The Best Hip-Hop Albums Of 2024 So Far

My colleague Derrick Rossignol is right; writing about beef and hate for the past six months has been exhausting. We here at Uproxx would much rather focus on the positives — especially when it comes to hip-hop, which has been about as innovative and productive as it has ever beeen in 2024.

Whatever coast you claim, whichever generation you consider yourself part of, no matter why you listen to hip-hop in the first place — to party, to think, to hype yourself up, or to escape into a gangster fantasy where you’re the toughest person in your town — there has been an embarrassment of riches with respect to the sheer volume of hip-hop releases this year, and its quality.

So, yes, the bloodsport was enjoyable while it lasted (for some of us), but when the dust has settled, you still need something to listen to. Whether you’re catching up, revisiting favorites you forgot about in the chaos, or just setting up your summer listening playlist, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best hip-hop albums of 2024 so far, presented in alphabetical order and including the entries from the best albums of 2024 so far list.

21 Savage — American Dream

21 Savage American Dream
Slaughter Gang/Epic

21 Savage’s first solo album in over three years arrived at the top of the year to end a brief run of collaborative albums that included Savage Mode II with Metro Boomin and Her Loss with Drake. American Dream, his third solo album, presents all the sides of 21 Savage that we’ve come to love over the years. His menacing demeanor lives on tracks like “Redrum” and “Dangerous” and his charm is captured on “Prove It” and “Should’ve Wore A Bonnet” while honesty prevails with “Just Like Me” and “Dark Days.” 21 Savage’s long-awaited solo return checks all the expected boxes and elevates the rapper to a higher status, making an American Dream turn global and reach his birthplace of London where he performed for the first time at the end of 2023. — Wongo Okon

Anycia — Princess Pop That


Following a 2023 year that put her on the map, Atlanta rapper Anycia stepped in 2024 with a point to prove. In a matter of four months, it was seen and received thanks to her debut album Princess Pop That. She excels in a lane occupied by few where a cool and calm demeanor delivers the intended messages with a crispness that sends a chill down the spine. Anycia means every word she says as records like “Type Beat,” “Bad Weather,” and “Splash Brothers” prove. That’s Pop That side of Anycia, the Princess that is Anycia uses the Cash Cobain-assisted “That’s Hard” and the splashy “Squigi” to get her point across. What Princess Pop That gives you is duality and evidence that Anycia has plenty to show in the coming years of her career. — W.O

Benny The Butcher — Everybody Can’t Go

benny the butcher everybody can't go
Benny The Butcher

Benny The Butcher’s Def Jam debut didn’t usher a change in style or approach for the Buffalo rapper. If anything, his new home allowed him to more comfortably do what we’ve seen him excel at for much of the last decade. On Everybody Can’t Go, Benny puts up a fine display of rapping alongside Lil Wayne on the haunting “Big Dog” all to deliver a riveting and championing tale of a double life on “One Foot In” with Stove God Cooks. “Pillow Talk & Slander” with Jadakiss and Babyface Ray unites different generations of rap for a moment of introspection and celebration. Everybody Can’t Go opens a new era for Benny and promises many more bright moments to accompany the ones he put forth years prior. — W.O.

Bossman Dlow — Mr Beat The Road

bossman dlow mr beat the road
Bossman Dlow

Few rappers in 2024 have been as fun to listen to as Florida rapper Bossman Dlow rapper is. His Mr Beat The Road project is a 17-track compilation of exaggerated money spreads, pretentious claims about his ability to make money, entertaining adlibs, and catchy bars and punchlines. For Bossman Dlow, it all started with the success of “Get In With Me,” a convincing how-to on bossing up, increasing your cash flow, and living like a star. The standout single doesn’t even scratch the surface of Mr Beat The Road though. “Boss Talk” puts his title as head honcho on full display while “Mr Pot Scraper” paints him as a hustler like no other. “Come Here” with Sexyy Red is flirtatious fun and “Lil Bastard” with Rob49 sounds the alarm on Bossman Dlow’s inescapable arrival. Mr Beat The Road is a welcome party worth attending and remembering. — W.O.

