My Favorite Projects of 2021

2021 has very much been an up and down year for most, but it’s undeniably been a phenomenal year for music. In fact, I enjoyed listening to so many releases that I’d forgotten some even released this year. Not only has there been plenty of stylistic/genre variety, but also artists of all types (small, emerging, mainstream) actively releasing their art. To showcase my appreciation, I decided to put together a list of my favorite projects; (in no particular order) all of which remain in my rotation heading into the new year. I hope you discover an album, EP or mixtape that you might have missed! Last but not least, this list is also a token of gratitude to each and every person that has read a Lyrical Lemonade piece of mine. I wish you a happy and fulfilling New Year.

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Issa Gold: Tempus (album)

Genres: Introspective hip-hop, Conscious rap

Favorite track: Cold Summer

 

Amaria – Bittersweet (EP)

Genres: R&B

Favorite track: Lose Control

 

Richie Quake – Voyager (EP)

Genres: R&B, Indie

Favorite Track: Sensitive

 

Jean Deaux – Most Wanted (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Modern R&B, Electro-Trap

Favorite track: Stay Down

Marlon Craft – How We Intended (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Jazz Rap

Favorite track Lot To Give

Shenie Fogo – Meet Me In My Dreams (album)

Genres: R&B, Alternative

Favorite Track: Explain

JPEGMAFIA – LP! (album)

Genres: Experimental Rap, Hip-Hop, Rock-Rap

Favorite Track: REBOUND!

The Marías – CINEMA (album)

Genres: Alternative

Favorite Track: Calling You Back

Nas – Magic (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Wave Gods

Yebba – Dawn (album)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite Track: Distance

Glaive, ericdoa – then i’ll be happy (EP)

Genres: Alternative, Indie, Pop

Favorite Track: handle me

Senite – The Hallway (EP)

Genres: Melodic R&B

Favorite Track: Seeing Red

Reaux Marquez – NO ROADS (album)

Genres: Rap, Hip-Hop

Favorite Track: BIG FISH

María Isabel – i hope you’re very unhappy without me (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: Baby

Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue (album)

Genres: Rap, Hip-Hop

Favorite Track: south africa

Nápoles – Cloud 9 (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: I Been Up

K, Le Maestro – WHIP MUSIC (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, R&B, Bounce, Groove

Favorite Track: COME AROUND

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Speed

Pink Siifu – GUMBO’! (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, Funk

Favorite Track: Bussin’ (Cold)

Alina Baraz – Moongate (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: Change My Mind

Isaiah Rashad – The House Is Burning (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: RIP Young

PinkPantheresss – to hell with it (album)

Genres: Pop

Favorite Track: Passion

Downtown Kayoto – NAVIG8 (EP)

Genres: Indie, Pop, Alternative

Favorite Track: Levi’s 501

Wet – Letter Blue (EP)

Genres: Alternative, Indie, Pop

Favorite Track: Clementine

School of X – Dancing Through The Void (Album)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite Track: New Friend

Faye Meana – Sweeter Than Heaven (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: What You Do

Dave East, Harry Fraud – HOFFA (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Just Another Rapper

Adeline – Adi Oasis (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Tracks: Whisper My Name

Mick Jenkins – Elephant In The Room (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Gucci Tried to Tell Me

Joyce Wrice – Overgrown (album)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite track: That’s On You – Japanese Remix

Sam Gellaitry – IV (EP)

Genres: Dance, Electronic

Favorite track: Assumptions

chuala – me and chu (album)

Genres: R&B, Soul, Indie

Favorite track: bacardi

Paris Texas – Red Hand Akimbo (EP)

Genres: Rap, Rock, Alternative

Favorite Track: girls like drugs

Chelsea Reject – This Is Not My Final Form (Deluxe) (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Maintain

Ahmad Anonimis – Dancing With My Feet Up (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Tebanasu

renforshort – off saint dominique (EP)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite track: lust to love

BONES, Lyson – SCRAPS (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Emo rap, Dark Trap, Trap Metal

Favorite Track: Tonic

Gayun Cannon – Brown Sugar Baby (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul, Indie, Alternative

Favorite Track: My Negro Baby

Unusual Demont – HUES. (EP)

Genres: R&B, Alternative

Favorite Track: PINE

Hiatus Kaiyote – Mood Valiant (album)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite Track: Red Room

Isaia Huron – Cerulean Tapes (EP)

Genres: R&B

Favorite Track: TEENAGE FEVER

Donalee – Cerebrum (EP)

Genres: R&B, Hip-Hop

Favorite track: Circles

Kevin Holliday – OMNI (EP)

Genres: Indie, Alternative, Anti-Pop

Favorite Track: Liar!

