From Illmatic to Madvillainy, To Pimp a Butterfly to Aquemini, Tha Carter II to De La Soul Is Dead, we look at the best hip hop albums of all time, year by year.

Following a year that A$AP Yams declared the “worst year in rap music ever” (which we don’t necessarily agree with), all the big rap dogs came out to play for 2015.

Speaking from a purely commercial standpoint, 2015 was a much stronger year than 2014. With high profile releases from Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Meek Mill, Future, Big Sean, ASAP Rocky and Dr. Dre, the sales numbers were strong this year.

Meanwhile, bubbling artists like Travis Scott, Rich Homie Quan and Young Thug were continuing to do their thing, putting out exciting and innovative music to build their fanbase – Travis scored his biggest hit to date with the top 40 single “Antidote.”

But we’re not just talking numbers for this list. In terms of quality releases in the 2010s, 2015 is a strong contender for best year of the decade. From Kendrick’s magnum opus To Pimp a Butterfly, Vince Staples’ Summertime ’06, Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album, Lupe Fiasco’s Tetsuo & Youth or Future’s DS2, it felt like every other week we were witnessing a new masterpiece being dropped.

From Young Thug’s Barter 6 to Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Wale’s The Album About Nothing, here are the top 25 best hip hop albums of 2015.

25. Freddie Gibbs – Shadow of a Doubt

Released: November 20, 2015

Label: ESGN, Empire

Singles: “Fuckin’ up the Count”, “Extradite”, “Packages”

Features: Gucci Mane, E-40, Black Thought, Tory Lanez, Dana Williams, ManMan Savage

24. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – Surf

Released: May 28, 2015

Label: N/A

Singles: “Sunday Candy”, “Nothing Came to Me”, “Wanna Be Cool”

Features: B.o.B, BJ the Chicago Kid, Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monáe, Ady Suleiman, J. Cole, Noname, Big Sean, Jeremih, Kyle, King L, Quavo, DRAM, Jesse Boykins III, Mike Golden, Joey Purp, Saba, Jamila Woods, Erykah Badu, Ady Suleiman

23. Meek Mill – Dreams Worth More Than Money

Released: June 29, 2015

Label: Maybach, Atlantic

Singles: “Check”, “All Eyes on You”, “R.I.C.O.”

Features: Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Tory Lanez, Swizz Beatz, Future, Drake, The Weeknd, Rick Ross, Puff Daddy

22. Big Sean – Dark Sky Paradise

Released: February 24, 2015

Label: GOOD, Def Jam

Singles: “I Don’t Fuck with You”, “Paradise”, “Blessings”, “One Man Can Change the World”, “Play No Games”

Features: Drake, Kanye West, E-40, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla Sign, Jhené Aiko, Lil Wayne, and Ariana Grande

21. Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive

Released: September 20, 2015

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Republic, Epic, A1, Freebandz

Singles: “Jumpman”

Features: N/A

20. Skyzoo – Music for My Friends

Released: June 23, 2015

Label: First Generation Rich, Empire

Singles: N/A

Features: Kay Cola, Westside Gunn, Black Thought, Bilal, Jadakiss, Christion Gray, Saba, MoZaic, Skarr Akbar

19. Curren$y – Pilot Talk III

Released: April 4, 2015

Label: Jet Life

Singles: “Briefcase”, “Cargo Planes”, “Alert”, “AD5”

Features: Riff Raff, Wiz Khalifa, Jadakiss, Styles P and J. Townsend

18. Dr. Dre – Compton

Released: August 7, 2015

Label: Aftermath, Interscope

Singles: “Talking to My Diary”

Features: Anderson .Paak, Marsha Ambrosius, Craig Owens, King Mez, Justus, Kendrick Lamar, Candice Pillay, Jon Connor, Sly Pyper, Dem Jointz, The Game, Xzibit, Eminem, Snoop Dogg

17. The Game – The Documentary 2.5

Released: October 16, 2015

Label: Blood Money Entertainment, eOne Music

Singles: “El Chapo”

Features:, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, Nas, DJ Quik, Busta Rhymes, Problem, Scarface, Lil Wayne, E-40, YG, Ty Dolla Sign, RJ, King Mez, DJ Quik, Jon Connor, Skrillex, Anderson .Paak, Asia Bryant

