Our favourites Hip Hop albums of 2021
Here is our list (no order) of the international Hip-Hop albums that WE liked the most in this 2021. As usual, when we compile these end-of-year Rap lists it is very difficult to leave out projects that could have made this selection. In the end, we thought, however, that those albums listed below represent OUR soundtrack of the year more than any others. But we are also curious to know which were YOUR favorite albums! Let us know on our social media pages (@throwupmag).
And, of course, We have prepared the playlists of our favorite 2021’s songs, available on Spotify. Tune in and hit play!
The chemistry, between the brilliant productions of The Alchemist and the cinematic rap of Boldy James, works magically like coke with baking soda, sucking the listener into the ghettos of the east side of Detroit, the rapper’s hometown.
The legendary Californian producer of Cypress Hill and the New York MC have built a “stargate” that unites more eras, precisely, in Far Rockaway (Queens, NYC): once the home of Rammellzee and today represented by the dope Flee Lord, who spits flamboyant words on Muggs’ exceptional beats, which like letters on the metal of trains, revive the equation of letters born from the creative genius of the NYC graffiti legend.
Back under the artistic direction of the Griselda Records leader Westside Gunn, the eclectic MC of Haitian origins, Mach-Hommy with “Pray For Haiti”, gave to all Hip-Hop fans a pearl, which shines for originality and aesthetics.
Ransom, despite a twenty-year career behind his back, has probably reached his pinnacle now. With “Se7en“, a mini-album inspired by the seven deadly sins and by the thriller movie with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, Ran picks up where he left off his spectacular 2020. The veteran MC from New Jersey has reached a level of mastery on the microphone that seems he doesn’t even rap anymore, but preaches life teachings in rhyme.
Together, the tarots of the Death and the Magician can represent a new beginning or a resurrection: equally the magical arts of DJ Muggs combined with the murderous and pitch-black rhymes of Brooklyn rapper Rome Streetz lend to a universe of symbolism and interpretations that prophetize a resurrection of a the grimy Rap.
Harry Fraud, with his beats, manages to perfectly capture the soul of this project, orchestrating the soundtrack of this new success by the Griselda rapper Benny The Butcher, with a cinematic flavor, inspired by the gangster movie par excellence, Scarface.
The crackling character that distinguishes the Washington D.C. MC emerges from the use he makes of his own aggressive and frank lyrics, mixed with a pungent irony and a creative use of ad-libs. Another reason, which in our opinion, makes his projects always extremely enjoyable, is ANKHLEJOHN‘s exceptional ear in selecting the beats to use. In fact, the contrast between ANKHLEJOHN’s aggressive style and the soulful samples of the productions create a brilliant synthesis.
“Giovanni’s Way” is, in short, a manual and direct testimony of what it means to be a hustler. All illustrated by the authoritative and credible voice of its protagonist, the Detroit rapper, member and founder of the Doughboyz Cashout crew.
In painting the musical carpet and the visual testimony of this journey in the Colombian barrios, DJ Muggs, accompanied by the mix of flow and languages of the New Jersey rap with Caribbean origins, CRIMEAPPLE, gives us, once again, a glimpse of his genius. The Californian producer, in fact, has now reached a parallel dimension compared to his colleagues on the scene.
Once you immerse yourself in “Coup De Grace“, the collaborative album between Ransom and Rome Streetz, you will be immediately sucked into a kind of hard-boiled film or a noir, in sound format, where the two protagonists exchange bars of immaculate street lyricism .
All Hail Y.T, native rapper of Texas and moved to Delaware, in his “Player Made“, pictures the phases of his story that formed him as a man, managing to amalgamate the wide spectrum of sounds that belong to his background and adapting them perfectly to his own style.
Asun Eastwood with “S.O.U.L” offers us an autobiographical tale of his past between Belize and Toronto (Canada), with the maturity and analytical skills of those who have overcome and chewed the many obstacles that life has placed in front of him. In short, if you were looking for rap for adults, Asun Eastwood will certainly offer you many interesting ideas.
The former G-Unit member Lloyd Banks returns with a major show of strength. The MC of Queens,in fact, despite the passing of the years and trends, has, in fact, remained faithful to itself, to its values, and to the genre of Rap to which it had accustomed its fans. For this reason he reached out for verses only rappers who are able to sit at the same Lloyd Banks table, like Ransom, Benny The Butcher, Freddie Gibbs, Styles P, Vado. No trendy names to attract a new younger audience.
Released from prison in 2020, Potter Payper has gained that awareness of those who went through fire and survived, paid for their mistakes and now can unleash his great talent, telling the scars he carries inside. With the new album “Thanks For Waiting”, Potter Payper thus rewards the fans who have waited for him and takes on the English scene proving to be one of the strongest lyricists around.
Over the years, Millyz has earned its own certificate of credibility, so much so that it has been welcomed under the protective wing of a legend like Jadakiss. 2021 may have been the definitive year of his consecration. “Blanco 4” is a project that contains several guests from Jadakiss to Benny The Butcher, passing by G-Herbo and Asian Doll and reflects exactly the direction in which the music of the rapper originally from Cambridge (Massachusetts) goes. His street lyricism, in fact, perfectly manages to combine current sounds with skills, contents and attitude of a certain old style.
Along the 14 tracks of the album, produced by some of the best producers of the American underground scene, the Detroit rapper, Ty Farris, thanks to the vivid and crude rhymes, trademark of his repertoire, transports us into the dark streets of the ghettos of the capital of Michigan, where “there are no street lights, you play dice in the alleys, watching the junkies fight each other” (cit.).
