That’s right, we’re back a year later for another top 10 albums of the year. 2020 has been a rough year for everyone and for the music world but despite all that’s been going on there has been a lot of notable music releases this year and this post is dedicated to some of my favorite so kick back and finish up the year on a good note over on TMT reading my top 10 list. Let me know down below or on Instagram with what you agree with or disagree with and what you feel are some albums deserving to be on a top 10 list. ENJOY!!!
When this released I was pretty excited because Mike Dean for those who don’t know him more than likely produces your favorite rappers music, he is very talented and has hands all over a lot of the rap music you probably listen to. This album in my opinion is a listening experience and can’t be started at track 5 or 10 or 12 but from number 1 all the way until the end. I described this as a futuristic utopia entering a dark and destroyed society then regaining light to this forgotten world, the music painted that image in my head. An album that lacks words and only uses heavenly and futuristic synths as its main music form of music made its mark on me this year which got it on the Top 10 of 2020 List.
The young Houston star made his mark in 2018 with his breakout feature on “Can’t Say” from ASTROWORLD and has been dominating the charts ever since. Don Toliver released his debut album this year and it received a lot of attention but for it to be number 9 on my list made a lot of sense, it is only a debut album from a very young and not yet developed artist so feel that it’s placement is appropriate. The album has a vague story line of what happens to Don or anyone who becomes drunk and high with songs like “Wasted”, “Cardigan”, “Cant Feel My Legs” and “Candy” pointing in that direction. I have the remixed album here as well because I probably listened to the Chopped and Screwed version more than the original. Don has a bright future and I can’t wait to hear more from him in 2021. By the way “After Party” was my top listened song in 2020 on Spotify, best song of the year.
Nectar was released later in 2020 but the amount of playback it has had for me has been crazy, probably the most out of any album on this list. Tracks like “Daylight, “Sanctuary”, “Like You Do”, “Gimmie Love”, “Run” and many more have been on repeat since it was released. Joji shines extra hard on this project and shows me and everyone else that he continues to improve after each and every project he releases. He comes hard with a different production approach and the same dry but attention grabbing vocals. Joji will dominate 2021 more than he did in 2020 if he keeps the same momentum.
I will personally never forget my first impression on this album and how shocked I was. At the time I was looking for music that would make me feel a type of way that resembles me on a trip, I don’t do drugs but I like to listen to music that I would listen to if I were high and this album was brought to me and solved my problems. If I had to describe this album in one word it would be “vibe”. I recommend this album to anyone who wants to listen to music while on a trip, especially tracks like “Dragonball Durag”, “How I Feel”, and “Black Qualls”. The psychedelic and unearthly sound Thudercat conjures on this album is indescribable and can only be experienced.
I initially didn’t plan on listening to this album when it first released but I noticed how I didn’t listen to actual rap as much as I liked so I gave it a listen. One of the major highlights across all of the album is the usage of the piano, it’s used in more aggressive tracks and also very calm and low key beats such as “Versace”. The biggest thing about this album are the words rapped by Westside Gunn, they are hard hitting but delivered smooth and soft, the wordsmith plays around with punchlines and plays with words like it’s a game of chess. This album got me to listen to more of the genuine and true rap music of this generation and I couldn’t have been happier.
The Grammy nominated album produced by legend producer The Alchemist made my list at number 5. In all honesty I slept on this album very hard and didn’t care for it when it was released but I gave in to the hype and checked it out and long story short it made my best albums list. The old school type of production with bare hitting from start to finish on every track and features that support tracks highly instead of harming them is what makes this album pure gold and a wonderful listening experience as soon as you press play.
About a year and a half after the death of Mac Miller this album was released in his name and I do believe that this might be the last album by him to be put out but I may be wrong. Going into this album initially I hadn’t listened to a full Mac Miller project ever but listening to it was well worth it. The laid back vibe it gives off just automatically puts me in a calm mood and overall makes me happy. Every track here is worthy of being top tier and also carries a strong production style that could also resemble bliss and a deceased Mac Miller who made it to heaven. If you haven’t listened to this album then you without a doubt are missing out and should listen to ever word.
The 3rd place album was hard to pick because this album and Circles by Mac Miller were both phenomenal with a lot of similarities when it came down to my final pick but I ultimately picked Modus Vivendi as my 3rd favorite album of 2020. I feel that barely any people know 070 Shake but here’s a little hint towards who she is, everyone knows “Ghost Town” by Kanye West, she is the female vocalist at the end of the song and also who makes that song a good song. She released her debut album this year which I listened to and at first was mad that it was categorized as a rap album because it is far from rap, more so alternative hip hop but the sound reflects freedom and independence from a true young visionary, she shines on tracks like “Guilty Conscience”, “The Pines”, “Under The Moon” and “Rocketship” but in all honesty the whole album is a well planned out futuristic vibe. Listen to it, you won’t be disappointed but I will note that my first listen wasn’t the best, it took a little bit for me to like the album but it’s definitely a top and underrated album of 2020.
I think everyone saw this coming. Lil Uzi Vert has been having the best year in my opinion. Releasing the most highly anticipated album this year following an instant classic deluxe version then months later releasing a wonderful collaboration album with Future, Uzi has dominated 2020 and plans to go into 2021 with the same energy. The album broken down in three parts portrays Uzi in a beautiful way, the first 6 tracks have a crazy sound that carries a subtle space theme mixed with the chaos that is Lil Uzi Vert then the next 5 being records that carry more melody and a comfortable sound but overall puts you in a happy mood. The last group of tracks give us a sound from Uzi that we haven’t hid in a while which has an underlying tone of success with his current ambitions in life, tracks like “Prices”, “Venetia” and “P2” give me a new Uzi sound that represents my thoughts. Eternal Atake is one of the best rap albums of 2020 and deserves to be this high on everyone’s list and no one can tell me otherwise, LUV vs. The World 2 is also a classic, no debate.
The number one spot on this list goes to Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats for their collaboration album titled Unlocked. Being released in February this album was played all year long and has been one of my most streamed projects all year. Kenny’s hard hitting instrumentals perfectly paint the image of Denzels hard aggression when he rap, for example we have tracks like “Take_it_Back_v2”, “DIET_” and “Lay_Up.m4a” that have aggressive lyrics with deep and gritty vocals from Denzel with the production from Kenny to match it. Kenny also flexes his production skills on tracks like “Track07” and “‘ Cosmic ‘ .m4a” by delivering pure head boppers. Needless to say this project has flavor, depth, character, and raw excitement, all of these and many more reasons play into why it is my favorite album of 2020.
Thank you all for being here to read my list. I really want to see if you all agree or disagree and what you would put on your list for some of the best albums this year. You can let me know on Instagram @tylersmusicthoughts, I really hope some of you reach out and give me your input because this is a conversation I’d love to have with people, let me know and in the meantime follow the blog and share it around. See you all in 2021!!!