2015 was a pretty busy year for music, especially in hip-hop. There were albums that were dropping left and right more than No Limit albums back in the day but here are the albums that had a huge impact in 2015.
Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
Release date: February 13, 2015
The 6 God dropped this album out of nowhere on the internet and had a million downloads overnight. From the help of producers, Boi-1da, Noah “40” Shebib, Vinylz, WondaGurl, TM88, Syk Sense, Frank Dukes, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Boom Blap producer Illmind. With tracks like the dark piano, uptempo “Energy” to whisper-like r&b tracks like “Preach” with PARTYNEXTDOOR autotuned hook, the album’s sound goes is just like a rollercoaster ride. The album sound is almost like a rollercoaster ride along with Drake’s lyrics. The Toronto MC even created slang such as calling himself the 6 God and The 6, which represents the area code of Toronto. Drake is at point in his career where everytime he moves or drops music, it’s either gonna be on the news or on the charts.
Freddie Gibbs – Shadow Of A Doubt
Release date: November 20, 2015
Gary, Indiana indie rapper Freddie Gibbs delivers his sophomore atudio album “Shadow Of A Doubt”. Fresh off of his 2014 studio collab with legendary sample-based Madlib called “Pinata, which gained a new audience to look into his body of work. On this album, Gangsta Gibbs once again shows listeners that he’s versatile. Rapping over a variety of production from street heavy tracks Mike Dean produced song “Cold Ass Nigga” to the Boi-1da’s gloomy electric piano track “Fuckin up the Count” to the sampled Bob James Nautilus song Extradite with The Roots rhymer Black Thought. Gibbs always delivers his messages through his lyrics in any form of style. Coming from the midwest, you can tell that Freddie was influenced by all types of music from other regions such as the south, west coast and east coast. From front to back, this album is definitely a rollercoaster ride.
Dr. Dre – Compton
Release date: August 10, 2015
West Coast producer/rapper Dr. Dre delivers his third studio album “Compton”. This is Dre first album in 16 years. The album was a inspired soundtrack to the NWA film “Straight Outta Compton”. While being on the set of the movie, Dre got so inspired that it drove him to go back to the studio to finish up a few tracks that he’s been working on since 2011. While making this album, he grabbed along a few of his peers and other artists such as Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, Marsha Ambrosius, Xzibit, Cold 187um, The Game, BJ The Chicago Kid, Anderson .Paak, DJ Premier and Jill Scott. Dre also features his own Aftermath artists Kendrick Lamar, Jon Conner, newcomer King Mez and the legendary Eminem. The album comes in play of showing fans that Dre has never left the music alone. Just like a book, the album plays like a storybook of what Dre has been goin through over years from being behind the scenes working to personal issues to what he is doing today. This adds on as another Dr. Dre masterpiece.
Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
Release date: March 15, 2015
Compton’s own Kendrick Lamar delivers another anticipating album this past year called “To Pimp A Butterfly”, which Lamar head toward another direction. Fresh from his last debut, “good kid, m.A.A.d city”, Lamar goes into the elements of funk, spoken word and jazz on this project. Lamar said during an interview that the album’s title means by showing the brightness of life and showing that the word “pimp” has more aggression and it represents several things such as using his celebrity for good and also not being pimped by the industry through his celebrity. The Isley Brothers sampled track “i” was the first single released late 2014. The second single “The Blacker the Berry”, which is a dark, hardcore song which reflects on the themes of racisms and also the dangers of hypocrisy. Many fans was a little curious on what direction Kendrick was heading to until the release date was announced online. The album features George Clinton, Bilal, Snoop Dogg, Anna Wise, Ronald Isley, 9th Wonder’s artist Rapsody. The album also features an unreleased Tupac interview that Lamar found and used for the song “Mortal Man”, which Kendrick made the song seem like he is talking to Tupac. The album is considered a masterpiece from fans and was the most talked about album of 2015. Once again, Kendrick showed improvement as an MC and a great songwriter.