2017 has been a great year for Hip Hop. It seemed like the culture has thrived more than ever in 2017. We’ve had amazing music on the main stream level come out this year from Rap/Hip Hop and R&B. So now we turn our eyes to the local level. There were a ton of Hip Hop and R&B projects released here in the City of Austin. So I have taken it upon myself to compile the releases of 2017 here in Austin and give you all what I feel are the Top 5 Best Albums of 2017 from the Hip Hop/R&B scene in Austin, TX.
1. The Teeta – Killstreak II (Prod. Boss Beatz)
If 2017 hadn’t already been a great year for The Teeta, with abundant amount of shows and press happening, Teeta also put out two projects. The first came in late March titled, The Teeta, Vol.1. It kinda flew under the radar. The release that shook up the city and internet was the October release of his collaborative album with Ohio producer, Boss Beatz titled, Killstreak II. The album is the sequel to the first offering of the duo of The Teeta and Boss Beatz titled, Killstreak. Killstreak II got Teeta trending on twitter and drew in new people to his music. Crowning his sound earlier in the year as Pretty Boy Trap he shows that with songs like Ghosts, New Wave, and Money Machine.
2. Sertified – See Ya Soon
The Texas Big Pun better known as Sertified here in Austin. The South Austin emcee has been at rap for a while and become a staple in the ATX Rap scene. Nothing proved that more than this year. Hitting us off with his single On The Go, Sertified showed us all that he can make a good song, then coming with the release of his album, See Ya Soon, Sert showed us why he is the staple he is in Austin and is deserving of the moniker Texas Big Pun. Sertified gave us hard hitting street fair like Make Money, Facecard, and something for the ladies with Still In Line.
3. Alesia Lani – Resilient
What is there to say about the year that songstress, Alesia Lani’s year that hasn’t already be said? With having multiple residencies, gracing the cover of the Austin Chronicle, and countless other accolades that were racked up this year. The biggest thing this year for Alesia is that her sophomore album, Resilient was released. Lani’s debut album, First Impression was exactly what the title says. This time around the singer was an open book. Alesia let us inside her life while still having some fun with things with songs like Intentions and Pay Me No Mind. She got serious with us on her trials of dealing with a spouse suffering from alcoholism with You Changed. Lani gave us a very well rounded project that any lover of R&B will enjoy.
4. Jackie Venson – Transcends EP
Now I will be very honest here, I’ve been hearing about Ms. Venson all year long and have yet to see her perform live. I also just recently heard this album, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it is one of the year’s best projects released. There was a little debate about where Venson falls musically. Some said she fits in the R&B category, others said she’s Rock, and Blues. I’ll say this, Jackie Venson is all of that and Transcends proves that. The title is so fitting for an artist of her caliber. Transcends fuses, R&B, Rock, Blues, Soul, Funk, etc. Venson gives you everything you want and more with this album. She transcends the mold of what an R&B act is, or Blues, or Rock. Songs like Flying & Fast come right out the gate with the heavy electric guitar giving you soulful Rock vibes, while Mysterious gives you a very Neo-Soul feel. I just wish it was a full length album and not an EP.
5. Y2- Mixtape Wayne 2
With six releases on the year Y2 been the most consistent artist in Austin. In my opinion Mixtape Wayne 2 is the standout project of the six releases, and his Mixtape Wayne series. With songs like WiFi, Arabian Nights, and Talladega Nights giving you smooth futuristic vibes help set the tone for the entire project.