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KSJS’s End of The Year Awards (Urban) – Part 2 – BEST ALBUM (Top 25 + Honorable Mentions) + BEST EP (TOP 10 + Honorable Mentions)

Similar to the past 2 years, It’s time for my favorite time of the year. KSJS End of the Year Urban Awards!!!! This is Part 2, which is for Best Album. In this blog, you will find our Top 25 Albums of the Year as a collective. After the Top 25 countdown, you will also see an “Honorable Mentions” section which have all the other albums which made our individual contributor’s Top 10 Albums of the year lists. In order to land on this Top 25, multiple contributors had to have selected the record as one of their top 10 albums. Also included is our Top 10 EP’s of the year and an honorable mentions list. In order to appear on the Top EP list, the EP has to have been selected my multiple DJs (or ranked high by one DJ), and the honorable mentions are comprised of other EPs which DJ’s listed in their Top 5 EP list that didn’t make the top 10 overall list. If you click any of the album covers it will direct you to a link to listen/buy the project.

 

I apologize for the delay in releasing this, as it took much more time than I had anticipated. Part 1 (Songs) dropped on January 9th, Part 2 (Albums) Dropped today, January 19th, and Part 3 (Producer of the year/Best Bay Area Album, etc. ) Drops on January 20th/21st.

 

This year we had 16 contributors which is 5 more than last year’s 11, and double the 8 contributors that we started this with in 2015, and its amazing.

 

The Jury

Debo (Urban Music Director) (“A Vibe Called West”, Wednesday 10pm – 2am)

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Abeltron (“The Shark Tank”, Wednesday 6-9pm, “Mind $oup” Wednesday 9-10pm)

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StrongArm (“Fresh to Death”: Sundays 6-10pm)

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LaTOR (Promotions Director) (“The Marauder”, Thursday 10am – 12pm)

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Ghoulboy (KSJS’s jack of all trades, hosts a Jazz show “Kosher Jazz”, i think thats what its called still unless he changed the show name)

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DJ Llama (“The Plug” Wednesday 2pm – 5pm)

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Dee Mobby (“Derick Morales is a quality KSJS’r”)

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The Barhemian  (“Stop Drop & Roll” Mondays 6-10am)

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Shiva Diva (“The Takeover” Wednesdays 6-10am)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DJ Shenron

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashton (Aka “Lord Lightskin”) (Tuesdays 6-10am with “Unbiased Bangers”) 

 

 

 

 

AlanFreakinBeats (Alumni)

 

 

 

 

 

DJ Koum (“Koum’s Corner” Mondays 10am – 2pm)

 

 

 

 

Fire Hazard Kellz (“The Fire Alarm” Thursdays 6-10am)

 

 

 

 

 

DJ Analogue

 

 

 

 

 

Luicidal aka THE GOAT (Alumni)

(Luicidal is the former Urban Director of KSJS who revolutionized the current model of Local Support, and tastemaking that has been expanded upon and modified since, but still serves as our core of how we do thinks at KSJS Urban,  its inception by Luicidal in 2008-2010 was extremely vital, and none of this would be possible without this guy. He deserves a lot of credit, rarely gets it, and rarely cares about it, but there would be no StrongArm if it wasn’t for Luicidal)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following albums have been deemed the most noteworthy releases by our crew of DJs (introduced above). After we countdown the top 25, there is also an Honorable Mentions section which we list some of the albums certain DJs were feeling a lot but fell just short of our top 25 list. By clicking on the album cover for any of these albums you will be redirected to where you can stream the album.

 

PART 2 : ALBUM OF THE YEAR + EP OF THE YEAR

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:

 

25. Down 2 Earth – Fair Share

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bay Area trio, Down 2 Earth consisting of Clyde Shankle, Azure & Dayvid Michael have been consistently dropping quality content for a few years now. They are a KSJS favorite, and their 2017 LP, Fair Share, is definitely a stellar project with contributions from Iamsu!, 1-O.A.K., Kuya Beats, Cal-A & more.

24. AllBlack – KimSon (EP)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 was a breakout year for Oakland’s own, AllBlack who dropped some dope singles (Everything I Told You, The Tip Out) preceding KimSon’s release. The EP is packed with gems such as “Locker Room”, “China Pack”,  “Collar Bone” w/ Lulbearrubberband, “Canadian Goose” & more. One thing is for sure AllBlack is one of the most interesting and promising artists emerging from the Bay and his buzz and movement is only going to get bigger.

