2017 was a very great year for music. It feels like we got more music in one year than I can remember. Some new faces making a big splash and some of our old friends popping back up. There was quantity AND quality. Again, this list is based off of MY opinion. You are entitled to agree or disagree, in which I’d love to hear from you on Twitter: @TheMikeDaSilva. Let’s get into my Top 20 albums of 2017…
- Vic Mensa – Autobiography
Roc Nation’s up and coming artist has been bubbling under the radar for a while now. Had some hype a couple years back when Kanye jumped on “You Mad”, but besides that we’ve all been patiently waiting. Reminds me a lot of J. Cole, and does a great job telling stories in his songs. A solid debut album, and landing a gig opening up for Jay-Z on the 4:44 Tour is definitely an impressive year.
Favorite Track – Rolling Like A Stoner
- T-Pain – Oblivion
Hm, did anyone expect a T-Pain appearance on ANY top album lists of 2017?! Nope, but he’s on mine. I’m all in on the T-Pain comeback, and this was a great album to get it started with. The auto-tune king brings some hard flows over great production. Even tries out some more EDM inspired beats as well. This is one you want to turn up in the car if you have a good system. Oh, and get ready to turn up.
Favorite Track – She Needed Me
- Big Sean – I Decided
The follow up to Dark Sky Paradise was going to be difficult, because I LOVED that album. I think Sean did a pretty good job. The singles were the best songs on the album, but I wasn’t mad at the rest of the album. Big Sean originated the Supa Dupa flow and I think he has evolved since then, definitely an underrated songwriter/lyricist. Sean even landed a feature from Eminem, a fellow Detroit native. The downside, I forgot it came out this year. Just too much outshined it.
Favorite Track – The Light feat. Jeremih
- Eminem – Revival
Well, it came and went. I certainly didn’t think it was as bad as the majority of the internet thought it was. We’ll never have the Eminem of old, and I wish people would just accept that. Em wanted to have fun on this album, and to me it sounded like he did. Rock samples were abundant, stop and go flow was there, pop features for sure…but overall, I’m not mad at this album. Songs like “Believe” show that he can modernize his flow and sound great, songs like “Castle” show shadows of the old Slim, and songs like “In Your Head” show the peak of rock sampling. Erase the hate, and give it another listen, you might just enjoy it.
Favorite Track – Castle
- Khalid – American Teen
Who would have thought the kid that came into our studio in January to promote his single “Location” would go on to be one of the BIGGEST artists of 2017? The hits were huge, and the rest of the album held up great to make this a VERY solid debut album. This young talent has a long career ahead of him, and that is awesome news for music lovers.
Favorite Track – Saved
- 2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
2 Chainz might have been upset to be left off of Eminem’s album, but he finds his own album to be more critically acclaimed…so that’s a win right? Deuce necklaces has been one of the most consistent artists in the game for the last five years, and this album came pretty close to being as good as his debut album to me.
Favorite Track – Big Amount – Feat. Drake
- Sampha – Process
Sampha was mostly known for his features on songs with the likes of Kanye and Drake, but Process is proof that he can standalone and SHINE. A soulful album, not meant for a pregame, that will have your mind just right. A pleasant surprise early in the year, definitely one I’ll be keeping around heading into the new year any time I want to just be one with my thoughts.
Favorite Track – No One Knows Me (Like The Piano)
- Migos – Culture
I think I was just so overloaded with Migos this year that I actually forgot this album came out. Besides the stand out hits, I found myself skipping quite a few songs on this album. At times it felt like I was listening to the same song. Still the mass appeal and relevance of Migos on basically EVERYTHING in 2017 means this album had to at least crack my Top 15.
Favorite Track – Call Casting
- Chris Brown – Heartbreaks On A Full Moon
Any Chris Brown is usually great Chris Brown. But 45 SONGS?! Do we really need a 45 song album from anyone? I went into this album very reluctant as to what I was about to put myself through, and trying to guess as to how many tracks I was going to skip. Surprisingly, there wasn’t many. Some songs flow right into the next to the point where you didn’t even know that the song actually changed. If nothing else, it’s a perfect album to throw on while you’re just relaxing or cleaning the house and want some background noise. I really enjoyed this one.
Favorite Track – Pills & Automobiles Feat. Yo Gotti, Kodak Black, & A Boogie
- Miguel – War & Leisure
Miguel just missed the Top 10 for me. This was a fun album for me, and I’m sure it’s more fun for…ehem, couples. If you know what I mean. The lead single “Skywalker” set the tone for the vibe you would get on this album. War & Leisure showcases just how versatile Miguel really is, and of course his great singing/songwriting shine on it as well.
Favorite Track – Pineapple Sunkiss
- G-Eazy – The Beautiful & Damned
A few massive hits will build hype for an album, but will the album itself live up to it. That seems to be the formula for most artists nowadays. Fortunately for G-Eazy, the massive hits DID live up to the hype. This album might have been higher on my list if it came out earlier in the year. I’m still letting it all soak in, but it’s been unanimous in my circle that this is a fire album. He just has a confidence and voice that makes you believe what he’s saying on each song, plus the production is absolute flames.
