- Tyler the Creator - Flower Boy
Listen up everybody, because Tyler the Creator runs the whole world now. Our little boy from Ladera Heights is all grown up and has created the most delicate, soulful, self-reflective, and downright incredible soundtrack to young adulthood and personal development. I don’t know how he did it, but Tyler has encapsulated the raw feelings of love and anxiety and fear that many of us experience all at once and sometimes not at all in just 46 minutes. Flower Boy is comforting; now more than ever, there is tremendous pressure to feel in control of your emotions and know exactly who you are and what you are doing, but this album says otherwise. The past year was pretty horrendous, on a personal and global scale, so it’s only natural to feel worried about the year to come. Take a minute and relax my babes, listen to this album and all will be ok.
I don’t think I need to spell this one out for you guys—this album is flat out remarkable. Holistically my favorite Kendrick Lamar album, from the mixing and production quality to his poetic lyrics. Let’s not forget that this album contains one of the only songs that can make me forget where the hell I am, “Pride,” a melody that brutally stabs me in the heart and guts me to my core. The visuals for this album are equally beautiful, with some of the best music videos I’ve seen in the last decade with “DNA”, “Loyalty”,”Element”, and the newly released video for “Love.”
- A$AP Ferg - Still Striving
Hands down the best thing that happened to me this year. Still Striving is the HARDEST album of 2017, and reminds the hip hop world that trap will never die. Trust me, this album will make you want to be angry at someone for no clear reason and then go out with your day one’s to blow off more than just steam. Shoutout to the most iconic song of the semester, “Mattress Remix.”
- Playboi Carti - Playboi Carti
Playboi Carti has a unique talent for translating happiness into musical sound. His debut, self-titled album is just short of genius, the perfect soundtrack for any turn up, joy ride, study sesh, doodling sesh, chill sesh, pre-coital jitters, post-coital euphoria, you name it. Young Carti is a master ad-libber, and can milly rock his way through any situation. I hope to hear more from this young man soon!
Oh man I would be remiss not to name this album as one of the best of 2017. Black Ken slid into my life without warning during the excruciating heat wave we experienced this summer. It was the funky revival, the audio electrolytes I needed while I took advantage of the few days I had before the academic year began, filled with blazing beats and scorching riffs that Mr. Brandon McCarthy created entirely by himself. This tape is a true homage to the stylings of Mac Dre, Keek da Sneak, G-Eazy and other Bay Area rappers who propelled the hyphy movement. As we round out the year, I surely hope that one of everyone’s New Years resolutions is to be more like Lil B. We love you Based God.
Jatin (Jazz Director):