In “Dinner For One”, the London rapper Ard Adz demonstrates his keen lyrical talent and the ability to find captivating melodies, addressing the difficulties, problems and mistakes of his past in the streets of Brixton, with honesty and heartfelt . “Dinner for One”, in our opinion, is certainly one of the best projects to come out of the British island in 2021.
“WEIGHT OF THE WORLD” in our opinion is the most mature and aware album of Maxo Kream‘s discography, also, artistically speaking. The Houston rapper’s excellent storytelling is perfectly orchestrated along the album’s 16 tracks, which boast the collaborations of Tyler The Creator, A$AP Rocky, Freddie Gibbs and Don Toliver.
The posed flow and the bitter reflections on the past of Jay Worthy and Sha Hef become, in fact, one thing with the productions, curated by Sean House (half of LNDN DRGS), 183Rd and Dolla, dragging the listener into the melancholy atmosphere of this EP. Jay Worthy and Sha Hef is an interesting match between Compton and Bronx street talk.
Knowledge The Pirate sails through the murky waters of the streets of New York, with the experience and wisdom of an old sea dog, guarding a treasure of experience and knowledge of inestimable value. To assist him, He recruited a crew of some of the most valid in circulation of which E.L.E.M.E.N.T at the rudder of the productions, Stove God Cooks and Rome Streetz. “Hidden Treasure” is already a legend on the seas, those less traveled by the mainstream routes.
Once again, Evidence, born Michael Perretta, proves his strong creativity and ability to express his feelings and reflections with intelligence and skills, through the “slow-flow”, became a trademark during his twenty-year career to the microphone. All this is accompanied by an exceptional musical carpet, made by some of the dopest producers of the American underground scene, including The Alchemist, Daringer, Animoss, V-Don, Mr. Green, Khrysis, in addition to the Evidence itself.
Westside Gunn, leader of the Griselda Records, is one of those rare individuals who are able to see before things others do not see and bold to take paths others do not dare to take. A unique mind, one-of-one (one of one), as the rapper himself from Buffalo often reminds us, on the border between bravado and self-esteem. His future moves remain unpredictable and, therefore, legitimize the doubt about a possible epilog of his career as a rapper. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the present, or a double album, which, with yet another cunning idea, W$G has fragmented into two sides.
Mobb Deep and The Lox marked an era but their typically New York street rap still influences the scene of the rap Mecca today, despite the evolution of trends. More than four years after Prodigy’s death, Havoc proves he still has the fire inside. In Wreckage Manner he proved again that he can still make beats in pure Mobb style, on which, for the occasion, exchanges bars with Styles P (⅓ of The Lox), another microphone legend, who over the years has always continued to impress for the constancy and level of his lyrical skills.
In France there is a rapper who more than others has been able to grasp and interpret the essence of the Griselda phenomenon and the revival of a certain aesthetic, inspired by the New York rap of the nineties of Wu-Tang, Mobb Deep or Nas . His rap name is Benjamin Epps and he was actually born and raised in Libreville in Gabon. “Fantôme Avec Chauffeur”, produced entirely by Le Chroniqueur Sale, has awakened the interest and nostalgia for lyricism and raw beats also in France.
Grubby Pawz, with his exceptional productions, finds the perfect alchemy for the unorthodox rap of Al Divino, who with his own unique style in the American underground panorama, makes cuts in the canvases, prepared for the occasion by the beatmaker of East Boston. CCXXXVII is a journey into the very particular universe of the abstract and esoteric mind of Al Divino.
The MC and producer from Birmingham (UK), Sonny Jim, who in the past has already accustomed us to numerous collaborations overseas, this time is teaming up with the New York beatmaker, ex DITC (Big L and Fat Joe crew, just to make you understand the level), Buckwild. Sonny Jim‘s flair is tuned with the beats of the veteran New York producer, paying homage to Coke La Rock and the history of Hip-Hop.
The San Francisco rapper, once again this year, preaches and teaches how to maintain the positive mental focus and a healthy lifestyle, necessary to achieve success in your life. Organic Print by Larry June has the power to inspire and at the same time transport the listener into the warmer and relaxed atmosphere of the Bay Area.
This year, Nas has succeed on 2 occasions, first with “King’s Disease II” and then with “Magic” (in both assisted by the Californian producer Hit-Boy), to prove everyone how at 47, not only is he still among the best ever, but how one can be a leader, an enlightened businessman and remain credible with a microphone in hand, at the same time.
Da Flyy Hooligan is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most respected leaders of the UK underground scene, thanks also to the constant relations with the States and the record label that he contributed to found and with which he distributes top quality underground raps all over the world (Gourmet Deluxxx). From the connection with the former Triple Darkness member, Tesla’s Ghost, a record for fine tastes, with a classic feeling, both from the production side and the rap one.
Tyler, The Creator returns to a more orthodox interpretation of his Rap, compared to recent episodes, while maintaining his eclectic and original vein unchanged. Hosted by DJ Drama, CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST is a record that sounds like a mixtape, or vice versa. In any case, Tyler, The Creator once again manages to surprise and blow away his listeners.
The style of the Marseille rapper Relo traces the tradition of the city in the South of France represented by historical groups such as IAM and Fonky Family, both in style and in the realistic approach to writing. However, these peculiarities are refreshed by the Marseillaise MC of Algerian and Guadeloupe origins, with a modern style and enriched with refrains that sound perfectly and at the same time catchy.
“Dirty Spirits” by Aaqil Ali, member of the Lord Mobb crew, is a small pearl, buried in the sea of releases that are published every weekend overseas (especially if you try to keep up with the underground scene). Write down this name and you will not regret it. The evident talent and the need to tell his own story are ingredients that usually promise well, so we’ll see if it can make its way into the crowded and competitive underground scene.