2020 has been a year for the books. A life-altering pandemic, civil unrest, and total political chaos have only been the tip of the new decade’s iceberg. Fortunately, music has always been something that brings us happiness. Now that we are halfway through the year, its time to discuss what music has been able to leave a lasting impact. Check out Malc (@malcglobal) & I’s ten favorite projects of the year so far.
Remember, this list is in no particular order. Please enjoy, debate, and let us know what you think below.
My Turn (Deluxe) – Lil Baby
Lil Baby has made a strong case for Hip-Hop’s 2020 MVP with his latest project My Turn (Deluxe). In today’s society, it is difficult to maintain someone’s attention span but Lil Baby is not worried about that. His 26-track long album is sure to keep the RIAA busy with all of the plaques he has received for his smash singles. My Turn features Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Wayne, and Gunna all at their strongest. The QC star wasn’t always a rapper but he has established himself as a mainstay on the Billboard charts.
Must listen tracks: “Emotionally Scarred”, “Grace”, “Consistent“
Beyond Bulletproof – Mozzy
As one of Sacramento’s most spirited voices in rap, Mozzy continues to top his previous work upon each release. Back in May, he treated his audience to a long-awaited album entitled Beyond Bulletproof. Boasting features from King Von, Eric Bellinger, Polo G, and Shordie Shordie, to name a few, Mozzy offers up versatility over the 13-song project. It includes everything from melodic bangers to deep cuts that address addiction and mental health, amongst other topics. Standout cuts like “The Homies Wanna Know” and “I Ain’t Perfect” featuring Blxst surely make great additions to an already stellar compilation. Mozzy delivers an outstanding effort with Beyond Bulletproof, and there’s no doubt this project will serve as a staple in his catalog.
Must-listen tracks: “So Lonely,” “Can’t Let You Go,” and “The Homies Wanna Know”
Everything Starts From Now – Matt McGhee
From start to finish, Matt McGhee created an audio experience like no other. The DMV creative utilized his audio from a performance at Washington D.C’s own Union Stage to serve as interludes in between his well-sequenced tracks. Matt’s project explores love from the viewpoint of a young male who is vulnerable and open about his experiences. Tracks like “Female Rapper Joint” and “Drifting” showcase his impressive storytelling and lyrical ability. We challenge you to find a more well-rounded album that has come out this year.
Must listen tracks: “Drifting”, “Pretend Love / Lemme Know”, “End of The Earth”
Pray 4 Love – Rod Wave
Since shooting into popularity after the viral triumph of 2019’s “Heart On Ice,” Rod Wave has proved to be at the forefront of today’s wave of emotionally-driven artists. Furthermore, the Florida native’s sophomore album, Pray 4 Love, further solidifies his presence as a talented crooner. With pre-release singles like “Dark Clouds” and “Thief In The Night,” Rod Wave not only gives us a preview of his treacherous come up but shows fans alike that they’re not alone. The 14-track effort boasts fitting production from Tahj Money, TnTXD, Drum Dummie, and several other notable beat makers. In retrospect, there’s a reason why Pray 4 Love charted at No. 2 on Billboard’s 200 charts during its opening week.
Must-listen tracks: “Fuck the World,” “No Weakness,” and “Ribbon in the Sky”
A Muse In Her Feelings – DVSN
Who doesn’t love the 90’s inspired R&B? Although there are plenty of attempts at the nostalgic genre, DVSN got it right on their latest offering. The OVO duo found a way to make the sounds we remember and love fit into the present soundscape. The project is lengthy and has impressive features from PARTYNEXTDOOR, Snoh Alegra, Buju Banton, and more. DVSN never disappoints, but A Muse In Her Feelings is easily their most substantial effort. I guess the 3rd time is a charm.
Must listen tracks: “Courtside”, “Dangerous City”, “Between Us”
Fuck The World – Brent Faiyaz
Over these past few years, Brent Faiyaz rose from underground king to one of R&B’s top-tier singers, and it’s well-deserved. His 2017 offering Sonder Son broke the ice; however, Fuck The World put Brent at what’s seemingly the peak of his career thus far. The project consists of a smooth 10 tracks that find Brent skating over the project while addressing themes ranging from vices to systematic racism. Like much of his work, the project contains no guest appearances, but standout cuts like “Clouded” and the title track, “Fuck The World (Summer in London).”
Must-listen tracks: “Clouded,” “Lost Gets Get Money,” and “Rehab (Winter in Paris)”
Alfredo – Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist
Freddie Gibbs has dropped two phenomenal rap albums in one year. Bandana was crisp from top to bottom, but Alfredo is a work of art. The battle-tested MC uses time-sensitive content and plush instrumentals to continue his lyrical hot streak. Although the EP is a little under 40 minutes, it is jampacked with stable features from Tyler The Creator, Rick Ross, and Griselda’s own, Benny The Butcher. The project serves as the perfect material to go out and stand up against the perils of American society.
Must listen tracks: Scottie Beam, Something To Rap About, 1985
Evergreen Wildchild 2 – Lil Poppa
Lil Poppa is standing at the forefront of Florida’s new wave of rappers, and there’s a reason why. Evergreen Wildchild 2 dropped back in May, finding the emcee going bar for bar about his come up amongst a list of other things. The project is a follow-up to one of Poppa’s first-ever mixtapes of the same title. It chronicles the young rapper’s journey to self-discovery and the importance of his community and brotherhood in keeping him alive. Always one for collaborations, the Poppa brings in fitting features from Stunna 4 Vegas and fellow Jacksonville rapper, Seddy Hendrinx. Evergreen Wildchild 2 serves an arguably great listen with no skips.
Must-listen tracks: “No Issues,” “Kobe Free,” and “No Industry Sh*t”
Eternal Atake – Lil Uzi Vert
After years of label troubles and leaked records, Lil Uzi Vert had fans alike on the brink of their seats with the timely release of Eternal Atake. It’s Uzi’s critically-acclaimed sophomore album and serves as a follow-up to 2017’s Luv Is Rage 2. Featuring some of the rapper’s witty bars and impressive melodies, the project sums up to be well worth the wait. Although it previously spawned hit singles like “New Patek” and “That’s A Rack,” neither records appeared on the final tracklist. However, nonetheless, Lil Uzi Vert gives us a fresh take on his life over the past few years. Although Syd is the one feature on the project, the Philadelphia-native provides us with a variety of bangers that line up with every mood.
Must-listen tracks: “That Way,” “Baby Pluto,” and “P2”
Pray For Paris – Westside Gunn
Like most people, I never sold drugs. Fortunately for us, Westside Gunn perfectly describes the hustler lifestyle over grimey but luxurious production. In 13 tracks, the Griselda representer gave hip-hop fans similar to an easily digestible street album filled with robust features and sharp raps. Any project that can bring Tyler The Creator, Wale, and Freddie Gibbs together is one that is worth a listen. Westside Gunn continues to prove himself as a formidable emcee that avoids gimmicks at any cost.
Must listen to tracks: “$500 Ounces”, “George Bondo”, “French Toast”
We look forward to seeing which projects stand the test of time during our end of the year wrap up list!