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Top five album releases of summer 2018
August 22, 2018
Summer is a much needed time of fun and relaxation for many college students around the country. It grants students time to unwind after a stressful year of school, and gives them the time to work or have summer internships. It is also a great time of the year for music enthusiasts because summer has historically been a time where our favorite artists release quality songs and albums. This summer was no different. Fans were blessed with quality projects from artists like Travis Scott, Young Thug and Kanye West, including a collab album from West and the man on the moon himself, Kid Cudi. These are our top albums that released this summer.
- Slime Language, Young Thug
After teasing it for the majority of the summer, Young Thug dropped Slime Language this past week. Thugger continues his dabbling in the new sound that he created on Beautiful Thugger Girls. Although his sound has changed, Thug continues to employ the same style of swag rap that has made him famous. Features on the album include Thug’s proteges in Gunna and Lil Baby, as well as Duke, who Thug has collaborated with on many projects, including The Barter 6. Standouts on the album are “Oh Yeah,” featuring HiDoraah, a slower song where Thug sings about his watch and chains, and “It’s a Slime,” featuring Lil Uzi Vert.
- Daytona, Pusha T
Pusha T kicked off the summer with a bang with his third studio album, Daytona. Aided by the production genius of G.O.O.D. Music companion Kanye West, Daytona is a culmination of great sound and storytelling from Pusha. On “The Games We Play,” Pusha raps about his life experiences over an electric guitar being played on the instrumental. Another standout is “Santeria,” another track with a guitar-featured instrumental. This song splits into a second half, where 070 Shake, a member of G.O.O.D. Music, sings hauntingly in Spanish.
- ye, Kanye West
On ye, the long-awaited follow up to The Life of Pablo, Kanye gives the listener a taste of what it’s like to be “‘Ye.” Like every other Kanye project, the production is spectacular, but what makes this project special is Kanye opening up about the mental problems that he goes through on a daily basis. “The most beautiful thoughts are always besides the darkest, today/I seriously thought about killing you,” said West on “I Thought About Killing You,” the first track on the album. By speaking out on his issues, West let people who are going through similar inflictions know that they are not alone. This album also includes one of the best songs of the summer in “Ghost Town.” Kid Cudi, who features on this track, belts out, “I’ve been trying to make you love me/but everything I try just takes you further from me,” which hits hard on every listen. While Kanye has made the news for the wrong reasons in the past year, he lets us know why he does the things he does and gives us some insight into his mind on this album.
- KIDS SEE GHOSTS, KIDS SEE GHOSTS
A week following the release of ye, KIDS SEE GHOSTS, the long-awaited collab album between Kanye West and Kid Cudi, dropped. This album builds off of ye, and feels like its sequel. It shows the growth and steps forward that Kanye and Cudi have taken in their respective battles with mental health. In “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt. 2),” Kanye and Cudi sing, “I don’t feel pain anymore/Guess what babe, I am free.” Another song that follows the theme of progression through tough times is “Reborn,” where Cudi sings “I’m so, I’m so reborn/I’m movin’ forward.” The way “Yeezy” and “The Martian’s” voices mesh together, along with another masterfully produced album by Kanye, makes for a great album.
- ASTROWORLD, Travis Scott
Travis Scott’s long awaited, third studio album was everything it needed to be. After announcing it back in 2016 following the release of Rodeo, fans began patiently waiting, and the hype began to build. Scott had to put out a tremendous project that would live up to the anticipation, and he delivered. Astroworld takes inspiration from the Six Flags Astroworld theme park in Houston, which was demolished in 2005 to make room for apartments. Throughout this roller coaster ride of an album, Scott, a Kanye West prodigy and Houston native, flaunts his producing talents and pays homage to many different Houston legends. On “RIP Screw,” he pays respects to DJ Screw, a Houston artist that invented chopped and screwed music and brought it to prominence with his Screwtapes in the early 2000’s. Scott mixes Southern sounds with his renowned auto-tune to make an album of genre-bending songs. Features on the album range from Frank Ocean, Drake and Swae Lee to James Blake, a Stevie Wonder harmonica solo and Kid Cudi’s humming. One of the best tracks on the album, and in recent memory, is “Can’t Say,” featuring Houston emcee Don Toliver, who made his debut feature on this album and dropped his first mixtape, Donny Womack (which is great), only a short time before Astroworld released. The song is a tantalizing mix of catchy lyrics and flows added on top of a tremendous instrumental that Scott and Toliver go in on. In all, this album was a testament to the tremendous talent that Travis Scott possesses, and has created intrigue as to how he will follow it up.
Die Lit, Playboi Carti
The Atlanta native released his debut album and follow up to his acclaimed mixtape, Playboi Carti, this summer. Die Lit encapsulated what Carti does well, mixing ad-libs with slick trap beats and enjoyable lines. Aided by features from the likes of Lil Uzi Vert on “Shoota,” Travis Scott on “Love Hurts” and Chief Keef on “Mileage,” Carti put together a solid album that fans can get lit to.
Testing, A$AP Rocky
A$AP Rocky’s third studio album continued his trend of putting out great music. His newest album since AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP dropped in 2015, TESTING has a multitude of quality songs, but did have some misses. Songs like “Brotha Man” and “Purity,” both of which are graced by Frank Ocean features, and “CALLDROPS,” featuring a Kodak Black verse via collect call from the correctional institute where he was being held, are standouts on the album. While TESTING is not his best work to date, Rocky still managed to put enough quality songs on it to make it enjoyable and worth a listen.
Beast Mode 2, Future
Any time Future and producer Zaytoven link and make music together, the product is always great. Beast Mode 2 is no exception. This mixtape is a follow up to their 2015 release Beast Mode and precursor to Future’s album that is scheduled to drop later this year. Zaytoven’s unique trap beats that incorporate different sounds, like piano, complement Future well, and make for a solid mixtape. One of the standout moments of the tape is on “Racks Blue,” where Future serenades us about having too much money.
The “6 god” was back at it again this summer with the release of his two-sided album, Scorpion. Half hip-hop and half being more R&B, Scorpion gave fans both sides of Drake. While people have differing opinions on Drake, one thing is for certain: he knows how to make hits. The “In My Feelings” challenge swept across the nation this summer, with fans getting down to the New Orleans bounce music inspired song. He also paid homage to the legendary Michael Jackson on “Don’t Matter to Me.” In all, while it was a good Drake project, the sound felt repetitive at some points.