Here are seven albums you might have missed in 2020
We rounded up a handful of musical projects that may have gone under your radar this year.
In 2020, musical artists kept their momentum as a whole throughout the unprecedented events that took place this year.
Across all genres, thousands of albums, mixtapes, EPs, and singles were released to audiences of all sizes. In today’s streaming era, it can be difficult to keep up with the weekly drops. In a year like the one we are FINALLY saying goodbye to, it may be unrealistic to think that one had every new album on their radar.
Artists such as Busta Rhymes, Toni Braxton, and Kem, who’ve been in the industry for decades, dropped new projects in 2020, while newcomers like Victoria Monet and CHIKA introduced themselves through the chaos.
Here are seven albums released this year that you might of missed and most certainly should add to your streaming catalog.
Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath Of God
Busta Rhymes released his 10th studio album and enlisted some of his talented peers for the 22-track opus. Featuring artists such as Q-Tip, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar, and Mariah Carey, the album proved the Brooklyn-bred rapper continues to be innovative, energetic, and above all a rapper.
The album touches on racism and police brutality, and a theme of anarchy. Released 22 years after the initial Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front in 1998, Busta informed NPR the final tracklisting was narrowed down from over 800 songs.
Toni Braxton – Spell My Name
Released as her 10th studio album, Toni Braxton follows up her 2018 release Sex and Cigarettes. The album showcases the R&B singer’s vocal range, a signature sound crafted by Braxton throughout her decades-long career. Spell My Name explores new sounds, as well as, classic R&B with assistance by Missy Elliot and H.E.R.
Overall, with 10 tracks, the album is a great signifier of R&B’s evolution that includes acknowledgment of the past and awareness of the future from a pioneering voice of the genre
Spillage Village, JID, EARTHGANG – Spilligion
Spilligion is a genre-blending album that highlights rising talent out of the south and beyond. The members of Spillage Village include Mereba, 6lack, JID, Hollywood JB, Jurdan Bryant, Benji, and WowGr8 of Earthgang. Together, they are joined by artists such as Ari Lennox, Lucky Daye, and Chance The Rapper on the 12-track album.
Mereba informed Complex that the major label debut was “six years’ worth of sharpening and camaraderie.” The album incorporates gospel, hip-hop, and neo-soul elements with themes of faith, family, fidelity, and fortune.
Kem – Love Always Win
Released as his first album in six years, Kem lets his vocal talent take the lead over smooth, soulful melodies for Love Always Wins. The album features additional vocals from Brian Culberson, Toni Braxton, and Erica Campbell, who is featured on the second version of the little track.
The 51-year-old singer who has married since his last album informed Rated RnB, “Love is the most important thing,” the most important thing,” and hoped the project added an element of light during times of darkness.
Victoria Monet – Jaguar
The 27-year-old singer/songwriter explores sensuality and power on her nine-track offering to the 2020 musical landscape. On Jaguar, Victoria Monet allows her sexuality to serve as a motive for the sometimes retro-sounding R&B disco-infused project.
The debut LP is a refreshing sound among the current trending tone of her peers. Lyrically, Monet delivers a sleek portrait of wants, needs, and demands with catchy hooks and relatable experiences. From start to finish, Jaguar is a cohesive, entertaining listen.
Ro James – MANTIC
Joined by Brandy, Miguel, and Masego, R&B singer Ro James delivered his sophomore album MANTIC to welcoming ears. The 15 tracks include soft and gentle songs, bedroom jams, and ballads that propose mutual romance, love, and happiness.
The sound expands what contemporary R&B can sound like, including references to gospel, funk, rock, and hip hop music. Fully, MANTIC is an album that shines on amorous, passionate vocals, intimate instrumentation, and enticing lyrics.
CHIKA – Industry Games
CHIKA made many career landmark achievements in 2020. She earned a spot on XXL magazine’s freshman cover, delivered a cypher during the 2020 BET Hip Hop Awards, released her debut EP, and earned a Grammy nomination for ‘Best New Artist,’ and the Alabama-bred rapper is only just beginning.
On Industry Games, she reflects on the highs and lows of being a rising artist and how she refuses to fall in line. CHIKA lyrical talent is undeniable and proved through the 7-track project.
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