9) Artifex Pereo - Antidotes & Ailments (Self-Released, 7/23)
8) Childish Gambino - Camp (Glassnote Records, 11/15)
Donald Glover's first full length release proved to be one of the most impressive hip-hop efforts of the year. Gambino's distinct style is serious yet amusing, often confronting serious social issues facing our nation. Gambino shares his interesting perspective of one not accepted by white culture for being black, nor accepted by black culture for being too white. Even while seemingly clowning around, he throws interesting observations into his rhymes. Produced by his long time collaborator Ludwig Goransson, the record sounds big and has an identity distinctly its own. Gambino humorously addresses topics both of little and great significance with convincing style and confidence.
7) Transit - Listen & Forgive (Rise Records, 10/4)
6) Aficionado - Aficionado (No Sleep Records, 7/26)
5) Saves the Day - Daybreak (Razor & Tie, 9/13)