Hello everybody! Happy New Year! It has been a while. School and work kept me very busy this year. It prevented me from writing a lot of blogs this year. With that said, nothing will stop me from telling you all my top 50 albums of the year. Even though no one asked. This year has been an amazing year for music. In my list, I have a mix of the biggest releases and some underground gems. Every album here is great in my opinion. Check out these albums if you haven’t done so already.
Without further ado here are my top 50 albums of the year for 2021!
50) Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever
49) Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti
48) CHAI – WINK
47) Chief Keef – 4 NEM
46) J. Cole – The Off-Season
45) Shelley FKA DRAM – Shelley FKA DRAM
44) Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson
43) Vince Staples – Vince Staples
42) Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
41) Tony Allen – There Is No End
40) Adele – 30
39) EXUM – Xardinal Coffee
38) Zack Fox – shut the fuck up talking to me
37) IDK – USEE4YOURSELF
36) Kota The Friend & Statik Selektah – To Kill A Sunrise
35) Rejjie Snow – Baw Baw Black Sheep
34) Pink Siifu – GUMBO’!
33) serpentwithfeet – DEACON
32) Bo Burnham – Inside (The Songs)
31) St. Vincent – Daddy’s Home
30) Japanese Breakfast – Jubilee
29) Clairo – Sling
28) Nas – King’s Disease II
27) Conway The Machine – La Maquina
26) Paris Texas – BOY ANONYMOUS
25) Your Old Droog – Time
24) Porter Robinson – Nurture
23) Lil Nas X – MONTERO
22) Blu – The Color Blu(e)
21) CZARFACE & MF DOOM – Super What?
20) James Blake – Friends That Break Your Heart
19) GRIP – I Died For This!?
18) Armand Hammer & The Alchemist – Haram
17) Turnstile- GLOW ON
16) Weezer – OK Human
15) slowthai – TYRON
14) McKinely Dixon – For My Mama And Anyone Who Look Like Her
13) JPEGMAFIA – LP!
12) Black Country, New Road – For the first time
11) Tyler, the Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
10) Genesis Owusu – Smiling with No Teeth
9) Magdelena Bay – Mercurial World
8) BROCKHAMPTON – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW ROAD
7) Kanye West – DONDA
6) Injury Reserve – By the Time I Get to Phoenix
5) Backxwash – I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES
4) C. Tangana – El Madrileño
3) Spellling – The Turning Wheel
2) Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
1) Silk Sonic – An Even with Silk Sonic
Let me know what you think?
P.S. Just like last year, I have a Spotify playlist for my top 50 songs of 2021. Check it out! I also started list week on my YouTube channel (FancyMemo), if you are interested.
Hello everybody! Happy August! I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far. I am definitely enjoying my summer. Especially since a lot of great music has been dropping recently. Just like the weather, I’ve got some hot recommendations for you all today. Let’s jump into the honorable mentions.
Song Honorable Mentions:
99 Neighbors – Live a Little: I can’t believe I just discovered 99 Neighbors this past month. I’ve been sleeping on their music for way too long. 99 Neighbors is a rap group from Vermont. They remind me of both BROCKHAMPTON and Injury Reserve. On “Live a Little”, they come out the gates with a lot of charisma. Each member gave some cool verses. I love the jazzy instrumental. This track is a lot of fun. I will definitely be excited for any new music they make in the future.
Kevin Abstract – SLUGGER (feat. $NOT & slowthai): BROCKHAMPTON member, Kevin Abstract, is teasing his upcoming album with a total fucking banger. This track is the definition of “chaotic”. I love the cluttered instrumental. Kevin starts things off with a verse filled with a lot of energy and personality. $NOT sounds so badass during his verse. Slowthai went off. His different vocal inflections were insane. This track is FIRE! I can’t wait for Kevin’s new album.
Little Simz – I Love You, I Hate You: Little Simz keeps continuing her amazing single streak leading up to her new album. Just like “Introvert”, this track has a grand instrumental. The instrumental sounds so classy. Somehow, it still doesn’t outshine Little Simz pen game. She is very vulnerable on this track. I don’t want to spoil it, but man this shit is depressing. The amount of emotion in her words gives me goosebumps. This is a must-listen!
Vince Staples – ARE YOU WITH THAT?: Although I wasn’t in love with Vince Staples newest album, I did love this single from the album. I don’t know how he did it. Vince somehow was able to make a very catchy song while rapping about the horrors of street life. The beat, from Kenny Beats, is very moody. Vince raps in a nonchalant manner. On paper, a song like this shouldn’t be so addicting, but it is.
EP Honorable Mentions:
Yves Tumor – The Asymptotical World EP: Last year Yves Tumor dropped one of the best albums of the year. This year Yves dropped one of the best EP’s of the year. I like how breezy and catchy the songs can be on this art-rock EP. Yves vocals are killer. They are an amazing performer. I am sure their concerts are insane. Although I think Yves deserves to rest, I am glad they are spoiling us with more music. Thank you Yves Tumor!
