BOSSIP’s Top 10 Albums Of The Decade
Ladies and gentlemen, we did it (almost). We survived the decade despite how difficult it has been to maintain our sanity through the seemingly never-ending stream of bad news, tragedy and national outrage.
Part of that sanity-maintenance is self-care and part of self-care is having a plethora of bangin’, booty-shakin’, brain-stimulatin’ music to play at any given time of day.
This decade has brought us SO many moments of joy, happiness, and unbridled elation thanks to artists like Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, and many others.
Without further ado, flip the page to find out exactly which albums we here at BOSSIP deem the best of the decade.
Life is what you make it and Beyonce Gisele Knowles Carter made things infinitely better in 2016 when she released her collection of sweet-and-sour songs for the world to hate Jay-Z to.
Lemonade was not only incredible music but when experienced as Beyonce and Melina Matsoukas intended as “visual album” the impact is tenfold. They did TF outta that and we shall forever be grateful.
Although the internet is in a perpetual state of frustration with Robyn as she continues to release product after product after product without any of those products being an album, they should be reminded that with Anti, Rihanna’s eighth studio album, the Bajan queen gave us a mutha-Fenty masterpiece.
We don’t use that term hyperbolically, there is nothing but absolute smashes on this album from top to bottom and after 3 years it still holds up as perhaps THE album of the decade. Debate your ex-step-momma who’s now on her fourth husband.
Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City
Before he became “Kung-Fu Kenny” he was Compton Kenny and his major label debut was as impactful and insightful as any John Singleton, Hughes Brothers, Spike Lee flick about the ills of growing up in a dangerous environment. Songs like “Backseat Freestyle”, “Money Trees”, “B***h, Don’t Kill My Vibe”, and “Black Boy Fly” will forever cement California Kenny into the annuls of hip-hop history.
Don’t you feel fortunate to have lived to see it?
Sure, Future is petty, problematic, and possibly responsible for leading the culture to a fatal era of drugs abuse, but dammit he sounds amazing doing it *face palm*. Nayvadius DeMun Wilburn has released a LOT of music over the past ten years but DS2 marks a moment in time that brought even the soberest of men and women to the dance floor to act a complete and utter donkey when the DJ drops “Thought It Was A Drought” or “Stick Talk” or “Where Ya At” featuring Drake or…well, you get it.
This album is REALLY good. We highly (no pun intended) suggest that you take the promethazine message with several grains of salt, but still, phenomenal music.
Anderson .Paak & Knxwledge
This one was a bit difficult because deciding between Malibu and Yes Lawd! is like deciding which of your twin children you love the most. That said, Anderson .Paak and producer Knxwledge made a huge impression on music fans with their soulful selection of songs filled with struggle, sensuality, and unfiltered s#!t-talk. Where Malibu was the sweet chaser, Yes Lawd! was the warm shot of brown liquor coating your throat and loosening your shoulders. It’s a perfect album to fight, f**k, and find yourself to.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
Kanye West’s fifth studio album should have put us on high alert that he was going down the path of least subsistence but the truth is that we were too caught up in defending him against mayo-coated Taylor Swift. Also, this album SLAPS. This was pre-MAGA Kanye West at his full creative powers and no white girl weapon formed against him would prosper. Do you remember where you were the first time you hear “Power”? How you felt the first time you heard Rick Ross verse on “Devil In A New Dress”? What your hands and feet did when all the sonic elements of “All Of The Lights” crashed together over Rihanna’s belted out hook? You probably have goosebumps just reading this…
It took SZA a while to get this album released. She was very vocal about her frustrations on Twitter with threats of retiring from music completely as the process and label bureaucracy had drained her emotionally, but in hindsight we totally understand why. CTRL is the album that represented a vulnerability and insecurity that many people, men and women, struggle with and don’t always have the words to communicate those feelings. However, similar to some of the other albums we’ve mentioned, CTRL hosts smash after smash after smash and kept but SZA and TDE at the forefront of music conversations.
Invasion Of Privacy
You can’t properly tell the story of this decade of music and pop culture without properly acknowledging Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar. There was a LOT riding against Cardi. The Instagram star-turned-reality-TV-star was given just about every side-eye imaginable when she set out to release her debut album. Sure, “Bodak Yellow” was a hit, arguably the biggest song of 2017, but could she really put out a whole body of work that would give her a viable rap career? The answer was a resounding “Hell yeah! Okurrrt?”
The fact that you likely know or have heard every single song on this album NUMEROUS times without even trying speaks for itself.
You thought we were going to omit THE album that basically INVENTED the surprise album? Tuh. The release of Beyonce’s self-titled album was one of the most shocking things the internet had ever experienced. But it wasn’t just hype that propelled this album to our list, it’s because the music was so brave, so cocksure, so unapologetic, so feminist, it was everything. Beyonce was already an icon, but inexplicably she got stronger with this release. A Queen.
To Pimp A Butterfly
Like Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar deserves two spots on this top ten list. His second album took a hard departure in both sound and style from his classic debut GKMC. TPAB was a full-on exploration of Blackness, mental health, and society from past, present, and future perspectives. Gone were the violent drums and cinematically suspenseful sonics of Compton, Kendrick was now a wildly successful artist who was grappling with who the hell he was and how he should navigate the trappings of his ambition.
K.Dot took a huge risk in releasing this jazz and funk-infused album that boldly stood in hard departure from the trap sound that dominated rap music and it paid in legendary dividends. “Alright” became the new Black national anthem in a time where we witnessed Black men and women being gunned down in the streets weekly via social media. The oft-controversial Grammys also awarded TPAB Rap Album of the Year and nominated it for the overarching Album of the Year.
A Seat At The Table
Solange Knowles is Solange Knowles. She’s not “Beyonce’s little sister”. For anyone who would still reduce her to that condescending moniker, A Seat At The Table was a pimp slap to their disrespectful ideology. Solange emerged as a star this decade and if she never releases another album for the rest of her life, this album will serve as a testament to her glory. You will forever heard “Cranes In The Sky” at all shea buttery Black events and parties. Say thank you.