In 2017, we received an abundance of albums to take in throughout the year, but to be honest, I didn’t listen to all of them. It could be said that my taste in music is close minded, but it isn’t really. I just don’t explore new music very often because I like sticking with who I know is fire. I also rely on the people I follow on Twitter to tweet out good music. Most of the time, they do.

Anyways, the Grammy’s were on tonight, and Kendrick Lamar won Best Rap Album for his masterpiece, ‘DAMN.’ The other albums in the category were ‘4:44’ by Jay-Z, ‘Culture’ by Migos, ‘Flower Boy’ by Tyler, The Creator, and ‘Laila’s Wisdom’ by Rapsody (Laila’s Wisdom is one of the albums I didn’t listen to). Even though the Grammy’s committee is full of phonies, I certainly agree with their decision to award ‘DAMN.’ with Best Rap Album. Listening to ‘DAMN.’ gave me a whirlwind of emotions from happiness, to sadness, to FEAR. I remember the first time I played it, the day it came out, and heard ‘DNA’, I thought it was going to be the best album since The Greatest of All Time released ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’, and by the end of it my thoughts did not change. On DAMN. Kung Fu Kenny solidified his spot as Top 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; He is the greatest rapper alive. It is mighty difficult for me to admit that because I am a big fan of Kendrick’s number 1 competition, Drake. But I have to be honest. (My most favorite; Kanye West, is in a league of his own). I believe that ‘DAMN.’ is the story for African American teens and young adults living in America under the harshest conditions, who grew up like how Kendrick grew up. He tells his story which so many of them can relate to and even though millions of people loved ‘DAMN.’ not all of them will ever understand what it is like to come from living in dangerous, gang filled neighborhoods and having to fight for your life everyday. I know I’ll never understand and I’m grateful for that, so I’ll continue to live vicariously through rap music and movies like ‘Boyz in the Hood’ and ‘Straight Outta Compton’.

‘4:44’ by Jay-Z was the next best album to release this year, and I figured ‘DAMN.’ would win Best Rap Album, but I thought ‘4:44’, without a doubt, deserved Album of the Year, but Bruno Mars won, somehow. (Remember when I said the Grammy committee is full of phonies? Everyone knew that, though). On ‘4:44’ Jay-Z showed the world a side of him that no one has ever seen, and I know he doesn’t have time to waste concerning himself with the Grammy’s (I bet he was only there because it was in N.Y) but he was definitely worthy of recognition. ‘Flower Boy’ by Tyler, The Creator let me down; his style of music has changed greatly from a few years ago when I was a major fan. I still like Tyler, but I didn’t feel ‘Flower Boy’. It got great reviews, though, and I know most people would disagree with me. I listened to ‘Culture’ by Migos a couple times and that had no chance to win any award but ‘Bad and Boujee’ was a true hit. Like I said, I didn’t listen to ‘Laila’s Wisdom’ so I don’t have an opinion on that album.

My Top Five albums of 2017 were, in no particular order, ‘More Life’ (really a playlist) by Drake, ‘Cozy Tapes, Vol. 2: Too Cozy’ by A$AP Mob, SYRE by Jaden Smith, and of course DAMN. and 4:44. There were so many good albums this year, though, I have to give credit to 21 Savage for ‘Issa Album’, Vince Staples for ‘Big Fish Theory’, 2 Chainz for ‘Pretty Girls Like Trap Music’, Big Sean for ‘I Decided.’ and Childish Gambino for ‘Awaken, My Love!’

I’m looking forward to Drake, A$AP Rocky, and Earl Sweatshirt dropping albums in 2018. I’m praying Kanye West gives us a couple songs but I don’t expect a full album yet.

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