Things are moving fast this year. At just the halfway point of 2017, it feels like music has been upended, and no genre is more vital and dynamic right now than hip-hop. Seemingly every A-list star this side of the Throne has dropped a magnum opus (or, in Future's case, two), with Jay Z and, possibly, Kanye on the way. A new class of upstarts—some long-heralded, some arriving seemingly out of nowhere—are finally realizing their debut full-lengths to great effects. And outside of hip-hop, music has been just as exciting. There are too many exciting albums from rising R&B acts, like Nick Hakim and 1-O.A.K. We've had some sideways pop greats drop (Khalid's American Teen and Charli XCX's Number One Angel). Meanwhile, the indie rock class of 2009 is apparently having its reunion, and we couldn't be happier (the xx's I See You and Dirty Projectors' Dirty Projectors). If the rest of 2017 continues apace, we're going to have trouble keeping up. These are our picks for the best albums of the year so far.
Nov. 4–5, 2017 in Long Beach, CAExclusive drops, one-of-a-kind art, and
riveting panels featuring André 3000
A$AP Ferg · Don C · Lonzo Ball and more
Performances by N*E*R*D · Gucci Mane
Young Thug · M.I.A. · A-TRAK
DJ Khaled · Jaden Smith and more