Skepta – All In: UK rapper, Skepta, just recently dropped a tiny EP filled with bangers. I like how diverse this EP is. On one track, Skepta is rapping his ass off on a trap beat. On another track, he does a good spanish cut with J Balvin. As someone who doesn’t listen to Skepta often, I am both surprised and impressed with his ability to fit into a variety of musical styles. This EP isn’t anything crazy, but it is a good time.
Albums Honorable Mentions:
SAULT – Nine: SAULT is back once again with another quality project. Not a lot of bands or artists can drop several good albums in a short time span like SAULT. Even though they make albums in a short time span, every album has well-crafted instrumentation. Each album has great lyrics. They cover several important topics on this album. This is a beautiful neo-soul album. It definitely deserves a listen.
IDK – USEE4YOURSELF: I was very hyped for this album. Although it didn’t meet my expectations, this album has a lot of highlights. “Shoot My Shot” with Offset is one of my favorite bangers of the year. “Hey Auntie”, with legend Slick Rick, is a vulnerable track with a heart-wrenching performance from IDK. The tracklist is diverse with the beats diving into several different hip hop subgenres. Even the features are pretty diverse. IDK got Young Thug, MF DOOM, T-Pain, SIR, and more on this album. IDK has a lot of potential. I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together: Dave is a UK rapper known for his lyrics. He has proved in the past that he is an amazing lyricist and storyteller. He once again proves his skill set on this album. There are moments in this album that leave me speechless. For example, the transition from Dave to ShaSimone’s verse on “Both Sides of A Smile” is mindblowing. On “In The Fire”, Dave brought in the Avengers of UK rap on the same track for an insane posse cut. Dave is rapping his ass off on “Heart Attack”. When the beat ends he is still spitting bars. Although I wish this album was a bit more focused, this is an insanely good rap album.
Song of The Month:
James Blake – Say What You Will: Over the past couple of years, James Blake hasn’t missed in my opinion. This single continues the fantastic streak he has been having. James is basically singing about being happy with yourself. As always, James gives an amazing singing performance. The second half especially is where he really goes all in. This man has the voice of an angel. I am very impressed with this song. James is dropping an album this year, so that is very exciting. I’m definitely looking forward to it.
EP of The Month:
Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3: I think it was no secret this was going to be my EP of the year. On my YouTube channel, you can watch me fall in love with this EP on first listen. I reviewed this EP here on Indie Pong. This EP is amazing with some jaw-dropping production, astounding rapping, and gorgeous singing. The cohesiveness of this EP makes me excited for her next album. Imagine the greatness Tkay can create with a full-fledged album if she continues in this direction. She has so much potential. I can’t wait for whatever comes next.
Album of The Month:
Rejjie Snow – Baw Baw Black Sheep: Rejjie Snow is an Irish rapper. He thrives on these relaxed and chill jazz-infused beats. This album is such a pleasant listen. This album was meant to make you feel good. This is the perfect album to listen to when you’re out walking at a park during sunset. It makes you appreciate your surroundings. It makes you appreciate the little things in life. That’s at least what I got out of this album. I hope it does the same for you. Give this album a listen if you haven’t already.
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!
Hello everybody! Happy May! Sorry for not posting this article a lot sooner. Not going to lie, I have been slacking lately. This past month I didn’t listen to as much music as I would like. I’ve been too busy with work, studying and of course Animal Crossing. With that said I do think I’ve got a good monthly favorites for you all today. Lets just jump into it!
Song Honorable Mentions:
Tkay Maidza – Syrup: This will be Tkay Maidza’s year! I can see it now. Assuming Last Year Was Weird, Vol 3 is as good as Kim and Syrup, I can see Tkay blowing up even more than she has been. Tkay returns to a more aggressive sound. The production is pretty simple, but it slaps. I love how heavy the bass is. Tkay kills it as always. Her pen game is on point. She drops a lot of great one liners. I’m just obsessed with this track. I can’t wait for the new EP.
Rina Sawayama – Chosen Family (with Elton John): Although I have always enjoyed the original track, I did think there was something missing. I think the addition of Elton John fulfills the missing feeling. Not only is his performance amazing and grand, but I think the addition of his piano adds a lot to the production. I also think turning a track about friendship into a duet is such a great idea. I am so happy this exists. Rina and Elton sound so good together. It’s a match made in heaven.
Freddie Gibbs – Big Boss Rabbit: At this point there is no stopping Freddie Gibbs. Every time he is on the mic he reminds everybody that he is one of the best MC’s right now. He makes rapping seem effortless. In this track he is rapping over a cool trap beat with a Nas sample tying everything together. Although the beat is cool, Freddie can rap over nails on a chalkboard and that song will still be amazing. I know Gibbs is dropping an album this year, so I hope he continues his winning streak.
EP Honorable Mentions:
Dev Lemons – Lemontopia: I have mentioned in the past that Tik Tokers and YouTubers should know their place and never drop music because most of the time the outcome is not good. Dev Lemon is an exception. The quirky personality she shows off in her Tik Toks appears in the spacious bedroom pop production that is displayed on Lemontopia. The instrumentals make me feel like I am floating on clouds. I am surprised at how good of a singer she is. For some reason she sounds like Kali Uchis to me. This EP is only 4 tracks with a run time of 8 minutes. It is definitely worth a listen.
