The top twenty countdown had begun. Here are my picks for the sixteenth to twentieth best albums of 2021. Enjoy.

  1. Mach-Hommy – Balens Cho (Hot Candles)

I usually steer away from late November and December releases. There is just not enough time to take a deep dive into them. Alicia Keys and Adele might have made it if I had time. But, this Mach-hommy record is this year’s exception. It has been on repeat since its December 4 release. This is the Haitian-American rapper’s third album of the year. Many are putting his Pray for Haiti album on their best of lists. But, the second album of the year with Tha God Fahim, DUCK CZN: Chinese Algebra stood out to me. But then, this Balens Cho gem dropped. His wordplay and musicality are elite. Mach-Hommy is a unique artist. He sometimes limits the availability to his releases. And rightfully so. Someone this talented should create a high premium for entry into their work. So, jump on this before you can’t.

  1. Aesop Rock and Blockhead – Garbology

Not going to say Aesop Rock is my favorite rapper. But, because of Blockhead this record is a bop. Blockhead is owning the beats game right now. Block made my top ten last year. He is here with this fun record and you might see him later on this list. Peep out Billy Woods, Armand Hammer, and his other solo stuff to get a full range of his addictive style.

  1. Nick Shoulders – Home on the Rage

Oh, this is not for everybody. A yodeling troubadour with heavy things to say. 

“Our heritage is hate, though there’s plenty to save

How can the land of the free be the home of the slave?”

Nick calls his music, “grandpa music”. I think it is worth listening to to expand your horizons. If you love Oliver Peck I can see you connecting with this.

Matt Mitchell’s review of this record is outstanding.,

  1. Westside Gunn – Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Sincerely Adolf & Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Side B

Can Westside just make a twelve track album we can camp on for a couple of years and appreciate his talent? He is putting music out so fast and so track heavy that it is hard to keep up. This rapper is an elite talent, but I am afraid the possibility for him to find an audience outside of true hip hop heads is limited by his release approach. But, what do I know. This seems to be a new standard (i..e. Mach Hommy, Pink Siifu, Adrian Youngue, Terrace Martin) with these brilliant artists. I probably need to catch up with this method. The best part of this record set is that you can jump in on any track and you will be hooked. This video of samples used by Westside on the first of these records is sick.

  1. Kiefer – Between Days

This record is the last of a trilogy of EPs that are like beats records that are more jazz than beats because it is jazz. Being on the Stones Throw label in itself says enough. This is lo-fi in the most elite of ways. His animated videos are eye candy too.

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