Dark Light

The 2010s were a beautiful time for hip hop. Coming out the tumultuous 2000s, which saw the rise and (almost) fall of the music industry, hip hop was positioned to be the leading music genre across the globe.

The decade spawned a new generation of leading rappers, from Kendrick Lamar to Future to Drake, while giving space for veterans like Jay-Z, Nas, Common, Lil Wayne and Royce da 5’9″ to create some of their best work to date.

From DS2 to To Pimp a Butterfly, Daytona to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, we rank the top 50 best hip hop albums of the 2010s.

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Honourable mentions

Cardi B – Invasion of Privacy

Released: April 6, 2018

Label: Atlantic

Singles: “Bodak Yellow”, “Bartier Cardi”, “Be Careful”, “I Like It”, “Ring”

2 Chainz – Pretty Girls Like Trap Music

Released: June 16, 2017

Label: Def Jam

Singles: “Good Drank”, “It’s a Vibe”, “4 AM”

Pusha T – My Name Is My Name

Released: October 7, 2013

Label: GOOD, Def Jam

Singles: “Pain”, “Numbers on the Boards”, “Sweet Serenade”, “Let Me Love You”, “Nosetalgia”

Lupe Fiasco – Drogas Wave

Released: September 21, 2018

Label: 1st & 15, Thirty Tigers, The Orchard

Singles: N/A

50. YG – My Krazy Life

Released: March 18, 2014

Label: CTE, Pushaz Ink, Def Jam

Singles: “My Nigga”, “Left, Right”, “Who Do You Love?”, “Do It to Ya”

49. Cormega – Mega Philosophy

Released: July 22, 2014

Label: Slimstyle Records

Singles: “Industry”

48. Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap

Released: February 16, 2018

Label: All Money In No Money Out, Atlantic

Singles: “Rap Niggas”, “Last Time That I Checc’d”

47. PRhyme – PRhyme

Released: December 9, 2014

Label: PRhyme, INgrooves

Singles: “Courtesy”

46. Benny the Butcher – Tana Talk 3

Released: November 23, 2018

Label: Griselda, Black Soprano Family

Singles: “Joe Pesci 38”, “Broken Bottles”

45. Skyzoo – Music for My Friends

Released: June 23, 2015

Label: First Generation Rich, Empire

Singles: “Luxury”

44. Migos – Culture

Released: January 27, 2017

Label: Quality Control, YRN, 300

Singles: “Bad and Boujee”, “T-Shirt”, “Slippery”

43. Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo

Released: January 28, 2014

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment

Singles: N/A

42. Prodigy & The Alchemist – Albert Einstein

Released: June 11, 2013

Label: Infamous Records

Singles: “Give ‘Em Hell”, “Dough Pildin'”, “Y.N.T.”, “IMDKV”

41. Blu & Exile – Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them

Released: September 4, 2012

Label: Dirty Science, Fat Beats

Singles: N/A

40. Danny Brown – Old

Released: October 8, 2013

Label: Fool’s Gold, Goliath

Singles: “Dip”, “25 Bucks”, “Smokin & Drinkin”

39. J. Cole – 2014 Forest Hills Drive

Released: December 9, 2014

Label: ByStorm, Columbia, Dreamville, Roc Nation

Singles: “Apparently”, “Wet Dreamz”, “No Role Modelz”, “Love Yourz”

38. Travis Scott – Astroworld

Released: August 3, 2018

Label: Cactus Jack, Grand Hustle, Epic

Singles: “Butterfly Effect”, “Sicko Mode”, “Yosemite”, “Wake Up”

37. Earl Sweatshirt – Some Rap Songs

Released: November 30, 2018

Label: Tan Cressida, Columbia

Singles: “Nowhere2go”, “The Mint”

36. Common – The Dreamer/The Believer

Released: December 19, 2011

Label: Think Common, Warner Bros.

Singles: “Ghetto Dreams”, “Blue Sky”, “Sweet”, “Celebrate”, “Raw (How You Like It)”

35. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

Released: June 23, 2017

Label: Blacksmith, Def Jam

Singles: “BagBak”, “Big Fish”, “Rain Come Down”

34. Mac Miller – Swimming

Released: August 3, 2018

Label: Warner Bros.

Singles: “Small Worlds”, “Self Care”, “What’s the Use?”

