By Masid Kamara (Music Correspondent)
Damn is the fourth studio album by American rapper Kendrick Lamar. It was released on April 14, 2017, by Top Dawg Entertainment, Aftermath Entertainment and Interscope Records. This album features his 3 hits “HUMBLE”, “DNA”, and “LOYALTY”. Damn returned at number one on the US Billboard 200, after a 13-week hiatus between its third and fourth week. It has sold 678,000 copies and 1,772,000 album-equivalent units. Damn has sold 842,000 copies and over 2,000,000 album-equivalent units as of November 2017.
- American Teen
American Teen is the debut studio album by American singer Khalid. It was released on March 3, 2017, by Right Hand Music Group and RCA Records. The album was held by the singles “Location”, and “Young Dumb & Broke”. In October 2017, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America for accumulating over 1 million in combined pure sales and album-equivalent units. The singer is a Grammy hopeful, and now, American Teen has gone platinum.
4:44 is the thirteenth studio album by American rapper Jay-Z. It was released on June 30, 2017 through Roc Nation and Universal Music Group, as an exclusive to Sprint and Tidal customers. The album received widespread acclaim from critics, who praised its emotional and personal content. On July 5, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, in recognition of one million copies purchased by Sprint and offered to consumers as free downloads. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making it Jay-Z’s 13th consecutive studio album to top the chart. The album spawned one single, the title track “4:44”. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year, while the title track was nominated for Song of the Year and “The Story of O.J.” was nominated for Record of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
- More Life
More Life is an album by Canadian rapper Drake. The artist describes More Life as a playlist, though some publications have referred to it as a mixtape. It was released on March 18, 2017, by OVO Sound, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records.The songs on More Life feature a broad range of genres, including hip hop, R&B, dancehall, grime, trap, Afrobeat, and pop. The album was supported by five hit singles: “Fake Love”, “Passionfruit”, “Free Smoke”, “Portland” and “Glow”. More Life received generally positive reviews and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, becoming his seventh consecutive number one album, while also breaking several streaming records.
Melodrama is the second studio album by New Zealand singer Lorde, released on 16 June 2017 through Republic Records. Melodrama has been described by critics as a loose concept album that explores the theme of solitude, in the framework of a single house party with the events and moods that entail it. Lorde wrote and produced the album alongside Jack Antonoff. The album topped charts in New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Canada. Melodrama received widespread acclaim from critics, with some publications citing it as the best album of the year. It also received a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. The lead single, “Green Light”, and its accompanying music video, on 2 March 2017. The song peaked at number one in New Zealand, number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 20 in the UK. “Homemade Dynamite” was confirmed as the third single from the album, after Lorde performed the song on the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards on 27 August 2017.
- 24k Magic
24K Magic is the third studio album by American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars. It was released worldwide on November 18, 2016, by Atlantic Records. Mars and his team focused on capturing the R&B sound that was very popular in the 90’s, described by the singer. It is considered by some critics to be influenced by 1980s and 90s pop nostalgia. It is also the first album by Mars to enter the R&B and hip hop charts on Billboard, staying atop the R&B albums chart for 21 weeks, so far.Four singles were released, the title track, “That’s What I Like”, “Versace on the Floor” and “Chunky”. “That’s What I Like” became Mars’s seventh number one on the Billboard Hot 100. As of September 2017, the album has accumulated 2 millions album-equivalent units in the United States.
Reputation is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. It was released on November 10, 2017, through Big Machine Records. Ed Sheeran and American rapper Future are both included as featured artists on its track “End Game”. The album has topped the charts in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Reputation sold 1.216 million copies in the US during its first week, becoming 2017’s best-selling album in the country, and 2 million copies worldwide.
The third studio album by English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran. It was released on 3 March 2017 through Asylum Records and Atlantic Records. “Castle on the Hill” and “Shape of You” were released as the album’s lead singles on 6 January 2017. The album debuted at number one in the United Kingdom, selling 672,000 units in its first week, making it the fastest-selling album by a male artist there and the third-highest opening behind Adele’s 25 and Oasis’ Be Here Now. It also topped the charts in 14 countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia. All the tracks on the album reached the top 20 of the UK Singles Chart in the week of the album’s release, due mainly to heavy streaming. Worldwide, on the day of its release, the tracks of the album achieved a total of 56.73 million streams on Spotify in a single day, breaking the previous record of 29 million for Starboy by The Weeknd in November 2016. In total, all tracks by Sheeran were streamed 68.7 million times that day, with the single “Shape of You” receiving 10.12 million streams, both also breaking previous records on Spotify.Both records were broken by Drake’s More Life 16 days later. By its second day of release, the videos of songs from the album had achieved a cumulative one billion views on YouTube, including figures from “Shape of You” and “Castle on the Hill” released earlier.
Culture is the second studio album by American hip hop trio Migos. It was released on January 27, 2017, by Quality Control Music, 300 Entertainment and Atlantic Records. The album features guest appearances from DJ Khaled, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott and Lil Uzi Vert, while the production was handled by Metro Boomin & Murda Beatz. The album was supported by three singles, “Bad and Boujee”, “T-Shirt” and “Slippery”. Culture received generally positive reviews from critics and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. It also topped the US Top R&B and Hip-Hop Albums chart, becoming Migos’ first number-one album on both charts. It also debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart. In July 2017, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Rap Album at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.
- Awaken, My Love
“Awaken, My Love!” is the third studio album by American rapper and singer Childish Gambino. It was released by Glassnote Records on December 2, 2016. Its fusion of psychedelic soul, funk and R&B influences was considered a bold departure from the predominantly hip hop style of Gambino’s prior work. “Awaken, My Love!” received generally positive reviews from critics and debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200. It also debuted at number two on the US Top R&B and Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album was supported by three singles, “Me and Your Mama”, “Redbone” and “Terrified”. The album received a Grammy Award nomination for Album of the Year at the 60th Annual Grammy Awards.