Buddy — Don’t Forget To Breathe

buddy don't forget to breathe

In an era of so many rappers employing therapy and its associated lingo as a stylistic shortcut to being truly vulnerable, honest, and confessional on records, Buddy’s Don’t Forget To Breathe is, fittingly, a breath of fresh air. The Compton rapper not only takes the time to get to know himself after his decade or so in the game — letting listeners in on the process — but displays his expansive taste with a lush musical palette incorporating groovy R&B instrumentation over head-nodding hip-hop rhythms. “Buddy A Fool” is a self-aware self send-up, “Got Me Started” is a confident slick talk session, and “You 2 Thank” bridges the gap between post-G-funk and diasporic excellence. — Aaron Williams

Chief Keef — Almighty So 2

Chief Keef

There’s no denying Chief Keef’s impact on modern-day hip-hop. All of what exists today, for better or for worse, would be different or absent without Chief Keef. At 28 years old, he’s a rap veteran when many at that age are just a few years into their careers, and many who checked into the game at 17 years old, like Keef did, fizzled out shortly after they could legally drink. So Keef’s continued relevance for more than a decade is impressive, as is his fifth album, Almighty So 2. Originally announced back in 2019, the album’s arrival five years later is a great gift to fans. What makes it better are splashy features from Tierra Whack, Sexyy Red, Quavo, and others, as well as sharp bass-rattling production supplied by Keef himself. — W.O.

Flo Milli — Fine Ho, Stay

flo milli fine ho stay
Flo Milli

If Ho, Why Is You Here? was Flo Milli’s fun-loving introduction to the rap biz, and You Still Here, Ho? was her concentrated effort to prove she could consistently make hits, Fine Ho, Stay is a self-possessed declaration of her own permanence as a fixture in the limelight. It’s also a rock-solid display of her rhyme prowess; while she does her fair share of pop-friendly crooning on “Can’t Stay Mad,” songs like “Clap Sum” and “Neva” can easily be argued as the result of her time spent on the road with some of rap’s most practiced contemporary spitters like Benny The Butcher and Gunna. — A.W.

Fredo Bang — Yes, I’m Sad

fredo bang yes i'm sad
Fredo Bang

It’s been three years since Baton Rouge rapper Fredo Bang emerged with his breakout hit “Top,” which was later boosted by a remix from Lil Durk. He stands tall on his own through honesty and vulnerability, as depicted on his Yes, I’m Sad project. The takeaway from it is that all that glitters ain’t gold, a message Fredo puts forth successfully through songs like “Come Thru” and the project’s sincere title. Still, the gold is very much present in Fredo’s world on “Ring Ring” with Kevin Gates and “Sideways” with NLE Choppa. Fredo’s Yes, I’m Sad acknowledges the hardships in his life, but also pushes himself to do something about and improve the circumstances, a mindset that brings more value to the project. — W.O.

Future and Metro Boomin — We Don’t Trust You and We Still Don’t Trust You

future x metro boomin we don't trust you
Future X Metro Boomin

In 2017, Future did something no other artist had ever done before: He released Future (a trap-heavy, bass-knocking rap album) and Hndrxx (a softer, more confessional, and R&B-inspired effort) in consecutive weeks, becoming the first artist to release a pair of Billboard 200 chart-topping albums in the same week. Fast-forward seven years, and Future and Metro Boomin’s We Don’t Trust You and We Still Don’t Trust You are modeled the same way, respectively. Future’s ability to channel both sides of his artistry and deliver the very best of them multiple times in his career is a feat accomplished by few and dreamed of by many. But for now, we can remember these albums as two of music’s best releases in 2024 and one being the catalyst for hip-hop’s biggest war in decades. — W.O.

GloRilla — Ehhthang Ehhthang

glorilla ehhthang ehhthang

Girls just wanna have fun. For all the hand-wringing about the lack of substance in hip-hop these days (from people who happily did their Stanky Leg and bumped “Tipsy” back in the day), rap music has always been about turning up at parties. Rappers like GloRilla remember this — or, at least, keep the spirit of the function alive in their music — making catchy hits that won’t elicit boos for the DJ who plays them. Ehhthang Ehhthang might be light on deep topics and cultural criticism, but while it runs on club anthems like “Yeah Glo!” and “Wanna Be,” it does have some deceptively heartfelt moments, as well. Even its title is a clever callback to so-called substantive rap, adding a country twist to the title of Lauryn Hill’s 1999 smash hit. — A.W.

