2019 has served up a number of quality albums, with the likes of Tyler The Creator, Dave and Anderson .Paak delivering fan-favourites already, although, of the albums to drop already in ’19, there’s still a handful that have remained slept on.
2 Chainz – Rap Or Go To The League
Former college baller, trapper and modern day icon 2 Chainz released his fifth studio album earlier this year, Rap Or Go To The League.
Coming 2 years after his most mature LP to date, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, Tity Boi’s latest effort moves in a gospel, sample-driven direction that works as the perfect alley-oop to his elite storytelling, undeniable charisma and underrated lyricism which is on display as much as ever here.
With an eyebrow raising list of features including Ariana Grande, Kendrick Lamar, Chance The Rapper and Travis Scott, Rap Or Go To The League is an album that delivered on expectations, yet remains too easily looked over for our liking.
Run it back one time, trust.
Favourite bar: “That’s beside the point like a shooting guard, I’m moving forward”
Favourite feature: Lil Wayne (on ‘2 Dollar Bill’)
Favourite track: ‘Threat 2 Society’
You’ll like this album if you like: ScHoolboy Q – ‘CrasH Talk’
Boogie – Everything’s For Sale
Signed to Shady Records, there’s no doubt that Boogie had a weight of expectation surrounding Everything’s For Sale. Well, the Compton native smashed that expectation out of the park with a cohesive, eclectic full-length project which placed his lethargic delivery alongside a concise lyrical performance, some stunning melodies and complementary features to top it all off.
Boogie mastered his own sound with Everything’s For Sale, whilst still being able to bounce around from lazy, love-struck cuts such as Tired/Reflections and Skydive II to heavier anthems like Self Reflection and Rainy Days.
Favourite bar: “I told my mama I won’t go back, then I went back on my promise”
Favourite feature: JID (on ‘Soho’)
Favourite track: ‘Silent Ride’
You’ll like this album if you like: 6LACK – ‘East Atlanta Love Letter’
Loyle Carner – Not Waving, But Drowning
Brilliant open, honest and heartfelt, Not Waving, But Drowning is Loyle Carner’s sophomore album. The 15-track LP feels more like one big diary entry that weaves through the love’s of Carners life… family, friends and significant others, and it does so in such a way that has the soulful production and poetic delivery mirroring the mood of the South London emcee throughout.
Although coming with high energy cuts such as Ice Water and You Don’t Know, Not Waving, But Drowning is largely a conceptual piece that follows a tranquil trail, with Carner showing that his first full-length release (2017’s Yesterday’s Gone) was no fluke.
Be in the right state of mind and give Loyle Carner’s most recent release a spin. It’d be surprising to find anyone who doesn’t connect on some level with the stunning, polished project that is Not Waving, But Drowning.
Favourite bar: “This is where you’ll find me, sippin’ on a chai tea, talking all politely”
Favourite feature: Jorja Smith (on ‘Loose Ends’)
Favourite track: ‘Loose Ends’
You’ll like this album if you like: Rejjie Snow – ‘Dear Annie’
Solange – When I Get Home
Okay, it hurts to even label this one as slept on… but I don’t hear it in Album of the Year talk nearly as much as it should be.
Warm, earnest and ambient, When I Get Home is the most recent release from Houston songwriter and cultural icon Solange.
As buttery and thoughtful as ever, When I Get Home never sees an instrument too many, an effect too much or a feature too abrasive, with the LP’s 39-minute run-time playing as the ultimate canvas for a plethora of experimentation, collaboration and flush vocal performances.
Listen front-to-back and let Solange take you away to a place where you can at least place this album in your AOTY talks.
Favourite bar: “Black skin, black braids, black waves, black days, black baes, black days, these are black-owned things, black faith still can’t be washed away, not even in that Florida water”
Favourite feature: Playboi Carti (on ‘Almeda’)
Favourite track: ‘Stay Flo’
You’ll like this album if you like: Teyana Taylor – ‘K.T.S.E.’
Written by Jarrod van der Staay