40 Best Rap Albums of 2017

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

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Mike Will Made It, 'Ransom 2'
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39. Mike Will Made It, 'Ransom 2'39/40

39. Mike Will Made It, 'Ransom 2'

Mike Will Made It reached new career pinnacles on either side of Ransom 2's release: When Rae Sremmurd's "Black Beatles" (on his Interscope imprint EarDrummers) hit Number One at the end of 2016, it gave the producer his first ever Hot 100 chart-topper; just months later, he accomplished the feat again with Kendrick Lamar's "Humble." But let's not overlook the producer's dream-team mixtape just because it didn't spawn a global hit. "Gucci on My," featuring 21 Savage and YG, is squealing, minimal and riveting; the otherworldly "Aries (YuGo)" was one of Pharrell's most vital moments on record this year. And few producers have the clout to organize a hip-hop summit like "Perfect Pint"; even fewer have the nerve or savvy to integrate Kendrick Lamar's technical expertise, Gucci Mane's slurry drawls and Swae Lee's falsetto warbles on a woozy, synth-dappled ballad. "Ah, man," Lamar proclaims, "Mike Will Made It!" E.L.

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