The year-end roundup features just twenty albums of the best hip-hop of 2020. I made it my mission to highlight the best music I could find this year. These are the best of the best. Selected from an elite crop of rising and established artists, producers, and selectors, this year’s best hip-hop of 2020 includes R.A.P. Ferreira, Navy Blue, Quelle Chris x Chris Keys, and Namir Blade.
Other artists on this year’s best hip-hop of 2020 list include lojii, The Koreatown Oddity, orion sun, Denzel Curry x Kenny Beats, Small Bills, Demae, Ras G, Dirty Art Club, Marlowe, SAULT, and Homeboy Sandman. Nowhere near the sum total of the last twelve months, but all projects that set or raised standards.
They didn’t make the final cut because I ran out of slots, but both did very dope things that deserve your ear. Let’s go!
lojii owned the year with an evocative collection of melodic beats and rapid-fire bars on the arrival of lo&behold.
Navy Blue followed the buzzworthy 2019 Gangway for Navy EP with his impressive full-length debut Àdá Irin.
R.A.P. Ferreira bested 2018’s Budding Ornithologists… with Purple Moonlight Pages produced by The Jefferson Park Boys.
Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats connected for 24 hours this year and the result was the hard-hitting, collaborative album Unlocked.
Syracuse rapper Stove God Cook$ stood above a raft of MCs this year with the Roc Marciano-produced Reasonable Drought.
orion sun made a statement with the release of her highly-anticipated debut Hold Space For Me, which established her as a rising force.
The almighty Ras G made his final earthly transmission with the last installment of the Raw Fruit series titled Raw Fruit Vol. 5 & 6.
Quelle Chris and Chris Keys team to deliver a rhythmic antidote for anxious times with the release of Innocent Country 2.
Charlotte’s own Dirty Art Club put in work for Paxico Records with the release of the groove-heavy Gardens album.
The Koreatown Oddity gathered some of L.A.’s best for the cinematic and sample-forward Little Dominiques Nosebleed.
L’Orange and Solemn Brigham returned this year to crack heads with the formidable Marlowe sequel titled Marlowe 2.
North West London singer and Hawk House alum Demae raised the bar with her Touching Bass debut, Life Works Out…Usually.
Nashville spitter Namir Blade celebrated his Mello Music Group debut and quickly made a name for himself with Aphelion’s Traveling Circus.
The Twilite Tone followed the standout single “Do It Properly” with the release of his highly-anticipated album The Clearing.
Homeboy Sandman’s Don’t Feed The Monster pairs explosive candor and cadence with ace production from Quelle Chris. A strong shortlist contender for Album of the Year.
Open Mike Eagle upped the ante, following Brick Body Kids Still Daydream with the seamlessly crafted Anime, Trauma & Divorce. Another major offering.
E L U C I D and The Lasso made their full-length debut as Small Bills with the release of the dizzying and beautiful album Don’t Play It Straight.
Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin connected on the true future classic FlySiifu’s featuring (Liv).e, Fousheé, and $ILKMONEY.
Karas Lamb writes and digs for tunes you haven’t heard yet. She wants to listen to your music. Follow her on Twitter @karaslamb.
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