  • #9 on Abeltron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #10 on The Barhemian’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

 

 

23. Freddie Gibbs – You Only Live 2Wice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gangsta Gibbs’ first release since being released from Austrian Prison, is a great culmination of his style and abilities as an emcee. Flexing songwriting, rapping & his knack for beat selection, make this one of the most notable releases of 2017. Several tracks off this album including “Amnesia”, “Alexys” & “Crushed Glass” did very well on our airwaves’ rotation.

22. Future – HNDRXX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Future did the unthinkable, he released Future and Hndrxx a week apart. Although the former had the bigger records (“Mask Off”, “Draco”, etc.), Hndrxx displayed the more complex songwriting and versatile characteristics that makes Future more than just a trap star. His crossover appeal is captured well in this album, with gems such as “Incredible”, “Sorry”, “Fresh Air”, etc. Utilizing frequent collaborators Metro Boomin, Southside, Detail, etc. while also working with some lesser known names allowed Future to craft a cohesive and noteworthy album, which seems to be standing the test of time pretty well.

21. Cousin Stizz – One Night Only

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boston Native has been leveling up consistently during the past few years. One Night Only is a quality project that shows his abilities as not only a rapper, but also a songwriter.

  • #5 on Abeltron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #8 on La Tor’s Top 10 Albums of the Year.

20. Big K.R.I.T. – 4Eva is a Mighty Long Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big K.R.I.T. did not dissapoint with his latest solo album, after a hiatus. The double disc project boasts features from T.I., Lloyd, U.G.K., CeeLo Green, Jill Scott, Bilal, Robert Glasper & more. The production is handled predominantly by KRIT but also has contributions from DJ Khalil, Mannie Fresh & more.

19. Caleborate – Real Person

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caleborate had a great year in 2016, and he didn’t slow down at all in 2017. Real Person is an introspective album, with great lyricism, beat selection and overall a great vibe. Caleb has quickly become a household name in the Bay Area, and we are very excited to see his progress and story unfold.

  • #6 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year.
  • #9 on Shiva Diva’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

18. Lil Uzi Vert – Luv Iz Rage 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A solid project from one of the hottest artists in music today. Uzi delivers both something that satisfies his fans, but also a project that allows him to expand his fanbase. With the huge success of “XO Tour Llif3”, it was important for him to follow through with a solid project, and this LP does more than that. “The Way Life Goes” & “Neon Guts” have already achieved different sorts of success, as well as many other records which different fans/critics have gravitated toward.

17. Big Sean – I Decided

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Sean’s latest album, I Decided, received mixed reviews from critics however garnered enough praise from our staff to land on the list. Containing smash hit, “Bounce Back” as well as gems like “Moves”, “Sacrifices” feat. Migos and more; the album is loaded with stellar production and sees Sean bringing the bangers as well as some introspective vibes.

16. J.I.D. – The Never Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Atlanta spitter had a great year in 2017, building his buzz to a level which saw him signing to J. Cole’s imprint, Dreamville Records. J.I.D.’s album was very well-received and definitely one of the gems in 2017 that a lot of heads considered fire. “NEVER”, “D/Vision” and “LAUDER” got good buzz as singles, and fit well into the narrative of the album which features stellar production from J. Cole, Childish Major, JB Hollywood & more.

15. Drake – More Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drake’s “Playlist” aka tape, More Life, had many hits and gems, and despite some critique from music enthusiasts, still had a enough fire packed in the 22-track tracklist to make our list.

14. Sahtyre – Cassidy Howell

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Los Angeles artist, Sahtyre has been a KSJS favorite for several years now. Many believe his latest album, Cassidy Howell, is his best and most personal work yet. He pours his soul out on many of the tracks, while still maintaining his knack for sonic perfection and catchy, yet eerie swag that we have grown to expect from him. Sahtyre is a musician at heart, and it shows in this album. Several tracks off the album such as “String Theory”, “World, Peace” & Oxytocin” did very well on our charts this year, and the album garnered enough praise from our crew to make the list this year.

  • #4 on The Barhemian’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #5 on Ghoulboy’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #8 on StrongArm’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

13. Rapsody – Laila’s Wisdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another KSJS favorite who has been putting out quality material for several years, Rapsody’s album is definitely her most commercially successful, and has earned her a Grammy nomination. The project is her first release since 9th Wonder’s imprint,  Jamla inked a deal with Roc Nation. Several tracks, including the potent “Power” w/ Kendrick Lamar & Lance Skiiiwalker were favorites on our airwaves.

