My 10 Favorite Music Albums


I was listening to some albums from a few years ago and I got the thought to make a list of my favorite all-time albums.

Tory Lanez just dropped an album
Roy Woods just dropped an EP
Ace Hood just dropped an album
Ro James just dropped an album

A few main things that I considered were:

1. Staying power (how relevant the songs are today)
2. Listening frequency (how regularly I revisit songs from past albums)
3. Completeness of the album (how many songs I liked)

The original list (of 43):

Ace Hood — Starvation
Ace Hood — Starvation 2
Ace Hood — Trust the Process
Ace Hood — Trust the Process 2
Ace Hood — Body Bag V
Ace Hood — Mr. Hood
August Alsina — Downtown: Life Under the Gun
B.o.B — Strange Clouds
Big K.R.I.T. — K.R.I.T. Iz Here
Big Sean — Dark Sky Paradise
Big Sean — I Decided.
Chris Brown — Fan of a Fan
Chris Brown — Royalty
DJ Luke Nasty — Cruise Control
Drake — Nothing Was the Same
Drake & Future — What A Time To Be Alive
Drake — Views
Eli Sostre — Sleep Is for the Weak
Eli Sostre — Eros
Future — HNDRXX
J. Cole — 4 Your Eyez Only
Kanye — The Life of Pablo
Kendrick Lamar — good kid, m.A.A.d. city
Kid Ink — Full Speed
Kid Ink — Missed Calls
Lil Wayne — Tha Carter V
Luke Christopher — TMRWFRVR
Luke James — Luke James
Melanie Fiona — The MF Life
Nicky Jam — Fénix
Rich The Kid — The World Is Yours
Rihanna — Unapologetic
Rihanna — Anti
Roy Woods — Say Less
Russ — There’s Really a Wolf
Russ — Zoo
Tinashe — Songs For You
Tyga — Legendary
Trey Songz — Trigga Reloaded
Trey Songz — Tremaine the Album
Ty Dolla $ign — Beach House 3
The Weeknd — Beauty Behind the Madness

Process of elimination

So I had to cut it down — obviously.

Now that I’m looking at this list again and starting to cut it down, there were a few right away that I loved but just clearly don’t have the staying power that others do. I haven’t jumped into the album in more than a month at a minimum.

Rich the Kid’s album was one of my favorites — I had that on repeat when he dropped it a few years back. I just don’t think it’ll have the staying power as much as I enjoy it.

The Weeknd’s album for one — a great piece of art but not one I’ve listened to anytime in the recent past. It doesn’t have the listening frequency.

Kendrick’s album put him on the map for me — another great piece of art but I can’t remember even half the names off the top of my head. It doesn’t have the completeness.

I put the whole list of all those albums with their comparative artists into a spreadsheet. This allowed me to easily assess each one out of 10 by the three categories that I shared above.

The ones with the highest scores were the ones that I rated as the best music albums.

The forgotten genres

This exercise was a great one but there were a few genres that I left out.

To give an idea of what I listen to the most, Spotify said that my top 5 artists of 2019 were:

1. Ace Hood
2. Luke Christopher
3. Eli Sostre
4. Logic
5. Russ

I mainly listen to 3 types of music:

Hip Hop/R&B
Contemporary Christian

For Hip Hop music I listen by artist and I’m big on listening to the guys and girls I like best. But for other genres, I don’t maintain that same sense of loyalty.

Yes, I love people such as Matthew West, Brandon Heath, or TobyMac, but I don’t know many of their albums. I listen to their music catalog at leisure and jump around all the time. I don’t find the Contemporary Christian genre to be near as dynamic as the Hip Hop genre or rap game is.

In the same way, I love guys like J Balvin or Nicky Jam but I don’t listen to my Spanish music often enough to keep up with all of their albums. So there are some great individual songs that I love from a number of people but not many albums that I could add to this personal list.

The Assessment

Here’s what it turned out like for me:

For me, these were the top Albums.

Just outside the top 10 were Kanye’s album, Kid Ink’s, Luke Christopher’s, Rich the Kid’s, Rihanna’s Unapologetic, Russ, Eli Sostre’s first album, and a few more from Ace Hood.

Most of them are not listened to regularly enough anymore for me to give them the merit necessary for a top 10 inclusion.

I think what was most interesting to me was how difficult it was to narrow down the albums. People like Ro James, Roy Woods, and Luke Christopher, would all make it into my top 10 favorite artists today while Drake, Lil Wayne, and Future wouldn’t, but they don’t have the music catalog to get there yet.

Ro James recently released an album MANTIC, and Roy Woods dropped an EP Dem Times.

But I couldn’t include either of those. One was only an EP — which didn’t have the songs needed (or The Play Don’t Care Who Makes It EP from 2 Chainz would have made the list). The second was released so recently that I haven’t even listened to each song more than once yet.

I’ve always listened to Chris Brown and Trey Songz about equally yet, Trey has a smoother and more refined finish to his music that leads me to listen to more of his full catalog. Though in all honesty, I haven’t listened to either of their most recent projects fully.

I was hesitant to put Eli Sostre’s album that high. Giving him an 8 on staying power is tough when he doesn’t have near the same following as Drake or Lil Wayne or even Ace Hood. But, the completeness and musicality of his album was too much for me to place anywhere else.

“Read books that fill you. Listen to music that moves you. Keep company that uplifts you. Engage in positive self-talk. Be your best self.” — Alexandra Elle

Each of these albums has lyrics that hit me at a deeper level than the average song. Ace keeps me centered and focused, Drake reminds me to stay confident and show off my strengths, Eli proves that resilience wins, Big Sean emphasizes personal growth and faith, Trey Songz keeps me feeling right, Future makes me hungry for success, Lil Wayne encourages greater levels of success, and Rihanna’s album pushes me towards excellence.

That’s the beauty of music.

Each song hits everyone differently.

Many people might get the same reaction from jazz music or from pop music.

Not me.

Drake said it best in his song Diplomatic Immunity, “I listen to heavy metal for meditation.”

Now, I don’t do that. But each of these songs is often meditative for me.
I know who I am and I know what I like, these are my 10 favorite albums.

Who are you? What are your favorite albums?

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