Favorite Track – Legend
- Lil Uzi Vert – Luv Is Rage 2
Hate it or love it, mumble rap is here. Of all the mumbles rappers, I feel as if I enjoy Lil Uzi Vert’s music the best. He has the cross between this new wave of “hip hop” and some type of mid 2000’s emo alternative rock. I mean, even the way he dresses screams that with the tight jeans and piercings. Regardless, I found myself listening to Luv Is Rage 2 on repeat when it dropped. Production is fire, and Uzi’s unique voice that combines Axl Rose and Lil Wayne makes for a very listenable album with only a few skippable tracks.
Favorite Track – Neon Guts Feat. Pharrell
- Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me
Man, I was not expecting this. The production on this album is phenomenal, and Rick Ross bass heavy voice flows so smooth on these jazz inspired beats. Rozay gets really personal in calling out Birdman on “Idols Become Rivals”, questioning the moguls ability to pay out his producers. For me, this was Rozay’s best album since his 2010 album, “Teflon Don”. It came out around the same time as More Life so it might have gotten slept on a little bit, I recommend going back to listen to it now.
Favorite Track – Santorini Greece
- Drake – More Life
The question is not if a Drake album will be good, but how good will it be. Drake delivered one of the more memorable music moments of the year for me by releasing this album on a live stream during his OVO Sound radio on Beats 1. It felt like you were listening to the album with the whole world, and I found that really cool. He went across the pond to find his inspiration on this one, mixing UK inspired raps with heavy calypso beats. This “Playlist” makes you move your hips if nothing else. Oh, and the trance inspired single “Passionfruit” will put you in a spell no matter how many times you hear it. What will inspire Drake next? My guess is the moon, because that seems to be where he’s headed.
Favorite Track – Gyalchester
- Cyhi The Prynce – No Dope on Sundays
Finally, the long awaited debut album for Cyhi has arrived. Ever since he was killing verses during the 2010 GOOD Friday releases I have been waiting for this album. Cyhi’s lyricism has never been a question, contributing some absolute fire verses during Kanye’s build towards the My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy release, but would that translate to quality songs? The answer is simply yes. A trap gospel album, massive features, great lyricism, and a Portuguese reference is enough for this album to crack my Top 10. It’s refreshing to hear an artist that cares.
Favorite Track – I’m Fine Feat. Travis Scott
- Sam Smith – the Thrill of it all
Sam Smith had maybe my favorite album of 2014, so to say I was ready for his sophomore album is an understatement. Again, he did not disappoint. One of, if not THE best voice in the game. Between the lead single “Way Too Good at Goodbyes” and the song “Palace” from the Apple commercials, he again makes an album that speaks directly to your soul. Music has ways of speaking thoughts that us less talented people are capable of doing. Bottle of wine, few tissues, this album. There, that’s your Friday night.
Favorite Track – Palace
- Jay Z – 4:44
No question this was Hov’s most introspective album. We heard a side of Jay-Z we’ve never heard before and it was exactly what he needed. Jay, being a very private person, invited us into his personal life unveiling truths of infidelity, fears of being a bad father, and his mother potentially being lesbian. I mean, if you were to ask me then I’d say that’s getting pretty close and personal to one of the most polarizing artists of all time. All of the production brought to you by No ID made it as soulful as the lyrics. Hall of Fame Hov did it all without a pen…
Favorite Track – Family Feud
- Kendrick Lamar – DAMN
Okay, Kendrick. I see you. Between “Humble” and “DNA” being used at nauseum on every NBA/Sports/Anything ad there was…let us not forget that this was as close to a masterpiece as you could get. An easy 14 tracks to get through, and very limited features. You can’t tell me anytime you heard Kid Capri scream “Kung-fu Kenny!” you didn’t get a little hype. I’ve been vocal about not being a fan of “To Pimp A Butterfly”, so for me this was a return to form for Kendrick.
Favorite Track – LOVE
- SZA – Ctrl
First things first…who hurt you, SZA? Somebody did, that’s for sure…and we all benefited from it. What seemed to be a debut album that was never going to come out, Ctrl was phenomenal from start to finish. The massive hit “Love Galore” introduced her to the masses, and even helped her get a key feature with Maroon 5. The smooth, angelic voice she has mixed with some intense, passionate lyrics that spew all things heartbreak is reason enough to give this album a listen if you somehow haven’t by now.
Favorite Track – Drew Barrymore
- Ed Sheeran – Divide
I understand Mr. Sheeran was everywhere this year, but there is no denying this is the album of the year. From start to finish Eddy will have you crying, laughing, singing along, and somehow he made ANOTHER all time wedding song with “Perfect”. Unless you slept under a rock then you’d know “Shape Of You” was MASSIVE, and the rest of album will undoubtedly have you in your feelings. 2017 was his year, so fittingly he made my favorite album of the year.
Favorite Track – Dive
Do you agree or disagree with my list? Follow me and let me know on Twitter: @TheMikeDaSilva