  • #2 on DJ Analogue’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #6 on The Barhemian’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #8 on Ghoulboy’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

 

12. Daniel Caesar – Freudian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 was a breakthrough year for Daniel Caesar, his project Freudian, was a critic darling and a favorite of ours at KSJS. His style is a perfect example of honest R & B with great production, catchy melodies, and heartfelt songwriting.

  • #2 on Ashton’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #7 on DJ Shenron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #7 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #7 on DJ Llama’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #8 on Luicidal’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #10 on Shiva Diva’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #6 on Rolling Stone’s Best R & B Albums of 2017

11. Migos – Culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although “Bad & Boujie” dropped last year, it was easily one of, if not the most popular hip-hop song of Q1 of 2017. The album which dropped during Q1, was widely praised by many, and several of our DJs included it on their year end list. The album contained other huge hits like “T-Shirt” and “Slippery” and features the likes of Gucci Mane, Travis Scott, Lil Uzi Vert & more.

10. Vince Staples – Big Fish Theory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vince Staples has been on the incline for the past 5-6 years. This album is another testament to that, although some people didn’t like it, i think thats a product of its progressiveness. Sonically, its pretty unique, and explores some new territories, while still has some strong singles such as “Big Fish” w/ Juicy J and “Rain Come Down” w/ Ty Dolla $ign. It makes our top 10 because several DJs voted it in and played various records off the project throughout the year.

9. The Cool Kids – Special Edition Grandmaster Deluxe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This album is my personal pick for the most slept-on album of the year, and I’m glad, being the outfit that we are, which has built a reputation on supporting art that may not have as big of a push as the Kendricks and Migos’s of the game, its dope to see it appear on our top 10, because they deserve it. Chuck’s production starts off with the expected style we have grown to love The Cool Kids for, but towards the 2nd half of the album, he experiments with a lot of new styles that he has either dabbled with on his solo releases or we haven’t really heard much of before. He has definitely shown his growth as a producer and his range, while the raps are suitable and entertaining, as expected, and the guest appearances and brilliantly chosen to fit the vibe.

  • #2 on Debo’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #5 on StrongArm’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #7 on Shiva Diva’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #7 on La Tor’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #8 on The Barhemian’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #9 on DJ Analogue’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

8. A$AP Mob – Cozy Tapes Vol. 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A$AP Mob’s follow-up to last year’s Cozy Tapes, is another star-studded showcase of their talents as a crew. Both Rocky and Ferg shine, but also cats like Playboi Carti, A$AP Twelvy & Smooky Margielaa made their presence known on the tape. Overall its a good example of how crews can still drop notable projects in today’s current climate. “Feels So Good”, “FYBR” and “Please Shut Up” are just a few of the gems that got a lot of burn on our airwaves.

  • #2 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on Debo’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on La Tor’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

7. Jay-Z – 4:44

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jay-Z’s 4:44 is going to go down as one of the milestones and most memorable albums of this year. Its not exactly something that all the youngsters will get, and its the first album of its kind (adult contemporary rap). However this album illustrates Jay-Z’s growth as a human being. The organic nature of the way No I.D. made these beats (samples from Jay-Z’s personal playlist, and songs he grew up listening to, etc. ), the one-take feel it has, and the sophisticated and maturity of the lyrics are what sets it up apart. If anything, we rated this album a bit lower than I expected on this list, but then again, we do tend to lean toward up & coming and more recently discovered talent on our airwaves. However the impact of this album was undeniable.

6. SZA – Ctrl

 

Sza’s album was another great album that will be remembered as one of those monumental projects from 2017. It explored new boundaries as far as the openness and honesty of the lyrics. She covered territory that R & B singers/songstresses dared not venture into in the past, and she really bared her soul. With smash hits like “Love Galore”, “The Weekend” and “Supermodel”, and a bunch of other hits including Kendrick Lamar-assisted “Doves in the Wind”, the album will be remembered as THE R & B release of 2017.

5. Tyler, The Creator – Flower Boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyler’s album is a great indication of his growth as an artist. I feel like it was all heading in this direction, but this album has a great deal of musicality and soul that wasn’t as present in his previous releases though the styles were definitely somewhat explored in his most recent releases (Wolf, Cherry Bomb). This is regarded by many as his best work yet, and it will be interesting to see how he continues to evolve as an artist.

