Thundercat‘s latest shockingly enlists legends Michael McDonald (Steely Dan) and Kenny Loggins for an alluring track built on plenty of blissful synths entitled “Show You the Way.” The vocals meld perfectly over the beat crafted by Flying Lotus and Thundercat himself. Look for the track on his next LP, Drunk, which will feature Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa dropping February 24. Definitely press play below if you’re in need of a melodious escape.
Back at it again with my favorite Hip Hop & R&B albums list. Here are 15 projects that dropped in 2016 and remain in my current rotation.
Kendrick Lamar – untitled, unmastered
Unpolished and unapologetic, Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly scraps are auditory gems that continue to bring much-needed awareness to social injustice.
NxWorries – Yes Lawd
Anderson Paak and Knxwledge team up as NxWorries to deliver a highly enjoybale fusion of playboy persona with throwback Soul teeming with violins, horns and bass.
Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
Hate him or love him, Kanye proves unpredictable yet again by taking elements of Gospel, House and Soul to create a first-rate album that integrates elements of the old Ye.
A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from here….Thank You 4 Your Service
Hip Hop legends reunite with vocals from the late Phife Dawg to create a modernized 90s masterpiece that now boasts the largest gap between No. 1 albums in Hip Hop history.
YG – Still Brazy
YG continues to represent his West Coast roots to the fullest with another project that showcases his vivid autobiographical storytelling skills along with G-Funk-inspired beats.
Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
An ode to acts like Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins, Childish ditches rap for a titillating 1970s psychedelic experience dripping with Soul and nostalgia.
Frank Ocean – Blond
After a four year hiatus, Frank returns with heartfelt lyrics that meld perfectly with otherworldly instrumentation comprised of guitars, organs and piano.
Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine
Jazzy and enlightened, Mac Miller displays evident maturation celebrating love over sensual R&B instrumentation that sounds light years ahead of his previous work.
Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book
Filled with glory and praise, Chance‘s Coloring Book is dedicated to uplifting listeners in the style of church and Gospel that Kanye touched on with TLOP.
Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’
Kid Cudi revisits his early intergalactic style rapping his innermost feelings during a tumultuous year and reminds peers who originated much of Hip Hop’s current melodic sound.
Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition
The dynamic and unmistakable Danny Brown fearlessly compiles a vast range of out of the box beats and unabashedly raps over them with animated ease.
Solange – A Seat at the Table
Solange steps out with a beautifully empowering and transparent outlook on femininity and black pride expressed through airy ballads and minimalist production.
Travis Scott – Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight
Travis returns with another nighttime soundtrack filled with trance-like chants that will be easily be embedded in the listener’s consciousness upon first listening.
Rihanna – Anti
With countless hits under her belt, Rihanna details love, causal relationships and break ups to makeups in a cool and sexy way only she knows how.
ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
Ominous and honest, Q delves into his past life as a Hoover Crip with OG cameos like E-40 and The Dogg Pound while simultaneously continuing TDE‘s current reign.
Known best for killing freestyles and her appearance on Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly, Rapsody is back with her Crown EP. Now signed to Roc Nation, the MC catapults back into the game with her first project since 2014. Features include Ab-Soul, Raphael Saadiq, and Anderson Paak with production by 9th Wonder, Nottz, Khrysis. Listen below on AudioMack.
Today, legendary Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest has finally delivered their final album, We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service. After recording their first project since 1998’s The Love Movement, fans of the eccentric group can revel in vibrant production that pays homage to old school in a uniquely modernized way.
Late member Phife, who passed away earlier this year due to diabetes, recorded his last verses and frequently traveled for the project that Q-Tip believes may have ultimately cost him his health. Recorded together at Tip’s house after the two ironed out their notoriously tumultuous relationship, the group reunited after rediscovering their chemistry during their Jimmy Fallon performance last year. Recruiting current favorites Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Anderson Paak and OGs Busta Rhymes and Elton John, Q-Tip observed he “hadn’t seen Phife that happy since (they) were kids” during its making.
Listen to the long-awaited masterpiece below via Spotify.
After being co-signed by Dr. Dre and making a splash with Malibu, Anderson Paak teams up with esteemed producer Knxwledge (Kendrick Lamar‘s “Momma“). The duo known as NxWxrries is a match made in Hip Hop heaven forming their own highly enjoyable experience called Yes Lawd!. Listen to the project here.
After 2 years of writing, Danny Brown is back with his latest effort, Atrocity Exhibition (named after Joy Division‘s album by the same name). The project’s early trademark is its out of the box production concocted by Alchemist, Petit Noir and Black Milk. Sonically inspired by bands like System of a Down and Talking Heads it also boasts appearances by Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt, and B-Real. Listen below via Spotify.
Mac Miller does R&B greater than many current artists with his ode to love on his most surprisingly sophisticated project to date, The Divine Feminine. With vocals from CeeLo Green, Anderson .Paak, Bilal, Ty Dolla $ign, Kendrick Lamar and girlfriend/muse, Ariana Grande, the album’s silky vibe is perfectly executed with its sensual, but playful lyrics and production. Listen below via Spotify.
Update: Check out the trippy video to the track below.
Preparing for the release of his new album Atrocity Exhibition on September 30, Danny Brown drops his latest single “Pneumonia” featuring ScHoolboy Q. The energetic track is a definite crowd pleaser filled with raw bars over clanging production. TDE cronies Kendrick Lamar and Ab-Soul will also make an appearance on the final album. Listen below.
The recent subject of countless Internet jokes and memes has finally delivered his sophomore studio album, Blonde. Originally thought to be named Boys Don’t Cry, Frank Ocean spontaneously dropped Blonde Saturday afternoon via Apple Music and at pop-up shops in major cities.
The ethereal project filled with guitars, strings and moving lyrics is a strong follow-up to 2012’s Channel Orange and displays sheer creativity and growth. Features include Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce and Andre 3000. Enjoy the masterpiece below.
If you don’t have access to Apple Music, listen here.
This weekend, Beyonce debuted her stunning new visual album, Lemonade, on HBO. Much to the surprise of many, the work focuses on a dramatic, yet heartfelt and honest journey coping with infidelity. Songs feature vocals from artists like The Weeknd and Kendrick Lamar while cameos include Jay Z and Serena Williams.
Watch the entire video below without Tidal here.
Listen to the entire album here.