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For The Record: Breaking Down The Best & Worst Music Of 2018

2018 was another big year for hip-hop, with Cardi B, Drake, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, and Eminem all releasing high-profile albums. Travis Scott ascended to superstardom, while JAY-Z and Beyoncé joined forces on EVERYTHING IS LOVE and Pusha-T dropped the most acclaimed album of his career to kick off G.O.O.D. Music’s five-week run of releases.

Meanwhile, Kanye West’s actions cast a shadow over his music and controversial figures like XXXTentacion and 6ix9ine also inspired debate about morality in hip-hop. There wasn’t a lack of beefs, either, as Pusha-T locked horns with Drake, Eminem took on Machine Gun Kelly, and Nicki continued to engage in a conflict with Cardi.

To break down the year in music, Genius' Head of Artist Relations Rob Markman sat down with radio host and best-selling author Charlamagne Tha God, Rap Radar’s Brian “B.Dot” Miller, and Cinematic Management’s Hovain Hylton on the latest episode of For The Record.

Amongst the panel, Pusha’s DAYTONA was a popular choice for album of the year, along with Nipsey Hussle’s Victory Lap and EVERYTHING IS LOVE. B.Dot described Victory Lap as motivational and aspirational, and explained why THE CARTERS‘ project is underrated. “Hov was in his bag. Beyoncé experimented with her flow… What more can you ask for?” he said. “People often say that it’s not, but I’m like, 'What’s the flaw?’ And they can’t see them find one.”

Regarding the conundrum of approaching artists like XXXTentacion and 6ix9ine, Hylton said that the media can’t be selective about which artists are included on lists based on morality. “If it’s good music you gotta put it on there,” he explained. “You don’t mention the shortcomings other musicians had in other genres.”

Meanwhile, Drake’s Scorpion was dubbed a mediocre album that could’ve been cut down to create a better project. “It wasn’t wack, but it was just average,” Charlamagne said. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I think this was like a 6 or 7.”

Check out the full discussion in the video above. Stay tuned next week for another new episode of For The Record.