In 2019, a spotlight on queer musicians and fast-paced broadcast made the Grammys have some real cultural relevance. Its 2020 edition, clouded by tragedy, scandal, and bloat, only served to remind us why award shows are so problematic.
From forward-looking electronic and experimental to new approaches in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and punk to rock and pop, 2019 bestowed an embarrassment of musical riches upon us.
Following Stormzy's run up the charts, 2019 proved to be a banner year for British hip-hop with a trio of masterpieces. America's myriad hip-hop scenes delivered the goods, and African rap gave us many stellar releases.
Breakup albums have a rare power; they mark the moment when an image-conscious artist is suddenly compelled to let his guard down. Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks and Tyler the Creator's IGOR are similar in their vulnerability.
Houston's Day for Night festival was more female any other festival I had attended with tons to offer (including shelter from a downpour).
The hip-hop story is more exciting to follow than a lot of primetime TV as it changes and adapts, telling stories of so-called "minorities". These are the ten albums that we think tell the biggest stories of 2017's hip-hop scene.