5. Dirty Computer by Jonelle Monae (R and B, Soul and funk)
Pynk. Make Me Feel. I Got the Juice. Django Jane. No, every song on this album may not be a classic. But over half of them are. Rest in peace, Prince, now that your heir apparent is here.
4. Freedom by Amen Dunes (indie soul)
Genre-busting soul–smooth, romantic and psychedelic.
3. The Black Panther Original Soundtrack by Kendrick Lamar (soundtrack)
So both Marvel and Kendrick Lamar had a great 2018. Marvel sold more tickets than the Second Coming, and Kendrick won a Pulitzer. But he still generously gave title billing to his guests on the soundtrack to one of the best superhero movies of all time.
2. Golden Hour by Kacey Musgraves (pop-and-country)
Kacey takes a hard right turn away from upstart Americana into pop, but proves that even simple and catchy songs can be lyrically deep and moving. An absolutely perfect album.
1. Daytona (drug slangin’ hip hop) and The Story of Adidon (diss track) by Pusha-T
Is it fair to rate an album at #1 when the best song the artist released this year isn’t even on the record? Yes. Because the album is amazing. Even the album art, which goes into Whitney’s O.D. bathroom, is irreverent and provocative. “Real niggas bring ballots to the game I’m in,” Pusha spits on “Come back baby,” and says, “try me one more time…” Most definitely. Pusha T has been in my top 10 since his first solo album. “I play musical chairs with these squares…Stood the test of time like Dapper Dan…”
He’s been around for twenty years and still sounds as young and powerful as he did on “Grindin’.”
Daytona is his best album in a decade. And The Story of Adidon was a dis track of legend. Ten or fifteen years ago, songs like Piggy Bank and The Warning came out all the time. But a great dis track in the 2010s is a rare find. And this one is on a par with the best, like No Vaseline, The Sauce and Pimp Slapp’d.