DAR Hip Hop: 7 Important Albums Released In 2015

By @TrueGodImmortal

It's been almost four years since the shifting moment in hip hop. After having back to back disappointing years in the genre with 2013 and 2014, 2015 was a shift, as artists delivered some of their best work during this intriguing year. Today, I wanted to look back at those albums that shaped the year and made 2015 an enjoyable hip hop year in a bounce back sort of way. Which albums do we discuss here? Read on and find out.

*Kendrick Lamar- To Pimp A Butterfly 

-Of course. The best album of the year and the best Kendrick album has to get a mention of course. Looking back, I remember not being excited for this album mostly due to some comments Kendrick made prior to this release. Couple that with none of his singles being that great, and you understand why I wasn't too excited for this project. However, what I didn't know was that this album would be an intricate listen and that the singles would pop better if you heard them in order on the album. Kendrick delivered a conceptual album that preaches empowerment, self love, awareness, and showcases a battle with self and depression. TPAB is considered a classic by many and with tracks like "U", "Momma", "Wesley's Theory", "These Walls", "How Much A Dollar Cost", and more, there is no denying the greatness of this album. 

*Drake- If You're Reading This It's Too Late

-So, this year changed the perception of Drake for many. Sure, Drake will always be popular and sales wise, he takes no fall, but the Meek Mill beef and the story behind this album did really make you sit back and wonder. We never knew that Drake was using ghostwriters and help for his songs, but once it got exposed, this was a moment that changed his standing in hip hop. What were his lyrics? What were his ideas? That became the discussion. However, even with this, Drake manages to succeed at a high level with this album, selling big numbers the first week and impressing fans with the top tier tracks like "Legend", "Jungle", "Energy", and "Know Yourself". Controversy aside, this was still a pivotal release on the year.

*Big Sean- Dark Sky Paradise

-I didn't want to put this album on the list for several reasons. One, I'm not a Big Sean fan. I've barely even listened to an album of his. However, I will acknowledge that he had something with this project. This is one of the only albums from Sean that I've listened to in full and it was actually mostly an enjoyable listen. Sean was in a zone here and working with Kanye, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla, and more only helped to enhance his sound. For me, tracks like the big hit "I Don't Fuck With You", the best song on the album "Play No Games", the Kanye featured "All Your Fault", the Drake featured "Blessings", as well as the Kanye and John Legend assisted "One Man Can Change The World" are all highlights. This is by far the best Big Sean album and hopefully he gets back to this quality sooner than later.

*Lupe Fiasco- Tetuso and Youth

-So Lupe has some greatness in his catalog, but after he released back to back near classics in Food and Liquor then The Cool, he admittedly took a step down creatively. He wasn't making great music like he was prior and his production choices were mediocre at times. However, when he released this project, it seemed as if Lupe found the passion and the love for this again, as he shines throughout this album. Some have labeled Tetuso and Youth as the best album of the year, and while I disagree, it is a definite top 5 release, arguably top 3 of the year. That's a testament to how hard Lupe worked on this project, bringing us gems like "Mural", "Dots & Lines", "Body Of Work", "Little Death", and more. This album showcased that Lupe was still one of the premier artists in the game period.

*A$AP Rocky- At. Long. Last. ASAP. 

-So, I was always a fan of the ASAP Mob and their style musically. While I wasn't the biggest fan of it, I still enjoyed it enough to listen to what they released. When Rocky dropped this album, I was intrigued admittedly. I went to listen to this album and was pleasantly surprised by how much better this was over his debut album and his previous mixtapes. Rocky sounds more confident and sure of himself as an artist and he allows the vibe to work for him. With an array of features and some amazing production, this album shines from start to finish. The highlights to me are the Schoolboy Q assisted "Electric Body", "Holy Ghost", "Canal St.", "Jukebox Joints", "Wavybone", and "Back Home". There are very few weak tracks on this album, which speaks to the consistency Rocky had when creating it. This is a huge highlight on the year.

*Future- DS2

-As Future began his ascension to the top of hip hop, I don't think anyone would expected his popularity to grow at such a fast rate as it has. Sure, his debut album had hits, and his sophomore album had moments as well, but it was the mixtape run of Monster, Beast Mode, and 56 Nights that changed everything. With the release of this, his third official album, Future shines bright over booming production and doesn't stray too far from his formula. It works very well. Tracks such as "Thought It Was A Drought", "Where Ya At", "Stick Talk", "Freak Hoe", "Rotation", and "The Percocet and Stripper Joint" are big highlights on this very enjoyable album.

*Scarface- Deeply Rooted

-So, the legends have to get some love on this list. There was no Jay, Nas, or any other all time great dropping an album in 2015, but Scarface made sure to leave his stamp on the year with one of the best releases. Deeply Rooted is an album that feels similar to the previous albums Face had released, but where Face was more vulnerable on some of those, he seems more confident and sure of himself on this project. The production is solid and the features are solid here as Face works with Rick Ross, Akon, Nas, John Legend, and more on this album. The highlights here are "Rooted", "Dope Man Pushin", "Anything", "Do What I Do", and "God". Scarface delivers with an underrated album that should be at the top of every 2015 list you've seen.



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