Top 50 Albums Of 2017: 50-41

Another year over. 2017 brought us many musical highlights. I’ve listened to over 100 releases and a good 70 of those were up for contention in making the top 50 albums of the year. Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed every album on this list, there are certain albums truly blew me away and broke into my all-time list. We’ll be introduced to those in the top 10, but for now enjoy 50-41.

50. A$AP Ferg – Still Striving
In the past two years A$AP Ferg has cemented himself as way more than second fiddle to A$AP Rocky.
For a time, many felt Ferg was just another member of A$AP Mob with Rocky being the stand-out MC
– especially considering he was the first to break through. In 2016, perception started to change and
with 2017 opus ‘Still Striving’, Ferg demanded another dose of respect from hip-hop fans. The ‘East
Coast Remix’ despite featuring a handful of non-East Coast MC’s is a definite highlight.
49. Kamakaze & MassAppeals – Royal Blud
Music and sport have been synonymous for years. Matt Robinson, also known as Kamakaze, is the first
instance in which an athlete has been taken seriously as an MC. Dagenham & Redbridge might not be
Barcelona, but Kamakaze’s music career is starting to blow up – and with good reason. For ‘Royal Blud’,
the footballer-rapper teamed up with MassAppeals and delivered one of 2017’s best anthems in ‘Pull
48. Wiley – Godfather
Having been awarded an MBE, Wiley is officially a national treasure. Of course, grime fans have known
Wiley’s worth for a near two decades. Having pioneered grime, Wiley was always going to be considered
a legend – even if his music has sometimes ventured too far into pop-accessibility. In 2017, Wiley
released an album some might consider eponymous in ‘Godfather.’ Sticking to his grime roots, but giving
himself a bit more time to shine than on the feature filled ‘Snakes & Ladders’, the Godfather of grime
reminded everybody that he’s still one of the greatest MCs.

47. Big Sean – I Decided
Eminem had the worst verse on a Big Sean album. Let that sink in. It would have been blasphemous to
say five years ago, in 2017 a changing of the guard happened as Big Sean stepped into Eminem’s
shoes as the best mainstream rapper from Detroit. Whilst Em disappointed with ‘Revival’, Sean delivered
with ‘I Decided.’ Perhaps not quite up to par with its predecessor ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ which is surely a
classic, but a far cry from ‘Hall Of Fame.’ If Big Sean isn’t in your top 5 of this generation after the last
two solo albums, you’re wrong.

46. Just B – Tales From The Pit
Just B is one of my favourite rappers right now, and I can’t wait for the inevitable album coming in 2018.
In 2017 he blessed us with two mixtapes, the first to make this list is ‘Tales From The Pit.’ It slightly
underwhelmed because many of the tracks had been heard before, presumed loose cuts – but that’s
exactly what a mixtape is meant to be, right? The tape did feature a couple of new tracks though,
including one of 2017’s best songs, the King Hippo assisted ‘All For The Lizzy.’

45. Legion Of Goon – Project Goon
Speaking of King Hippo…his collaborative effort with UK hip-hop legend Stig Of The Dump dropped in the form of ‘Project Goon.’ Boasting a selection of stand-out songs including personal favourite ‘Really Real’, ‘Project Goon’ is an out-and-out UK hip-hop release but without taking itself too seriously. The pair described it best themselves as (paraphrasing) two blokes having fun making music together.
44. Listaa – PiSC3S
I remember when ‘PiSC3S’ dropped many local hip-hop heads compared Listaa to North East G.O.A.T Rick Fury. While those comparisons may be coming a little early, Listaa’s talent is undeniable. The Sunderland spitter has been underrated for years and with this 2017 release finally started gaining the credit he deserves. Although it’s early in the year release means many may have forgotten it after a string of releases following it, one re-listen will sharp remind them of the quality in ‘PiSC3S.’
43. Just B – Lyrics From The Villas Vol. 3
‘1991’ is a strong contender for the best banger from an artist based in the North East of England. The rest of the third instalment in Just B’s ‘Lyrics From The Villas’ series also came at the standard expected from the Ashington MC. A rollercoaster of emotions with breakneck speed flows as has become B’s calling card. It’ll be interesting if the aforementioned inevitable 2018 album will be more like the ‘Lyrics From The Villas’ trilogy or if Just B will return to a more grime-centric sound for the LP.
42. Blitz – Ascending Force
Tees Grime Fam’s Blitz has lit the local scene alight in the past two years, and has started to make a name on the national stage too. Passionately representing Boro, ‘Ascending Force’ allows the socially conscious hip-hop found on ‘Both Sides Of The Coin Volume 2’ merge with the grime Blitz made a name for himself with, alongside hints of trap influences. Some of the features don’t quite match up to Blitz as the veteran doesn’t allow any chance for a ‘renegade’ situation – although a highlight comes in posse cut ‘Best Ina Dis.’
41. Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me
The production value on ‘Rather You Than Me’ was so high, many called for Rick Ross to be executive producer for Nas’ next album. Rozay’s ear for beats is exceptional, and it showed on his 2017 offering. ‘Idols Become Rivals’ showed Ross in a new light and will undoubtedly make a number of best singles’ lists for the year. Unfortunately because of the stand-out stealing all of the limelight for the album, the remaining tracks have become forgotten despite a consistent quality throughout.

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