I think it’s safe to say that this country has been a shitshow as of late. Rumors of espionage plague the White House, health care is being recklessly used as a prop, Muslim bans are being disguised as “travel bans,” news anchors are going at autistic 10 year olds - everyday there’s something new and batshit crazy to stomach. And as our President continues to redefine what it means to have Twitter fingers, I’ve found myself constantly running to music for salvation.

The colorful, increasingly diverse world of this current scene has become a sanctuary of sorts and, thankfully, 2017 has been nothing short of relentless in it’s output. From commercial frontrunners like Drake, looking to apologize for presumed missteps (seriously, does anyone rank VIEWSat the top of his discog?), to a whole slew of lesser known acts forcing their way into the conversation, this has already been a fantastic year for rap and it’s associated acts. 

And with so many noteworthy releases to shuffle through, HotNewHipHop has decided to do the dirty work for our readers and round up the albums we feel best bookend the year thus far. Some projects, such as Bryson Tiller’s highly anticipated sophomore effort, Gucci Mane's fourth album this year, or Lil Yachty’s polarizing debut, dropped too recently for us to consider. Others, such as Mike WiLL Made It’s Ransom 2, are exceptional projects whose exclusion only speaks to the high volume of great content being produced in 2017. And finally, noteworthy mixtapes - if they weren’t for sale - were relegated to a whole different list entirely.  

So, without further delay, here are our top 15 albums from the first half of 2017.