Top 5 Extended Plays of 2021

Last year I published a list of my 25 favorite EPs of 2020. This year, there weren’t nearly as many standout extended plays, so that’s why I’ve pared this list down to the five best ones of the year. Gotta problem with it? Too bad. With that said, these aren’t the only EPs worth listening to from 2021. I could’ve made this list longer, but I wanted to make sure I was just highlighting the best of the best. Anyway, if the title of the entry is highlighted in pink, that means you can click on it to go to my full review. Let me know what you think of these projects, as well as what your favorite extended plays of the year were.

5. L’appel Du Vide by Sadistik

This EP is dope as hell. I think it’s one of the better projects to come out so far in 2021, so I’m pretty satisfied with it. Honestly, if you enjoyed either of Sadistik’s extended plays from 2020 then I don’t see why you wouldn’t like this one. It’s more of what Sadistik does best. His writing is as great as always, and his ear for beats is still top notch. This project just solidifies him as one of my favorite writers in Hip Hop right now. I think this shit is really great. Check it out.

4. Right the Ship by Illogic & Odd Nosdam

Honestly, this project turned out about as well as I could have hoped. I think these are the best beats Illogic has rapped over since Celestial Clockwork. This is the best project I’ve heard from him in years. I just wish it was longer; this project really left me wanting more. The production has been kind of a weakness for a lot of Illogic’s more recent work in my opinion, so to hear an EP like this with genuinely awesome beats was a really nice breath of fresh air. I hope these two work together more in the future because this EP was a massive success in my opinion. This shit is dope as hell.

3. CANDLES by SeKwence

This project is dope as hell. I think this is the best thing I’ve ever heard from SeKwence. There’s not a single track here that I dislike. However, now that I’m thinking about it, I genuinely think I’ve liked every single song I’ve ever heard from him. Even though it’s a pretty short project, I don’t think it sounds incomplete or anything. It just sounds very focused. I was getting strong themes of love and appreciation for the people and things that make SeKwence happy in life, so it’s a very heartwarming, joyful listen. I don’t really have any consistent gripes with this project. It left me wanting more, but considering the fact that this is the fourth project I’ve heard from him in less than 12 months, I don’t think I’m gonna be waiting too long. Check this shit out and let me know what you think. I think it’s really great.

2. tape 01: 2.18.2021 Oppression Is the Tool of Capitalism, But We Gonna Get These Feelings Off Though by Darias Lanham

This is another amazing project from Darias Lanham. It’s clear to me that Ikarus Rising wasn’t a fluke because every other project I’ve heard from him has been just as great. Now I can confirm that he’s also a great producer. These beats are detailed and genuinely entertaining. They’re beyond sufficient. I guess one complaint that some listeners may have is that the songwriting here is a little scant; every track is pretty much just one verse with no hook or bridge or anything like that. However, I personally didn’t give a shit because what’s here is so well done. I don’t care how your song is structured when it’s this well done. This EP gave me more of everything I’ve loved about Darias’ previous material: genuinely captivating lyricism in conjunction with rich, detailed instrumentals. Don’t sleep on this shit. It’s dope af.

1. We Dressed the City with Our Names by August Fanon & Defcee

This project is amazing. It’s pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. The production here is gorgeous. I feel like these are some of the best beats I’ve heard from August Fanon all year, and Defcee is the perfect artist for them. His verses are as well-written as ever, and his flows and vocal deliveries were on point throughout the whole project. I really have no consistent gripes with this project. Everything was as well done as I could have hoped for. This is actually the best project I’ve heard all year so far, and it’s easily gonna make it into my top extended plays of the year list. Don’t sleep on this shit. It’s dope af.


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