The Ten Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2019: Part One

From "Retropolitan" to "Eve", these are five of Fly Fidelity's favourite albums of 2019.

Even if you don't need another reminder that these albums are great, there is guidance, affirmation and more to be found in this list.  Did any of your favourites make the cut?

Skyzoo & Pete Rock, "Retropolitan"

Skyzoo and Pete Rock took a stand against gentrification and cultural turns with "Reptropolitan", an album that boasted bars and beats that felt both fresh and lived-in. The result was an album by, of, and for Brooklyn, imposing the hopeful notion that it will never change, no matter how much it has.

Release: September 20th
Label: Mello Music Group
Guests: Styles P, Raheem DeVaughn, Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine, Elzhi, Westside Gunn
Producers: Pete Rock

Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, "Bandana"

It was worth waiting for "Bandana". The oft delayed second project from Freddie Gibbs and Madlib was a victory that extended the philosophy of their debut album, 2014's "Pinata". Reliably dusty and obscure, the ever prolific Madlib provided the perfect accompaniment to Gibb's vocal precision.

Release: June 28th
Label: Stones Throw Records
Guests: Pusha-T, Killer Mike, Anderson Paak, Yasiin Bey, Black Thought
Producers: Madlib

Benny The Butcher, "The Plugs I Met"

The grimy and ever reliable Benny The Butcher capped off the decade with two projects (one of which his major debut with Westside Gunn and Conway), his skill and authority on "The Plugs I Met" was so strong it was like listening to a director’s commentary without ever seeing the movie.

Release: June 21st
Label: Black Soprano Family
Guests: Black Thought, 38 Spesh, Jadakiss, RJ Payne, Conway The Machine, Pusha-T, India.
Producers: DJ Shay, Daringer, Alchemist.

38 Spesh, "1994"

Rapper and producer 38 Spesh is a devoted student of NYC 90’s rap, so much so that he dedicated his last project to 1994, a milestone year in hip hop that marked it’s 25th anniversary this year. Over the last 18 months, the Rochester native has made the leap from top prospect to hip hop elite. On "1994", he assembled a stellar line up for an eminently quotable and refreshingly witty display of lyricism over his unique production.

Release: October 25th
Label: T.C.F Music Group
Guests: RJ Payne, Che Noir, Elcamino, Ty Farris, Fred The Godson, Rain, Rome Streetz, Daniel Son, Eto, Black Geez, Flee Lord, The Musalini, Rasheed Chappell, Street Justice, Jai Black, Jamal Gasol, Grafh, Cory Gunz, Planet Asia, Flashius Clayton, G4 JAG, Ampicino, ReefHustle, Rim Da Villin, Hus Kingpin, Benny The Butcher, Conway The Machine
Producers: 38 Spesh

Rapsody, "'Eve"

Rapsody's tribute to black women is arguably her most consistent, impactful and most emotional statement to date. With it, the North Carolina based rapper has put the entire genre of Hip hop on blast and has set a standard to previously unseen proportions. Game changing!

Release: August 23rd
Label: Jamla / Roc Nation
Guests: Leikeli47, K. Roosevelt, GZA, D'Angelo, Mereba, Elle Varner, Sir, J.I.D, Queen Latifah, J. Cole, PJ Morton,
Producers: 9th Wonder, Khrysis, Nottz, Eric G, Mark Byrd.

Written by Luke "Menace" Bailey