Best Albums of 2015
2015 was a great year for hip-hop and R&B music! From Drake & Future’s collabo, Jazmine Sullivan’s return, & Tyrese’s last solo album, we experienced some of the best in music!
- To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar’s jazz and soul influenced sophomore album, To Pimp a Butterfly, took over the charts this year. His emotional performances throughout the album truly placed him among the greatest artists of all time, earning him the number 1 album spot across many publications and 11 grammy nominations.
- If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – Drake
Early this year, Drake dropped his IYRTITL mixtape, a prelude to his upcoming 2016 album. This “while you wait” tape, however, was better than anyone could have expected, with drake showing off a lot of his “Worst Behavior” and “Wu-Tang Forever” flows.
- Surf – Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment
Surf by The Social Experiment accurately represents the outcome of a group of friends making music together for the sake of making music. Released free, the album was the collective hard work of Chance the Rapper, Donnie Trumpet, Peter Cottontale, other Chicago musicians, and several features by great artists.
- DS2 – Future
DS2 is definitely the greatest album Future has ever made. His experiences with pain and depression produced a gloomy tape with him describing very dark views of the world. Besides that, the production is one of the best on this list.
- The Documentary 2×2.5 – The Game
The Game on his The Documentary 2 album is much different person than he was on his first The Documentary album 10 years ago. He has dramatically grown over the past decade, but he still manages to vividly describe his surroundings, painting a very detailed picture of Compton.
- Summertime ’06 – Vince Staples
Vince Staples debut album accurately represented the next generation of Cali rappers. Crisp production with excellent flows across hard-hitting verses, has allowed Vince to gain huge recognition in the industry.
- SremmLife – Rae Sremmurd
Rae Sremmurd made their debut early this year, and it’s truly testament that they have made it on multiple “best” lists this year. After being called one hit wonders with the release of “No Flex Zone”, they released SremmLife, 11 tracks all filled with the same turn-up intensity and flow. SremmLife was definitely one of the most consistent albums this year.
8. What a Time to be Alive – Drake/Future
WATTBA is the outcome of two of the greatest current artists working together. The mixtape is definitely this year’s Watch the Throne, shorter but still filled with the same consistency and intensity as Jay and Yeezy. Future at the helm, bringing his gloomy vibes from DS2 and Drake coming to balance it out. The production was excellent bringing together the best of OVO and Freebandz.
- Beauty Behind the Madness – The Weeknd
Beauty Behind the Madness put The Weeknd into mainstream fame and popularity. In a few years, he went from an unknown presence in the r&b genre with his Trilogy mixtapes, to a true pop star with his latest project.
- Rodeo – Travis Scott
After months of waiting following the release of Days Before Rodeo, Travis Scott dropped Rodeo. His debut album, and the culmination of working with big names in the music industry.
- Non Fiction – Neyo
Ne-Yo brought in 2015 with the release his sixth studio album, Non-Fiction. Upon its release, the album was met with mixed reviews from music critics. The album reached number five on the US Billboard 200, selling 59,000 copies in its first week.
- Dark Sky Paradise – Big Sean
Dark Sky Paradise is Big Sean’s best project, reviving him from the downward slope of his previous albums. He shows off a confidence that was severely hidden in Finally Famous. His growth, along with many great features has earned him a spot on this list.
- Dreams Worth More Than Money – Meek Mill
Besides his feud with Drake, Meek Mill had a very successful year with the release of his second studio album. Despite how long it took to release, the album was very well produced.
- Reality Show – Jazmine Sullivan
Jazmine Sullivan made a huge comeback this year! After a 3-year hiatus, Jazmine returns with her album Reality Show, which Reality Show, debuts at No. 1 on R&B Albums, and No. 2 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
- LONG.LAST.A$AP – A$AP Rocky
Over all his projects, Rocky always seems to get better. ALLA is his best album so far, expanding on vibes from Live.Love and Long.Live. Hits like Canal St., L$D, and Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2 make this album great.
- Compton – Dr. Dre
- All We Need – Raury
Raury perfected his folk style with the release of his debut album. All We Need sounded like the continuation of his mixtape, Indigo Child, except Raury has shown lots a growth. The album was excellent both lyrically and on production.
- Wildheart – Miguel
- Black Rose – Tyrese
Tyrese released his the sixth and final studio album Black Rose this year. This was the singer/actor achieves his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200.
20. Black Royalty – Chris Brown
Chris Brown is unstoppable! He continues to rack up No. 1s on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart as Royalty, the singer’s seventh solo LP, debuts at the top spot with 162,000 copies sold in the week ending Dec. 24, according to Nielsen Music. This is Breezy’s sixth number one record.
- King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude – Pusha T
Now the president of G.O.O.D. Music, Pusha T released his greatest album this year. It sounds like My Name is My Name was the prelude to this projects. “The president of G.O.O.D. Music has been announced “A quarter million a year and that don’t bounce.”
- Wave[s] – Mick Jenkins
Mick Jenkins released another great project. The perfect follow up to the The Water[s], every song is based on experience . He shifts from those toned, deep vibes and shows off his other abilities, establishing a more jazzy and upbeat sound.
- TRAPSOUL – Bryson Tiller
Trapsoul had a huge amount of hype surrounding it after Tiller dropped his single, Dont. The album was very consistent, with him delivering smooth lyrics across a deep bass. Overall, it established him as a major player in r&b, and earned him a record deal.
- Tetsuo & Youth – Lupe Fiasco
The production on Tetsuo & Youth is arguably the best on this list. Lupe is a true lyricist, deep and hard hitting verses delivered clearly and precisely. The second track Mural is a must-listen, with Lupe spitting all verses with no hooks. “So the sun rise, when the beat drops, and the sun dies. when the beat stops / Then it unties, then it relocks, then it relapsed, then it detox.”
- .Wav Theory – Towkio
Wav Theory introduced Towkio as a refreshing new artist from Chicago. With his latest project, he truly distinguished himself from the other major rappers from his area. This tape really demonstrates the diversity coming out of Chicago right now.