Larry June – Early Bird
I had never even heard of Larry June until about February or March, until my old roommate, V.J., started listening to him when we would hang out and told me to check him out, so I did; probably one of my best decisions of 2019. Larry’s flow throughout all of his songs is so melodic and he releases a lot of music, so he already has a large discography that I am still trying to finish. Early Bird is my favorite album of the year. Every song on that album is amazing and I listen to it on the daily.
Favorite Song: Dear, Snow
DaBaby – KIRK
DaBaby was another rapper I didn’t really listen to until 2019, but once I found his music I fell in love. His rhymes and vernacular throughout his songs over high-production beats sound very new to me and I think the rap genre might start doing a little bit more of what he is doing because he’s becoming very famous very quickly. His album KIRK makes my #2 because of his cold beats, nice visuals for the songs and the way the album is already impacting hip-hop.
Favorite Song: BOP
Billie Eilish – WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?
For a long time, Billie’s album held a number one role for me because I listened to it all day, every day for about a month straight. Not only is her production the reason why I like, but the emotion through her lyrics is why her music is so great. All of the songs on this album are really good and I look forward to her next album.
Favorite Song: bury a friend
Kanye West – JESUS IS KING
Kanye West is my favorite artist of all-time. I listen to his whole discography virtually every day, so I am very familiar with him and his transition over time. Before this album was released, West was facing a lot of scrutiny over life decisions and music choice for his album for 2019; a mix of Christian/Gospel and Rap. I think the reason West is as influential as he is because he cares about his music and will delay something for months to make sure it sounds perfect to him.
Favorite Song: Follow God
Action Bronson & The Alchemist – Lamb Over Rice
Action Bronson and his best friend The Alchemist dropped an album in late November, just in time for it to snag a spot on my list. Action Bronson is one of my favorite artists and I look forward to his releases. I was surprised when I saw this album was released as well, as I thought he was going to release an album in early 2020. Bronson’s lyrics and steady, confident flow over Alchemist’s beats make for an excellent project.
Favorite Song: Arnold & Danny
YBN Cordae – The Lost Boy
YBN Cordae is another artist on this list that I hadn’t listened to, let alone heard of, until about the summer of 2019. Cordae’s flow and lyricism over all of his songs, including a couple of hard-hitting features on “The Lost Boy” crack my top ten for the year. Cordae can definitely say he has another fan in me and I look forward to projects from him in the future.
Favorite Song: RNP (feat. Anderson .Paak)
Ariana Grande – thank u, next
Ariana Grande makes my top ten for the year. I really enjoyed listening to this project. At first I was hesitant to listen to her album for reasons unknown, but I’m glad I listened to it. Her singing is almost flawless and her emotion makes it very real. Grande puts a lot of effort into her music and I appreciated that when listening.
Favorite Song: bloodline
Jaden Smith – ERYS
Jaden Smith is one of my favorite artists and I had been looking forward to ERYS since the release of SYRE back in 2017. His music is very experimental and often can turn off a lot of listeners because of how much is going on inside of a Jaden Smith song. I enjoyed this album thoroughly and I’m a big fan of his music and him as a person; a proactive environmentalist trying to change the world.
Favorite Song: NOIZE (feat. Tyler, The Creator)
Young Thug – So Much Fun
As similar with a lot of artists on this list, I’ve been listening to Young Thug for a long time, probably since ‘Barter 6’ and look forward to his music whenever he decides to release. “So Much Fun” was a late-summer bop, carrying me into this school year with tons of bangers and hot features. Young Thug was recently named the most influential artist of the decade and rightfully so. His music has inspired a new wave of artists and is even changing the rap game as we see it now.
Favorite Song: Hot (feat. Gunna)
Tyler, The Creator – IGOR
IGOR was different, but so is Tyler, The Creator. I’ve been a huge fan of Tyler since his album “B******” and still listen to “Goblin and Wolf” on a daily basis, but IGOR was very different than what I was expecting. The features included on this album are really what makes it great for me. That and the acknowledgment of Tyler’s growth over time.
Favorite Song: EARFQUAKE (feat. Playboi Carti)
Young M.A. – Herstory in the Making
Post Malone – Hollywood’s Bleeding
Trippie Redd – !
Wiz Khalifa & Curren$y – 2009
A$AP Ferg – Floor Seats