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Stacey's Top 10 Albums of 2018

Stacey's Top 10 Albums of 2018

By Stacey Hernandez

Concluding our Executive Boards Top 10 Albums of 2018, here are mine! Unlike the other two, I decided not to put numbers on them so they are in no particular order, they’r just my favorite 10! Check them out!

Paranoia 2 by Dave East

Going all the way back to the beginning of the year, Dave East dropped the sequel to his project Paranoia: A True Storyand he definitely delivered. As a Nas cosigned rapper, I’m always excited to see what Dave East has to offer. This was his third release in a 6-month period and the Harlem rapper has been working hard ever since continuing to drop project after project. As a sequel to Paranoia, he used P2 to further elaborate stories from his past whether it be about lost friendships or things like getting robbed. One of the things I liked most about this album was that it had less skits as opposed to the first Paranoia and the incorporation of live instrumentation especially on tracks such as “Powder” and “Thank You”. Favorite Tracks: “Violent”, “I Found Keisha”, “Grateful”.


Victory Lap by Nipsey Hussle

  This was a long-awaited project, being released 4 years after his last mixtape if I’m correct. I don’t think I’ve ever heard much about Nipsey Hussle when it came to my friend group growing up unless it was from my few friends that were from the West Coast and one from Los Angeles in particular. I personally didn’t start listening to him until later into high school, so this album was a big you can say introduction to Nipsey as I’ve only heard a few songs here and there from his mixtapes. That West Coast feel stays true throughout the album especially when you hear tracks like “Last Time I Checc’d”.Favorite Tracks: “Status Symbol 3”, “Million While You Young”, “Last Time I Checc’d”


KOD by J. Cole

  This album was one discussed highly among my friends. I’m surrounded by several J. Cole fans and this one that was talked about a lot between my friends and I as well as the rest of the world. On my first listen I was kind of confused if I’m being honest because I wasn’t understanding why I was hearing Cole repeat words over and over again. I was questioning what I was hearing, but after listening to the album in full and listening deeply to each track I saw the greater theme. I love that the album can be looked at in so many different ways, and that just alludes to J.Cole’s genius. Favorite Tracks: “Kevin’s Heart”, “1985- Intro to ‘The Fall Off’”


Testing by A$AP Rocky

  This was Rocky’s third studio album and was also highly waited for. I’ve always been a huge Rocky fan and have always found in my experience that people will either really like him or not. I’ve had a lot of friends say they just don’t get him, so maybe he’s not for everyone. I do think that if you’re not already a Rocky fan this might be a shocking album to you. He really does push the title Testingand tries a variety of new sounds throughout this project. I was a huge fan of his second project AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP, so naturally I was going into the album with a very judgmental mindset thinking that this next album can’t top it. I don’t think it topped it however, I began to appreciate the album the more I listened to it. At first, I thought it was good, but as I continued to listen to it, I enjoyed it even more than I did at the beginning. Let me not even get started on Rocky’s music videos because wow. The music videos he’s dropped for this project have all been stellar, I really don’t even have words to describe them expect that they are just so visually appealing. Nobody does music videos like him in my opinion. Favorite Tracks: “Gunz N Butter”, “Buck Shots”, “OG Beeper”


ASTROWORLD by Travis Scott

This was an album that I thought was good at first, but again like Testingappreciated and enjoyed a lot more as I continued to listen to it. This was an album I found myself listening to over and over and I think will continue to be a favorite of mine. Travis’ creativity is something that fascinates me, how he sonically does things as well as visually is really something special. I love that he branches outside of his genre and has Tame Impala influences on the album especially on the song “SKELETONS”. He marks Houston all over this project with it being named after an old amusement park from his hometown as well as having Houston legends influenced throughout the entire project. This was an album where I can listen from beginning to end and enjoy every track. Favorite Tracks: “5% TINT”, “HOUSTONFORNICATION”, “SKELETONS”


Redemption by Jay Rock

  I never listened to Jay Rock all that much until this album came out. I listened to 90059 sometimes in my freshmen year of college, but other than that I didn’t listen to much of him. Knowing that he’s a TDE artist I downloaded the album and decided to give it a chance. This album was fueled by Rock getting a second chance at life after getting into a severe motorcycle accident. The album does a good job of telling that story and how now he’s on a search for new opportunity after being given a second chance. Favorite Tracks: “OSOM”, “Wow Freestyle”



  I wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t put something with Jay’s name on it in my favorite hip-hop albums of the year. Both my parents grew up in New York City, so I listened to all the New York greats growing up, Jay Z being one of them. This album highlights the Carter’s journey in their marriage and now are in a place where their love is being celebrated and that black love is general should be celebrated. I will forever be a Jay Z fan and will support what he’s doing. You can’t deny either Bey’s talents and how much they compliment Jay’s. They were meant to make music together and is something I always look forward to hearing.Favorite Tracks: “APESHIT” (because it’s also Obama’s favorite), “NICE”, “BOSS”


East Atlanta Love Letter by 6LACK

  I know this may be considered more R&B but 6LACK has definite hip hop influences and was definitely one of my favorite albums this year. I think that 6LACK continues to have this dark and mysterious vibe that he’s had in the past and is honestly what I like most about him. He has his own distinct vibe and sound separating him from his peers. The east Atlanta artist does things in a very minimal and chilling fashion that really puts you into a whole different world when listening to him. I listened to this album on repeat and knew I couldn’t not put this album in my list. He features rappers like J. Cole on “Pretty Little Fears”, Future on “East Atlanta Love Letter”, and Offset on “Balenciaga Challenge”. Favorite Tracks: “East Atlanta Love Letter”, “Disconnect”, “Nonchalant”


DiCaprio 2 by J.I.D

I only recently started listening to J.I.D, but he’s becoming an artist that I really enjoy and look forward to hearing his new releases. His voice and the way he delivers his lyrics is something that stands out in the sea of rappers that are currently on the scene. Kendrick Lamar is the only one I can think of that can deliver in this speedy manner over a beat. Another east Atlanta artist, J.I.D, in his jittery fashion managed to produce a solid sophomore album highlighting his skills being able to switch his pace in delivery but make it work throughout the entire album. Favorite Tracks: “151 Rum”, “Tiiied”, “Hot Box”


Creed II: The Album by Various Artists

  This was a big year for movie soundtracks especially when it comes to the box office breaking Black Panther. The soundtrack to Black Pantherdone by Kendrick Lamar featured huge rappers such as Vince Staples, 2 Chainz, Schoolboy Q, Swae Lee, Mozzy, Jay Rock, Travis Scott and more. The film carried a lot of weight and excitement, so Kendrick had a lot of work to deliver when it came to the Black Panthersoundtrack and he definitely succeeded. Creed IIwas something that I thought was very similar in which I really enjoyed the soundtrack outside of the movie. I didn’t think that I would enjoy a movie soundtrack as much as I did, but the Creed IIalbum was something I found myself listening to constantly and still find myself playing on repeat. It was a great movie and the soundtrack matched it perfectly. Movie soundtracks have always been a thing, but now it’s bigger than it ever has been before. The Creed IIsoundtrack features rappers like Juicy J, A$AP Rocky, Quavo, Lil Wayne, J. Cole, Nas and several more. The list would be too long to put here. The album is definitely worth the listen and if you’re a fan of the Rocky or Creed franchise, the movie is just as enjoyable. Favorite Tracks: “Kill ‘Em With Success”, “F.I.G.H.T”, “Runnin”

Travis Thompson: 2018 in Review

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Evan's Top 10 of 2018

Evan's Top 10 of 2018