The year in hip-hop can't be quantified by new music alone. Not in 2021, when starting a podcast feels like a rite of passage for every rapper flirting with retirement. Ever since the podfather Combat Jack taught hip-hop how to "dream them dreams," the proliferation has been unreal. Now podcasts are the culture's official mouthpiece and the genre is as varied as the rap game itself. You can hear everything from real journalism and cultural criticism to straight-up jaw jacking. Here's my shortlist of the best hip-hop podcasts of the year, along with the albums I couldn't stop listening to in between time.
Top 10 Albums of 2021
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• Mach-Hommy, Balens Cho
• Lukah, When The Black Hand Touches You
• 42 Dugg, Free Dem Boyz
• Greentea Peng, MAN MADE
• MIKE, Disco!
• Moor Mother, Black Encyclopedia of the Air
• Mick Jenkins, Elephant in the Room
• Baby Keem, The Melodic Blue
• Westside Gunn, Hitler Wears Hermes (side A and B)
• ZelooperZ, Van Gogh's Left Ear
Top 10 Hip-hop Podcasts of 2021
• Big Facts with Big Bank & DJ Scream
• The Bridge: 50 Years of Hip-Hop
• Drink Champs
• Bottom of the Map
• Juan Ep is Life
• Have You Heard George's Podcast?
• Geto Boys Reloaded
• What Had Happened Was
• Fresh Era
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