2015 was such a great year for music that I ended up writing about way too many albums that resonated with me. Here is my list of personal favorites in no particular order.
Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth
His best work in years, Lupe‘s masterpiece divided into four seasons includes clever punchlines and discusses social issues accompanied by a medley of instruments including violins and atypical banjos.
Erykah Badu – But You Caint Use My Phone
Dedicated to society’s fixation with cell phones, Ms. Badu analyzes their affect on relationships over futuristic Funk on a project sparked by Drake‘s “Hotline Bling.”
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly
Already earning countless accolades including 11 Grammy nominations, Kendrick documents his battles with inner demons while exposing racial inequality and promoting Black pride on a unique fusion of Jazz and Funk.
Logic – The Incredible True Story
A space travel concept album that takes place in the future makes an intriguing listen filled with rapid-fire flows and stellar production influenced by Yeezy, Outkast and golden era Hip Hop.
The Internet – Ego Death
The mature and developed effort by the former Odd Future act wows longtime and new fans with Grammy-nominated sensual and airy R&B melodies.
Phony Ppl – Yesterday’s Tomorrow
The nine member band exhibit alluring and state-of-the-art instrumentation that dazzles on this mellow Jazz, Hip Hop and R&B laced work.
Tyler, The Creator – Cherry Bomb
Tyler showcases a vast range of beautiful production (based on his favorite musical genres) that includes strings, electric guitars and xylophones as he encourages listeners to soar to new heights.
Freddie Gibbs – Shadow of a Doubt
Gangsta Gibbs displays bold versatility on a hard as steel album that touches on old drug habits and features unexpected guests like Gucci Mane.
Kali Uchis – Por Vida EP
Kali‘s candy coated voice perfectly complements this well-executed smooth and nostalgic R&B album that sounds like it escaped from the 60s.
Travis $cott – Rodeo
A dark and melodic ode to indulging in libations and the Hollywood lifestyle, Rodeo channels elements of his mentor’s most influential album – 808s and Heartbreak.
Dr. Dre – Compton
Dr. Dre‘s return to Hip Hop brings Compton to life with a rich and pictorial West Coast soundtrack assisted by both legends and newcomers.
Mick Jenkins – Wave[s]
Mick Jenkins urges present day society to seek more truth and provides listeners with awe-inspiring bars and overall good vibes.
A$AP Rocky – A.L.L.A.
A kaleidoscopic and experimental approach to his sophomore effort finds Flacko not only rapping over organs and guitars, but harmonizing on tracks from time to time.
Puff Daddy – MMM
Puffy and his formerly absent Family make sure the hustler’s spirit lives on thanks to his latest gem dedicated to Money Making Mitch from Paid in Full.
Pusha T – Darkest Before Dawn
Dense lyricism and an unconventional assortment of first-class beats compose an album so resplendent it is sure to pique fans’ interest in 2016‘s King Push.
Tame Impala – Currents
Tame Impala‘s third studio album filled with colorful psychedelia will have you floating on feel-good notes perfect for mood lifting or scenic drives.
Snoop Dogg and Pharrell – Bush
Snoop and Pharrell team up to create 1970s inspired grooves that pay homage to some of California’s finest assets: women, weed, and weather.
Miguel – Wildheart
Miguel‘s sexy collection of love songs is fiery and well-produced, yet also manages to simultaneously emit honesty and rawness.