Gunn sets out to “paint pictures” with a refreshing take on his usually gritty, grimy subject matter. Further, deep inside Beyond Bulletproof lies a leader who has chosen to use his platform to push his people in the right direction with tracks such as “Boyz To Men” and “Overcame.” “I’ve been on a more progressive hype,” the Grammy Award-nominated rapper told Uproxx. From R.A.P Ferreira to Lil Uzi Vert, here’s where the best hip-hop albums of 2020 ranked. 4 13 votes: 03 : Prison of Mirrors (ITA) De Ritualibus et Sacrificiis ad Serviendum Abysso. It is, somewhat ironically, Jada’s first album to wholly embrace a cohesive concept rather than compiling a dozen would-be hits, it’s his most trenchant and emotional outing, and it came along 26 years into his career — five full years after his last, full-length solo release. Stormzy projects both bravado and grace on his sophomore release, sounding weathered without coming across jaded, paying homage to his forebears while maintaining his futuristic outlook, and looking quite comfortable on the throne that he built for himself.–A.W. For the past several years, 27-year-old Brooklyn native Kota The Friend has been a champion of independent record-making, grinding out his intensely personal music and refusing to compromise on quality for the sake of quantity. Just keep creating fearlessly." Through it all, the world’s biggest genre remained as relevant as ever, as rappers delivered cutting commentary on current events with pinpoint precision and provided welcome escapes from the torrent of terrible news. After delivering a towering debut with 2019’s Ghetto Gospel, Rod Wave returned less than six months later with an absolutely stellar follow-up. Despite a global pandemic, worldwide shutdown, and a month of civil unrest, the old adage, “hip-hop don’t stop,” remained true in 2020. Gibbs doesn’t have commercial clout, but after another top hip-hop album, it’s time to talk about where he ranks among his generation.–A.G. —Ann Powers, It's the long, hot summer of 2020 and the hardest album out is by an incarcerated rapper who recorded the whole thing over a prison phone. This collection of ambient tracks, interludes, full-band workouts and focused jams includes contributions from prior partners Makaya McCraven and Rob Mazurek. At its core, Cain has a soulful, narratorial quality, one you might find in a noir film or in conversation with an older relative. save hide report. By turns moody and reflective (“Chicago Freestyle“), aggressive and omnivorous (the UK drill-leaning “War“), and lighthearted (“Toosie Slide“), Dark Lane watches Drake touch all his familiar bases on an easy, in-field home run.–A.W. The conditions he spoke on here shouldn’t exist, but his artistry can be part of the solution by making people feel his depth.–A.G. You can find our favorite songs of the first half of 2020 here. 8 Songs You're Not Supposed To Understand, 10 Most Underrated Rock Albums Of All Time, 10 Rock Bands That Had More Than One Lead Singer. Boldy James has long been a respected pen, but he caught lightning in a bottle on The Price Of Tea In China, a 12-track collaboration with Alchemist which may be the best top-to-bottom lyrical exhibition of the year so far. Underground stalwarts Quelle Chris and Chris Keys offered up the long-awaited sequel to their 2015 Innocent Country album right in the middle of a pandemic. That search for personal truth, for honesty and empathy persists throughout the album, whether he's singing songs that seem directly confessional, like the sobriety-anthem "It Gets Easier," or artfully blending bits of his own memories into the details of a childhood summertime in "Dreamsicle." ), but Son Of A Gun gets the edge over Yellow Tape. In just under an hour, the mysterious trio's third album in a year's time encapsulates the Black experience through song and spoken word. (In turn, they are criticized for depicting the same kind of violence that can be found in any Hollywood movie by a white director.) Alone time can be good, a source of growth: "Let the dystopian morning light pour in," she sings, walking away with her longing, learning to love it. But the year that was to come was even harder, so hard that Gia Margaret could barely sing about it. SOUTHSIDE is an expertly executed redemption story that only Hunt could make. Each is the favorite of one member of the NPR Music team. They changed how we listened to music, too: so often alone, through wires and screens and glitches and delays. Polo is adept at top-tier street rap like “Go Stupid.” But where he sets himself apart from his class is with his ability to delve into the traumatic effects that his environment has incurred on him and his fellow Chicagoans. An innovator, Hunt's already inspired a cohort of upstarts — the kind of guys who namecheck '90s country and 2010s hip-hop on the same track. —Daoud Tyler-Ameen, It's breathtaking to witness Moses Sumney use the expansiveness of his imagination as an instrument of artful resistance: against racially coded categories of genre; binaries of gender performance, identity and outsiderness/belonging; the choice between isolation and intimacy; mind-body dualism. 4.24 101 votes: 02 : Ulcerate Stare Into Death and Be Still. The loping grooves, whose roots stretch back more than 100 years, pulsate with a modern-day vibrancy that will appeal to anyone with a passing interest in jazz and electronic music. His compositions and arrangements form a sublime, metamorphic sprawl of sounds and styles, and his vocals, unbounded in their range and eloquence, trace the contours of a world of possibility.

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