10 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2019

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Kanye West, ‘Jesus Is King: After a tumultuous (and lucrative) two years, a series of delays, and a fervent pivot to Christian music.

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, ‘Bandana: From the dusty sample to Freddie Gibbs’ world-weary baritone, the opening of “Freestyle Shit,” Bandana’s first track.

Post Malone, ‘Hollywood’s Bleeding’: Post Malone barely moved a muscle for much of 2019, but he dominated the year anyway.

Kota The Friend, ‘FOTO: Foto is warm and unhurried, filled with mellow boom-bap, sparkling keyboards.

Grip, ‘Snubnose: Snubnose is the rare concept album that manages not to drown under the weight of its own pretension. Brisk and violent.

Juice WRLD, ‘Death Race For Love: The shocking death of the young rapper Juice WRLD in December was a tragedy, not least for what the world lost musically. 

Rod Wave, ‘Ghetto Gospel’: Rod Wave can sing. It’s not just hitting or holding a few notes, but unleashing his voice upon the world like an angelic avalanche.

Calboy, ‘Wildboy: Calboy’s “Envy Me” erupted on streaming services at the end of 2018 thanks to a nagging vocal sample.

NoCap, ‘The Hood Dictionary: NoCap is defined by melancholy. His AutoTuned warble quivers with regret even amid triump.