40 Best Rap Albums of 2017

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

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Roc Marciano, 'Rosebudd's Revenge'
10. Roc Marciano, 'Rosebudd's Revenge'10/40

10. Roc Marciano, 'Rosebudd's Revenge'

With 2010's subgenre-spawning Marcberg, Roc Marciano stumbled on a formula for making New York street rap fresh for the 21st century: Raw beat loops, cleverly embellished crime tales, chin-stroking rumination and chest-out bravado delivered with serene cool and dry wit. On Rosebudd's Revenge, he sublimely refines that formula. Musically, Marciano samples moody soul, psych-rock and jazz (minus additional drum programming) to create his glinting, underworld ambience. Lyrically, he writes himself into the pages of a modern-day Donald Goines novel. The character he inhabits is part pimp ("Already"), part drug lord and part international playboy. On "Better Know," he calmly muses: "Hopped out the foreign/They thought I was Warren Buffett/From here on, it's all or nothin'/If I fall off, I turn on the oven/If you trippin', drop a few long on the luggage/Nigga, you ball on a budget/I ain't nothin' to be fucked with." T.A.

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