49. Cyhi The Prynce - 'No Dope on Sundays'
Release date: November 17
At 32 years old, CyHi the Prynce’s long awaited debut was finally uncorked, and the result was the kind of glossy, fully-formed studio record we rarely hear anymore. With appearances from Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, and a host of others, No Dope on Sundays has major label sheen and the quality to back it up. The album is full of riveting, occasionally hilarious street tales like the one he shared as part of Pigeons & Planes’ “What Had Happened Was” series , but CyHi is careful to paint hustling as a brutal, frightening necessity, not something to be glorified. “If you trappin' n***a, trap to send your daughter off to college / If you trappin' n***a, trap to get your mother out the projects,” he raps on the title track.
A few songs, like the gospel-tinged “Looking For Love” or the Ini Kamoze-sampling “Murda” are a bit outside CyHi’s wheelhouse, but for the vast majority of No Dope, the Atlanta MC presides over his long-awaited turn in the spotlight with veteran grace and cleverness. The trapper’s lament triptych of “Amen” into “No Dope on Sundays” into “Get Yo Money” is one of the strongest opening sequences on any rap album this year. After setting out to tell his unique life story and succeeding, let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another seven years for the follow-up.—Grant Ridner