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list Feb 1 2024 Written by

January 2024 Round-Up: The 9 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The Month

January 2024 Round-Up: The 9 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The Month

January 2024 Round-Up: The 9 Best Hip Hop Albums Of The Month: For this piece, we selected our 9 favorite Hip Hop albums released this January. Did we miss any albums you feel need to be mentioned? Let us know in the comments!

Also read: The Best Hip Hop Albums Of 2023

1. Masta Ace & Marco Polo - Richmond Hill

Masta Ace is a stalwart figure in the rap industry, with a career that spans across generations. Hailing from Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, he rose to prominence in the late 1980s as part of Marley Marl’s Juice Crew, where he showcased his rap talent alongside legends like Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, and Kool G. Rap, debuting on Marley Marl’s classic posse cut “The Symphony” in 1988. His 1990 debut album, Take a Look Around, marked the beginning of what would become an underappreciated but exceptional discography. After his debut LP, Ace explored the impact of gangster rap with SlaughtaHouse in 1993 and blended East Coast sensibilities with West and South Coast car culture on the groundbreaking Sittin’ On Chrome in 1995.

The concept-driven brilliance of Disposable Arts (2001) and its successor A Long Hot Summer (2004) cemented his status as an artist who proved he was able to evolve with the times, as did collaborative projects with eMC and Ed O.G., and albums like MA_DOOM: Son of Yvonne (2012), and The Falling Season (2016).

In 2018, Masta Ace teamed up with Toronto producer Marco Polo for A Breukelen Story, and their collaboration continues in 2024 with a sequel, this one based on Polo’s upbringing in Richmond Hill, Ontario. Titled Richmond Hill, the album presents a mature and well-rounded collection of tracks featuring strong lyricism paired with stylish boom-bap beats. Artists like Inspectah Deck, Stricklin, Blu, Che Noir, Wordsworth, and Coast Contra make guest appearances, adding depth to the narratives and addressing contemporary issues with clarity. This album showcases Masta Ace’s decades of rapping experience and his ability to cut through Polo’s soulful samples and crisp drums with effortless skill, proving his lyrical finesse is timeless.

Release date: January 26, 2024.

2. Arrested Development - Bullets In The Chamber

Our love for Arrested Development dates back to their 1992 debut, 3 Years, 5 Months & 2 Days in the Life Of..., and it’s a flame that still burns. Speech and crew have maintained their artistic potency, evident in recent gems like Don’t Fight Your Demons (2020) and For The FKN Love (2021), both standout releases, and both part of the best Hip Hop albums released in the 2020s so far.

Bullets In The Chamber proudly continues this legacy, delivering over an hour of great music laden with positive vibes and self-reflection. Featuring an impressive lineup including Chuck D, Canibus, Sa-Roc, Ras Kass, Skyzoo, and Grandmaster Caz, the album underscores that, even in their fourth decade, Arrested Development remains as fresh and relevant as ever. The beats, predominantly crafted by British producer Configa, are consistently top-notch, providing a dope backdrop for the inspiring lyrical content and performances. The lead single “Hip Hop Saves Lives” (featuring Chuck D and Grandmaster Caz) served as a prelude to yet another memorable chapter in the Arrested Development saga.

Release date: January 12, 2024.

3. Benny The Butcher - Everybody Can't Go

Everybody Can’t Go is Benny the Butcher’s fourth studio album and his inaugural release on Def Jam Recordings. The project features collaborations with Armani Caesar, Babyface Ray, Conway the Machine, Jadakiss, Kyle Banks, Lil Wayne, Peezy, Rick Hyde, Snoop Dogg, Stove God Cooks, and Westside Gunn. The album’s production, primarily handled by The Alchemist and Hit-Boy, takes a bold approach, with their contrasting styles alternating throughout the tracks. Despite the risk of potential inconsistency due to the distinct production styles, the album manages to maintain a cohesive flow, for the most part.

While we typically favor The Alchemist’s gritty minimalistic sounds and do not have a lot of love for Hit-Boy’s overly polished beats, the differences do not grate as much as might be expected. On the whole, we do prefer the instrumentals on the Alchemist-produced tracks, but the Hit-Boy-produced ones do not all bring the album down. “Pillow Talk & Slander” is a typical Hit-Boy instrumental that doesn’t do it for us, just like the trap of “Big Tymers” which is the weakest song on the album, but the beats on the first half of the album especially are all pretty dope, regardless of who crafted them – “BRON” is a great single, and “Jermanie’s Graduation” is a very nice album opener. The pinnacle of Everybody Can’t Go is “TMVTL,” featuring outstanding Alchemist beats and compelling, well-crafted storytelling.

While the album starts strong and finishes with a weaker back end, it is a solid addition to Benny’s discography, outshining Burden of Proof (2020) but falling just short of Tana Talk 4 (2022) and especially Tana Talk 3 (2018), which remains Benny’s best LP.

Release date: January 26, 2024.

