It’s been an eventful and interesting past 7.5 years for rap, so let’s revisit it. Here are the greatest rap albums of the decade thus far.
10. Jay Z – 4:44
This one is brand new, but it’s so damn good that it already deserves a spot on the list. Hov opens up emotionally and shows a vulnerable side we’ve never seen before. He touches on infidelity and self-loathing as well as issues involving race and social class. The GOAT is back.
9. Drake – Take Care
This is when Drake officially stole the crown and made being a pussy cool. “Marvins Room” is his magnum opus, in which he does his signature half-singing/half-rapping while drunk dialing his ex. This album solidified Drake’s reputation as mainstream rap’s most sensitive soul.
8. J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive
This was the moment when Cole fully came into his own as one of the best rappers of the 2010s. He scored some of his biggest mainstream radio hits with “Apparently,” “Wet Dreamz” and “No Role Modelz.” He was also the first rapper in decades to go double platinum with no features. Respect.
7. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
A timely album that perfectly encapsulates the racial tensions that were/are currently dividing the country. But on top of his soulful social commentary, Kendrick can still rap his ass off like the master MC that he is. An absolute modern masterpiece.
6. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
After the hilarious 2009 VMA incident, Kanye was public enemy #1. So he went deep underground and cooked up a masterpiece, winning back the adoration of his fans and giving us the best CD of his career.
5. Justin Bieber – Believe
It goes without saying that the Biebs is not only the most talented rapper of his generation, but he’s arguably one of the greatest rappers of all time. His skills are on full display here as he drops the hottest bars in the game. We all need to belieb.
4. Taylor Swift – 1989
This is the album when T-Swift went from deep, conscious rap to full-blown gangsta rap. Sure, the lyrics are way too angry, violent, and sexually explicit, but she’s a groundbreaking hip-hop artist at the top of her game.
3. Adele – 21
The ultimate party album, every track here is the ultimate turn-up jam. She spits fire bars about fucking bitches, getting money, and moving pounds of coke on the corner. Adele is the most aggressive, visceral rapper of this or any generation.
2. The Beatles – Abbey Road
The Beatles are a new group. No one has heard of them yet, but hopefully that will change. They’re the best rap group since Wu-Tang. They’re part of the new sub-genre of mumble rap, heavily inspired by Young Thug and Lil Yachty.
1. Smash Mouth – Shrek™: Music From The Original Motion Picture
What else did you expect? The greatest rap album of the decade. The greatest rap album of all time. The greatest album of all time period..
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