2019 had a lot of albums dropped that really broke the mold of what’s been released in recent years. Which goes to show that this genre is still the fastest growing and evolving one in the music industry. This list will be both expected and surprising and is numbered in no particular order.
Rico Nasty- Anger Management
Female Death Grips, that’s all Rico Nasty’s style and sound on Anger Management. It’s a style 2015-2018 me absolutely hated, mainly because I got force fed early Death Grips albums by my friends in high school. Since moving onto college and being able to acquire my own taste for the style, I’m still very picky but this album strikes a perfect cord between sensory overload and experimental genius.
FKA Twigs- MAGDALENE
This album sounded beautiful while simultaneously freaking us out and we loved it. This album felt almost alien in its sound (pun intended, “fallen alien” is one of my favorites from the album) but still felt grounded enough for casual fans of both hip-hop and experimental to enjoy it. I’d say of anything on this list, it fits our station’s vibe the most. You’ll probably be hearing more of it next semester.
Big shocker, we known, but it’s hard to deny the wave of popularity this album seemed to ride both in and out of the station. GINGER is still not a perfect album, and the absence of one of the groups most talented rappers, Ameer Vann, has still not been fully fixed. That being said, GINGER has a least given us hope the the group is taking time to fix its own issues and find a new rhythm to move to.
Rex Orange County- Pony
Originally received with mixed opinions by the staff of Wildcat 91.9, Pony is an album that grows on you with each listen you give it. It’s easy listening music, something that’s right at home at a radio station you mostly listen to in your car. Tracks like “Always” and “Pluto Projector” show that there’s just enough depth to this collection of tracks to earn those multiple listens.
Tyler The Creator- IGOR
This one probably isn’t surprising either but how are we not gonna put Tyler’s best album so far on a list like this. Focus is placed heavily on Tyler’s lyrics and one concentrated listen through will show you how emotionally charged this album is. It’s a cynic’s change of heart in the form of an album and we absolutely loved it.
Post Malone- Hollywood’s Bleeding
The rap album acts as more of a passion project that dips its toes into the murky waters of a few different genres. It’s filled with features from ten different artists, bringing a lot of creative ideas to album that really show in the final product we get. As always, we get Post’s powerful emotions flowing through all 17 tracks. It’s a portrait of life and pain in Hollywood and the world it represents.
Who says we can’t put local on here too? Lewelheds blew us away this year. Their mixture of jazz, hip hop and other experimental sounds has made something that is almost impossible to find elsewhere. They do what they want without trying to fit a mold. Their song “Penthouse” speaks of their quest to make it big, we don’t see that being too big a challenge for them.
Brother Ali- Secrets & Escapes
While our station has had much of Ali’s work in rotation lately, this late arrival to the 2019 party is one of his best works. As a long time fan, I’m looking forward to adding this album into rotation because Ali’s trademark emotional powerhouse of song lyrics are back in full force. Booming battle beats and fast paced ballad are welcome additions to an album that reminded us why underground is the birthplace of true rap.