Fashionably-Early’s Top 50 Albums of 2015

40. Wale – The Album About Nothing

Wale Album About Nothing

PURCHASE: iTunes || Amazon (CD, MP3)

The internet loves to talk about Wale for all the wrong reasons. In 2015, it felt like the tides began to shift to his music for the first time since he hit the scene, and for good reason. The Album About Nothing had a showing from Jerry Seinfeld on almost every track on the album and fully made Wale‘s Seinfeld-themed mixtapes come full circle on the retail level. With Seinfeld acting almost as a narrator throughout the album, Wale crafts his most personal project to date with tracks like ‘Girls On Drugs’, ‘The Matrimony’, & ‘The White Shoes’ painting vivid pictures about popular topics haunting our generation. The Album About Nothing stands out as Wale‘s best major label studio effort and in the discussion for a very high spot in his lengthy yet overlooked catalog. – malbin

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39. Skyzoo – Music For My Friends

Skyzoo Music For My Friends

PURCHASE: iTunes || Amazon (CD, MP3, Vinyl)

There are a few underground guys I have at the helm, guys who are going to eat well off of music with their own independent grind but also could break into the mainstream at any point because they just do what they do so well. Skyzoo is one of those guys to me, a great embodiment of Brooklyn in the new era emcee. He’s the storytelling son of the great Brooklyn rappers of the past, carrying the torch for great, mindful hip hop music. Sonically, Music For My Friends might be the best piece of work from Skyzoo. From the banging, self-aware “Suicide Doors” to the similarly conscious, but smoother “Civilized Leisure” Skyzoo’s got the pulse of Brooklyn neighborhood while he sits on his stoop with pen and pad in hand documenting what’s going on. Skyzoo isn’t out here creating a sound that no one’s ever heard before but like I aforementioned, he’s a high torchbearer for smart, well made hip hop music. – Trixx

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38. Fat Trel – Georgetown

Fat Trel Georgetown

MMG signee Fat Trel continues to grind out impressive mixtapes, and Georgetown is another one of those. Trel’s grimy and hard delivery over some heavy trap and drill-fueled beats leads to an interesting mix of bangers and deeper cuts. Trel gets a couple features from boss Rick Ross, but otherwise, he mostly carries this project himself. Sometimes this leads to some weak hooks and filler verses, but Trel has shown nothing but improvement in his flows and lyrics over the years. Georgetown is just another step forward in the right direction while we wait on Trel’s retail debut. – Mitch

Standout tracks: I’m Da Type, Somebody Gotta Die, Wzup Wit Me

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37. Young Thug – Slime Season

Young Thug Slime Season

Originating as a collab mixtape between Young Thug and go to producer London on da Track, Slime Season quickly got delayed and turned into a Thug mixtape, the first of a three part series, this one filled with mostly leaked songs. Although most the songs on the tape had been previously leaked, the majority of rap fans that were not avid listeners of Thug had not heard them since they leaked out primarily all at once to total around 60 songs. While Barter 6 is very cohesive and felt like one project, Slime Season was a great sampler of Thug’s different styles and production. Thug goes over hard trap beats on ‘Quarterback (feat. Quavo, Offset & Peewee Longway)’ and ‘Rarri (feat. Yung Ralph)’ with production from Sonny Digital and Southside, respectively, while also floating over dark yet bass-heavy London instrumentals on ‘Power’ and ‘No Way.’ ‘Best Friend’ is generating buzz as Thug’s latest single with an industrially melodic instrumental and signaturely weird vocals.

Other stand outs, such as ‘Take Kare (feat. Lil Wayne),’ ‘Stunna,’ ‘Calling Your Name,’ ‘Again (feat. Gucci Mane),’ ‘Wood Would,’ and ‘Wanna Be Me,’ all are wildly different, showing Thug’s versatility. Slime Season started off Thug season and represented it to the fullest, not without delays and disappointments but ultimately satisfying and incredibly versatile. – Tommy

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36. Trae Tha Truth – Tha Truth

Trae The Truth

PURCHASE: iTunes || Amazon (CD, MP3)

Houston legend Trae tha Truth returned with his first retail project in over four years in July and came back with a bang. Trae is no longer working with the Screwed Up Click gang or rapping over the same beats that he used to, but instead adapting to the times and doing a great job at it. Trae grabs a ton of current guests on Tha Truth, from the likes of Future & Boosie Badazz to Problem & Nipsey Hussle. As usual, Trae brings his trademark deep voice and a variety of slow, chilled out flows. He’s still got it. – Mitch

Standout tracks: Tricken Every Car I get, I Don’t Give a Fuck, Trying to Figure it Out


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