33. A$AP Rocky – AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP

Released: May 26, 2015

Label: ASAP Worldwide, Polo Grounds, RCA

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

32. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music

Released: May 15, 2012

Label: Williams Street

Singles: “Big Beast”, “Untitled”, “Don’t Die”, “Reagan”

31. Drake – Take Care

Released: November 15, 2011

Label: Young Money, Cash Money, Universal Republic

Singles: “Marvins Room”, “Headlines”, “Make Me Proud”, “The Motto”, “Take Care”, “HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)”, “Crew Love”

30. Nas – Life Is Good

Released: July 13, 2012

Label: Def Jam

Singles: “Nasty”, “The Don”, “Daughters”, “Cherry Wine”

29. Rick Ross – Teflon Don

Released: July 20, 2010

Label: Maybach Music, Slip-n-Slide, Def Jam

Singles: “Super High”, “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)”, “Aston Martin Music”

28. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Bandana

Released: June 28, 2019

Label: ESGN, Keep Cool, Madlib Invazion, RCA

Singles: “Flat Tummy Tea”, “Crime Pays”, “Giannis”

27. Noname – Room 25

Released: September 14, 2018

Label: N/A

Singles: N/A

26. Westside Gunn – Flygod

Released: March 11, 2016

Label: Griselda

Singles: N/A

25. Drake – Nothing Was the Same

Released: September 24, 2013

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

Singles: “Started from the Bottom”, “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, “All Me”, “Pound Cake”, “The Language”, “Too Much”, “Worst Behavior”

24. Big K.R.I.T. – Live from the Underground

Released: June 5, 2012

Label: Cinematic, Def Jam

Singles: “Money on the Floor”, “I Got This”, “Yeah Dat’s Me”, “What U Mean”

23. Joey Bada$$ – All-Amerikkkan Badass

Released: April 7, 2017

Label: Pro Era, Cinematic

Singles: “Devastated”, “Land of the Free”, “Temptation”

22. A$AP Rocky – LONG.LIVE.A$AP

Released: January 15, 2013

Label: SAP Worldwide, Polo Grounds, RCA

Singles: “Goldie”, “Fuckin’ Problems”, “Wild for the Night”, “Fashion Killa”

21. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 2

Released: October 24, 2014

Label: Mass Appeal, RBC

Singles: “Blockbuster Night, Pt. 1”, “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”, “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)”

20. Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo & Youth

Released: January 20, 2015

Label: 1st & 15th, Atlantic

Singles: “Deliver”

19. Young Thug – Barter 6

Released: April 17, 2015

Label: 300, Atlantic

Singles: “Check”

18. Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP

Released: July 8, 2016

Label: TDE, Interscope

Singles: “Groovy Tony”, “That Part”, “Overtime”

17. Tyler, the Creator – Flower Boy

Released: July 21, 2017

Label: Columbia

Singles: “Who Dat Boy” / “911”, “Boredom”, “I Ain’t Got Time!”, “See You Again”

16. Future – Hndrxx

Released: February 24, 2017

Label: A1, Freebandz, Epic

Singles: “Selfish”, “Pie”, “Incredible”, “You da Baddest”

15. Westside Gunn – Supreme Blientele

Released: June 22, 2018

Label: Griselda, Empire

Singles: N/A

14. Roc Marciano – Reloaded

Released: November 13, 2012

Label: Decon

Singles: N/A

13. Rapsody – Eve

Released: August 23, 2019

Label: Jamla, Roc Nation

Singles: N/A

12. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne

Released: August 8, 2011

Label: Def Jam, Roc Nation, Roc-A-Fella

Singles: “H•A•M”, “Otis”, “Lift Off”, “Ni**as in Paris”, “Why I Love You”, “Gotta Have It”, “No Church in the Wild”

11. The Roots – Undun

Released: December 2, 2011

Label: Def Jam

Singles: “Make My”

10. Kanye West – Yeezus

Released: June 18, 2013

Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam

Singles: “Black Skinhead”, “Bound 2”

9. Future – DS2

Released: July 17, 2015

Label: A1, Freebandz, Epic

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

8. Jay-Z – 4:44

Released: June 30, 2017

Label: Roc Nation

Singles: “4:44”, “Bam”, “Family Feud”

7. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

Released: November 11, 2016

Label: Epic

Singles: “We the People….”, “Dis Generation”

6. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d city

Released: October 22, 2012

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records

Singles: “The Recipe”, “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, “Backseat Freestyle”, “Poetic Justice”, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”

5. Pusha T – Daytona

Released: May 25, 2018

Label: GOOD, Def Jam

Singles: “If You Know You Know”, “What Would Meek Do?”

4. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly

Released: March 16, 2015

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records Records

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

3. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata

Released: March 18, 2014

Label: Madlib Invazion

Singles: “Thuggin'”, “Shame”, “Deeper”

2. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Released: April 14, 2017 

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment, Interscope Records

Singles: “Humble”, “Loyalty”, “Love”

1. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

Released: November 22, 2010

Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam

Singles: “Power”, “Runaway”, “Monster”, “All of the Lights”

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