So… this is kind of weird.
Throughout our entire existence here, both Shake and myself (as well as the former and current contributors) have rarely shared or exhibited the same loves for music. It made sense however: although we were both born and raised on the West Coast, I had an affinity for more East Coast rap (which, partially, played a role in my relocation to New York) while Shake preferred a more independent style.
It was always reflected in our year end lists, too. When we started doing these things, my favorites were mostly composed of lyrically dense offerings, while Shake picked more experimental projects. However, for our 2018 installment things are a lot different.
For the most part, everyone here has liked nearly the same thing. Save for some exceptions, I almost guarantee that there will be some hump in the c-section either complaining about how “this-and-that” album isn’t a “best of” anything (despite the fact that A: this is a list of our favorite projects that dropped in 2018, B: we have never said otherwise and C: we just don’t care regardless) or saying that we were somehow paid to put some of the selections on our list. Right… if that was the case, I almost certainly would be next to Sanaa Lathan massaging her with some sensual, natural oils that were purchased with my ill-gotten industry plant revenue and not authoring the words you’re reading now.
Anyways, without further adieu, here is the DopeHouse’s favorite projects, broken down (in no particular order) into our respective top five, top 25, and honorable mentions. Pore over, feebly critique, and make your own list in the c-section below. – M.
Top 25 (after 5): Saba’s Care For Me, Phonte’s No News is Good News, Evidence’s Weather Or Not, J.I.D’s DiCaprio 2, Sylvan LaCue’s Apologies in Advance, Joell Ortiz & Apollo Brown’s Mona Lisa, Buddy’s Harlan & Alondra, Skyzoo’s In Celebration Of Us, Mac Miller’s Swimming, Travis Scott’s Astroworld, Curren$y & Freddie Gibbs’ FETTI, 6LACK’s East Atlanta Love Letter, Black Thought & Salaam Remi’s Streams of Thought Vol. 2, Dave East & Styles P’s Beloved, Conway’s Blakk Tape, Mick Jenkins’ Pieces of a Man, Noname’s Room 25, Westside Gunn’s Supreme Blientele, J. Cole’s KOD, and The Carters’ Everything is Love
Top 25 (after 5): SiR’s November, Sylvan LaCue’s Apologies in Advance, Pac Div’s 1st Baptist, Jorja Smith’s Lost & Found, Bishop Nehru’s Elevators, Royce 5’9’s Book of Ryan, Black Thought & 9th Wonder’s Streams of Thought Vol. 1, Rasheed Chappell’s First Brick, Innanet James’ Keep It Clean, Summer Walker’s Last Day of Summer, Masego’s Lady Lady, Ravyn Lenae’s Crush, Iyla’s War + Raindrops, and every single Griselda Records release
Top 25 (after 5): SiR’s November, Vince Staples’ FM!, VanJess’ Silk Canvas, Noname’s Room 25, Cozz’s Effected, Jorja Smith’s Lost & Found, ODIE’s Analogue, Innanet James’ Keep It Clean, Alina Baraz’s The Color of You, Eminem’s Kamikaze, Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy, Key! & Kenny Beats’ 777, NAO’s Saturn, Ryan Trey’s August, T.I.’s Dime Trap, DJ Premier & Royce 5’9’s PRhyme 2, Kiana Lede’s Selfless, and Brandon Banks’ Tides