The Best Albums of 2020

This year was highlighted by projects from artists like the Weeknd, 21 Savage, and Megan Thee Stallion. These are the 50 best albums of 2020.

Best Albums of 2020
Complex Original

Complex Original

Best Albums of 2020

We’ve never consumed albums like we did in 2020. For the first time, we had to put together this list without hearing the majority of these albums in crowded rooms with other people. We haven’t yet experienced the energy of Lil Uzi Vert’s Eternal Atake blasting from a festival soundstage, and we still have no idea what it’s like to hear Drake’s Dark Lane Demo Tapes in a club at 2 a.m. For a big chunk of the year, most of us weren’t able to listen to new projects on our daily commutes. This was a year of listening to albums in headphones. At best, we got to hear these projects with small quarantine pods or with anyone who happened to be within earshot of a Bluetooth speaker at the park. In the same way that the album rollout process was upended amid a global pandemic, the listening experience was dramatically altered as well.

When we look back on this list in 10 years, after finally getting the chance to hear these albums in more ordinary circumstances, we may contextualize them differently. But today, we’re ranking the best albums of 2020 as we internalized them over the past 12 months. These are the projects that resonated with us the most as we confronted a series of unprecedented challenges. This is the music that either helped us reflect on the circumstances around us or provided a much-needed escape from reality. These are the releases that got us through the year. These are Complex’s picks for the 50 best albums of 2020.

50. KeiyaA, ‘Forever, Ya Girl’


49. Big Sean, ‘Detroit 2’

Big Sean

48. Ty Dolla Sign, ‘Featuring Ty Dolla Sign’

'Featuring Ty Dolla Sign'   Ty Dolla Sign

47. Lil Durk, ‘Just Cause Y’All Waited 2’

'Just Cause Y'all Waited 2' album cover

46. Action Bronson, ‘Only for Dolphins’

Action Bronson

45. SAINt JHN, ‘While the World Was Burning’

saint jhn album

44. Nas, ‘King’s Disease’

Nas and Hit Boy's 'King's Disease'

43. Spillage Village, ‘Spilligion’

spillage village

42. Stove God Cooks, ‘Reasonable Drought’

Stove God Cooks

41. CHIKA, ‘Industry Games’

Chika, Industry Games

40. Juice WRLD, ‘Legends Never Die’

Juice WRLD—'Legends Never Die'

39. Young Nudy, ‘Anyways’

Young Nudy, Anyways

38. Denzel Curry & Kenny Beats, ‘Unlocked’

Kenny Beats & Denzel Curry, Unlocked

37. Aminé, ‘Limbo’

This is a photo of Amine.

36. Ariana Grande, ‘Positions’

Cover art for Ariana Grande's album 'Positions.'

35. Sheff G, ‘One and Only’

sheff g

34. Dua Lipa, ‘Future Nostalgia’

Dua Lipa

33. The 1975, ‘Notes on a Conditional Form’

notes the 1975

32. Roc Marciano, ‘Mt. Marci’

Roc Marciano

31. YoungBoy Never Broke Again, ‘Top’

YoungBoy Never Broke Again "Top" Album Cover

30. Megan Thee Stallion, ‘Good News’

Megan Thee Stallion 'Good News'

29. 42 Dugg, ‘Young & Turnt 2’

42 Dugg   Young and Turnt 2

28. Drake, ‘Dark Lane Demo Tapes’


27. Fiona Apple, ‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters’

Fiona Apple

26. Brent Faiyaz, ‘F*ck the World’

Brent Faiyaz

25. Run the Jewels, ‘RTJ4’


24. Boldy James, ‘The Price of Tea in China’

Boldy James

23. Kehlani, ‘It Was Good Until It Wasn’t’


22. Kenny Mason, ‘Angelic Hoodrat’

Kenny Mason

21. 2 Chainz, ‘So Help Me God!’

2 Chainz — "So Help Me God"

20. Flo Milli, ‘Ho, Why Is You Here?’

flo milli

19. Pop Smoke, ‘Meet the Woo 2’

Pop Smoke

18. Jay Electronica, ‘A Written Testimony’

Jay Electronica 'A Written Testimony'

17. dvsn, ‘A Muse In Her Feelings’


16. Bad Bunny, ‘YHLQMDLG’

Bad Bunny

15. Chloe x Halle, ‘Ungodly Hour’

ungodly hour

14. Gunna, ‘Wunna’

This is a photo of Gunna.

13. Taylor Swift, ‘Folklore’

Taylor Swift 'Folklore'

12. Conway the Machine, ‘From King to a GOD’

Conway the Machine

11. Polo G, ‘The GOAT’

Polo G The Goat

10. Pop Smoke, ‘Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon’

Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon

9. Westside Gunn, ‘Pray for Paris’

Westside Gunn 'Pray for Paris'

8. Mac Miller, ‘Circles’

Mac Miller 'Circles'

7. Tame Impala, ‘The Slow Rush’

Tame Impala 'The Slow Rush'

6. 21 Savage & Metro Boomin, ‘Savage Mode II’

Metro Boomin

5. Benny the Butcher, ‘Burden of Proof’

'Burden of Proof' —Benny The Butcher

4. Freddie Gibbs & the Alchemist, 'Alfredo'


3. Lil Uzi Vert, ‘Eternal Atake‘

Eternal Atake

2. Lil Baby, ‘My Turn’

Lil Baby 'My Turn'

1. The Weeknd, ‘After Hours’

The Weeknd 'After Hours'

Latest in Music