1.Payroll Giovanni & Cardo - Big Bossin’ Vol. 2 (Def Jam Recordings)
The duo set the bar high with an excellent slice of luxurious smoothness that pays homage to 90s West Coast G‑Funk. The high-pitch whines provide the perfect backdrop for Payroll’s street dreams to create an album which sits deservedly at the top of the stack.
2. Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist — Fetti (ESGN / Jet Life Recordings / ALC / EMPIRE)
This concise release displays the versatility of a trio of artists who continue to excel in their respective fields, collaborating to produce a project worthy of the internet hype.
3.Sure Shot — Designer Tapes Vol. 1 (Dunbar Records)
Outstanding NY boom bap which captures the essence of hip-hop’s birthplace with perfectly flipped samples, anthem-like hooks and an emcee who exudes charisma throughout.
4.Knowledge The Pirate -Flintlock(TREASURECHEST ENTERTAINMENT)
A grimey and impressively confident debut project which features the key traits of classic East Coast material, densely laced full of soul samples and street narratives.
5. Skyzoo -In Celebration Of Us (First Generation Rich / EMPIRE)
A mature and socially-conscious project which sees Skyzoo deliver yet another stand-out lyrical performance. Delivered with thoughtfulness and clarity he creates humble music over cohesive and varied production.
6.Black Milk -FEVER (Mass Appeal Records / Computer Ugly)
Drawing on live instrumentation and fusing it with electronic, soul and psychedelic samples this is a diverse and interesting listen that adds depth to his impressive catalogue.
7.eLZhi & Khrysis are Jericho Jackson -Jericho Jackson (Jamla Records)
Razor sharp multi-syllabic lyricism and powerful imagery from the ever-reliable eLZhi and sparse, dusty production from Khrysis to get heads nodding.
8.Benny — Tana Talk 3 (Griselda Records)
The strongest release from the Griselda camp this is arguably Benny’s most well-rounded release yet. Spitting with a rare clarity and confidence this project evokes memories of the mid-90s.
9.Planet Asia - The Golden Buddha (Brick Records LLC)
The West Coast lyricist brings wisdom and diversity on one of several projects he released in 2018, further solidifying his status as one of the underground’s finest.
10.Hermit & The Recluse- Orpheus Vs. The Sirens(Obol for Charon Records)
Boundary-pushing rapper KA connects with producer Animoss for his sixth and arguably strongest release so far. The veteran NY fire-fighter weaves his mythological, coded storytelling intricately between the perfectly balanced sparse but intense production.
Dunbar — Narcotics (Dunbar Records)
Le$ - Trouble In Paradise (Slfemp Music LLC., SxS)
Chris Crack - Being Woke Ain’t Fun (New Deal Collectives)
Freddie Gibbs - Freddie (ESGN / EMPIRE)
Evidence - Weather Or Not (Rhymesayers Entertainment, LLC.)
WestSide Gunn — Supreme Blientele (Griselda Records)
Apollo Brown & Joell Ortiz — Mona Lisa (Mello Music Group)
Conway — Everybody Is F.O.O.D. 2: Eat What U Kill (Griselda Records)
Roc Marciano & DJ Muggs - KAOS (Soul Assassins Records)
Roc Marciano - Behold A Dark Horse (Marci Enterprises LLC.)
Apollo Brown & Locksmith - No Question (Mello Music Group)
Curren$y - The Spring Collection (Jet Life Recordings)
Drake - Scorpion (Young Money / Cash Money Records)
Roc Marciano - RR2: The Bitter Dose (Marci Enterprises LLC.)
Conway — Everybody Is F.O.O.D. (Griselda Records)
Curren$y — Fire In The Clouds (Jet Life Recordings)
Estee Nack x Sadhugold. — SURFINONGOLD.WAV (Not On Label)
Top 15 EPs
Curren$y & Harry Fraud — The Marina EP (Jet Life Recordings)
Big K.R.I.T. - THRICE X (Multi Alumni LLC)
Willie The Kid — Studio 28 (The Fly LLC)
Willie The Kid — Midwest Willie (The Fly LLC)
Fly Anakin & Big Kahuna OG — Big Fly 2 (Mutant Academy)
Jay Worthy, Mitchy Slick & DJ Fresh — The Tonite Show (Fresh In The Flesh)
Willie The Kid & Klever Skemes - Gold Rush 2 EP (ROMANIC LLC)
The Alchemist – Bread EP (ALC Records)
Curren$y - Air Freshna EP (Jet Life Recordings)
Fly Anakin & Big Kahuna OG — Life & Times Of BigFly (Mutant Academy)
Willie The Kid - Things Of That Nature (The Fly LLC)
Le$ — Lost In Japan EP (Slfemp Music LLC., SxS)
Big K.R.I.T. — DOUBLE DOWN (Multi Alumni LLC)
The Alchemist — Lunch Meat EP (ALC Records)
V Don — The Bone Collector (Serious Soundz)
Latest posts by Alex Gordon (see all)
- REVIEW | TOP 10 ALBUMS AND OFFICIAL MIXTAPES OF 2018 — December 20, 2018
- REVIEW| PLANET ASIA (@planetasia) + KLASHNEKOFF (@Klashnekoff) + JAM BAXTER + MANIK MC LIVE @THEJAZZCAFE — October 10, 2018
- REVIEW | MURS (@MURS) LIVE AT THE JAZZ CAFE (@TheJazzCafe) — September 18, 2018