Freelance music Journalism
BEST ALBUMS OF 2020
TOP FIVE ALTERNATIVE, R&B, AFROBEATS, HIP-HOP
Written By: Jewels Alexandria & Mae Sultonteh
(6 Minute Read)
Another year has come and gone. Rather it be a good year or a bad one, the albums kept coming. We seen new music from Pearl Jam and Green Day to Run The Jewels and Busta Rhymes. We watched people come together to celebrate and recognize Juneteenth as a holiday and made songs like Marvin Gaye’s, “What’s Going On.” In midst of a pandemic, we were still able to hear fresh new sounds and find ways to enjoy the little things, even if just through a screen or headphones. The Juke Joint would like to take the time to acknowledge some of our favorite picks of 2020. Covering four genres. Alternative, R&B/Soul, Afrobeats and Rap/Hip-Hop.
Tame Impala – The Slow Rush
Instantly, the album gives psychedelic/funky vibes. A consistent vibe Parker has duplicated time and time again. Last person to excite me this much about music went by the name of Prince. The entire album gives off great head bobbing, feet moving tunes. A lustful sensation that keeps you singing throughout the whole day.
2. MGK – Tickets To My Downfall
From the first single, Why Are You Here, Machine Gun Kelly prepared his fans for something most of us have been waiting for. A Punk Rock Album! And what better way to give the fans what they want then by having Blink-182’s drummer, Travis Barker as the executive producer. I know late twenty to early thirty-year-old heard this as a dream come true.
3. Benee – Hey U X
Benee rose to fam from Tik-Tok and thank God for that. Her biggest hit Superloney took the young star to the top of the charts and she didn’t stop there. She wanted to prove she had more to show and she did just that with her debut album Hey U X.
4. Kid Cudi – Man on The Moon II: The Chosen
Just when we thought Cudi was done with the Man on the Moon theme, he surprises fans with an album to prove he still has what it takes to be labeled not only one of the best song writers but producers too.
5. Yves Tumor – Heaven to A Tortured Mind
Yves as made multiple appearances on many different artist albums. Heaven to A Tourtured Mind displays just why each artist
Teyana Taylor – The Album
Teyana Taylor displays what R&B music should feel like. With topics such as motherhood, marriage and self worth she captivates R&B ears and jazzing it up with a taste of Hip-Hop.
2. Victoria Monet – Jaguar
Victoria Monet uses her sultry seductive lyrics to ensure she receives everything she wants from a man with no apologies.
3. Thundercat – It Is What It Is
This funk/Jazz artist is exciting to hear every time he releases something new. Silly songs like Dragonball Durag show just how much fun making music can be at the same time sound really good. Thundercat is one of the best bass guitarists we have in today’s music.
4. Xavier Omar – if You Feel
In 2016 Xavier Omar released a single titiled “Afriad.” From then on, he has been on a journey to prove he can make R&B music just as good as the greats. Songs like, “Something Changed,” and “Surf,” prove just that.
5. Kehlani – It Was Good Until It Wasn’t
This R&B Diva delivers her best album to date.
Terri - Afro Series
Terri, another underdog is usually heavily circulated when there is a fire collaboration with StarBoy aka Wizkid. From His whimsical singing style and heavy afrobeat beat selection, Terri without a doubt carried his own in 2020 and was able to mirror his quirkiness and still keep his aurora in his vibrant videos that surfaced this year. The duration of this album may not have been as long, but the production process of this album was well crafted and demanded recognition!
2. WizKid - Made In Lagos
MIL was one of the most anticipated albums of 2020, this eccentric collaborative work compiles various Afrobeats and afro alté. This sultry album was an excellent continuation of his past projects and takes on a different sound other than ojuelegba or jaiye jaiye that his fans are used
3. Rema - Complications-Rema
As one of the youngest on this top 5 list, Rema took the Afrobeats world with his highly streamed song, Dumebi. The young artist has shown his creativity with his label and shows his alternative approach to Afrobeats and rap that some may say is influenced by Trippie Redd and Juice World. Rema has been on rapid sabotage with singles like “Ginger Me” “Peace of Mind” as well as a recent feature with Aluna featuring KAYTRANADA. His hard work and creativity have boosted him to one of the youngest but innovative artists of 2020.
4. Tiwa Savage – Celia
Tiwa SAVAGE’s albums embody the strength and tribulations of a strong woman in society. The album is primarily based on her own experiences as well as her upbringing from her mother hence the album's name. Living up to her name, she speaks about what we all as women are thinking about in “FWMM” “Attention” and “Koroba”.
5. Adekunle Gold - Afro-Pop Vol.1
Despite his beautiful lyrics and Afrocentric videos, Adekunle is one of the most underrated artists that deserves his accolades! This singer-songwriter's recent album radiated his carefree and unbothered mentality when it comes to critics' opinion of his sound while giving you “Something Different”. Adekunle’s vocals and beats are paired effortlessly along with without any features in this 2020 project.
Nas – Kings Disease
Kings Disease offers a breath of fresh air from the now trap beats everyone is getting so accustomed to. We are able to sit back and enjoy bar for bar genuine Hip-Hop sound and Nas reminds us why he is one of the greatest to ever do it.
2. Benny The Butcher – Burden Of Proof
If you don’t know who Griselda is Benny The Butcher is the perfect place to start. This album challenges new age rappers to step their game up.
3. Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist – Alfredo
What a combo! Pop it in and let it ride.
4. Royce Da 5’9” – The Allegory
This album couldn’t have come at a better time. This educational, lyrical album should be appreciated for generations to come.
5. Jack Harlow – That’s What They All Say
Super surprise but worth the listen. Jack Harlow proves he is more than just dope beats, he raps too!
December 28, 2020