40 Best Rap Albums of 2017

Migos, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar and more of the year in rhymes

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Future, 'Future'
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26. Future, 'Future'26/40

26. Future, 'Future'

All Future projects – there were two others in addition to this self-titled collection in 2017 – are fueled by the same basic elements: Hard-nosed beats from Metro Boomin, Zaytoven and assorted members of 808 Mafia, plus a stream of triumphant, brusque, relentlessly hooky vocals. But here Future steps out of his comfort zone in several ways. He ends "Zoom" with a hilarious skit seemingly aimed at young rappers stealing Future's style – an unusual moment of levity from an artist whose favorite tone is somberly stoned.

On the streaming version of the album, he teams up with YG for "Extra Luv," which points toward the dancefloor. And on "Mask Off," the rapper discards his usual battering-ram trap approach for a beat that samples Tommy Butler's flute-trill-heavy "Prison Song." Future's sequel Hndrxx featured radio catnip like "Selfish" with Rihanna, but it was "Mask Off" that gave the rapper the biggest hit of his career. E.L.

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