BINA. – This Is Not a Film (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: Dark Cloud

Rejjie Snow – Baw Baw Black Sheep (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Disco Pantz

FINGY – Taste Test (EP)

Genres: Indie, House, Experimental

Favorite track: To Be Free

Argonaut & Wasp – STARLIGHT 99 (album)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite Track: Knife Fight

Dolly Ave – Sleep (EP)

Genres: Pop, R&B, Soul, Indie

Favorite Track: Play Fair

MARCO PLUS – tha souf got sum 2 say (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite track: crack music

Dirtsa – ALETHEIA’S CALLING (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, Trap, Indie

Favorite track: Whole Lotta

Only The Family – Lil Durk Presents: Loyal Bros (album)

Genre: Rap, Trap

Favorite Track: Hellcats & Trackhawks

Emotional Oranges – The Juicebox (album)

Genres: Pop

Favorite Track: Back & Forth

Devin Burgess – THAT’S UNFORTUNATE (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: ROLLWITME

Ruti – All at Once (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite track: Closer to You

 

Restless Modern – scary sky (EP)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite track: in summation

seeyousoon – HZLIKEHELL (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Electronic

Favorite Track: FIX YOUR FACE

AKTHESAVIOR, Lord Fubu – Hiatus (album)

Genres: Rap

Favorite Track: No Brakes

RIMON – Digital Tears (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: Feed Me

Hakuna Bruv – MOON FREQUENCIES (album)

Genres: Lofi-Hip Hop, R&B, Alternative, Dance

Favorite Track: SET LAST NIGHT

Marie Noreger – Gravity (album)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: Adore

Femdot – Not for Sale (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite track: Back on Road

Laica – i’m so fine at being lonely (album)

Genres: Pop, indie

Favorite track: childish

Ben Beal, Elijah Who – Cartoons (album)

Genres: Lofi-Hip Hop, Jazz-Rap

Favorite Track: Comic Shop

Jorja Smith – Be Right Back (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite track: Bussdown

Boldy James – Super Tecmo Bo (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Hot Water Tank

Jelani Aryeh – I’ve Got Some Living To Do (album)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite Track: Someone to Hold You

Navy Blue – Navy’s Reprise (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Ritual

GRIP – I Died For This!? (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Momma Told Me!

Neaux ID – Bloomin Blck (EP)

Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: BLVD Surfin

Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: CORSO

Nas – King’s Disease II (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, R&B

Favorite Track: Nobody

BONES – BURDEN (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Emo Rap, Dark Trap

Favorite Track: Ethanol

Maxo Kream – Weight of the World (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Tracks: BIG PERSONA

Supreme Sol – Heaven’s Flesh (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, Metal

Favorite track: HEAVEN FLESH

Reno Shakur – .UP! For Dayz (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: .Dominos

Malz Monday – Super Heroes Don’t Exist (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Never Meet Your Heroes

Don Toliver – Life of a DON (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: 5X

Felly – Young Fel 2 (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, Indie

Favorite Track: Fresh Water

Ka – A Martyr’s Reward (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Subtle

Tom Misch – Quarantine Sessions (album)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite track: Gypsy Woman

Steve Lacy – The Lo-Fis (album)

Genres: R&B, Indie, Lo-Fi Hip-Hop

Favorite Track: Out of Me Head

MZA – Ventures in Ventura (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, R&B, Alternative

Favorite track: A.L.L.Y. – A Lover Like You – Remix

Enny – Under Twenty Five (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B

Favorite Track: Same Old

BONES – InLovingMemory (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Emo Rap, Dark Trap

Favorite Track: Focus

glaive – all dogs go to heaven (EP)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite track: bastard

SoloSam – PRINCIPLES TO DIE BY (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: CHANGES

Tullis – The Space Between (EP)

Genres: R&B, Indie, Alternative

Favorite Track: Synecdoche

FRANK LEONE – Sundrop (album)

