Sorry, Playboi Carti has to sit this one out… again!
I don’t know about you guys, but 2020 has been one heck of a year and the only thing that has got me through the ups and downs of the year has been none other than my one true love– music. Yes, even the diss tracks (We see you CupcakKe!!) Now you all know, I am nothing but honest. I’ll tell you what album is hot and what album flopped, for example Playboi Carti’s Whole Lotta Red that dropped on Christmas. Okay, okay. You didn’t come here for me to bash Carti’s poor excuse of an album, so with that being said, here are the top tier albums that we streamed, replayed, and loved in 2020.
Chilombo x Jhene Aiko
I think you guys already know what I’m going to say. If I didn’t stress this before, Jhene put her whole foot in this album along with the deluxe album. Overall, Chilombo was one of the most defining and life-changing albums that I’ve ever heard. Through this album, Jhene helped me heal from heartbreak, remind me that I deserved better, and raised my frequency. At what better time could we heal, cry, and party by ourselves than in 2020?
Best Tracks: “Born Tired,” “B.S.,” “10k Hours,” and “Above and Beyond”
Ungodly Hour x Chloe x Halle
For everyone that thinks Chloe and Halle should each have their own solo careers, this sophomore album with nothing but soul, finesse, and storytelling proved to us that they’re better together. No wonder they’re Queen Bey’s protegees!
Best Tracks: “Forgive Me” & “Ungodly Hour”
Pray For Love x Rod Wave
It’s time that we give Rod Wave his flowers. The slander will not be tolerated. If you value an artist’s flow, versatility, storytelling, authenticity, and vulnerability that will get you through heartbreak without sounding like the traditional blues or ballad, then the Florida upcoming rapper is for you.
Best Tracks: “Letters From Houston,” “Sack Right,” “No Weakness,” “Ain’t Mad at You”
It Was Good Until It Wasn’t x Kehlani
Kehlani, if you’re reading this I just want to express my love, appreciation, and obsession with this album. It’s good for the soul, and ever since it dropped, I’ve been listening to it.
Best Tracks: “Toxic,” “Change Your Life” ft. Jhene Aiko, “Hate the Club,” “Grieving” ft. James Blake
F*** The World x Brent Faiyaz
Christopher Woods! If I could marry you just for this album, I would. If you’re anything like me, I’ve been a Brent and Sonder fan for the longest and if anything, this album has shown how he has grown as an artist and deserves to be in the top five, and not five. This album is perfect for a late night drive with plenty of vibes coming from Brent’s sweet and dreamy sound.
Best Tracks: “Been Away,” “Clouded,” “Make It Out,” and “Rehab (Winter in Paris)”
The Voice x Lil Durk
Although this album just dropped on Christmas Eve, Chicago’s own, Lil Durk has proven that with all the projects he dropped this year, he deserves much more recognition than he typically receives in the rap game. Dedicated to the late King Von, this project shows Lil Durk’s versatile, raw, and uncut style and his emotions as he grieves. He certainly didn’t miss with this one!
Best Tracks: “India Pt. 3,” “Going Strong,” “Still Trappin’”
Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon x Pop Smoke
I’m going to be completely honest with you. I only listened to one Pop Smoke song before his death, but after taking the time to fully go through his posthumous album, it was clear that he had so much talent and potential.
Best Tracks: “For The Night” ft. Lil Baby & DaBaby, “Mood Swings,” “Something Special,” “Imperfections,” “Be Clear,” “Yeah Yeah,” and “What You Know ‘Bout Love”
*Honorable Mention: The Goat x Polo G, Good News x Megan The Stallion, My Turn x Lil Baby, and Take Time x Giveon.
Now, I know we were all waiting for Rihanna to finally come back to the music industry. So, Rihanna, sweetie, if you’re reading this, we were looking for a Fenty album this year, but it’s okay. We’ll be listening for it in 2021.
What albums were you streaming in 2020 that deserves an honorable mention? What albums are you looking forward to hearing in the new year? Hit me up and let me know.
By Jada Daniel, Sophomore, Beloit College