16. Oddisee – The Good Fight

Released: May 5, 2015

Label: Mello Music Group

Singles: “That’s Love”

Features: Maimouna Youssef, Nick Hakim, Gary Clark, Jr., Tranqill

15. Tyler, the Creator – Cherry Bomb 

Released: April 13, 2015

Label: Columbia

Singles: “Deathcamp”, “Fucking Young / Perfect”

Features: Schoolboy Q, Charlie Wilson, Kali Uchis, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Pharrell Williams and Austin Feinstein

14. MED, Blu & Madlib – Bad Neighbor

Released: October 30, 2015

Label: Bang Ya Head

Singles: N/A

Features: MF Doom, Aloe Blacc, Mayer Hawthorne, Jimetta Rose, Dâm-Funk, and Oh No

13. The Game – The Documentary 2

Released: October 9, 2015

Label: Blood Money Entertainment, eOne Music

Singles: “100”

Features: Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Kanye West and Future

12. Jay Rock – 90059

Released: September 11, 2015

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment

Singles: “Money Trees Deuce”, “Gumbo”, “90059”

Features: Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Isaiah Rashad, SZA, SiR, Lance Skiiiwalker, Busta Rhymes and Macy Gray

11. Wale – The Album About Nothing

Released: March 31, 2015

Label: Maybach, Allido, Atlantic

Singles: “The Body”, “The Matrimony”

Features: Jerry Seinfeld, J. Cole, Jeremih, Usher and SZA

10. Pusha T – King Push – Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude

Released: December 18, 2015

Label: GOOD, Def Jam

Singles: “Untouchable”, “M.F.T.R”, “Crutches, Crosses, Caskets”

Features: The-Dream, Kanye West, ASAP Rocky, Ab-Liva, Beanie Sigel, Kehlani and Jill Scott


Released: May 26, 2015

Label: ASAP Worldwide, Polo Grounds, RCA

Singles: “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2 (LPFJ2)”, “Everyday”, “LSD”

Features: Bones, Joe Fox, Future, Schoolboy Q, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Juicy J, UGK, Rod Stewart, Mos Def, A$AP Yams, Miguel, Mark Ronson, Acyde, M.I.A.

8. Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside

Released: March 23, 2015

Label: Tan Cressida, Columbia

Singles: “Grief”

Features: Dash, Wiki, Na-Kel and Vince Staples

7. Young Thug – Barter 6

Released: April 17, 2015

Label: 300, Atlantic

Singles: “Check”

Features: Birdman, T.I., Boosie Badazz, Young Dolph, Yak Gotti, Lil Duke, Moussa Assuom and Jacquees

6. Travis Scott – Rodeo 

Released: September 4, 2015

Label: Grand Hustle, Epic

Singles: “3500”, “Antidote”

Features: Quavo, Future, 2 Chainz, Juicy J, Kacy Hill, The Weeknd, Swae Lee, Chief Keef, Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Young Thug, Toro y Moi and Schoolboy Q

5. Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth

Released: January 20, 2015

Label: 1st & 15, Atlantic

Singles: “Deliver”

Features: Billy Blue, Buk of Psychodrama, Trouble, Trae tha Truth, Fam-Lay, Glasses Malone, Guy Sebastian, Troi Irons, Terrace Martin, Nikki Jean, Ab-Soul, Crystal Torres

4. Vince Staples – Summertime ’06

Released: June 30, 2015

Label: ARTium, Blacksmith, Def Jam

Singles: “Señorita”, “Get Paid”, “Norf Norf”

Features: Joey Fatts, Kilo Kish, Jhené Aiko, DJ Dahi, Daley, Snoh Aalegra

3. Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Released: February 13, 2015

Label: OVO Sound, Young Money, Cash Money, Republic

Singles: “Preach”, “Energy”

Features: PartyNextDoor, Travis Scott, and Lil Wayne

2. Future – DS2

Released: July 17, 2015

Label: A1, Freebandz, Epic

Singles: “Fuck Up Some Commas”, “Where Ya At”, “Stick Talk”

Features: Drake

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Released: March 15, 2015

Label: TDE, Aftermath, Interscope

Singles: “I”, “The Blacker the Berry”, “King Kunta”, “Alright”, “These Walls”

Features: Thundercat, George Clinton, Bilal, Anna Wise, Snoop Dogg, James Fauntleroy, Ronald Isley, and Rapsody

Related Posts