Mixtape Monday features a retrospective of projects from R.A.P. Ferreira, Navy Blue, Quelle Chris, Namir Blade, and more for the best hip-hop of 2020.

The year-end roundup features just twenty albums of the best hip-hop of 2020. I made it my mission to highlight the best music I could find this year. These are the best of the best. Selected from an elite crop of rising and established artists, producers, and selectors, this year’s best hip-hop of 2020 includes R.A.P. Ferreira, Navy Blue, Quelle Chris x Chris Keys, and Namir Blade.

Other artists on this year’s best hip-hop of 2020 list include lojii, The Koreatown Oddity, orion sun, Denzel Curry x Kenny Beats, Small Bills, Demae, Ras G, Dirty Art Club, Marlowe, SAULT, and Homeboy Sandman. Nowhere near the sum total of the last twelve months, but all projects that set or raised standards.

Honorable mention goes out to Kianna Camille x AJ Rios and (Liv).e.

They didn’t make the final cut because I ran out of slots, but both did very dope things that deserve your ear. Let’s go!

lojii – lo&behold

Photo Credit: Artist

lojii owned the year with an evocative collection of melodic beats and rapid-fire bars on the arrival of lo&behold.

lo&behold by lojii

Navy Blue – Àdá Irin

Photo Credit: Artist

Navy Blue followed the buzzworthy 2019 Gangway for Navy EP with his impressive full-length debut Àdá Irin.

Àdá Irin by Navy Blue

R.A.P. Ferreira – Purple Moonlight Pages

Photo Credit: Artist

R.A.P. Ferreira bested 2018’s Budding Ornithologists… with Purple Moonlight Pages produced by The Jefferson Park Boys.

purple moonlight pages by R.A.P. Ferreira

Denzel Curry x Kenny Beats – Unlocked

Photo Credit: Artist

Denzel Curry and Kenny Beats connected for 24 hours this year and the result was the hard-hitting, collaborative album Unlocked.

Stove God Cook$ – Reasonable Drought

Photo Credit: Artist

Syracuse rapper Stove God Cook$ stood above a raft of MCs this year with the Roc Marciano-produced Reasonable Drought.

orion sun – Hold Space For Me

Photo Credit: Artist

orion sun made a statement with the release of her highly-anticipated debut Hold Space For Me, which established her as a rising force.

Hold Space For Me by orion sun

Ras G – Raw Fruit Vol. 5 & 6

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The almighty Ras G made his final earthly transmission with the last installment of the Raw Fruit series titled Raw Fruit Vol. 5 & 6.

Raw Fruit Vol. 5 & 6 by Ras G

Quelle Chris x Chris Keys – Innocent Country 2

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Quelle Chris and Chris Keys team to deliver a rhythmic antidote for anxious times with the release of Innocent Country 2.

Innocent Country 2 by Quelle Chris & Chris Keys

Dirty Art Club – Gardens

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Charlotte’s own Dirty Art Club put in work for Paxico Records with the release of the groove-heavy Gardens album.

Gardens by Dirty Art Club

The Koreatown Oddity – Little Dominiques Nosebleed

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The Koreatown Oddity gathered some of L.A.’s best for the cinematic and sample-forward Little Dominiques Nosebleed.

Little Dominiques Nosebleed by The Koreatown Oddity

Marlowe – Marlowe 2

Photo Credit: Artist

L’Orange and Solemn Brigham returned this year to crack heads with the formidable Marlowe sequel titled Marlowe 2.

Marlowe 2 by Marlowe

Demae – Life Works Out…

best hip-hop of 2020

Photo Credit: Artist

North West London singer and Hawk House alum Demae raised the bar with her Touching Bass debut, Life Works Out…Usually.

Life Works Out… Usually by Demae

Namir Blade – Aphelion’s Traveling Circus

best hip-hop of 2020

Photo Credit: Artist

Nashville spitter Namir Blade celebrated his Mello Music Group debut and quickly made a name for himself with Aphelion’s Traveling Circus.

Aphelion’s Traveling Circus by Namir Blade

Saharas Greenery – Science Of The Formless Self

best hip-hop of 2020

Photo Credit: Artist

Following Left of Return and The Shift, Saharas Greenery resurfaced with the lush, electronic opus Science Of The Formless Self.

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Science Of The Formless Self by Saharas Greenery

SAULT – UNTITLED (Rise)

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UK juggernaut SAULT followed the critically-acclaimed 2019 album 7 and UNTITLED (Black Is) with UNTITLED (Rise).

UNTITLED (Rise) by SAULT

The Twilite Tone – The Clearing

best hip-hop of 2020

Photo Credit: Artist

The Twilite Tone followed the standout single “Do It Properly” with the release of his highly-anticipated album The Clearing.

The Clearing by The Twilite Tone

Homeboy Sandman – Don’t Feed The Monster

best hip-hop of 2020

Photo Credit: Artist

Homeboy Sandman’s Don’t Feed The Monster pairs explosive candor and cadence with ace production from Quelle Chris. A strong shortlist contender for Album of the Year.

Don’t Feed The Monster by Homeboy Sandman

Open Mike Eagle – Anime, Trauma and Divorce

best hip-hop of 2020

Photo Credit: Artist

Open Mike Eagle upped the ante, following Brick Body Kids Still Daydream with the seamlessly crafted Anime, Trauma & Divorce. Another major offering.

Anime, Trauma and Divorce by Open Mike Eagle

Small Bills – Don’t Play It Straight

best hip-hop of 2020

Photo Credit: Artist

E L U C I D and The Lasso made their full-length debut as Small Bills with the release of the dizzying and beautiful album Don’t Play It Straight.

Don’t Play It Straight by Small Bills (E L U C I D & The Lasso)

Pink Siifu x Fly Anakin – FlySiifu’s

best hip-hop of 2020

Photo Credit: Artist

Pink Siifu and Fly Anakin connected on the true future classic FlySiifu’s featuring (Liv).e, Fousheé, and $ILKMONEY.

FlySiifu’s by Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin

Karas Lamb writes and digs for tunes you haven’t heard yet. She wants to listen to your music. Follow her on Twitter @karaslamb.

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