However, if you want to talk about those that stood out so far, here are the five we feel fit the quota. From the DMV to the streets of ChiTown, check out the list below and give us your opinion in the comment section.
5. Wale – Summer on Sunset
One can argue that Wale is the most consistent rapper of the new generation. He has a number of projects under his belt, including the successful albums “Attention: Deficit” and “The Album About Nothing”. In addition to that, Wale often treats his friends for their loyalty with a number of mixtapes. “Folarin” and “Festivus” saw an adequate amount of success, and nobody can forget the classic “Mixtape About Nothing”.
Wale sets to continue that trend with his most recent release, “Summer on Sunset”. The mixtape follows his natural style, with some R&B influences to add to it. Artists such as Raheem DeVaughn, Ty Dolla $ign, and veteran emcee Cam’Ron all make guest appearances. What’s really interesting about this project is the references that Wale makes. We all know he’s a fan of the WWE, and even has a song here that proves it! All in all, the mixtape is solid, and is definitely worth a spin if you’re a fan.
4. ASAP Ferg – Always Strive and Prosper
Ferg has some big expectations to live up too. His fellow ASAP Mob brother, ASAP Rocky, released what many believe to be the most underrated rap release of 2015. With their entire team becoming more of a significant name in today’s hip hop discussion, Ferg intends to make sure that continues with his sophomore effort, “Always Strive and Prosper”.
This time around, the NY native keeps an energy level that matches his previous work. His lyrical ability is put to the test, and he passes with flying colors. This time around, he enlists in the help of Chris Brown, Missy Elliot, and Future to aid the intensity in this album. With a good mix of different hip hop styles blending together, “Always Strive and Prosper” is a strong staple in the line of works from ASAP Mob.
3. Sylvan LaCue – Far From Familiar
Sylvan LaCue is a name that’s anything but familiar to majority of the hip hop world. Formerly known as QuESt, he was singed to Visionary Music Group (home of rapper Logic) for a considerable amount of time, before forming his own WiseUp Record label. He’s best known for his mixtape “Searching Sylvan”, which was recognized by the Huffington Post.
Continuing his story from the mixtape mentioned formerly, LaCue released “Far From Familiar” in early 2016. The album focused heavily on his frequently used theme, religion. With all of the rap lyrics from the artist himself, the three features come from artists only on his label, and a musician by the name of Melat. “Far From Familiar” has seen pleasant reviews, with some critics praising his impressive lyrics and flow throughout the project. With such an impressive debut album, for LaCue, the sky’s the limit!
2. ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP
Whenever a new project is announced by TDE, hip hop fans all gather in excitement. Rapper Kendrick Lamar already dominated majority of the first half of the year, now it’s time for labelmate Schoolboy Q to do the same. His previous release, “Oxymoron” received mixed reviews from both critics and fans, so it’s only right that Q use that as motivation for his latest album “Blank Face LP”.
And boy, did he ever….
“Blank Face LP” sees Q at the most lyrical that he’s ever been. The opening song “TorcH” sets the stage for a more passionate and personal Q than we’ve come to know. Everything about his delivery and flow shows the growth between this release and his last. Receiving an 81 from Metacritic, the heavily acclaimed album features guests from Vince Staples, Anderson.Paak, Miguel, Vince Staples, and Kanye West. With a body of work this solid, Schoolboy Q will have a time topping this. Although, it’s believed that his fans will be heavily satisfied with this project for quite a while.
1. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
If there is one project that’s been on everybody’s playlist this summer, then it’s definitely “Coloring Book”, by Chicago rapper Chance the Rapper. Already making a name for himself with his mixtape “Acid Rap”, he returns to the solo field with this new, well-received release.
Fresh off of working with veteran Kanye West, Chance gives us “Coloring Book”, a mixtape full of inspirational and positive vibes. With this, Chance does something rare in mainstream hip hop, incorporate elements of gospel, essentially labeling him as a Christian hip hop artist as well. Receiving a rare 90 as a score from Metacritic, features come from everyone, well, just about everyone. Kanye West, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Justin Bieber, Jay Electronica, T-Pain, Young Thug, and many more attribute to the success of this mixtape. If Chance was pushing for mixtapes to be included in Grammy nominations, he sure has a concrete proof to back his claim now.
Kendrick Lamar – “untitled.unmastered”
Drake – “Views”
Mark Battles – “Before the Deal”
Flatbush Zombies – “3001: A Laced Odyssey”
Torae – “Untitled”
Wiz Khalifa – “Unitled”
Kanye West – “The Life of Pablo”
sidenote – article written in Aug