Diamond KUT Media Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2021 List
What a year what a year. 2021 has been a great year for Hip-Hop. Some of the games top artist have released critically acclaimed albums as well as emerging acts that the rest of the world may not have heard of yet.
Either way, in 2021 Hip-Hop lovers were blessed with some amazing releases.
No list is complete without an honorable mention list so let’s get into below.
Roddy Ricch – Live Life Fast
100grandroyce, 183rd – Triple Crown
Lil Playah – you THINK I CARE!
Deon Young – RNB DRILL: The Lost Files
Joony – Silent Battles
Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue
Dave East – Hoffa
Pete Rock X Amxxr – 21 Grams Worth It’s Weight In Soul
Migos – Culture III
Pop Smoke – Faith
Pooh Shiesty – Shiesty Season
YG & Mozzy – Kommunity Service
Joey Fatts – G Way 2
Larry June – Orange Print
Big Sean – What You Expect
Westside Gunn – Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Side B
BLK ODYSSY – BLK Vintage
27Delly – Fly Since Birth
Neek Bucks – NEIGHBORHOOD HOV
Young Stoner Life – Slime Language 2
Young Thug – Punk
Top 15 Albums List 2021 List
15. Highway -The Way
Seattle artist Highway has been my pleasant surprise of 2021. Many people are still not quite yet in tune with Highway but they will be soon. The Way, is an album which puts futuristic electronic like spin on modern sounding hip-hop. Filled with top tier production and vibrant melodies, The Way was easily one of my favorite listens of the year.
14. Don Toliver – The Life Of A Don
Don Toliver second studio album “The Life Of A Don” is a melodic transcript of the Texas rappers life. Throughout the album we’re taken on a trip of heartbreak, partying and drugs. The Life Of A Don is a vibe and there are very little skips. (If any at all).
13. Wale – Folarin II
Wale has been in the game longer than pretty much any artist on this list. However that doesn’t mean the DC native has lost a step. He proved he is still a problem lyrically and can still deliver out bops on his latest body of work Folarin II. On Folarin II, Wale continues to show his ear for production is among the best. Tracks like “Poke It Out” featuring J. Cole & “Caramel” “will strike a nostalgic chord in listeners.
12. Nas- Kings Diease 2
Nas is good! That’s not only a song on Nas’s “King Disease 2” album it’s a factual statement. The legendary rapper linked up with Hit-Boy for the second installment of the Kings Disease series and picked right where they left off on the first one. Nas continued to tap in with younger artist such as “Blxst” on Brunch On Sundays and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie & YG on “YKTV”. Although Nas does show his ability to mesh well with the younger gen, he remains true to himself throughout the tape kicking out knowledge the whole way.
11. Mach Hommy – Pray For Haiti
Newark’s underground legend Mach Hommy and the Griselda Records mastermind, Westside Gunn linked up for one of the most well put together albums of the year in Pray For Haiti”. The 15 track album is a lecture conducted by Mach Hommy where he pays homage to his Haitian heritage. With Westside Gunn behind the album it plays out like an art exhibit where Gunn provides the Canvas for Mach to tell his story.
10. Isaiah Rashad- The House Is Burning
THIB is Isiah Rashad’s first album since 2016 it was highly anticipated by fans and the TDE artist didn’t disappoint. Like most albums out of the TDE camp THIB was put together well. At 30 years old, THIB landed Isaiah Rashad his first top 10 album and it was well deserved. It should be noted this was accomplished after all the hardships that he has faced during his time away. THIB is a reflection of Isaiah’s life over that time span. “What U Sed” will set the tone for any summer barbecue while tracks like “HB2U” takes more of serious tone.
9. Polo G – Hall Of Fame
Chicago native Polo G is one of the biggest names in all of rap and he took another step closer to superstardom with his 3rd album “Hall Of Fame”. Hall Of Fame is more proof that Polo G could create mega hits. “Rapstar” was one of the most streamed tracks of the year. Polo tapped into a few different sounds on the album showing he is versatile and comfortable trying new things.