4. Rexx Life Raj – FF2: Flourish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our hometown (well, u know, Bay Area), hero Rexx Life Raj delivers potentially his most cohesive album yet, which is a tall order given his awesome catalog. This album is drops just as he is finally being regarded by many as the most talented and compelling artist in the Bay Area. He has gotten co-signs from Russ, Pharrell and appeared on tracks with the former, G-Eazy, Mozzy & Lil Boosie, Murs & more since releasing his previous solo album. 2017 was eventful for Raj, he toured with P-Lo, released a fire EP with YMTK, and then started to roll out this album shortly after summer. It makes me really happy to see him getting all the praise and recognition I’ve known he deserves for years now. For me its personal, because I’ve not only been a fan for almost half a decade, but him & various members of his team are friends of mine, which makes me ecstatic that his brand is getting bigger and he’s on the path to transitioning from Bay Area phenom, to industry household name. This album has many gems, but the most notable as of now (could change) are tracks like “2Free”, “Level Up”, “Neighborhood Lovesong” and my personal favorite, “Fiji”.

  • #1 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #1 on Ghoulboy’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #1 on Abeltron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #2 on Shiva Diva’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on Ashton’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #4 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #4 on StrongArm’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #7 on The Barhemian’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • KQED’s Top 10 Bay Area Albums of 2017

3. Smino – Blkswn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St.Louis’s Smino has a unique style, and although he had a solid 2016, 2017 was definitely his breakout year. He dropped this LP early in the year, but with powerful records like “Anita” and “Netflix & Dusse” staying on hype playlists and people’s rotations, the album was covered on many blogs/press’ End of the Year Lists. Similarly our staff still had it fresh on their mind, and many included it on their list, thus making it our #3 album of the year.

  • #2 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on The Barhemian’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on DJ Llama’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on DJ Shenron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on Abeltron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #4 on Ghoulboy’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #4 on DJ Analogue’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #8 on DJ Koum’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #8 on Shiva Diva’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #41 on Complex’s Top Albums of the Year List
  • #10 on Consequence of Sound’s Top Albums of the Year

2. Goldlink – At What Cost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goldlink’s At What Cost was a good indication of him transitioning from indie sensation with a solid following, to mainstream success. With “Crew” going platinum, and getting a remix with a Gucci Mane feature, stakes were higher. Goldlink delivered with this LP, mixing different styles, but also giving fans what they expect and crave from a Goldlink release. Records like “We Will Never Die”, “Kokamoe Freestyle”, “Herside Story” w/ Hare Squead and many more were played avidly by our DJs.

  • #1 on La Tor’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #1 on Debo’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #1 on DJ Shenron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #3 on DJ Analogue’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #5 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #5 on DJ Llama’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #6 on Shiva Diva’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #7 on StrongArm’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #7 on Ghoulboy’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #9 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #5 on OkayPlayer’s Top Album of 2017 List
  • #28 on Complex’s Top Album of 2017 List

1. Kendrick Lamar – DAMN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. was a return to the Section.80 aesthetic, while utilizing his experience gained from releases of Good Kid, m.a.a.d cityTo Pimp a Butterfly. Kendrick’s songwriting, musicality, and hit-making is at an all-time high here, yet he still delivers a product that satisfies his hardcore fanbase, and allows him to gain more fans (as if there were any people left on the fence, but in case they were, they shouldn’t be now). With hits like “HUMBLE.”, “DNA.”, “LOYALTY.” , “LOVE.” and our personal favorite, “ELEMENT.”, the album is cohesive as possible (whether you listen backwards or not), and has great album cuts, and hits, that flow seamlessly.