Genres: Alternative, Indie, Hip-Hop

Favorite Track: BAD THINGS

Young Thug, Gunna, Young Stoner Life – Slime Language 2

Genres: Rap, Trap

Favorite Track: Ski

Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together (album)

Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Verdansk

Snoh Aalegra – TEMPORARY HIGHS IN THE VIOLET SKIES (album)

Genre: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: INDECISIVE

Huey Briss – Grace Park Legend (album)

Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Grace Park Legend (Norfside)

Dende – A Happy Man (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: I Cried

Night Lovell – Just Say You Don’t Care (album)

Genres: Dark Rap, Cloud Rap, Trap

Favorite Track: I Know Your Ways

INNR CIRCLE – BEMUSED + CONFUSED (EP)

Genre: Alternative, Indie, Pop

Favorite Track: Thoughts of the Night

Quadry – They Think We Ghetto (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: I Grew Up

Lundon Avery – Lundon Avery (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, Modern R&B

Favorite Track: Intro

Larry June – Into The Late Night (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Gas Station Run

Jay Wood – QUALITY TIME (EP)

Genre: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: THIS OR THAT

Chuuwee – Working Hardly Working (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Feed Me

Pouya – Blood Was Never Thick As Water (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: One Deep In The Fleetwood

NombreKari – Children Play With Fire (mixtape)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: TELL ME

Marlon Craft – HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE, VOL. 1 (mixtape)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: STRESSED WITH THE BEST

Mike Dimes – DLOG (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: LONELY

Ché – Ghost Log Cabin (Album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Ayudame

midwxst – BACK IN ACTION (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Tic Tac Toe

Willie The Kid, V Don – Keep Watching the Fly  (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: JP Morgan

Awon, Phoniks – Nothing Less (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Nothing Less

IDK – USEE4YOURSELF (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Peloton

SGJAZZ, Dr. Dundiff – SGJAZZ, Vol. 1 (album)

Genres: Jazz

Favorite Track: Not So Modern Times

Lani Rose – To: Keep You From: Hurting Me (Album)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite Track: Overreacting

beabadoobee – Our Extended Play (EP)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite Track: Cologne

Blu – The Color Blu(e) (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Because The Sky Is Blu(e)

J. Cole – The Off-Season (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite track: a m a r i

No Rome – It’s All Smiles (album)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite Track: ITS *NOT* LOV33 (Winter In London)

Benny The Butcher, Harry Fraud – The Plugs I Met 2

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite track: When Tony Met Sosa

808vic – lived to love (EP)

Genres: Alternative, Indie

Favorite track: lived to love

Genesis Owusu – Smiling with no Teeth (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, Alternative, Indie

Favorite Track: The Other Black Dog

Noga Erez – KIDS (album)

Genres: Electro-Pop, EDM

Favorite track: YOU SO DONE

Tkay Maidza – Last Year Was Weird, Vol. 3 (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap R&B, Pop

Favorite track: So Cold

Kenny Mason – Angelic Hoodrat: Supercut (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap, Alternative

Favorite Track: Play Ball

Pressa – Gardner Express (Deluxe) (album)

Genres: Rap, Trap

Favorite track: Second Hand Smoke

Kazam – Irezumi (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Chillhop, Nu Jazz

Favorite track: Koutoukou

Just Adam – Songs For October (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite track: Maple

Lauryn Harris – TOUCH N GO (EP)

Genres: R&B, Soul, Hip-Hop

Favorite Track: Petals

 

KAI – Steve’s Demo (EP)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite Track: Fone Kalls

Kaytranada – Intimidated (EP)

Genres: Dance, Electronic, Electronica, Hip-Hop

Favorite track: Intimidated

Thouxanbanfauni – FOREVER FIGEROA (album)

Genres: Rap, Trap

Favorite genre: Off The Lot

Polo G – Hall of Fame (album)

Genres: Hip-Hop, Rap

Favorite track: No Return

Yeat – Up 2 Më (album)

Genres: Rap, Trap

Favorite track: Stayëd tha same

Arlo Parks – Collapsed In Sunbeams (album)

Genres: R&B, Soul

Favorite track: Too Good

Ca$hrina – Trauma Queen (album)

Genres: Punk

Favorite track: empath vs energy vampire