Despite the few grumblings and complaints of snobbish music writers and ungrateful fans, 2020 was a fantastic year for Hip-Hop. Hip-Hop Wired has painstakingly put together a collection of projections we personally bumped and found value in over the past 365.
End of the year lists, in all honestly, really are just the opinions of the writer or writers who contributed to this said list and shouldn’t serve as a baseline in one’s musical enjoyment. Of course, we didn’t get a chance to listen to all of the music that dropped in 2020 because it’s simply impossible. In our case, we loved so many projects that we had to split our list into two parts.
Lists have also become a thorn in the side for the artists scrambling to be seen and heard in a turbulent and crowded industry upended by the realities of the pandemic, all but destroying the profitable roads of touring and impacting merchandise sales. We certainly empathize with all the hungry artists out there vying for a chance for their creations to get their due recognition, and we definitely understand the anger if any of those acts feel slighted.
Let’s get this out the way. The first part of this list consists of a lot of Griselda, and for good reason. The Buffalo, N.Y. collective created some of the year’s best releases and the acclaim is deserved. There are also lesser-known names who crossed our pathways thanks to the DSPs giving us infinite pathways to artists who made joints similar to the songs we enjoyed the most thus putting us onto new discoveries.
We are not listing these names as a favor to industry pals or in some manner of becoming friendly with the acts we’ve named. To hammer the point home once more, these are the projects that caught our ears, turned our heads, and added seasoning to our lives. If they’re on this list, they got plenty of run and will continue to get that from us in the coming year.
Enjoy part 1 of Hip-Hop Wired’s Top Projects of 2020 below. Please note that the projects below listed are in ALPHABETICAL ORDER, not ranked.