Travis Scott’s ASTROWORLD the Best of the Best of Hip Hop’s Many Great Albums of 2018


From continued legacies, forms of remembrance, and debut albums for artists on the rise, 2018 brought plenty of albums impacting the hip hop genre. They all have consisted of popular hits and a certain message in them that have made them so popular. Artists such as Travis Scott, Juice Wrld, Post Malone, and groups such as Migos released throughout the year to make 2018 one to remember.

Beginning the remarkable year, Rap group Migos, consisting of individual rappers Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff, released their follow up album to 2017’s Culture. Titled Culture 2, the rap group’s third studio album was released on Jan. 26, 2018. Although critics displayed less love towards the follow up compared to the original, Culture 2 had its moments.

The group made headlines before the release of the album. Singles such as “Motorsport” (featuring Cardi B and Nicki Minaj), “Stir Fry,” and “Supastars” all were released prior to the official debut of the album. These three singles, and other tracks featuring Gucci Mane, 21 Savage, and Drake were part of the reason this album thrived.

Culture 2 has many features not seen on the original. Offset used his knowledge of the Spanish language in “Narcos”, and Takeoff, the least known of the three artists, made his voice heard in songs rapped mostly by himself, including “Too Much Jewelry” and songs where his verse stole the show such as “Motorsport” and “CC,” which also featured Gucci Mane.

Culture 2 led to follow-up solo albums by Quavo and Takeoff in the months of October and November. Residing at the summit of many top charts as the top album in Canada and the United States, Culture 2 greatly impacted the hip hop world during 2018.

Another project that affected the hip hop industry this year was XXXTentacion’s second studio album simply titled ?. XXXTentacion, a.k.a “X”, was gunned down in June in Deerfield Beach, Florida. X left his fans with a very melodic project when ? was released on March 16, 2018. Given his unexpected death, fans knew not a lot of music would be provided to them in the future from their favorite artist. Therefore, if you ask many hip hop fans, many will value this album above others due to X’s great talent and as a way of continuing his greatness.

?, the follow up to 17, X’s first studio album, gives us a similar style to 17. Ever since his breakout single “Look at Me,” which featured a lot of yelling, X turned around his flow greatly when he started to use melody in his lyrics to not only pertain to party animals, but also towards sad and depressed listeners to better improve their look on life.

The album features a very diverse lineup of 18 songs adding up to a total of 37 minutes. X had many songs that contained many suicidal thoughts and depressing messages, songs where other languages were utilized, and traditional hip hop songs where X uses his rapping talent to impress listeners.

? features other artists such as PnB Rock, Matt OX, and Rio Santana. Rock features on “SMASH!,” OX on “$$$,”and Santana on “I don’t even speak spanish lol.”Santana’s song is mostly sung in spanish, which is why it is still part of the top 100 pop songs according to Apple Music.

To this day, popular hits “Moonlight,” “SAD,”and “changes” reside in the top 10 pop songs on Apple Music’s top charts. Besides those three tracks, seven other of ?’s tracks are included on the top 100.

After his death, X won an award at the BET Hip Hop Awards for Best New Hip Hop Artist due to the breakout of his two studio albums. X’s 2018 legacy was incredible and will live on due to the great music he released in his too-short career.

On April 27, rapper Post Malone released his second studio album: beerbongs and bentleys.

Malone’s release has many songs that you would want to listen to for a second or third time. Tracks such as “Ball for Me” featuring Nicki Minaj, “Better Now”, and “rockstar” featuring 21 Savage are among the songs likely to be repeated by their listeners.

Post Malone is similar to XXXTenacion as they both can rap with “hype” style or sing with melody. Many of Malone’s songs in this release feature rapping from Malone about his wealth  and/or melodic singing featuring inner thoughts that he has faced throughout his life.

The project’s effect is still seen later in 2018 as three tracks reside in the top 100 hip-hop songs on the Apple Music’s charts: “Better Now” at 70, “rockstar” at 92, and “Psycho” featuring Ty Dolla $ign at 96.

Other single tracks made an effort to symbolize Malone’s second studio album as one to remember. “Candy Paint,” which re-released in October of 2017, after it was featured in The Fate of the Furious, an action film released to the public in April of 2017. “Rich and Sad” and “92 Explorer” are also great tracks that both present Malone’s duel style of music.

Nearly a month later, a remarkable album was released by rookie artist Juice Wrld. His first studio album, Goodbye and Good Riddance, started the pathway to greatness for one of the top artists, who has had a legendary 2018, which included his duet album with Future, WRLD on Drugs.

The effort from Juice Wrld contains many popular songs. Most remarkable, however, is the possible song of the year “Lucid Dreams,” which peaked at number two on Billboard Hot 100, a popular ranking of the top songs. The track also features a music video on Youtube that totaled 250 million views. “Lucid Dreams” popularity was proven as the track was certified platinum in five different countries.

“All Girls Are the Same” and “Lean Wit Me” are still, to this day, a part of the top 150 hip-hop songs on Apple Music’s charts, which is pretty remarkable considering that the album released nearly seven months ago.

The album topped off at number two for all albums on U.S Billboard 200. Feature from Lil Uzi Vert on “Wasted” and a catchy chorus on “Black and White” helped Goodbye and Good Riddance surprise everyone and expand Juice Wrld’s fan base to a point where he is considered one of the best to do it.

Finally, arguably the hottest artist out right now released an album this year. This album has everything a hip hop fan wants: many songs and many features, which allowed the album to live up to its hype. On August 3, Travis Scott released ASTROWORLD: Scott’s fourth album.

The album did great in certifications and rankings. ASTROWORLD was certified platinum in the United States, gold in New Zealand and Denmark, and silver in the U.K. It also peaked at the number 1 album on 10 different charts throughout many countries.

Individual tracks on ASTROWORLD made noise in the hip hop world with “SICKO MODE” peaking at number 1 on three of Billboard’s charts. The top track of the album features Drake, which is vital to the track’s success.  It resides at number 12 on the top selling hip hop songs on Apple Music.

Additional tracks, “STARGAZING” and “YOSEMITE” featuring Nav and Gunna, are still a part of the top 100 songs on Apple Music. Features from 21 Savage on “NC-17,”Juice Wrld on “NO BYSTANDERS”, and Quavo on “WHO? WHAT!” all attribute to the album’s success. The success of this album has me joining many others in thinking that ASTROWORLD is the best hip hop album of the year.

2018 brought many other albums from other artists such as Trippie Redd, Cardi B, and Drake. However,  the albums from Migos, XXXTentacion, Post Malone, Juice Wrld and Travis Scott were the ones that made 2018 a year to remember in hip hop.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email