The Best Hip Hop and R&B Music of 2018

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for the best hip hop and R&B music of 2018? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the year’s hottest tracks, so you can stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest music.

Best Hip Hop Albums of 2018

This year was a great year for hip hop and R&B music. We saw a lot of new artists making their debut and some old favorites coming back with new music. Let’s take a look at some of the best hip hop and R&B albums of 2018.

J Cole – KOD

J Cole’s “KOD” album was one of the most talked about hip hop albums of 2018. The album’s title is an acronym for “Kids on Drugs,” “King Overdosed on Death,” and “Kill Our Demons.” The album was Cole’s fifth studio album and debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart. “KOD” received mixed reviews from critics, with some praising Cole’s lyrical prowess and others feeling that the album was too experimental.

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. may not have been the best hip hop album of 2018, but it was the most important. In a year marked by chaos and uncertainty, DAMN. served as a much-needed reminder of what hip hop is supposed to be: unapologetically Black, defiantly honest, and ferociously dope. On tracks like “DNA” and “Humble,” Kendrick flexed his lyrical muscles and reminded listeners why he’s one of the greatest rappers alive. And on songs like “Loyalty” and “Love,” he delivered some of the most moving and memorable moments of his entire career. Whether you loved it or hated it, there’s no denying that DAMN. was one of the most talked-about albums of the year.

Drake – Scorpion

Drake’s fifth studio album, Scorpion, was released in 2018 to critical and commercial success. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and received positive reviews from critics. Scorpion features a mix of Drake’s signature R&B and hip hop sound, with guest appearances from Rap-A-Lot Records founder J. Prince, Jay-Z, Travis Scott, and Ty Dolla Sign.

Best R&B Albums of 2018

This past year was an excellent one for R&B music. We saw a wide variety of sounds and styles, from the return of classic R&B to the rise of trap-soul. There were so many great albums that it was hard to narrow it down to just 10, but here are our picks for the best R&B albums of 2018.

The Weeknd – My Dear Melancholy,

The Weeknd’s My Dear Melancholy, is one of the best R&B albums of 2018. The album features some of the best production work from hit-makers such as Skrillex, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, and Cashmere Cat. The result is an intoxicating blend of melancholy and hedonism that only The Weeknd can deliver. Standout tracks include “Try Me,” “Wasted Times,” and “Call Out My Name.”

Ella Mai – Ella Mai

Ella Mai’s self-titled debut album was one of the best R&B albums of 2018. The album featured the hit singles “Boo’d Up” and “Trip”, both of which peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Mai also won two Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance for “Boo’d Up”.

H.E.R. – H.E.R.

H.E.R. is the eponymous second studio album by American singer and songwriter H.E.R. It was released on June 2, 2018, by RCA Records. The album won Best R&B Album at the 61st Grammy Awards, and its lead single, “Focus”, won Best R&B Performance.

H.E.R.’s self-titled album was released in 2016 to critical acclaim but commercial obscurity. The album’s two EPs, H.E.R., Vol. 1 (2016) and Vol. 2 (2017), were both certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). “Focus” was released as the lead single from H.E.R.’s eponymous album on April 28, 2018, to positive reviews from critics. The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, making it H.E

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