Variety’s music writers have unveiled their annual list of the best albums of the year featuring today’s top Hip Hop and R&B artists on Monday.
Run the Jewels’ duo Killer Mike and El-P topped one writer’s list for their ferocious attack on politics and the justice system on their rap-rock album, RTJ4.
Donald Glover, known as his music alter-ego Childish Gambino, landed at #3 on one writer’s list for his fourth album, 3.15.20, which was posted online that same date as the album’s title, removed within 12 hours and officially released a week later.
3.15.20 features Ariana Grande, 21 Savage and a blend of soulful ballads, rock styles, and Caribbean rhythms on 12 irresistible tracks.
Variety called it “one of the most dynamic albums of the year, showing Glover’s immense maturation as a singer and a songwriter.”
Right behind him at #4 is The Weeknd and his Grammy-less nominated album, After Hours, which topped the all-genre Billboard 200 Albums chart. With his angelic voice, the Toronto native has become one of the music industry’s leading alternative R&B artists, singing over danceable hard beats and ballads contrasted with the album’s smooth flow.
At #9 out of 10 on another writer’s list is Roc Nation rapper Jay Electronica for his long-awaited debut album, A Written Testimony, which mostly features tracks with label CEO Jay-Z.
Meanwhile, sibling duo Chloe x Halle made it on a separate list for their Grammy-nominated album, Ungodly Hour, at #9. Their sophomore album captured the girls’ growth and vocal progression since signing with Beyoncé‘s Parkwood Entertainment label in 2015.
Ungodly Hour features love ballads and tracks about self-worth and relationships, such as Chloe x Halle’s Grammy-nominated single, “Do It.”