The Top 10 Albums of 2015
2015 was a pretty good year for music. We had the greatest rap beef since the 50 Cent v. Ja Rule beef. We had surprise albums. Adele was back. Future turned into a trap king. And we had some really dope new artists enter the building.
So with all this dope music I like to take the time each year (usually only on my Facebook page) and sit down and listen to every album to determine what's the best. What were the Top 10 albums of 2015? I take this list seriously. I have a formula. I go back and forth with myself about the list. And I always look forward to the conversation that usually follows.
Bryson Tiller - T R A P S O U L, The Weeknd - Beauty Behind the Madness, Meek Mill - Dreams Worth More Than Money, Fetty Wap - Fetty Wap, Kehlani - You Should Be Here, Jazmine Sullivan - Reality Show, Dormtainment - Broke and Famous 2, and Drake - If You're Reading This It's Too Late
10. Jordin Sparks - Right Here Right Now
Best Song on the Album: Boyz in the Hood
I wrote about how surprisingly good this album from Jordin Sparks was. Jordin presented us with a grown up album that finally let us get a peek at who she is and what's been going on her life. She gets ratchet on here. She reminds you that she can sang (that is not a typo!) on here. She makes you feel madly in love and also reminds you of that feeling when a relationship ends. It was a well-rounded, well-done album, and I'm excited to see what she'll do in the future.
9. Justin Bieber - Purpose
Best Song on the Album: Love Yourself
And just when we thought Justin had been replaced with Austin Mahone, he gives us his best album. Justin should definitely be sending Skillrex some roses for reviving his career. After a troubling couple of years of the Biebs ruining his own musical sales by being an awful human being, he straightened up his act and jumped on the Skillrex track "Where R U Now?" This set us up for "What Do You Mean?" and "Sorry." Those songs were too good for us to continue to be mad at Justin for doing dumb stuff. His album is genuine and fun. Plus he has Nas on the album! P.S. Justin and Travis Scott do no wrong together. This relationship should continue.
8. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment - Surf
Best Song on the Album: Rememory
What happens when you combine Chance the Rapper, Donnie Trumpet, The Social Experiment, Janelle Monae, B.o.B., Busta Rhymes, J. Cole, Big Sean, Jeremih, KYLE, B.J. the Chicago Kid, D.R.A.M., the Migos, and Erykah Badu, plus others? GREATNESS LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. You get greatness. And it was greatness for the free (definitely a bonus). Although this is Donnie Trumpet's album, I lowkey consider it Chance's but that's neither here nor there. The album talks about a range of things from grandmothers to accepting your lack of coolness to being happy to be alive. It is such a refreshing album and if you somehow missed it, go download it now. It's free. As much as I love my ratchet trap music, it is so great to have real music in your life.
7. Mac Miller - GO:OD AM
Best Song on the Album: 100 Grandkids
Mac Miller came through ever so quietly this year, set an album down, and was like just in case y'all forgot I have bars. *mic drop* We do not appreciate Mac Miller enough. He's a "woke" white rapper, who's actually a talented rapper, and not just good for a "white rapper." Mac Miller has always had his own lane, and this album was a showcase of how polished that lane is. We get to see the internal struggles Mac has been dealing with while watching him sort it out. You may not be able to feel him on the poppin pills and other drugs, but you'll definitely understand his pain and thoughts. The album is just dope.
6. Logic - The Incredible True Story
Best Song on the Album: Stainless
Logic is the rapper that everyone sleeps on but he somehow still manages to sell more albums than a lot of your favorite rappers and sell out shows all over the place. His flow is sick, and he's a dope storyteller. Although the story on this album is a wee bit corny, as a whole it's really cool to listen to. There is no bad song on this album, the space story weaved in between is honestly what holds this album back from being higher on the list. But Logic knows exactly what he's doing, and I will buy any album he puts out.
