Between YouTube, Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal, there are more ways than ever to listen to your favorite albums, new or old. That being said, we’ll always have a place in our hearts for vinyl.
Sure, downloading songs or albums to your phone directly is convenient, but nothing beats buying a hard copy of your favorite artist’s album and hearing it play on a turntable. There’s also something special about hours spent trawling through endless records at a vinyl shop in search of something truly unique.
For those of you staying loyal to LPs, or even those just curious to see what their folks are raving about, we’re bringing you a curated selection of the best records to jam out to at home. Our picks include the quite recent releases of Thundercat’s Drunk and Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap, as well as essential hip-hop albums including NWA’s Straight Outta Compton and Kanye West’s Late Registration.
Whether you’re a vinyl-aficionado or you’re just getting started, our picks below are essential to any record collection. Click through to shop the selection now.
Thundercat – “Drunk”
Released in 2017, Drunk is Thundercat’s fourth studio album and probably his funkiest record to date, with guest collaborations from Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, and Wiz Khalifa. Get on this album if you’re ready to funk it up at home.
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – “Piñata”
If you’re into heavy instrumentals, look no further than this Madlib & Freddie Gibbs joint album. Produced entirely by critically acclaimed producer Madlib and showcasing Gibb’s enticing flow, this is an album that’ll take you on a journey. Their second joint album, Bandana, is rumored to come out soon, so be on the lookout.
Slum Village – “Fantastic, Vol. 2”
We couldn’t have a vinyl round-up and not include a Dilla-produced album. Fantastic, Vol. 2 is Slum Village’s second album, entirely-produced by Jay Dee, with the exception of “Tell Me”, a track co-produced with D’Angelo. Released at the turn of the millennium, this album includes guest appearances from Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, and Common, to name a few.
Black Milk – “Fever”
If you’re a Dilla fan, then you’ll appreciate fellow Detroit-native Black Milk. While his music doesn’t necessarily sound like Dilla’s, as a Detroit producer who came up during that era, the influence is undeniable. Fever is Black Milk’s latest album, marking his evolution as both a producer and rapper, and released through Nas’ label, Mass Appeal Records.
Big K.R.I.T – “4eva Is a Mighty Long Time”
Justin Scott, aka Big K.R.I.T (K.R.I.T standing for “King Remembered in Time”), released his third album 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time in 2017, three years after Cadillactica. This two-sided album is the perfect record to jam to – with side one, Big K.R.I.T, full of uptempo bangers, and side two, Justin Scott, featuring more mellow and introspective tracks.
Mobb Deep – “The Infamous”
This one is for those missing that rough, old-school East Coast sound. On The Infamous, Havoc and Prodigy’s second studio album, you’ll find classic NYC tracks like “Shook Ones (Part II)”, and guest appearances from hip-hop heavyweights like Nas, Raekwon, and Q-Tip. Just don’t bop your head too hard.
NWA – “Straight Outta Compton”
Of course, we had to show love to the West Coast, too. This classic album from NWA contains anthems like the title-track “Straight Outta Compton”, but also “Fuck Tha Police” and “Express Yourself”. If you’re looking for a thought-provoking and critical rap album, then this is just the one for you.
Snoop Doggy Dogg – “Doggystyle”
Another classic, but a decidedly more playful West Coast album from Snoop Dogg (then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg). If you’re into G-funk-heavy melodies, you can count on Doggystyle to take you on a funky musical journey. On this album, you’ll find BBQ party anthems like “Gin and Juice”, but also more low-key tracks like “Lodi Dodi”.