In 2015, Vince Staples rubbed a few people the wrong way for comments pertaining to how popular hip hop is currently, compared to the 90s. At the time, he said it was the biggest it’s ever been. Fast forward to 2017, and it’s statistically proven to be the most consumed genre in America. It's a fruitful genre, and year, at that.

Jay-Z released his long-awaited thirteenth studio album that could be ranked among his best pieces of work to date. Kendrick Lamar reverted back to basics with DAMN. Young Thug went country. Future brought out Super Fut’ and Future Hendrix within a week of each other. Migos’ whole gahdamn year has been a testament as to why their sophomore album is titled Culture.

Although we’ve seen the genre embroiled in a debate of ‘then’ vs ‘now’ heavily this past year, the genre has also gone back to its roots in a way, because of today’s tense political climate. Hip hop hasn’t taken such a strong stance on politics since George W. Bush was in office. The way in which rappers delivered their stories this year has never been as transparently reflective of the society in which many of them have grown up in, further proving the toxicity of Trump’s America.

Not everything going on in hip-hop is that serious in nature, though. This year, a new generation of rappers officially ushered themselves in. Lil Uzi Vert finally dropped off Luv is Rage 2 after much anticipation. Brockhampton hit us on the head with two funky installments of their Saturation series. Playboi Carti made an official mark on the game with his self-titled debut, while dudes like Lil Pump and Smokepurpp brought their ignorance to new heights with their respective debut albums.

Typically, we’d compile two separate lists, one for “albums” and one for “mixtapes.” However, the lines between mixtapes, albums and playlists (if you’re Drake) have become so very blurred due to streaming services and the way fans consume their music, we’ve opted to aggregrate them together. For 2017’s year-end list, we’ve composed a list that sees no disparity between a commercially-released mixtape, a commercially-released album, playlist, or otherwise. Whatever type of umbrella the project may fall under, here are our 30 Hottest Albums of 2017.

- Aron

Honorable Mentions

40. Juicy JHighly Intoxicated

39. Khalid - American Teen

38. Ace Hood - The Process

37. Rapsody - Laila's Wisdom

36. Rick Ross - Rather You Than Me

35. Daniel Caesar - Freudian

34. DVSN - The Morning After

33. Goldlink - At What Cost

32. J.I.D. - The Never Story

31. Majid Jordan - The Space Between