Gunna — One Of Wun


The current era of Gunna’s career is one nobody could have predicted five years ago. Once-guaranteed collaborations with Young Thug, Future, Lil Baby, and others are now a thing of yesterday. Today, as Gunna’s fifth album One Of Wun displays, the Atlanta rapper makes the most of his inner circle as the variety and availability of past resources have run dry. One Of Wun is as flashy, slick, and smooth as we’ve known Gunna to be. It’s confirmation that he can present that persona when he pleases. “On One Tonight” is one of Gunna’s best outputs in years while “Hakuna Matata” glides with ease and hits corners with impressive finesse. “Today I Did Good” is a surprisingly bright track that showcases the change in Gunna’s life. One Of Wun escapes the dark of yesterday and runs toward the light at the end of the tunnel, which remains bright for Gunna. — W.O.

J. Cole — Might Delete Later

j cole might delete later
J. Cole

Nearly a decade after his fellow hip-hop heavyweights, aka Drake and Kendrick Lamar, did it, J. Cole delivered a surprise album of his own with Might Delete Later. Cole surprised fans with the project on the weekend of his annual Dreamville Festival and weeks after Kendrick challenged both Cole and Drake for rap’s crown on his “Like That” verse. The strong output from Cole failed to truly shine thanks his lukewarm Kendrick Lamar diss in “7 Minute Drill,” its eventual removal from streaming services, and Cole’s apology for even responding in the first place. Nonetheless, Might Delete Later is still a strong body of work. “Crocodile Tearz” is an impressive display of Cole on the offensive, and “HYB” with Bas and Central Cee presents Cole in a fun and laid-back state worth bringing out more often than he does. Long story short, Might Delete Later is worth keeping in rotation for a while. — W.O.

Kenny Mason — 9

kenny mason 9
Kenny Mason

In the four years since Kenny Mason dropped his debut album, Angelic Hoodrat, he’s seen a fairly prodigious jump in his public profile, landing feature placement on tracks from the likes of J. Cole and JID, touring the nation with Danny Brown and Jpegmafia, and garnering widespread acclaim for his unique blend of grunge, shoegaze, and punk rap. On 9, he expands on that genre gumbo, incorporating features from such wide-ranging sources as trap upstart Babydrill and chillwave pioneer Toro Y Moi. More mellow than alt-rap screamers like Trippie Redd and XXXtentacion, but more introspective than Atlanta peers like Gunna and Young Nudy, Kenny’s in a class of his own, bridging gaps between what works and what’s possible. — A.W.

Kyle — Smyle Again

kyle smyle again

The recent resurgence of jungle and drum & bass is making me feel young again, and a large part of the reason for that renaissance is Southern California native Kyle. Last year, his album It’s Not So Bad evoked the sounds of the Y2K British rave scene with a palette of 2-step and garage, and Smyle Again (named after his breakout 2015 mixtape Smyle) continued to mine that fertile era from a more hardcore angle. Like its predecessor, it borrows the skittering forceful riddims of 2000s UK EDM and pairs them with the sunny, beach-bred cheeriness Kyle is known for. The result is one of the year’s more innovative projects. — A.W.

LaRussell & Hit-Boy — Rent Due

larussell hit-boy rent due

How exactly does one settle on just one LaRussell project when he’s so prone to releasing multiple in a year’s span? It certainly helps when he brings one of the West Coast’s premiere beatmakers, Hit-Boy, along for the ride. Although Rent Due is only seven songs and 18 minutes long, both collaborators bring their A-games, going in like… well… the rent’s due. What truly impresses is the versatility of the album, from the airy uplift of “Lead Me To The Water” to the boisterous street stomp on “Another One.” The two California natives have unsurprisingly great chemistry and if HB wants to drop another four projects with LaRussell, I don’t think anyone will complain. — A.W.

