47 of the Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2018 (So Far)
The phrase “hip-hop don’t stop” has never rung truer than in 2018. It’s been a unceasing year for rap releases, presenting fans with projects from music rookies, SoundCloud all-stars, established vets and certified O.G.s. Lately, every week seems to bring a marquee effort that washes away the memory of what dropped the week prior. Oy vey.
These projects have come in a variety of lengths and formats, some shorter than a television sitcom and others long enough to rival a feature film. This polarity in runtime was encouraged by Kanye West, who dominated news feeds during the late Spring weeks by executive producing or starring on four consecutive rap projects that commit to seven as a divine tracklist length (Pusha-T’s Daytona).
On the opposite end of that spectrum were streaming sharks like Drake (Scorpion), Migos (Culture II) and Rae Sremmurd (Sr3mm), who pushed the upward limits of their projects’ runtimes with double (and triple!) album-length releases.
It’s been a big year for female artists this year, as they’ve shown a range of sounds and styles. Cardi B established herself as a heavyweight with her expertly polished Invasion of Privacy album serving up multiple bangers. Meanwhile, newcomers like the brazen City Girls (Period), innovative Tierra Whack (Whack World) or raging Rico Nasty (Nasty) all colored in different shades before Nicki Minaj returned with intentions on locking down her crown for good (Queen).
Other phenomena: the return of the blockbuster movie soundtrack (the Future-curated Superfly soundtrack and Kendrick Lamar-helmed Black Panther: The Album), a grown-man rap renaissance (Black Thought, Phonte), Trippie Redd being Trippie (Life’s a Trip).
That’s only a slither of the hip-hop landscape this year. Get the panoramic view—all 47 of 2018’s best projects (so far) highlighted in alphabetical order—in the gallery below.
See 47 of the Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2018 (So Far)