Since the first half of 2019 is already done with, it is time to list which hip-hop and R&B albums have been standing out so far. With an abundance of talent from old-timers and newcomers alike, it was tough making a selection. However, after long deliberations, here is our top 10 of the best hip-hop and R&B albums released during the first half of 2019.
1. Crash Talk by Schoolboy Q
Released on April 26, the fifth studio album of L.A.-based Schoolboy Q is proof that the rapper is entering his maturity. He is in a good place and that’s what he aims to show in this album, which debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200.
2. Legacy! Legacy! by Jamila Woods
With Legacy! Legacy! released on May 10, Chicago artist Jamila Wood pays tribute in each track to an artist of color, including Bette and Miles Davis, Zora Neale Hurston, James Baldwin, Frida Kahlo and Jean-Michel Basquiat among others. Both political statement and personal introspection, it is a spectacular sophomore album.
3. Fever by Megan Thee Stallion
In her first full-length mixtape released on May 17, Houston native Megan Pete, a.k.a. Megan Thee Stallion delivers a high-energy album playing with good humor on sexual stereotypes. This rowdy and unapologetic release makes her one to follow.
4. Baby On Baby by DaBaby
Baby On Baby may be DaBaby’s debut album, but it comes at the tail of two back-to back mixtapes’ releases in June and November 2018. It is a fast-paced, high energy and devoid of all artifice-release for the North Carolina-native, making for a refreshing listen.
5. While We Wait by Kehlani
While We Wait is California-based Kehlani’s third album and was written while she was pregnant. Influenced by India Arie and Erykah Badu, her elegant ballads and soulful approach to R&B make this album a stand-out.
6. Rap or Go to the League by 2 Chainz
This is the fifth full-length studio release for veteran rapper 2 Chainz and the occasion for him to retrace back his journey from his youth to stardom. With guest appearances including Chance the Rapper, E-40, Ariana Grande, Kodak Black, Kendrick Lamar or Lil Wayne, he doesn’t have much to prove and the album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200.
7. Everythings For Sale by Boogie
In a world of plastic characters, Boogie’s debut album stands out from the crowd. His lyrics are both highly relatable and uncannily vulnerable. His vocals are melancholic yet melodic, giving the album an intriguing gloom that stays with you long after the record is over.
8. When I Get Home by Solange
The R&B frontrunner’ surprise release and fourth full-length album has a mellow and intimate vibe that lingers beyond the 40 minutes of the record. Each song is short, yet carefully articulated, providing a free flowing tribute to her own history and her native city of Houston.