Who Had The Best Rap Album Of 2017 (Battle 4): Drake vs. Logic
We have our opinions on the best albums of 2017, but rather than simply list them, we thought it would be more interesting to hear what you, the readers, believe is the Best Rap Album of 2017. With that in mind, we decided to make our Best Rap Albums Of 2017 list a living breathing conversation, that would ultimately lead to you, the readers, choosing which album is the best of the year. Over the course of the next several days, we will pit albums against one another, battle style, and the winners will be determined by your votes.
We’ve chosen 15 albums that we think represented the best Hip-Hop of 2017. Inevitably, we left off some LPs that you believe should be included, so, last week, we also a had a wildcard round (with a write-in option) where readers picked the album they believed most deserved a spot on the list. That distinction went to Big K.R.I.T., whose 4eva Is A Mighty Long Time, rounds out the top 16. See below for the full list.
Now, the bracket-style competition among the final 16 albums in consideration has begun. Each day, albums are facing off against one another. In each case, voting closes after 24 hours. We are going from the Sweet Sixteen to the Elite Eight to the Final Four to the Championship Finals, with one album emerging as the victor. In the first three battles, Sean Price’s Imperius Rex, Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom, and Joey Bada$$’ All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$ emerged as victorious. Today’s battle pits Drake’s More Life against Logic’s Everybody.
Drake – More Life
Drake has shaped the sound and feel of Rap for the last decade. First, he did it with the So Far Gone mixtape. Then, he did it with four consecutive chart-topping albums. More Life marks a new medium: playlists. Drizzy deviates from the kind of project that fans, critics, and even the Recording Academy clamor to review, debate, and rank. Instead, he lobs 25 songs that deftly demonstrate a kaleidoscope of genres, attitudes, and influences. The OVO founder hits his target to “give you a collection of songs that could be the soundtrack to your life.” From wistful Dancehall Pop (“Blem”) to wavy J-Lo update (“Teenage Fever”), Drake fills the seats with his voice, vibe, and vision. In the playlist’s rap performances, the chippy MC speaks boldly, lucidly, and specifically to his experience (“Free Smoke,” “Lose You”). More Life has the all-inclusive sprawl of a Cheesecake Factory menu, with Michelin star quality ingredients. One of Rap’s most pretentious figures wins with a project that refuses to take itself so seriously. Drake shows he can satisfy all pockets of his massive fan-base in one place, and still reach new terrain. Just as albums are getting shorter, autonomous, and high-concept, Drake doles out another 80 dynamic minutes of music that scoffs at all these new rules. – Bandini
Released: March 18, 2017
Label: OVO Sound/Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Republic Records
Guests: Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Travi$ Scott, Sampha, Young Thug, PartyNextDoor, Giggs, Quavo, Jorga Smith, Black Coffee
Producers: 40, Boi-1da, S1, T-Minus, Murda Beatz, PartyNextDoor, Vinylz, Frank Dukes, Noah Goldstein, Supah Mario, FrancisGotHeat, M3rge, Jazzfeezy, Top FLR, G. Ry, Steve Samson, Ness, Chef Pasquale, Stwo, Deejae, Cubeatz, iBeatz, Rogues, Nineteen85, Allen Ritter, Charlie Handsome, Wallis Lane, Nabeyin
Logic – Everybody
Logic has already proved himself as an elite MC lyricist with his album-making. Third LP Everybody shows Bobby’s staying power near—if not at—the top. His songwriting themes include God, suicide, prejudice, self-worth, and so much more. On his first #1 album, Logic raps from his specific growing-up experience as a biracial, lower-class, and Rap-obsessed Gaithersburg, Maryland teen. He experienced racism at home, later faced it in the world, and felt it in his career. While he’s at his most personal, Logic somehow finds ways to relate to all people. The LP pushes a line of love, spiritual harmony, and social connectivity, without holding back indictments against the government (“America”), screen addiction (“Killing Spree”), or a spectrum of prejudice (“Everybody”). Logic and 6ix steer the album’s production like ocean-liner captains—hauling both trendy Bounce and purist samples. The lofty concept of the all-encompassing “Atom” meeting with God is upheld throughout, bound by songs that have proven to soar as standalone singles. From Juicy J to Black Thought to Killer Mike, Logic directs guests to play defined roles, not just stamp features in his passport. With this album, the MC stresses values that are not always found in #1 albums: humility wins out over ego, purpose eclipses pomp, and intelligence bests swagger. Everybody stands tall as this diligent Visionary puts his magnum opus on the canvas. – Jake Paine
Released: May 5, 2017
Label: Visionary Music Group/Def Jam Records
Guests: Black Thought, Killer Mike, Chuck D, J. Cole, Juicy J, Big Lenbo, Khalid, Alessia Cara, Ansel Elgort, Damian Lemar Hudson, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Producers: (self), 6ix, No I.D., DJ Khalil, PSTMN, Vontae Thomas, C-Sick, Wallis Lane
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