4. Boldy James & Nicholas Craven - Penalty Of Leadership

Boldy James started 2024 on a strong note, collaborating with Nicholas Craven for a second time on a full album. The relative silence from Boldy in 2023, attributable to a serious accident he was in, amplified the anticipation for this release. Craven’s sample selection elevates the beats, creating a dope sonic experience. Boldy’s performances over Craven’s beats are solid, maintaining his established tone and approach that smoothly align with the production.

While Penalty of Leadership is not his absolute best work, it is a robust addition to Boldy James’ discography, signaling a promising start to 2024 for him and Hip Hop in general. The collaboration showcases a strong pen game from Boldy, with the soulful samples by Craven adding depth. The beats shine, and Boldy, discussing his accident candidly amidst the typical braggadocio in his deadpan style, sounds great.

Release date: January 12, 2024.

5. Mista Sinista - ReBorn

Mista Sinista, the New York-based turntablist, discovered his love for DJing in his family’s basement, influenced by his father’s breaks. Starting at six on his dad’s turntables, he got a pair of his own at fourteen, launching his career at parties. Throughout the ’90s, he honed his skills with friends and DJs like Dr. Butcher and Rob Swift. Joining the renowned DJ crew, the X-Men, in 1997 (later the X-ecutioners), Sinista contributed to their singles and album, X-Pressions. In 2000, he released a solo single and participated in the X-ecutioners’ major-label debut, departing just before Built From Scratch‘s release in 2002 to explore new projects.

Reborn showcases a powerful mix of instrumental tracks, highlighting Mista Sinista’s turntablism, alongside vocal bangers featuring Vinnie Paz, Ill Bill, UG, El Da Sensei, Jean Grae, and others. Iconic DJs like Rob Swift, DJ Q-Bert, and DJ Eclipse join in on this pure, ’90s-centric Hip Hop album that gloriously celebrates the art of turntablism.

Release date: January 12, 2024.

6. LuGhz - ThE LuGhz ExPeRiEnCe

The LuGhz Experience is a dope underground project from Queens-based British/Nigerian/American emcee LuGhz. The album features a lineup of talented producers and emcees from the independent Hip Hop scene. LuGhz’s dedication to his craft is evident, making The LuGhz Experience a compelling addition to his discography.

Release date: January 6, 2024.

7. R.A.P. Ferreira & Fumitake Tamura - The First Fist To Make Contact When We Dap

R.A.P. Ferreira, also known as Milo, is one of the game’s most inventive wordsmiths. On the short but sweet The First Fist To Make Contact When We Dap he serves up a heady mix of abstract and philosophical content, offering listeners plenty to dissect. Linking up with Japanese producer Fumitake Tamura, known for his prowess in ambient and glitch sounds, proves to be a triumph, the two blending the vibes of jazz rap with glitch elements in a compelling way. If you’re part of the left-field crowd, this joint is a mandatory spin – a testament to Ferreira’s innovation and Tamura’s sonic finesse.

Release date: January 26, 2024.

8. Analog Suspects - The Ripple Effect

Hailing from Virginia, Analog Suspects is a duo comprising emcee Noah-O and producer DJ Mentos. Their second album, The Ripple Effect, unfolds as a complete musical experience, boasting 18 tracks and a 55-minute runtime. Noteworthy features from the likes of Pro Dillinger, Lord Goat (Goretex), Born Unique, and Napoleon Da Legend (among many others) inject weight into this straightforward yet undeniably dope Hip Hop album.

Release date: January 27, 2024. 

9. UnLearn The World - The God That Sins

UnLearn The World, a New York/Bay Area-based emcee/producer, has joined forces with a star-studded lineup for his 6th album, The God That Sins. The album is predominantly produced by Philadelphia-based producer Track Pros, along with contributions from Jake One, Swisher Beats, Buckroll, Temper Beats, Asethic Beats, and UnLearn the World himself. It also features guest vocals from Ghostface Killah, Royce Da 5’9″, Benny the Butcher, Isaiah Mostafa, Steff Reed, Alexandra the Author, Rizzo Travaille, and Adisa Banjoko, as well as a posthumous verse from Sean Price on the track “God’s Favorite”.

With 17 tracks and an hour of runtime, The God That Sins is a well-rounded and fully realized piece of music, with thought-provoking lyrical content and appealing instrumentals. Available on Bandcamp, a portion of each sale supports the Hip Hop For Change non-profit which educates youth in the Bay Area, LA, and across the country about the history and elements of Hip Hop.

Release date: January 5, 2024.

Honorable Mentions

  • Bruiser Wolf – My Story Got Stories
  • Hus Kingpin & 9th Wonder – The Supergoat
  • IAMGAWD & Clypto – Bloodstained Suede II
  • iLL Sugi x Pruven – Black Pyramid
  • Vic Spencer x Original Super Legend – Be Double Clip Tight
  • Clever 1 & Lord Beatjitzu – Master Sip, Legendary Teacher of Bruce Lo, Da First Drunken
  • Vino La Mano – No Quarter
  • June Marx – Flamekeeper
  • OLDBOY & Sekwence – Good Guys Don’t Wear White
  • 21 Savage – american dream
  • Kid Cudi – INSANO

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