Top Albums of 2020

As the years have gone on, I've listened to to less and less music since 2015. Either my favorite artist are in limbo, dropped a project last year or disbanded/retired. Some of my favorite artist still decided to bless me with an amazing project as always. Regardless of the circumstances, here are my favorite albums from the year that was 2020.

Denzel Curry x Kenny Beats - UNLOCKED

I don't think many of us saw this collaborative album coming. Especially since Curry had released ZUU in 2019 and TABOO in 2017. UNLOCKED is a colorful project that embodies the style of Curry while showing us remnants of 90's Hip-Hop. On DIET_ fans can feel that old DMX erupting room the vocals of Curry as he belts his rhymes. As a long time DMX fan, I was pleased with the display of power. Kenny Beats shows us a side that isn't always there. The more soulful beats of Cosmic.m4a and Track07 demonstrates just how versatile Kenny is. These pairing came together to deliver a very short but extraordinary sweet project that I was able to jam all year long.

Code Kunst - People

I was not expecting my favorite producer form South Korea to drop an album this year. People is a great album that is similar to his past projects yet has its own flavor. There are more singers on this album compared to his previous works Crumple and Muggles Mansion. The rough, grittiness that we're used to Kunst displaying is still prevalent, yet, there is a kindhearted feel to it. Songs like Flower, KnoCK and Rollin tells us that Kunst is moving in a more softer direction. On the opposite side of this spectrum, having songs such as Set Me Free and Joke! use autotune and are less about the rhyming of the rapper and more about the vibe that is being created. In all, its an album worth of our ears. From the sensual, to the sad and then success, People symbolizes the everyday fascinations of humans.

Hyolyn - Say My Name

Say My Name is Hyolyn's first EPs since becoming a solo artist. This album has something for all Hyolyn fans. I've been critical of her and her former girl group SISTAR for releasing lackluster material int he past, but I have to say that this project is one that should not be missed. With a mix of Pop and R&B tinged songs, Hyolyn proves that she is a powerful singer. Belting away on each song while still having deep, low toned breathes is a feat most can't achieve. Her song writing has improved impressive over the years.

Flo Milli - Ho Why Is You Here

I first came across Flo Milli when people were making fancams with her song Beef FloMix. From there the ceiling was broken for the young artist. This year she dropped her debut mixtape to an astounding roar of applause. With singles such as Weak and In The Party, how could one no fall in love with Flo Milli's aesthetic? The album isn't just flashy beats with funny lyrics, Flo proves why she should be here. The girl has bars, chocolate golden bars. On top of this her energy is unmatched. I can be driving and jumping up and down when listening to her. I've had so much fun listening to her music.

Freddie Gibbs - Alfredo

Last year Bandana was in my top 2, now here we are a year later and Alfredo is in my top 10. Alfredo is more and the same of Gibbs. Its the usual rapping and flow from the rapper but toned down to a degree. Not only this but Gibbs is rapping from the perspective of a veteran that has had his dues paid. Gibbs had made his cake and eaten plenty. While previous albums boasted tight and powerful beats, Alfredo is a slower and soulful product.

Anonymuz - Before The Night Is Over

While not as hard-hitting as previous projects, BTNIO continues the barrage of talent that is Anonymuz, The album is entirely produced by him and displays shades of the Broward County artist. The soulful hit We'll Be In Love is a groovy throwback that anyone could love. At the same time he still provides that chilling and gritty feel on songs such as Long Night and Riot. Another great project from the rising artist. I'm eagerly looking forward to his next project. 

HA:TFELT - 1719

I've been waiting nearly ten years for Yenny, formerly of Wonder Girls, to drop a full length album. I was not disappointed. The album painted her life as if we were looking in a mirror. Her words are poignant, evoking a rush of relatable emotions for the listeners. Coupled with sensual R&B melodies and groovy pop synths, HA:TFELT opened her heart for us all to seek comfort. On Life Sucks, we're shown a side of her we've never heard of, the troubles of her family past. Conversely she graces us with song such as Sweet Sensation that instills hope into us all. Yenny has come a long way from her girl group days to deliver an album she can truly be proud of. 

Rina Sawayama - Sawayama

Ms Sawayama was never a thought in my mind. I listened to her on a whim with her 2017 EP Rina. I've been looking for a singer like her for years. Rina Swayanma has the ability to capture early 2000s Japanese pop with her own twist to it. With the release of her first LP Sawayama, the singer is able to juggle hard hitting joints with superb bass with meaningful R&B cuts. On XS, Swayama exudes so much confidence that one can't help but chime in on the singing. Songs such as Bad Friend and Chosen Family illustrates her ability to make songs that touch the heart. Sawayama is the standout record of the year. I'm excited for this artist's future. 

E-Sens - Marigold Tapes

E-Sens lives up to the record of being the best MC in South Korea. In short, he never misses. Fans of 90's Hip-Hop will love an artist like E-Sens. Describing the rapper is hard. You have to listen to him in order to understand the true hype behind him. Regardless of the language barrier, E-Sens will have anyone bobbing their heads to the beat. With the luscious production of Marigold Tapes, the listener will visualize themselves driving around to the serene sounds and melancholic rapping, 

LOONA - [12:00]

LOONA had to bless us one last time before the year ended. While 12:00 isn't the best LOONA project, I still had my ears glued to their sound. The group continued their signature sound with a couple of questionable offenses. Some of the songs went too far with the EDM vibes. Someone should have laid of the synthesizer. Regardless the stand out tracks Universe, Voice and Fall Again served us well. 

SAAY - FEELosophy

In my opinion, SAAY's 2018 LP "CLAASSIC" is a modern R&B classic in South Korea, It may be a classic in general. The album proved that SAAY had the vocal range, talent, and vision to be a great artist. Her EP "FEELosophy" continues the values she had on her previous release. The EP is a tad bit more sexual compared to last but the shortness of the project proves to be a sweet selling point. SAAY did not disappoint, proving this project deserves to be enjoyed endlessly. 

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Top Albums of 2020 Top Albums of 2020 Reviewed by Tyrone Dismuke on Thursday, December 24, 2020 Rating: 5

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