21 best hip-hop albums of 2021: staff picks – VIBE.com
A list ranking anything to do with Hip-Hop usually results in some irrationally passionate arguments (just ask the still controversial Brian “B. Point” Miller) Regarding this list, all the smoke can be directed to Austin Williams, VIBE’s senior music editor who ultimately chose the order in which these projects appear.
Before things heat up, however, let’s clear one thing up: The following rankings have been deeply scrutinized by someone who has lived critically for nearly a decade, but like everyone else you’ll read in this. time of year, they really don’t matter. The debates, the demagogy, the outraged campaigns in the name of your favorites and ours; this is all fun, but none of it matters.
What’s important about this list is that it was a celebration of the music that got us through another pandemic year that could have ended us all. If you’re a true music lover, there’s a good chance you’ve enjoyed many of the 21 albums and EPs included below at some point. Don’t worry if we’ve crowned the one you liked the most.
If the softer sides of Folarin II and Montero appealed to you as much as they appealed to R&B reporter Mya Abraham, dig into the blurbs she wrote instead of wondering what happened first. If Westside Gunn’s HWH8 moved you the way he moved Editor-in-Chief Dawson Thomas, tag them both on Twitter and show some love. Whether it’s hip-hop journalist Preezy Brown’s praise for Bo jackson, the case of the editor-in-chief Christine Imarenezor for DONDA, or editor DeMicia Inman’s affection for Planet her, these are authoritative opinions, but above all they are choices of passion. Don’t let yours make you sound like an asshole.
Here is VIBE’s list of the 21 best Hip-Hop albums of 2021.