The Alchemist – This Thing Of Ours: The Alchemist is by far one of the most consistent producers out right now. I don’t remember the last time he has missed in recent history. In this EP he brings in guests to rap over these beautiful lofi beats. He got Earl Sweatshirt and Navy Blue to start off the EP. Both Sideshow and Boldy James kill it on their verse on the very next track. Pink Stiifu and Maxo did their thing on the third track. Earl shows up again on the last track. I think the Alchemist does a great job at providing the foundation needed for his guest to thrive. Give this EP a listen. The second half of the EP is the instrumentals from the previous four tracks, so if you didn’t like any of the features at least you got the beats.
Cordae – Just Until….: I forgot how good of a rapper Cordae is. Cordae is really spitting on this EP. Something that Cordae doesn’t get enough credit for is the way he can adapt into different rap styles. On the first track, Cordae is being introspective with Q-Tip. Two tracks later, Cordae is being braggadocious with Young Thug. In this short EP, Cordae is showing off his skill set and preparing the listeners for his next album. He said his next album is coming soon, so that’s good. I’m excited!
Album Honorable Mentions:
Thom Moot – Thomfoolery: This is by far one of the most unique albums I have listened to this year. Stylistically this album is all over the place. The first track is a fiery grunge cut. He has several other rock tracks, but there are also a lot of interesting detours. For example, “Alien Invasion Rag” starts off with an old western piano playing, but then an alien invasion happens around the midpoint. The following track sounds like an intergalactic space battle to me. Thom does a great job at making a story with his music. If you are interested in a weird experience give this album a shot.
Kenny Mason – Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut: Kenny Mason is someone you want to keep an eye on. He is such a breath of fresh air in the rap landscape. The beats he raps on are so dark and heavy. His rapping is insane. Although he could be laid back and monotone at times, when he wants to rap he raps. His technical ability is mind blowing. Believe it or not this rap album isn’t just a rap album. “Play Ball” is a straight up punk song. He is rapping over metal guitars on “Pup”. Although I do prefer the traditional rap songs, I do admire this album’s creativity. I really want to know what direction Kenny’s sound goes to in the future.
Flying Lotus – Yasuke: Yasuke is a pleasant surprise. I had no idea Flying Lotus was dropping an album this year. Let alone an album for a Netflix show. As always expect a weird, hypnotic, spacy, and serene ride when diving into a Flying Lotus album. Something that makes this album different is that since the album is for an anime based on Japanese samurais, this album takes influence from Japanese music. It’s a cool change of pace for Flying Lotus. I think he did a phenomenal job. Put on some good headphones, lay on your bed, close your eyes, and give this album a listen.
Favorite Song of The Month:
Little Simz – Introvert: If you told me before this song dropped that Little Simz was dropping an album I would have been excited, but now I am counting down the days until it drops in September. I literally can’t wait! This tack is one of the best songs I heard this year. It might be my favorite Little Simz song. As always, Little Simz kills it lyrically. I love how conscious and focused she is. With that said, I think the instrumentation is what steals the show for me. I love how big and grand it is. You can tell they took the time to perfect this instrumental. If Little Simz’s next album has amazing bars and instrumentals like these throughout the entire track list then its game over. Every artist should might as well pack their bags and take a break until next year because Little Simz will take album of the year if her next album is as good as Introvert.
Favorite EP of The Month:
Kero Kero Bonito – Civilisation II: With only three tracks, Kero Kero Bonito blows my mind with their second installment of their Civilization series. The trio are back with their signature cute and colorful musical styling, but with more of an electropop sound. The trio uses this cute style to sing about what the world is going through during the pandemic. The second track of the album is basically a day of their life during the very beginning of the pandemic. The innocent observation they give in “21/04/20” is very interesting. The following track “Well Rested” gives the listener some hope. Sarah reminds the listener the human race has gone through a lot already. At this point nothing will be able to take down the human race. The production is insane on this track. In February, I named “The Princess and the Clock” as my song of the month. I love that song, but “Well Rested” is even better. This EP is amazing. I can’t recommend it enough.
Favorite Album of The Month:
BROCKHAMPTON – ROADRUNNER: NEW LIGHT, NEW MACHINE: BROCKHAMPTON seems to never disappoint. The boys are back with the first of two albums they are releasing. Even if they end up not dropping a second album this year I will be happy because ROADRUNNER is amazing. They basically took elements from their past work and put it all together. If you miss their Saturation series and you want bangers go listen to “BANKROLL” with A$AP Rocky and A$AP Ferg. If you want to listen to something similar to Iridescence check out “BUZZCUT” with Danny Brown. If you love the GINGER era try out “COUNT ON ME”. Do you feel like crying? Go listen to “THE LIGHT”. I can go on and on. There’s something for everybody. Even if you don’t end up enjoying the entire album like me, I guarantee you there is a song for you in this album.
These are my monthly favorites! Let me know what you have been listening to!