40 Best Rap Albums of 2017

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

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Future, 'Hndrxx'
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15. Future, 'Hndrxx'15/40

15. Future, 'Hndrxx'

With Future's back-to-back album roll-out, the Atlanta rap star tried to balance his seductively lovestruck and despairingly drugged-up personas. While the self-titled first release was more familiar and harder-hitting with a few attempts at levity, Hndrxx is the sound of Future fully emerging from his man cave, showing nuance and growth, being more selective with beats and crafting a batch of songs that might be the most accessible of his career. He raps with finesse and fire-marshall friskiness amid ghostly ambience ("Damage"), sings with an open-hearted wail ("Use Me," "Incredible") and unveils pop-shiny gems ("Comin' on Strong" feat. the Weeknd, "Fresh Air"). Then he really goes for it in grandly self-aware-superstar mode, lavishing us with an irresistible apology tour – "Selfish" feat. Rihanna, "Solo" and "Sorry" – that nails the landing of Hndrxx's slyly sincere balancing act. B.S. 

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