtlety established by the Jacka and company. 2015 was the year I started paying attention to the Bay beyond the usual suspects, having long associated its music with rich SF kids who love weed and say hella too much.
8. JOHNNY CINCO & HOODRICH PABLO JUAN - POPPI SEED CONNECT
The surprise tape of the year, and a reminder of why I still read rap blogs.
9. JUNGLEPUSSY - PREGNANT WITH SUCCESS
At the end of the day, rap music is entertainment and this album is very entertaining. Rap music took a turn toward seriousness after Illmatic. Albums like Pregnant With Success recall a time when rap, in the form of Geto Boys and 2 Live Crew, was a separate but related entity in the same constellation as Redd Foxx and Rudy Ray Moore. A Vagina Diner for the ladies.
10. AMPICHINO - PACK MONEY
Ampichino continues to write some of the most thoughtful and intricate raps in the game, but he is a regular looking old dude from Akron so no one writes thinkpieces about him. Was Summertime '06 a better album? It was certainly more ambitious. Vince Staples will get his adulation elsewhere. I'm going to use the 10 spot as a vote for the kind of rap I hope continues to be made.
SPECIAL MENTION: KENDRICK LAMAR - TPAB
If the purpose of art is to inspire strong reactions, Kendrick succeeded. That includes being unable to sit through the whole album.