 

Honorable Mentions

Kehlani – SweetSexySavage 

  • #5 on Shiva Diva’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #6 on DJ Llama’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Mozzy – 1 Up Top Ahk

  • #8 on Ashton’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #10 on Fire Hazard Kellz’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Joey Bada$$ – All Amerikkkan Bada$$

  • #9 on La Tor’s Top 10 Albums of the Year
  • #9 on DJ Llama’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Gorillaz – Humanz 

  • #4 on Debo’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Devvon Terell – Weird Nights 

  • #4 on Ashton’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

XXXtentacion – 17 

  • #6 on La Tor’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Ivan Ave – Every Eye 

  • #6 on Abeltron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Craig White – Born For This

  • #7 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Brent Faiyaz – Sonder Son

  • #7 on DJ Analogue’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Sampha – Process

  • #7 on DJ Koum’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Blu & Exile – In the Beginning: Before the Heavens

  • #7 on Abeltron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Run the Jewels – RTJ 3

  • #7 on Debo’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Ty Dolla $ign – Beach House 3

  • #8 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 10 Albums of the Year

Earthgang – Rags (EP)

  • #8 on Debo’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Action Bronson – Blue Chips 7000

  • #8 on DJ Koum’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

YMTK – 9.Song.Wav 

  • #8 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Rick Ross – Rather You Than Me

  • #9 on Ashton’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Rexx Life Raj & YMTK – Emoji Goats (EP)

  • #9 on Ghoulboy’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Thundercat – Drunk

  • #9 on DJ Shenron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues 

  • #9 on DJ Koum’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Jay Prince – Late Summers

  • #9 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Illa – Favor 

  • #10 on Ghoulboy’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Gucci Mane – DropTopWop 

  • #10 on DJ Shenron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Talib Kweli – Radio Silence

  • #10 on Abeltron’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Fresh Coast – Non Perishables 4

  • #10 on StrongArm’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Dame D.O.L.L.A. – Confirmed

  • #10 on Dee Mobby’s Top 10 Albums of the Year

Khalid – American Teen 

  • #10 on Ashton’s  Top 10 Albums of the Year

 

EP OF THE YEAR

10. Down 2 Earth – Sunburnt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bay Are trio Down 2 Earth have been one of the most consistent acts in the Bay for a minute now. This year was a stellar year for them as they dropped a noteworthy LP which made our list (see above), as well as following it up with this EP. Sunburn featured 5 tracks of fire produced by Down 2 Earth, Phil Park & Elujay, and also features Elujay on a track.

  • #2 on Abeltron’s Top 5 EP List
  • #5 on The Barhemian’s Top 5 EP List 

9. Illa – Favor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Francisco songstress Illa drops a dope EP, produced entirely by Trackademicks. Her sound is not only soulful R & B vibes, but also has signature Bay Area flavor.

  • #2 on Ghoulboy’s Top 5 EP List
  • #3 on DJ Llama’s Top 5 EP List

8. City Shawn – Still Goin 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

San Jose’s own City Shawn dropped a couple 3p’s (3 track EP’s), “Still Goin” had enough fire to land on this list. “Take My Time” was the standout track, which also had visuals, but the EP also featured dope cuts featuring Rexx Life Raj & Remedy.

  • #2 on The Barhemian’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on Dee Mobby’s Top 5 EP List.

7. Buddy – Magnolia 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buddy dropped two stellar EPs in 2017, which both were well received. Magnolia was produced entirely by Mike & Keys, and featured “That Much” which went crazy on the airwaves, but also solid collaborations with Boogie, Wiz Khalifa & Kent Jamz (of Overdoz).

  • #1 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on DJ Shenron’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #5 on DJ Analogue’s Top 5 EP List.

6. Mick Jenkins – or more; the anxious

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mick Jenkins dropped this project in order to hold fans over until he releases his next studio album. With production from Ahwlee, THEMpeople, GreenSSlime, ENG Creation & Origami Beats, this project further cements the fact that Mick is making some of the best hip-hop today and his lyricism is on another level.

  • #1 on DJ Koum’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on StrongArm’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on Ghoulboy’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #5 on DJ Llama’s Top 5 EP List.

5. AllBlack – Kim’s Son

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oakland’s AllBlack has quickly become of the most buzzing and interesting artists in the Bay Area. Although upon first glance, you might think he’s another Soundcloud rapper, he is anything but. There is a level of believability to AllBlack’s gospel, that a lot of other artists don’t possess. Put that together with fire production, a trademark style and his own lingo and that’s why you see him all over this year’s awards. We are very excited to see everything AllBlack has coming up, and blessed to have him on our next “The Wave” showcase taking place March 23rd at Brick & Mortar Music Hall in San Francisco .

  • #1 on Abeltron’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on The Barhemian’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #4 on StrongArm’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #4 on Fire Hazard Kellz’s Top 5 EP List.

