• Matt Brown

Top 10 Most Disappointing Hip-Hop Albums Of 2020

While there were some good albums to come out of 2020, there were definitely some projects that paralleled 2020 as a whole... just very disappointing. Before getting into this list, I wanted to clarify what makes an album appear on this list. Not all these albums are necessarily bad... but they simply just do not live up to expectations. Some of these albums are actually better than a lot of other projects, but the difference is that those other terrible projects never had anything to live up to in the first place.. so they were trash in peace. All the albums on this list faced some form of backlash in the eyes of the consumers and critics. With all that out of the way, here is our take on the most disappointing albums to come out of 2020.

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10. Man On The Moon III: The Chosen - Kid Cudi

Hear me out. “MOTM III” was actually one of the best albums of 2020, but expectations were exceptionally high for someone as reputable as Kid Cudi. Especially being the third instalment of a previously highly regarded series, “MOTM III'' had a lot to live up to. Fortunately, the album was actually pretty good, but it just wasn’t what people were expecting. On this album, it’s clear Kid Cudi is heavily influenced by Travis Scott, which is kind of ironic in a sense. Growing up, Travis Scott was influenced by Kid Cudi, so it’s funny to see it come full circle. This new sound that Kid Cudi chose to explore isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, but it definitely isn’t what people were expecting. Although, if you step away from the expectations and nostalgia, and just appreciate the music for what it is, it’s a pretty good album.

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9. Eternal Atake - Lil Uzi Vert

Similar to Kid Cudi’s “Man On The Moon III”, Lil Uzi Vert actually created a pretty good album. What separates the situation of “Eternal Atake” from the situation of “MOTM III” is the actual expectation of the quality, rather than expectation of the sound. Unfortunately, it still managed to disappoint fans. “Eternal Atake” was announced in 2018, and was continuously teased up until 2020, making it highly anticipated. Since it was teased for so long, the idea that the album would be a godsend was created in fans heads, when in reality, it was just a really good album. A lot of people were very upset with the initial release, but like I said before, when you appreciate the music for what it is, you can understand why it’s a good album.

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8. Artist 2.0 - A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie

A Boogie didn’t necessarily create a terrible album, but it was definitely a step back from his last project : “Hoodie SZN”. “Artist 2.0” almost tries to simulate the Juice WRLD formula, where upbeat melodies / beats contrast with sad vocals and lyrics. I actually enjoyed some of these songs, such as “Reply”, “Me and My Guitar”, and “Numbers”, but there weren’t really any stand out songs in general. “Hoodie SZN” solidified A Boogie’s spot in the game and alluded to his success in the future, but “Artist 2.0” almost disproves that by being underwhelming in almost all aspects. In comparison to his past projects, this album didn’t hit the mark as hard as it should have.

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7. A N N I V E R S A R Y - Bryson Tiller

Technically I'm bending the rules by including an R&B album on this list, but I felt it was necessary to include this on the list. Bryson Tiller unfortunately dug his own grave by waiting 5 years to release the sequel to his very successful first studio album “T R A P S O U L”, which was released in 2015. What we got in 2020 would have been acceptable if it were released in 2016. Bryson Tiller did indeed release a second album in 2017, but he himself stated that it wasn’t a project he wanted to consider a part of his discography despite it’s overall positive reception. Now there are some decent songs on this album, but it was most definitely not worth the "5 year wait".

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6. Lil Boat 3 - Lil Yachty

For Lil Yachty’s standards, this album isn’t actually that bad. But in comparison to other artists, it’s definitely nothing to be proud of. In 2015, Lil Boat was put onto the scene through his feature on “Broccoli” and his debut mixtape, which made him one of the hottest up and coming artists. It should be noted that Yachty is a controversial figure in the industry, because some people consider him trash, while others respect him and appreciate his music. As time passes by, Lil Yachty’s artistic ability is starting to be truly showcased. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed with Yachty, it’s that he’s a very talented rapper. As an artist however, he struggles to reach the bar. If you look at all of Lil Yachty’s most popular songs, you’ll notice that they aren’t even his own songs, and that he’s actually just a feature on those specific tracks. When a song has actual structure and is made well, Yachty shines. This explains how Yachty’s own tracks are always lackluster, simply because they don't have the right structure or direction. This is most evident with his studio album “Teenage Emotions”, which might’ve been one of the worst albums I’ve ever heard. Now “Lil Boat 3” is definitely a better album than “Teenage Emotions”, but the lack of structure in his songs still remains on this album, solidifying him on the list for one of the more disappointing albums of 2020.

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5. Virgo World - Lil Tecca

Lil Tecca was coming off of hot 2019, due to success with his massive single “Ransom” and his successful mixtape “We Love You Tecca”. Fans were expecting big things from the young rapper, and the anticipation for the release of his first studio album began to grow. Unfortunately, singles leading up to the album were either very average or underwhelming. Once “Virgo World” eventually released, the first listen was extremely underwhelming. The songs weren’t necessarily bad, but just like the singles, they were all just very mediocre and boring. The Lil Uzi track “Dolly” was actually leaked prior to the release of the album, and it seems like people actually liked the leaked version more. The good thing is that Lil Tecca is very young, so this small step back shouldn’t hurt his career too much. Nonetheless, the disappointing album by the young artist safely secures it's spot on this list for being very underwhelming.

