10. Travis Scott - 'Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight'
Release date: September 2
As a disciple of Kid Cudi and Kanye West, Travis Scott approaches music from ten steps back. It isn't about writing the perfect verse, or working within the confines of genre expectations. On Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, it seems as though Scott started off with a vibe in his sights, and came with a heavy arsenal to execute on that mission. It's theatrical, fun, dark, and full of youthful, reckless, invincible energy.
In his previous work, Scott's ambition was always present, but on Birds in the Trap it's fully realized with dramatic production, great use of melody, and a cohesive mood throughout. Nothing gets lefts on the table. He brings in heavy-hitters like Kendrick Lamar, André 3000, Young Thug, Quavo, and 21 Savage to support, and while it may be the most self-indulgent album of the year, it's also one of the most consistent and enjoyable. For years, Travis Scott has hinted at his potential, and he's finally orchestrated his vision.—Jacob Moore