8. Doja Cat- Planet Her
Doja Cat may honestly be the biggest artist on this entire list. Planet Her is the most daily streamed album in the entire planet regardless of genre, getting 10m+ daily streams. That’s with almost half a year in-between it’s release. Doja Cat was viewed mostly as a pop artist however on Planet HER she flaunts her ability to be a good rapper as well.
7. Drake – Certified Lover Boy
Drake built the hype for the release of CLB ever since he sported a heart shaped design into his hairline. Fans couldn’t wait for new Drake but we did. Certified Lover Boy was slated to be released in January of 2021 however it was pushed back until September. CLB is an upgrade over Dark Lane Demo Tapes. With standouts like “Way 2 Sexy” “TSU” & “N 2 Deep” Drake delivered when it came to hits however the tracklist seemed a bit bloated with a lot of tracks that could’ve missed the cut.
6. Tyler The Creator – Call Me If You Get Lost
After his Grammy winning IGOR album Tyler set the bar extremely high for himself for his next album and he didn’t disappoint with “Call Me If You Get Lost”. Tyler The Creator returned back to his rap roots with 2021’s “Call Me If You Get Lost” tapping in with DJ Drama to host the album giving it a classic “Gangsta Grillz” mixtape feel.
The features were surprising yet Tyler meshed well with all the artist, (check out the Youngboy Never Broke Again assisted “WUSYANAME”). He also got Lil Wayne to give us one of his best verses in sometime on “Hot Wind Blows”.
5. J. Cole – The Off-Season
The Off-Season was J.Cole’s 6th consecutive #1 studio album. Although Cole is infamous for going platinum with no features this time around the Carolina legend tapped in with Camron, 21 Savage Lil Baby, 6lack, Morray, Bas and Diddy. On The Off-Season we see J.Cole at the top of his game making fans wonder if this is truly some of the last work we’ll get from Cole. If it is, “The Off-Season” has some of J. Cole’s best tracks such as let. go. my. hand featuring Bas & 6lack.
4. Vince Staples – Vince Staples
Long Beach California’s Vince Staples self titled album Vince Staples was one of the top albums of the year. Produced entirely with frequent collaborator Kenny Beats, “Vince Staples” is a quick tale of summertime in Long Beach. I’m a fan of albums that can bring you into an artist world and that’s what Vince does on Vince Staples. The album opens up with a more slow head nodding pace where Vince sets the stage for the story to unfold midway through however the album has a tempo shift showing more of Vince’s playful side.
3. Boldy James – Bo Jackson
Detroit artist Boldy James and legendary producer The Alchemist struck gold with their earlier 2021 release “Bo Jackson”. A follow-up to last year’s The Price of Tea in China, Bo Jackson is a well produced street novel told through the lens of Boldy James. Detroit is currently trailblazing a new sound in music however Boldy’s work tells his experiences in the D from a different point of view . With classic samples and gritty wordplay, Boldy’s sound is refreshing to his city music scene.
2. Kanye West – DONDA
Donda is the 10th album from Kanye West. The thing with Kanye is each album is sonically different than his previous work. Donda however, stays on course with Kanye’s previous release Jesus Is King. The album is a Gospel album that doesn’t even have curses however each record hits. Especially “Off Da Grid” where Fivio Foreign starred with one of the year’s top verses. Typical to any body of work from Kanye West, he assembled a great cast of artist for one of the best albums of 2021.
1. Lil Baby & Lil Durk – The Voice Of The Heroes
For our number one album we have Lil Durk & Lil Baby’s Voice Of The Heroes album. The album nabbed our number one spot because I felt the album just sounded better than the rest of the albums that were released this year. Tracks like “Hats Off” featuring Travis Scott serves as the heroic anthem for the album. A pledge to keep to always keep it real. While tracks like “Still Runnin” featuring Meek Mill & “Rich Off Pain” featuring Rod Wave set the tone for the rest of the album. On The Voice Of The Heroes, Baby & Durk capitalized off of all the hype and momentum they had coming into the album and delivered a great body of work.