Writer: Ian Romaker
2017 proved to be a year that effectuated change, instilled value and showcased everyone’s TRUE colors. With blends of old versus new, lyricism versus mumble rap and everything else in between, this year provided plenty of highlights.
For the most part, music and entertainment produced quality momentous occasions this year. Jay-Z demonstrated his ability to maintain G.O.A.T. status with incredible bars on his 13th studio album, “4:44.” Nearly along the same tune, Rick Ross put forth one of the strongest albums of the year with, “Rather You Than Me.” Amongst similar company, Eminem attempted to rejuvenate his career with, “Revival” and several televised cyphers. Unfortunately, Eminem fell short of any significant musical output in 2017. The strongest move made this year by Eminem forged a partnership deal between Shady Records and two grimey Buffalo MC’s – Westside Gunn and Conway.
Some other 2017 projects that ranked atop of the “Good” list were arranged by Joey Badass, CyHi the Prince and 2 Chainz. Joey Badass sifted through political happenings, imparted motivational language and fortified pro-black sentiments of expression on “All-AmeriKKKan Bada$$.” Wordsmith, CyHi the Prince let his mighty pen stroke on, “No Dope on Sundays.” Additionally, 2 Chainz represented lyrical progression and a truly unique marketing strategy (Pink Trap House) for “Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.”
Many strived to find stardom, but only a few managed to dutifully elevate themselves in 2017. Regardless, we can’t fault those who made attempts to advance. However, we can illuminate their efforts.
In a hilarious encounter between Complex’s “Everyday Struggle” and the Migos, co-host Joe Budden walked off mid-interview while Nadeska Alexis tried to moderate the ensuing kerfuffle between Migos, Budden and DJ Akademiks.
In a valid attempt to conceal his identity, Kodak Black made his “Breakfast Club” appearance in a ski-mask. The Breakfast Club probed Kodak about various topics and his responses were honest, humorous and rather short-winded.
Future and Young Thug released a collaborative mixtape, “Super Slimey.” The Atlanta duo’s joint output fell just below the likes of previous high-powered hip-hop collaborations, “Watch the Throne” and “What A Time To Be Alive.”
Kanye West’s, “The Life of Pablo” received the first plaque of its kind for reaching certified platinum status entirely through streaming services.
Completely and honestly, 2017 rooted out the pretenders from the contenders. Clearly, “Jay-Z” continues to situate himself as a supreme force amongst hip-hop connoisseurs. His verbose and genuine exchange with Rap Radar’s B-Dot and Elliot Wilson provided metaphorical anecdotes and contextual background into his recent production processes.
Meek Mill’s “Hot 97” interview imparted endless wisdom surrounding the distress and displacement caused by incarceration and his struggles with reality. Unfortunately, biased Philadelphia Judge Brinkley presided over his most recent legal proceedings which shipped him off to a penitentiary for another two to four years.
Top Dawg Entertainment’s First Lady, SZA dropped her, “CTRL” debut and hits like “Love Galore (ft. Travis Scott)” and “The Weekend” propelled her amongst the elite ranks of top 2017 artists like Cardi B, Solange and Rapsody.
Future released two albums within the same week as each garnered him respective number one status despite consecutive releases.
P Frank Williams imparted astounding insight regarding the details of his A&E miniseries, “Who Killed Tupac?”
N.E.R.D. magically reunited to deliver their high powered album, “No_One Ever Really Dies.”
Jordan Peele (Key & Peele) produced and directed a cult-classic, “Get Out” with a $4.5 million budget. The horror movie encompasses an alternate reality that carries monumental political connotations. “Get Out” went on to amass over $250 million and opened the window of opportunity for emerging superstar, Daniel Kaluuya.
The strongest collaborative mixtapes of 2017 were Future/Young Thug’s “Super Slimey” Metro Boomin/Offset/21 Savage’s “Without Warning” and Travis Scott/Quavo’s “Huncho Jack.”
Prominent hip-hop individuals that we lost in 2017 were Sean Price, Combat Jack, Lee “Q” O’Denat and Prodigy.