5. Adele - 25
Best Song on the Album: When We Were Young
Adele came back to let you know that you can forget your number one album. Your record sales are cute. That little run you did at the end of your song was lovely. And congratulations on that Vevo record and all but, my music video though..... Adele came ready to sell 4 million records in a week. Who even does that anymore?! Adele described this album as nostalgic. At 25, she was taking a look back at her life so far and missing it a bit. She put us all in our feelings throughout the entire thing, but then ended with the "Sweetest Devotion," which has her son in the background. It was a symbol of moving forward. Let me tell you, I love when singers have children and place their babies on the track. The album was sad and nostalgic and a bit depressing, which makes it sooooo good. When a singer can take you to a different place with their music, you know they're special.
4. Rae Sremmurd - SremmLife
Best Song on the Album: Lit Like Bic
Who knew that Rae Sremmurd's album would turn out to be the most lit party album ever? You can literally turn it on and not change the song because everything bumps. Need to get hype? SremmLife got you. Sad? SremmLife got you. Drunk? SremmLife got you. There is nothing deep or thought provoking on this album. It's just a really good time, and sometimes that all you really need. *proceeds to play Lit Like Bic and shake my invisible dreads*
3. Big Sean - Dark Sky Paradise
Best Songs on the Album: Blessed, All Your Fault, I Don't Fuck With You, Paradise, Stay Down, I Knnow, Deseve It
There's a reason the top 3 are the top 3. There are multiple top notch songs on their album. It's just not possible for me to pick just one when it comes to best songs on the album. Big Sean came out with a banger this year. I'm not sure if it was the breakup with Naya Rivera or his relationship at the time with Ariana Grande or the fact that Kanye finally said maybe I should pay attention to my artists or the fact that Big Sean built a studio in his house and recorded whenever he had inspiration. It could've been a combination of all of those factors. But this album was magical. From the beats to Big Sean playing with his flow to the guest artists, this album is fun to listen to and has been on repeat all year long. P.S. to Big Sean if you ever read this, if you do decide to do that joint album you talked about, let it be with Jhene. Y'all do nothing wrong together.
2. Drake & Future - What A Time to Be Alive
Best Songs on the Album: Digital Dash, Big Rings, Diamonds Dancing, Jumpman, Jersey
What a time to be alive when two of the biggest rappers out can record an album in six days and it can be three flame emojis. It may not have lived up to expectations due to the prehype, but for a person who had no expectations it was great. Crissle, podcast host of The Read, called "Diamonds Dancing" a spiritual experience, and I agree. "Digital Dash" is slept on, period. And I'm sure we'll be hearing "Big Rings" all throughout the NBA season. This album gave us the quotes we wanted but didn't know we needed. It was also handed to us with a side of petty (*looks at DJ Drama and Meek Mill*), which I'm always here for. This album made me do things I don't normally do. And we should all give it the credit it's due.
1. The Internet - Ego Death
Best Songs on the Album: Get Away, Gabby, Under Control, Just Sayin'/I Tried, Special Affair, Something's Missing, Palace/Curse
Baby you make me believe/ I could fall in love at first/ sight, how you stopped me with your/ body, I'm under your curse. That line accurately describes how this album feels. You will literally fall in love at first listen with this body of work. The choice to have this as first wasn't even a debate. Every single song on this album is good. Let me repeat that one more time for the people in the back. Every. Single. Song. On. This. Album. Is. Good. If you were like me before I discovered this album (thanks Apple Music!), I had no idea this group existed. They are a part of OFWGKTA. They're considered a neo-soul group, which is cool because it makes you feel real grown up like your parents, but it's incredibly dope and relatable. They were nominated for a Grammy with this album, and I hope they win. I've never been so in love with an album that wasn't Beyonce's or Childish Gambino's. If you haven't heard this album, listen to it. You'll see why it's the best of 2015.
So, what do you think? Anything you would've changed on this list? Do you agree with everything on this list? Let me know in the comments below.