The year in albums was amazing and the diversity was amazing. From Little Simz to Lloyd Banks and Nas to Nardo - it was all there in 2021.
AllHipHops emcee of the year had one helluva year . Dropping Magic in the latest hour of December, he certified his year in stone. The QB King talked that talk the whole time on his second album in 2021. On 40-16 Building he spews, Take my quotes, Im here to give hope/ Start a company from one of my phrases / We in the age of letting dumb sh#t kill your kingdom / Body bags for no reason, young sh#t, blunts lit, slurring off of the Seagrams. A terse 9-tracks, this album exemplifies why we love Nas so much. To paraphrase Mike Tyson, Nass style is impetuous, his songs are impregnable, and hes just ferocious on the mic. Magic isnt bogged down by guests, but A$AP Rocky and DJ Premiermake appearances. And, of course, theres####-Boy, who is really an impressive compliment to Nas. Mozzy Untreated Trauma Mozzy managed to do something that most dont: capture the environment that cultivated him. Untreated Trauma gives us more than a look at life in Oak Park, Sacramento. The Cali rep paints a picture while presenting a delicate balance between blessings and tragedies, balling and falling. The results are reminiscent of a Menace II Society spin-off that delves sonically into the intimacies of the hood. However, Mozzy is not from South Central so the nuances are apparent here as well. Despite the red hue, denoting his hood tribe ties, the album is not as dark as it seems, nor is it truly addressing the trauma. But Mozzy is not dishonest and neither are EST Gee, Babyface Ray, Celly Ru, Kalan.FrFr, who ride shotgun. Nardo Wick Who Is Nardo Wick? Nardo Wick had everbody asking the question: Who Is Nardo Wick? By the end of the year, the intended audience new the answer. The Jacksonville, Florida native became reknown for his impactful song, Who Want Smoke? Charismatic and confident, Wick drops lyrics that are the sum total of his Southern influences. The 20-something employs violent imagery (See Chop Chop and Blam Boom) to hype folks up and yet this oft-terrifying concept only strengthens his position. Overall, Who Is Nardo Wick is nu trap, a multi-dimensional talent, laid-back and deadly. Young Thug Punk Young Thugs Punk has nothing to do with the musical genre or the suggestion that hes a coward. The album offers a portal for Thugger to become even more experimental than in the past. Die Slow opens Punk and sets the tone with a soft accoustic, drumless beat and a vocal backdrop. It is an interesting juxtaposition. The album is uncharacteristically soft unless somebody like J. Cole jumps in and adds some rougher texture. Thugger joins him there though and that is the beauty of this album. However, at 20 tracks, it does get a bit long. By the time, Rich Ni##a Sh#t comes Thugger and the late Juicewrld give a welcome change in tone. Bubbly with Drake and Travis Scott offers the same. Overall, this album offered enough for most listeners and pushed the boundaries. Key Glock Yellow Tape 2 Key Glocks Yellow Tape 2 offers no guest appearances and he pulls that off. In this era of over-collaboration and audience sharing, this is quite the feat. The 24-year-old South Memphis native continued to be uninterested in being carried. He rides a beat effortlessly though. Folks like Pyrex and Juicy J help tremendously and Key Glock obliges. Pop this tape in the whip and go for a ride. DMX Exodus We lost DMX in 2021. That sh#t hurt. However, before he departed the earth, he left us with Exodus. His 8th album was intended as a comeback album, so it is inundated with guest appearances. Jay-Z, Nas, Swizz Beatz, The Lox, Moneybagg Yo, Benny The Butcher, Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, and more. Truthfully, Exodus is not Xs best work (were talking about the Grand Champ here), but it allowed us to say goodbye properly. It also underscored the evolution of a man that had endured addiction, mental health woes, the streets, stress, and more. Moreover, we got to hear A Letter To My Son, an absolutely heart-breaking song full of insight. Every DMX album offers a prayer. Now we offer ours. Westside Gunn Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Side B Westside Gunn has steadfastly served the fiends with his special brand of dope. The A-Side of Hitler Wears Hermes 8 was an incredible feat, but he topped it a month later with Side B. Technically this double album is supposed to be played as one unit, but it is also technically two distinct albums. 20 songs. The project features Larry June, Conway The Machine, Benny The Butcher, Tyler The Creator, 2 Chainz, Jay Electronica, Mach-Hommy, and others. Hitler VIII finalizes the popular mixtape series with an exclamation point with more producers than the first album and also more. Gunn is an icon in business, music and also art curation. Respect to all the producers too. JR Swiftz, Nicholas Craven, Daringer, Jay Versace, Madlib, DJ Green Lantern, The Alchemist and numerous others hold it down. This is fine art redefined. Pure and