4. Rayana Jay – Morning After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bay Area songstress Rayana Jay has been a KSJS favorite for a minute now. Her production choices are first-rate, and her soothing voice and honest songwriting has propelled her to build her brand beyond the Bay Area. The Morning After EP contained 8 tracks of fire with production from Mikos Da Gawd, ROMderful, Drew Banga, Elujay, The Kount & more.

  • #1 on DJ Analogue’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on Abeltron’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #4 on DJ Llama’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #4 on Ghoulboy’s Top 5 EP List.

3. Steve Lacy – Steve Lacy’s Demo 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Internet took 2017 to release a bunch of solo projects. This one was very well-received by critics and our staff. Steve Lacy has become a staple for his unique production and approach. The project is very original, funky and soulful, an instant favorite of ours.

  • #1 on DJ Shenron’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #1 on DJ Llama’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on DJ Analogue’s Top 5 EP List.

2. Earthgang – Rags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similarly to Buddy, Earthgang released two fire EP’s in 2017. The first of which was called Rags, and included gems such as “Red Light” which killed it in our rotation, but also “Meditate” feat. J.I.D. and “House” feat. Mick Jenkins. The 5-track EP is fire front to back though, and a great indicator of Earthgang’s abilities to switch up flows, ear for production, and explains why J.Cole sought to sign them to his imprint, Dreamville Records.

  • #2 on DJ Shenron’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #2 on StrongArm’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #2 on Shiva Diva’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 5 EP List.
  • #3 on La Tor’s Top 5 EP List. 

 

1. Rexx Life Raj & YMTK – Emoji Goats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the #1 EP is Emoji Goats which saw two of Bay Area’s most buzzing artists, but also most melodic and wavy artists, joining forces to create 5 tracks that were pure gold. With production from Ian Mckee, Ekzakt, Drew Banga & Kyle Betty, the project is fire front to back, and I couldn’t think of a more deserving EP to top this list (which is a fire list all throughout). This EP was listed by 9 of our 16 panelists as one of their top 5, and 6 of those 9 panelists selected it as their #1 EP of the year, so it pretty much won this category hands down.

  • #1 on StrongArm’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #1 on Dee Mobby’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #1 on Shiva Diva’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #1 on Fire Hazard Kellz’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #1 on The Barhemian’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #1 on Ghoulboy’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #4 on Abeltron’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #4 on La Tor’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #4 on AlanFreakinbeats’ Top 5 EP List.

 

Honorable Mentions

Buddy – Ocean & Montana (Produced by Kaytranada)

  • #2 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 5 EP List.
  • #5 on StrongArm’s Top 5 EP List.

Denzel Curry – 13 

  • #4 on DJ Shenron’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #5 on Fire Hazard Kellz’s Top 5 EP List.

Sir – Her Too

  • #5 on La Tor’s Top 5 EP List.
  • #5 on Abeltron’s Top 5 EP List.

Nyck Caution & Kirk Knight – Nyck @ Knight

  • #1 on La Tor’s Top 5 EP List.

21 Savage x Offset x Metro Boomin – Without Warning

  • #2 on Fire Hazard Kellz’s Top 5 EP List.

Half-a-Mil – Half-a-Mil 2

  • #2 on DJ Analogue’s Top 5 EP List.

Chuuwee & Trizz – Two Puff Pass

  • #2 on La Tor’s Top 5 EP List.

Mac Ayres – Drive Slow

  • #2 on DJ Llama’s Top 5 EP List.

Chance the Rapper & Jeremih – Merry Christmas Lil Mama (Rewrapped)

  • #3 on DJ Koum’s Top 5 EP List.

Young Thug & DJ Carnage – Young Martha

  • #3 on Fire Hazard Kellz’s Top 5 EP List.

Elhae – Aura II

  • #4 on Dee Mobby’s Top 5 EP List.

Larry June – Larry TWO 

  • #4 on DJ Analogue’s Top 5 EP List.

Harry Fraud – The Coast 

  • #4 on DJ Koum’s Top 5 EP List.

Madeintyo – True’s World 

  • #5 on DJ Shenron’s Top 5 EP List.

Curren$y & Lex Luger – The Motivational Speech

  • #5 on AlanFreakinBeats’ Top 5 EP List.

Syd – Always Never Home 

  • #5 on Dee Mobby’s Top 5 EP List.

 

 

 

Compiled & Written by Arman “StrongArm” Mahmoudi

 

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