For those of us who have existed within the D.C. Metropolitan area (not just D.C., but I’m not using that dumb ass term here), we have been able to witness what could be considered a second renaissance in hip hop — artists like Rico Nasty, IDK, and Cordae (yes, he counts) have continued a path made golden by Wale, Shy Glizzy, and Logic. Even better: there are a wealth of talented artists that are currently giving us an idea of what’s to come.

In this editorial, JUKEBOX:DC has created a ranked list of albums that we feel have had the greatest impact this year. This isn’t just about sales or stream — an album’s quality and creativeness are among other factors considered. As you’ll see, these are also albums that we’ve shared at the time of their respective releases — if we’ve missed anything, feel free to let us know so that we can be more on point moving forward.

Without further adieu, step into the rabbit hole below.

PREVIOUSLY: #20-16#15-11#10-6

#5: No Savage – Life Of A Savage 2 (READ MORE/STREAM)

There should be zero debate at this point — No Savage has skyrocketed to the top of D.C. rap’s echelon in 2021. Solidifying this argument is the success of his latest project Life Of A Savage 2, which sees a couple of assist from fellow rising star NoCap and Glizzy Gang cohort Shy Glizzy. Immediately after its release, No Savage and his supporters made sure to confirm its position on both Apple Music and Billboard’s charts — just imagine what he’s going to accomplish next?


#4: Premo Rice – The Rice Tape (READ MORE/STREAM)

When it comes to music from this area, we would consider Premo Rice to be an anomaly — despite making music separate from what’s prevalent here, the P.G. County star has managed to maintain a successful career all his own. Case in point: his latest project, The Rice Tape, sees collaborations with Larry June, Akeem Ali, Young Deji, Southside Gauxst, and more. We’re not sure if he sees himself as underrated, but we definitely do — nobody around here is creating classic cuts like this.


Sorry to be anti-climatic but the top three really shouldn’t be anyone’s surprise. So — with that — we’ll keep it simple for those included: GoldLink, IDK, and (of course) Wale have continued to bless the masses with top tier, against-the-grain type vibes that both solidify their already concrete careers and help those under them that look to push to the forefront with a unique sound all their own. We really don’t feel as if anyone can argue that — ESPECIALLY in regards to Wale, who’s largely responsible for the spotlight on this city to begin with. Detractors can head elsewhere, period. ALSO: Yes, these three albums are the best out this year.





#1: Wale – Folarin II (READ MORE/STREAM)


A small-but-committed group of writers, bloggers and videographers that (mostly) exist and function all over the D.C. Metro area.