MIKE — Pinball

mike tony seltzer pinball

MIKE’s drowsy lyrical ruminations have always defied easy categorization, even as they’ve illustrated his broad range of cultural and stylistic influences. In the past, this has often resulted in dense, borderline opaque listens that can get mired in murky soul samples and abstract rhymes. Pinball is a different story, though. Like the arcade games it’s named after, Tony Seltzer’s beats on Pinball instead gives MIKE a lively, bouncy background for his cerebral lyrics, bringing more energy out of him and making it sound like he’s actually having a lot of fun. It’s a needed reminder that thoughtful hip-hop needn’t be boring or super serious to get its point across. — A.W.

Rapsody — Please Don’t Cry

rapsody please don't cry album cover
We Each Other/Jamia Records

In my interview with Rapsody about her new album, Please Don’t Cry, I called it her best and THEE best hip-hop album of the year so far. I may end up revising that opinion by December, but the bar is going to be really hard to clear. Combining lessons she’s learned from therapy, endless reiteration of ideas, and some of her production teams’ finest work to date, Rapsody has crafted a masterclass in vulnerability, honesty, and lyrical dexterity. “Stand Tall,” “Diary Of A Mad B*tch,” “A Ballad For Homegirls,” and “Forget Me Not” are the sorts of honest, “real” rap writing that fans have been begging for for years. — A.W.

Schoolboy Q — Blue Lips

schoolboy q blue lips
Schoolboy Q

At this point, few of us, if any, should be complaining about the long wait between Top Dawg Entertainment projects. The last few years have brought projects such as Ab-Soul’s Herbert, Isaiah Rashad’s The House Is Burning, and of course, SZA’s SOS after five-year gaps — an approach that seems to be the recipe for producing some of those artists’ most heartfelt, innovative works to date. Schoolboy Q turns out to be no exception. His latest also arrives five years after its predecessor, Crash Talk, bringing with it the very soul of Los Angeles’ experimental jazz history. An eccentric compilation that never stays in one vibe too long, Blue Lips presents a portrait of a matured, sophisticated gangster. — A.W.

Skilla Baby — The Coldest

Skilla Baby

Detroit rapper Skilla Baby, fresh off a 12-month run that boosted his stock thanks to songs like “Mama” and “Bae,” showed what he’s really made of on The Coldest. Often mislabeled as a rapper with song’s solely for the ladies, Skilla Baby embraces the title with the flirty and infatuated “Whole Package” with Flo Milli as well as “Wifey” alongside NoCap. However, Skilla Baby is more than just a ladies’ man. He’s a certified hustler on the grim “Mike Jack” and he’s successful one who can brag about his wins on “Richie.” Skilla Baby has the type of duality that one should admire and The Coldest puts it all on full display. — W.O.

Tierra Whack — World Wide Whack

tierra whack world wide whack
Tierra Whack

World Wide Whack is perhaps one of the most anticipated hip-hop debuts of the last five years, and it doesn’t disappoint. Tierra Whack had the world in the palm of her hand after her EP Whack World introduced the public to the colorful inner universe of the Philadelphia creative, but then reality stepped in. Tierra’s experiences since then inspired World Wide Whack, which despite its whimsical stylings contains some of her most heartrending music yet. “Two Night” and “27 Club” deliver a one-two punch of empathetic pleas for a more measured reception for the sort of creative personalities that have suddenly become a quite endangered species. — A.W.

Vince Staples — Dark Times

Vince Staples

Hometown bias aside, I have long believed that Long Beach rapper Vince Staples has been one of rap’s most quietly insightful, innovative voices since 2014, when I first heard him on Common’s Nobody Smiling single “Kingdom.” Since then, his confidence in his artistic vision has only grown, while his already prodigious talents sharpened in his efforts to bring that vision to grungy, cinematic life. Dark Times is the culmination of that growth, presenting a version of Vince that pairs his photographic observations of life at the bottom of the American pyramid with a collection of instrumentals destined to shatter the last (stupid) arguments against him — you can’t say he picks bad beats now. — A.W.