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Fashionably-Early’s Top 50 Albums of 2015

45. Jeremih – Late Nights: The Album

late nights the album official

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Late Nights: The Album was long overdue – like three months overdue – but with no notice Def Jam released the Chicago singer’s third studio album this December. Led by two platinum singles (‘Don’t Tell Em’ 2x), ‘Mih delivers a handful of potential hits including his current radio single ‘Oui’, the infectious ‘Pass Dat’ (which The Weeknd just remixed), and the hazy ‘Impatient’ featuring Ty Dolla Sign. It was quite evident even before the album dropped that the promotion for this album would be terrible, but with some of the hits on this album, this album should have legs to last until at least the summer of 2016. Despite the number of fantastic records on this album, the album as a whole is held down by a handful of demo-like records, along with a disappointing end-product from the Future & Big Sean assisted ‘Royalty’ and the cringe-worthy guest features from Juicy J & Twista on ‘Woosah’ – an otherwise impeccable song. – malbin


44. TUT – Preacher’s Son

preachers son

PURCHASE: iTunes || Amazon (MP3)

Chattanooga emcee TUT first got some buzz as a close friend of TDE-signee Isaiah Rashad, but surpassed Rashad’s Cilvia Demo project with the release of Preacher’s Son in January. TUT has a really gritty delivery for the type of beats he flows over, some of which appear to have a heavy J. Cole influence (he even re-uses a few samples from Cole’s latest record). TUT‘s storytelling throughout the album deals with the struggles of street life despite being the son of a preacher. The fact that TUT carries his first project, a 17-track effort, almost entirely by himself (Angel Mae comes on for a hook), is a testament to both his talent and ambitions. It will be interesting to see where he takes his skills from here. – Mitch

Standout tracks: Corner Stories, Live from Chattnooga, Kids These Days


43. Deacon The Villain – Peace or Power

peace or power

PURCHASE: iTunes || Amazon (MP3)

When was the last time hip hop sounded this real? There’s so much automation in hip hop, or in fact music in general that those trumpets you hear in your favorite pop song are probably just an FL Studio plugin with a couple minor alterations. It’s not that often that such a live and soulful project is created in hip hop. The Cunninlynguist emcee/producer Deacon The Villain succeeded at bringing the music to life on his new album “Peace Or Power”. The Cunninlynguists have had a strong, steady, core fanbase for over a decade now and their niche is written in stone but also written in stone with the group is that Kno is the group’s producer. While Kno’s held that role through the group’s existence, Deacon The Villain, one of the group’s emcees has been honing his production skills as well during the group’s entire career. Deacon’s done a lot of outside production, working with the likes of Masta Ace, PackFM, Celph Titled, Substantial, Tonedeff and more. Deacon’s even produced entire albums with Sheisty Khrist and he produced most of Natti’s solo album but “Peace Or Power” is truly Deacon’s magnum opus.

The production often fuses samples with live instrumentation, such as we see on “What’s A Star” as a sample opens the song and provided the hook but the rest of the song is built on what appears to be live drums, live horns, background vocals and some other live elements. And actually, a sample serving as the hook is rare as Deacon also sings most of the hooks on the album. What can’t this man do? These are talents of Deacon’s that aren’t as well marketed as a member of Cunninlynguists but what the people do know him for is his wizard like wordplay and prowess on the microphone. That too is at a premium on this album, one of the most slept on of the year. – Trixx


42. Boosie Badazz – Touch Down 2 Cause Hell

touchdown-2-cause-hell

PURCHASE: iTunes || Amazon (CD, MP3)

Baton Rouge’s own Lil Boosie returned from prison early in 2014 with the release of his Life After Deathrow mixtape, but he took it a step further in May with the release of Touch Down 2 Cause Hell. Boosie brought back his vicious style over some hard beats from newcomers like London On Da Track, and grabbed current features such as Young Thug & Rich Homie Quan while hooking back up with old homies like Webbie, T.I., & Jeezy. – Mitch

Standout tracks: On That Level, Black Heaven, All I Know


41. Dom Kennedy – By Dom Kennedy

by dom kennedy

PURCHASE: iTunes || Amazon

Dom Kennedy’s discography is one of the most under appreciated among this generation of hip-hop artists. In 2015, Dom added another consistent effort with his short 11 track album By Dom Kennedy. While the album doesn’t reach highs of his last effort Get Home Safely, the album never dips from its stable chilled vibes throughout the course of the record. Records like the ‘On My Hometown/Nobody Else’, ‘Represent (I Like That)’, & ‘What I Tell The Kids’ help bring Dom’s patented sound to his fans, while he showcases signs of growing into fatherhood on ‘Lemonade’ & a successful radio attempt with ‘2 Bad’. While The Yellow Album & Get Home Safely may have been home runs to deep center, By Dom Kennedy was a solid double off the wall. – malbin

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