Looking back at albums and mixtapes that have shaped a lot of these artists careers it is crazy to think that they’ve already come out five years prior. From Kendrick Lamar’s transcending DAMN. and 21 Savage’s debut on ISSA Album, we’ve seen these artists take the forefront and solidify a new age of hip-hop.
Check out 10 of the albums and mixtapes that turn five in 2022.
'DAMN.' is Kendrick Lamar's fourth studio album and was released on April 14, 2017. The album ignited discussions over police brutality and systemic racism through several of the songs' lyrics and was widely praised by critics. The project won "Best Rap Album" at the 2017 Grammy Awards and was nominated for "Album Of The Year." Kendrick also took home three Grammys for "HUMBLE." in the categories "Best Rap Performance," "Best Rap Song," and "Best Music Video" and was nominated for "Best Record Of The Year." The Rihanna assisted track "Loyalty" gained a Grammy win for "Best Rap/Sung Performance." But, the accolades didn't stop there. Kendrick received the honor of winning a Pulitzer Prize for the album making him the first hip-hop artist to do so. Lamar’s win was seen as a deserved recognition of his talent and the overdue acknowledgment of hip-hop’s contributions to American culture.
'4:44' is Jay-Z's 13th studio album and was released on June 30, 2017. The album showcases Jay's vulnerability in terms of his infidelity, his life as a father, and his ode to keeping his family together. The 10-track project debuted at No.1 on the Billboard's 200 chart making it Jay's 13th No. 1 album. The album has a feature from Beyoncé in "Family Feud," Frank Ocean in "Caught Their Eyes," Damian Marley in "Bam" and spoken word from his mother Gloria Carter in "Smile." 4:44 was nominated for eight Grammys in 2017.
'More Life' is a mixtape from Drake that was released on March 18, 2017. The mixtape includes songs such as "Passionfruit," "Fake Love," and "Free Smoke." Drake taps in several artists on this project including Jorja Smith, Young Thug, Quavo, Travis Scott, and more. The mixtape showcases Drake's diversity in genres in this project by having songs in hip-hop, R&B, and afro beats. Although it is a mixtape, it was viewed by fans and critics as one of the best albums of 2017.
'Culture' is the hip-hop trio Migos' second studio album and was released on January 27, 2017. The album put the Migos at the literal top claiming the No. 1 spot on the US Billboards 200 chart and US R&B Hip Hop Albums chart. The album was nominated for "Best Rap Album" at the 2017 Grammy awards along with their hit "Bad And Boujee" for "Best Rap Performance."
'ISSA Album' is the 21 Savage's debut album and was released on July 7, 2017. 'ISSA Album' houses 21's lead single "Bank Account" which was received well by critics and fans. The project debuted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200. For the album, 21 taps in the hitmaker producer Metro Boomin who he previously worked with for his 2016 EP 'Savage Mode.'
'HNDRXX' is the sixth studio album by Future and was released on February 24, 2017. The album followed his fifth studio album 'Future' by one week (Feb. 17) making the rapper the first artist to release two Billboard 200 chart-topping albums in consecutive weeks. 'HNDRXX' featured guest appearances from The Weeknd, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and Chris Brown. The album was certified gold by the RIAA.
21 Savage and Offset collaborated with hitmaker producer Metro Boomin for the album 'Without Warning' which was released on October 31, 2017. The 10-track project features hits "Rap Saved Me," "Ghostface Killers," and "Ric Flair Drip." The album has guest appearances from Travis Scott and Quavo on "Ghostface Killers" and "Rap Saved Me" respectively. 'Without Warning' peaked at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200.
Future and Young Thug teamed up for their joint commercial mixtape 'Super Slimey' which was released on October 20, 2017. The offering only has one solo guest appearance which is by Offset on the song "Patek Water." The mixtape debuted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200.
'Flower Boy' is the fourth studio album by Tyler, The Creator and was released on July 21, 2017. Tyler serves as the only producer on the album with guest appearances from Lil Wayne, Frank Ocean, A$AP Rocky, and more. The album debuted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200 and features singles "Who Dat Boy," "911," "Boredom," "See You Again" and "I Ain't Got Time." The album was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2018 Grammy Awards.
'Beautiful Thugger Girls' is the fifth commercial mixtape by Young Thug which was released on June 16, 2017. The mixtape features guest appearances by Future, Quavo, Lil Durk, and more. The mixtape was successful amongst the masses thanks to Young Thug's diversity in experimenting with different genres throughout the project. You can hear R&B, country, and dancehall themes on what the rapper proclaims to be his "singing album." The project debuted at No. 8 on the US Billboard 200 and No. 4 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.