Some albums are good for a few days, but they are later easily forgettable. Then, there are those records that make such an impression on you that you couldn’t imagine your life without it. This past year, there were many wonderful projects my ears had the pleasure of listening to, but for me none were more impactful than these.
Here are five albums from 2017 that are still in heavy rotation for me today and will continue to be played well into 2018 and beyond:
Cellus campaigned his project as the #AlbumOfTheYear and people undoubtedly paid attention. He thankfully backed it up with one of the most creative projects of 2017. The lyrical imagery on songs like “First Amendment” and “Law & Order” grab your attention and take you back to a time when the rapper, not the beat, was the most important part of a song. Cellus isn’t afraid to push the envelope with both his content and visuals, for that reason We Are & We Shall will be in rotation for years to come.
4. Hector Dominguez, Misunderstood EP
From the album cover, to the beats and to the lyrics, the Misunderstood EP is top notch. With bars like “I refuse to drown in the waters He walked over” and “I want God to know me but low key I’m Loki” this project is unforgettable. Hector delivers his best work to date and one of my favorite albums of the past year.
Jered Sanders has been one of my favorites for a couple of years and since signing to Bizzle’s God Over Money imprint, his music output has only intensified. Nobody Famous is an incredible body of work that aims at putting hope in hip hop. Jered’s voice commands attention and is an instrument of itself. This is probably most evident on one of my favorite tracks from the album, “Upside Down (Water).” The bars and flawless flows are plentiful on Nobody Famous, so it had to make my list.
2. Mali Music, The Transition of Mali
One of the most creative artists in music today is Mali Music and The Transition of Mali album does not disappoint. Touching on subjects like love, faith and hope, Mali delivers much of what we’ve come to expect from him, but in a way only he can. With features from mainstream artists like Jhene Aiko and Jazmine Sullivan, it’s clear that Mali isn’t preaching to the choir with this one, but every song resonates. On any given day, the soulful ballad “Still” is on repeat in my headphones and I’m still in awe of how beautiful the record is.
1. KB, Today We Rebel
My favorite project from 2017 is Today We Rebel because it hits the mark in every way possible. From the first track, “DNOU”(Don’t Nobody Own Us) the tone is set and KB doesn’t slow down one bit. The realness on the “Art of Drifting” is inescapable and shows the importance of the constant pursuit of God no matter how “famous” or how big your platform becomes. Today We Rebel is incredible and if I didn’t take anything else away from the past year it’s to “bet the bag on myself.”