2018 was another great year for music. With so many albums and projects released, it may have been hard to listen to all of them. Fear not, this playlist curated by Dear RDG, RDG Soul Speaks, and Mateo Toro has you covered on the albums you NEED to listen to before 2018 ends.
D Will: November – Sir
My album is actually an LP called November by Sir. Anything that is cooked up by TDE is easily digestible for me. So when I heard Sir had a project out my music taste buds were excited. Sir serves up this R&B/Soul project that wouldn’t disappoint even the pickiest of eaters with some slow piano driving tracks like Something Foreign which features another Top Dawg Entertainment artist ScHoolboy Q. Which is immediately followed up by my favorite track on the project titled D’evils. I must say, compliments to the chef!
Bri: The Kids Are Alright – Chloe x Halle
Chloe x Halle is my new favorite sister group. Their debut album ” The Kids Are Alright” is exactly what I expect from two young, talented black ladies. The album is youth in a bottle: fun, energetic, and sexy. The Grammy-nominated duo has us turning up to ” Everywhere“, where they sing ” I got money everywhere…falling off a tree…. I got money everywhere..far as you can see“. Then there’s ” Happy Without Me” featuring Joey Badass, a song that both Joey and the girls float on lyrically. The album deserved its Grammy nod and knowing that Chloe and Halle were not only writers on the album, but executive producers too lets me know the girls are alright too
Marquise: Saturn – NAO
NAO’s “Saturn” is a beautiful sophomore album where she tries to find herself through an astrological extended metaphor. This album is top notch with the astrology metaphor extended into her production and lyrical content. She deserves the most praise and is refreshing for anyone looking for a unique sound and/or recovering from a broken relationship.
Marie: Last Day of Summer – Summer Walker
Before “Last Day of Summer” dropped, I heard the single “Girls Need Love” and was hooked and waiting for more. When she finally dropped this, I played it on repeat for a couple days. I suggested it to so many people because it was so good. Summer touched on so many subjects like the double standards of sex when it comes to men & women as well as the independence of women. Even just the longing for somebody in this generation. I can’t forget to mention the skit in “Talk yo shit” that took me out! She just managed to put so much in songs that were so short on these amazing beats. Please give it a listen on shuffle.
Favorite tracks: CPR, Karma, Talk yo shit, BP & Just like me!
Mateo: Care for Me – Saba
Saba wrote through tragedy. Care For Me will be considered an underground classic. A project akin to Section. 80 by Kendrick Lamar that began to cement him as one of the greats in hip hop. Saba traced his heart across ten airtight tracks ranging from depression, mourning a loss, void-filling sex, and even the negative effects of social media. Care For Me ends with John Walt in heaven, and Saba poised to be one of the most important voices and producers we’ve seen
Favorite Tracks: Busy/Sirens / Life/ Caligraphy / Prom/King / & Heaven all around me.
John: KOD – J Cole
An album full of truth, social awareness, and a new flow to go with it, J Cole’s KOD is an album that must be listened to before the year is over. J Cole delivers a rap opus about this new generation of hip hop’s substance abuse. The outro is an introduction to what may be Cole’s final album and it is a thunderous take on what could happen if you don’t take care of your music career properly. If you have yet to listen to this album, please don’t enter 2019 without doing so.
Lisa: My Dear Melancholy – The Weeknd
After it was reported that The Weeknd and Selena Gomez broke up, I was waiting with bated breath for the next project The Weekend was going to release. When My Dear Melancholy dropped, I couldn’t press play fast enough. My waiting was not in vain; the lyrical masochist I fell in love with was back. The opening track, Call Out My Name was packed with gut-punching lyrics, such as “I said I didn’t feel nothing, baby, but I lied /I almost cut a piece of myself for your life.” And it didn’t stop there. The first lines of my favorite track, Wasted Times, delivers an “oh shit” moment in the first line, “Wasted times I spent with someone else/ She wasn’t even half of you.” Although MDM is only 6 tracks long, it was clear The Weeknd really poured himself into each and every song.
David: KOD – J Cole
Everything from the production to the story telling to the subject matter was on point.
Favorite Tracks: 1985, Window Pain, FRIENDS
Taliah: Negro Swan – Blood Orange
Dev Hynes’ fourth album as Blood Orange is my favorite piece in 2018. Dev continues to create music that dares to be different. Don’t let the year end without listening to this amazing album!