November 9, 2021

The Best Hip-Hop & R&B Albums of 2021

Cody Blanc
Photo By:Photo Attributed

The pandemic impacted the world hard and though artists still were writing to their heart’s content, album releases slowed to a crawl. With things starting to open back up this year, we have experienced an influx of releases from veteran and novice artists alike. With so many tracks and albums to choose from, narrowing down the most significant releases of the year is pretty difficult. For today’s list, we will stick within the hip hop & R&B genre to help narrow the scope down to a more concentrated selection.

Before we get into our list of the best R&B and Hip Hop albums of this year, it is worth noting that many big names have released albums after extended breaks that may not be on our list. J.Cole, The Real, and Jermaine among others are just a few of the notable names on the charts. Freshmen artists such as Saweetie, Griselda, Polo G, and Rod Wave have also made waves this year with their strong albums. Megan Thee Stallion has been the talk of the town, and Cardi B as usual is serving looks and bars despite taking a break from releasing full-blown albums. Now, let’s get down to the point; our list of the top Hip-Hop & R&B Albums of 2021.

Planet Her By Doja Cat – Rap & R&B

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Doja Cat is really a full-service artist. From hard-hitting rap lyrics to smooth R & B tones that will have you swaying your hips and bobbing your head. As an entertainer, she really delivers the full experience. Her music covers a range of styles, topics, rhythms, and verses that will keep you entertained from one song to the next. Doja has graduated from teen bop into a full-on mature well-rounded artist that is destined to put out great tracks well into the future.

Heaux Tales By Jazmine Sullivan – R&B

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In the world of R&B, there are so many fluid voices that can make it hard to start out. However, with Heaux Tales, Sullivan has captured her audience with her regal tones, addictive stories, and realistic imagery that mirrors real life. Romance, hate, love, passion, and even sex are common themes in the R&B niche, however, this album eloquently highlights the nuances and shares the messy side of life that is often overlooked. 

Sincerely, Kentrell By YoungBoy Never Broke Again – Rap & R&B

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YoungBoy Never Broke Again has a story written in his skin and with his latest album, he shares some of his stories. His music hits on his hard past going through the system as a youngster that sounds eerily like a late-night confessional. Although he is currently serving time, his fans and the rest of the music world are able to enjoy his rough and tumble style that is as melodious as it is hard-hitting. 

Merry Christmas By Mariah Carey – R&B

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The holidays just won’t seem the same without a Mariah Carey release. Regardless of the amount that has passed since its original release, this album stays at the top of the charts each year thanks in part to timeless tunes. As usual, her voice stuns, her melody entrances, and her upbeat demeanor brings joy to all those who listen. This is certainly one of her most definitive albums that is sure to be a chart-topper for years to come. 

Music to Be Murdered By From Eminem – Rap & R&B

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Eminem has not released a wildly popular album in close to a decade, so when this one dropped his fans and the music industry, in general, had high expectations. One thing that can be said for Slim Shady is that he has interesting ideas that keep you hooked and his technical command over his flow remains first in class. In his usual style, his bars are full of defiance and his hyper-technical style is addictive enough to have you pushing the replay button. 

After Hours By The Weeknd – R&B

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The Weeknd has been challenging the norms when it comes to the world of music and R&B since he hit the scene. His newest album, After Hours, takes the form of a villain who loathes himself and turns his story into an attractive narrative that will have you rooting for a win by the time you reach the halfway mark. The music is dramatic and follows a cinematic narrative that is a mix of gloomy melodrama and snappy hits. This is truly one of his strongest records and certainly one of the best albums of the year.

Certified Lover Boy By Drake

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Drake’s first album in three years is the sixth in his collection. It offers a melancholic trip through the heart, mind, and life of Drake. The tracks cover a lot of what his fans already know, but in a more honest way. Like most of his music, this album is catchy, easy to memorize, and ultimately a great record to spin as a background track to a hot girl or hot boy summer. While the album is classic Drake with very few changes, it is perfect for long-term fans who idolize his sound. 

Donda By Kanye West – Rap & R&B

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Yeezy has released yet another banger that is 27 tracks of full bore creativity. Despite his personal struggles with his family and his mental health, his artistic side really shines through on his 10th album. His tracks have a bit of a gospel ring to them mixed in with his usual rap style that hits all the right bases. When it comes to Kayne, you either love him, or you hate him, but regardless of which side of the aisle you fall on, this album is one of the best of the year.

Back of My Mind By H.E.R.- R&B

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There are very few artists who are so completely in control of their own sound, but H.E.R happens to be one of them. This album release gives listeners a view into her dynamic world that is full of soulful mysterious talent. There are several guest appearances on the album which makes it longer than most of her previous releases, but that doesn’t detract from her lyrical prowess and hypnotizing songs. Of all the R&B albums released this year, we agree that Back of my Mind is one of the best. 

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