What’s up everybody! It’s your boy Johnny ‘JB’ Brown, aka the Poseidon of the 7|X Weekly Wave.
The Music Gods blessed us with some incredible music in 2018. From Atlanta’s continued trap dominance, to R&B’s resurgence, to Cole’s powerful social commentary, to Drake’s ability to continue to shatter records… I had a lot of fun curating music this year.
So as we close 2018, I wanted to do something a little different to celebrate the year in music. I decided to temporarily step out from behind the curtain and share my Top 10 Albums of 2018. This list represents a range of artists whose projects moved me the most in 2018, with a powerful combination of production, storytelling and overall vibes.
Enjoy, debate, share… that’s what music is meant for. I look forward to keeping the vibes coming in 2019.
Happy New Year y’all!
Meek Mill / @meekmill
Meek has created a movement over the past few years. From takings L’s (see Drake beef) to earning major W’s (see Free Meek movement), he navigated himself back in the booth and dropped a compelling comeback with Championships. My only advice would be to play his album loud in your car, and listen to the track “What’s Free?”… and then listen to it again and again and again…
9. Victory Lap
Nipsey Hussle / @nipseyhussle
Neighborhood Nip released the most anticipated album from his catalog at the very top of the year. Victory Lap feels like a coming out party for Nipsey – great production, lyrical content, and top-notch features. What I love most about Victory Lap is that it is so west coast. Nip landed himself a Grammy nomination for rap album of the year with this one.
8. Satin Psicodelic
Sunni Colón / @sunnicolon
Sunni Coloń is another artist on the rise. A singer-songwriter based out Los Angeles, I was told that I needed to hear his music ASAP, and I’m glad that I did. One listen to the track ‘Technicolor’ and you’ll know why. Satin Psicodelic is a vibe from top to bottom.
7. DiCaprio 2
J.I.D. / @jidsv
One of the biggest surprises of this year comes from an Atlanta native. J.I.D has been bubbling under the radar for a while dropping a few mixtapes and a real solid project last year titled “The Never Story”, which served as a teaser for what was coming in 2018. Dicaprio 2 is an infectious listen from top to bottom. I find myself playing ‘Off Da Zoinkys’, ‘Workin’ Out’, ‘Westbrook’, and ‘Slick Talk’ over and over picking up something new each time. J.I.D is helping Dreamville build out its army and is carving his name in hip hop. He has earned a spot in my top 10 drops this year.
SiR / @inglewoodsir
SiR, the Los Angeles native and newest signee to TDE, is next up to bat. He put out one of the dopest albums at the beginning of this year, and hit a home run out of the park. I dare you to listen to November and tell me you haven’t found at least two gems that fall into heavy rotations. ‘D’evils’, ‘Something New’ and ‘War’ are heavy in mine… they are just so damn refreshing.
5. Dusk / Dawn (EPs)
SG Lewis / @sglewis_
SG Lewis’ Dusk/Dark are essentially two separate EP’s, with a third on the way titled “Dawn”. Each project represents a different moment in someone’s experience in the nightlife. Standout tracks like “Aura” and “Hurting” have been featured on our 7|X Weekly Wave, so it was a no-brainer for me to include Dusk/Dark in my top projects of the year.
Drake / @champagnepapi
Drake is always a consistent presence. Whether you like him or not, you can’t deny the choke hold he has had on the game in the last decade. While this double album isn’t his best work to date, it is an enjoyable listen with pretty high replay value. And since it’s Drizzy, there are three tracks from the album that are in contention for song of the year – ‘Gods Plan’, ‘In My Feelings’, and ‘Nice For What’.
J. Cole / @realcoleworld
An incredible concept album in which J. Cole shares an honest perspective on drugs and their influence on the current state of rap. In my opinion, this is J. Cole’s best project to date. Notable tracks include ‘Kevin’s Heart’, ‘Brackets’, and a powerfully introspective verse on ‘FRIENDS’.
Pusha T / @kingpush
Pusha T’s word play was amazingly sharp. With Kanye serving as sole producer, every sample and every verse was purposeful and executed flawlessly. My only gripe was the length of the album – with only 7 tracks and a little over 21 minutes of play time, I wanted to hear at least 3 more songs to feel like the album was substantial enough.
Travis Scott / @travisscott
Travis completely went for the jugular on his 3rd official album. Taking listeners on a sonic experience, Astroworld has something for everyone. Standout tracks include ‘Sicko Mode’, ‘RIP Screw’, ‘Yosemite’ among many others. Astroworld is easily my top pick for album of the year.