In no particular order, here’s some of the best albums of 2017 curated by staff members of The Lunch Table.
- Saturation trilogy by Brockhampton (Staff: Matthew Gonzalez)
The All-American Boyband released a trilogy of a rags-to-riches stories called Saturation this past year. As a group they stacked content and released it in increments throughout the year to saturate their fans with multiple new music and videos in one sitting.
Aside from the music they have conceptualized a prom, similar to Odd Future’s annual Camp Flog Gnaw festival. Individually, they’ve each accumulated a strong fan-base. Read my reviews forÂ Saturation, Saturation II, and our podcast regarding the All-American Boyband.
- Lorraine Motel by Killa Kyleon (Staff: Sara Loretta)
Why: Killa Kyleon is a leading lyricist out of Houston, TX. In 2017, he released a conscious album surrounding the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN. The 16-track record details the ideal that the Black American Dream died alongside MLK Jr. and there is no longer hope in America for the community after the continued racism, hate crime deaths and struggles for equality in education are still taking place so many decades following the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. Lorraine Motel is my favorite album of 2017 partly because of the way Kyleon teaches a history (and current) lesson to his listeners, but also because of the heavy hearted feelings I got upon my first listen of the album. Personally, I spent most of the year researching and connecting with records that helped me learn about Black culture and understand the struggles I don’t have to worry about facing.
- Laila’s Wisdom by Rapsody (Staff: Angie M Says)
OooWee, my favorite album of the year is Rapsody’s Laila’s Wisdom. Packed with features from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Anderson.Paak, Busta Rhymes, and more she out raps them all. Her skill level and conscious word play is un-matched (male or female) and shining through every level of this piece. Like a fortune cookie, if you open this album with an open mind and heart you will find the answers you seek.
- Everybody by Logic (Staff: Nico Blitz)
I’ve said this countless times throughout the year. Nothing beats Everybody. It’s funny when people knock on Everybody because it’s an entire about his struggles as a biracial person. Clearly they didn’t listen. Though there’s plenty of records in there about him being biracial, there are songs that refer to all types of human beings from a spiritual, artistic, social media, and personal perspective.
Additionally, Logic is the prime example of a hip hop act who can control the crowd with his every move and word. He’s a genius and was untouchable in 2017. Listen to me rant about Logic and his 2017 opus Everybody in our podcast.
- Trip by Jhené Aiko (Staff: Briana Dorton)
This was one of my favorite albums of 2017 because of the feeling of completeness that it has. Prior to the release, Jhené teased the album with obscure psychedelic Instagram posts and poetic captions. Trip is accompanied by a short film that takes you on a journey through Jhené’s world, as Penny (her childhood nickname). She meets a man on the beach and runs away with him on a drug-induced, aimless adventure full of self-discovery, awareness, and finding peace from the passing of her brother. After the film, she released a 3-minute mission statement called M.A.P where she addresses her fans and explains her real life emotional and experimental drug journey following the death of her brother in 2012.
Jhené has always had beautiful poetic lyrics and Trip seems to be a culmination of her storytelling. Ask any real Jhené fan and they will be able to recite to you a few deep lines of hers that they feel on a spiritual level.
- Fin by Syd (Staff: Jasmine Sabagquit)
Syd’s voice is soft and sultry, at times very reminiscent of Aaliyah, and her lyrics can be very suggestive, but in a confident way. She’s not trying to swoon you or do too much, and she’s not like any other female frontrunner you’ve ever listened to. She’s just Syd. She gives R&B new life (especially from a female’s point of view), and brings it back to its roots.
In July, she surprised fans by announcing her first official solo show at Resident DTLA, a space that doesn’t hold more than 200 people, but that didn’t stop a good thousand and some, of her fans from lining up to see her. It was pretty crazy! Syd didn’t want to leave most of her fans empty handed, so last minute she added a second show and brought out Tyler, the Creator as a surprise guest. She kicked off a full-fledged two-month solo tour in October, with a number of sold out dates, and appropriately wrapped it all up in December in her hometown of Los Angeles.
- Honorable Mention: GOODSEX by Austin Sexton