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4. Good Intentions - NAV

NAV is a pretty popular rapper who always seems to get the short end of the stick. Whether it be his strange robotic voice, his negatively-criticized past work, getting mad at kids on fortnite, or even his weirdly quiet verse on “ASTROWORLD”, NAV just can’t seem to catch a break. Despite all this, his music is still pretty popular and he is quite relevant in the music industry. His last project, “Bad Habits”, wasn’t that popular with critics (which is common with NAV and his work), but it was pretty popular with the average consumer. Unfortunately, “Good Intentions” wasn't popular with anyone. Relying heavily on trendy features and production, NAV doesn’t contribute anything special or even create any structure to his songs. While all this paints a poor picture for NAV, I did manage to find a favourite track with the song “Codeine”. If you’re someone who enjoys NAV’s work, you would understand how he created an overall disappointing (and honestly trash) album.

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3. Pluto x Baby Pluto - Future & Lil Uzi Vert

When I first found out Future and Lil Uzi Vert were making a collab album, I just knew it was gonna be trash. Everyone had their own opinions and a lot of people were actually excited for this album, but I knew better. I can name 4 Future collab albums and only 1 is decent (“What a Time To Be Alive” with Drake). It appeared as if my prediction was true, and I was pretty upset that I was right. I really really like both of these artists… but goddamn this album sucked. Lil Uzi and Future had actually put out pretty good albums this year, so to see them fail together was kinda ironic in a sense. I can barely find any good songs off of this album… maybe “Heart In Pieces” on the deluxe version? The biggest issues with these songs is the lack of structure and flow. The beats have a little too much going on and both artists can’t seem to find the right energy to match it. Very disappointing, but knowing Future’s past collab albums, it really shouldn’t have been a surprise.

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2. Pegasus - Trippie Redd

You can just tell this sucks from the cover art. I’ve been a Trippie Redd fan for a while, but I gotta say this album sucked balls. I like Trippie's music mainly because of his unique voice. It allows him to be versatile, covering different areas like hard rap, chill rap, trap, R&B and even rock. Another thing that I appreciate from him is that he isn’t afraid to experiment with new things. What disappoints me is that he doesn't seem to “learn” from what works and what doesn’t. The only positive growth I’ve noticed from Trippie Redd is that he doesn’t go crazy with his vocal inflections anymore. “Pegasus” was extremely hyped up by Trippie, his fans, and the marketing... which obviously implied that we would be getting a great album. In comparison to every single one of his past projects (except maybe “!”), what we got from “Pegasus” was simply horrendous. Trippie took almost everything that’s made him successful and respectable, and threw it out the window with the majority of tracks on this album. Like most of these albums on this list, there are a few songs I enjoyed on this album, such as “Mood”, “Sleepy Hollow” and “I Got You”. While those songs aren’t too bad, the rest of the songs are very boring or just plain bad. The biggest disappointment on this album has to be the song “Weeeeee”, which is actually a really good song... right up until the end. Whatever Trippie was thinking with that audio sample, it was a very poor decision because it completely ruined the song to the point where it’s literally unlistenable. I’d definitely like to see more albums/mixtapes around the quality of “A Love Letter To You 4”, because this simply isn't it.

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1. Whole Lotta Red - Playboi Carti

Easily the most disappointing, yet polarizing album of the year. Before I get into this, I just wanna state that I enjoy Playboi Carti’s good music. Emphasis on “good music”. Playboi Carti’s studio album “Whole Lotta Red” was teased for 2 years, and what we got for waiting was absolutely terrible. There’s no “it’ll grow on you” or “appreciating the music for what it is”... it’s just not good. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a few tracks off this album that I did enjoy, such as “Sky”, “Place”, "Slay3r", and even “Vamp Anthem”. But 4 decent songs does not make up for the other 20 terrible ones. The good-to-ass track ratio is absurdly deep into the negative. But in all honesty, the turnout for this album might not entirely be Carti’s fault. Anyone who's somewhat of a Playboi Carti fan knows that he's had a large number of unreleased hits in the bank, but that they in fact have been leaked to the public. Since these songs have been leaked and popularized (a prime example is “Pissy Pamper / Kid Cudi”), releasing them on “Whole Lotta Red” would have been like releasing them twice. So in response to this, Playboi Carti released an album full of fresh, unheard music. So in a way, you can almost blame the fan base for the flop of this album. If Carti had actually managed to keep his good leaked tracks under wraps, this might have actually been a great album. I will go out and say that the album is very experimental, but that doesn‘t mean it’s any good. It was a big swing... and a big miss. I’m going to finish off by addressing the people who genuinely enjoy this album. If you are one of these people, let me ask you this : Would you actually like these songs if they were released under another artist’s name? Was this really worth the wait in comparison to his past projects? Are you a Playboi Carti cult fan? Would you kiss Playboi Carti?