2021 proved why Hip Hop and R&B remained at top of the music world, with albums full of creativity, wordplay, and dope beats. Here are just some of the albums that came out this year that will keep critics and fans talking about 2021 for decades to come.
TYLER, THE CREATOR CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
Following the two most introspective and critically-acclaimed albums of his career, Tyler, The Creator returned with a record that’s equal parts fun and personal. Tyler shows off his signature gravitas on tracks like “LEMONHEAD” or “LUMBERJACK,” where he seems ready to take his place as the biggest rapper in the world.
JAZMINE SULLIVAN, HEAUX TALES
With a six-year gap between Reality Show and Heaux Tales, Jazmine Sullivan returned with her most successful album to date. Jazmine’s soulful R&B is all at once empowering and emotive.
LIL NAS X, MONTERO
After years of being a viral star, Lil Nas X asserted himself as a bona fide star . While his music video for the title track may have stirred up controversy, the rapper’s debut record gave him plenty of famous cosigns from some of the biggest names in pop and rap, like Miley Cyrus, Elton John, and Meghan Thee Stallion.
SILK SONIC, AN EVENING WITH SILK SONIC
There was no better way to the end of this immaculate year than Silk Sonic’s debut album. It brings that joyful, melodic 70s soul sound that can be played for all generations in the building.
DRAKE, CERTIFIED LOVER BOY
Drake’s highly anticipated Certified Lover Boy covered all of Toronto’s native's bases. From delivering straight bars on tracks like “You Only Live Twice,” to romantically charged singles such as “F*****g Fans,” this album proved that this was a great year for hip hop.
LITTLE SIMZ, I MIGHT BE INTROVERT
Hip-Hop experiences a grand elevation in the fourth album from Little Simz. With dense and provocative lyrics that celebrate Black and female power, I Might Be Introvert showcases why Simz has earned the praise from Kendrick Lamar and Lauryn Hill.
VINCE STAPLES, VINCE STAPLES
All killer, no filler. Vince Staple’s fourth album comes in under 23 minutes, and he doesn’t waste a single second. Over the course of ten tracks, the Long Beach rapper pairs his signature delivery – and innate charisma – against Kenny Beats’ production, creating an honest look at his youth and the gang violence that permeated throughout it.
SUMMER WALKER, STILL OVER IT
Heartbreak and R&B have produced greatness, and Summer Walker’s sophomore album is no exception. Still Over It channels Summer’s anguish and pain from a failed relationship into a modern classic, a heartbreak/breakup album that will soundtrack many tear-soaked nights to come.
MADLIB, SOUND ANCESTORS
Madlib continued his prolific ways, releasing a trio of albums in 2021 – but it was Sound Ancestors that turned heads towards this brilliant DJ/producer. On this album, hip-hop’s mad scientist teamed with electronic maestro Four Tet to create a sensory soundscape that sends your synapses into space.