40 Best Rap Albums of 2017

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

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Tay-K, '#SantanaWorld'
30. Tay-K, 'SantanaWorld'30/40

30. Tay-K, '#SantanaWorld'

Neither employing a typewriter-staccato Migos flow nor the slurred mumble rap of Lil Yachty, Tay-K's immediately refreshing "The Race" burst through YouTube this summer. The California-born, Dallas-based MC, with his clear tone and precisely enunciated cadence shows the Chicago influence of Young Pappy more than Chief Keef (though he also shouts out Eazy-E). Bluntly assertive and charismatic, Tay's music is as electric as his story is tragic: He was charged with murder during a 2016 home invasion and made the video for "The Race" while he was on the run from police. No doubt his alleged crimes helped his career acquire a certain notoriety, but Tay-K is no gangster cipher. Based on #SantanaWorld, he has an uncommonly gripping delivery and gift of gab, from the rude-and-lewd, onomatopoeiac chorus of "Murder She Wrote" to the uncut thump of "I <3 My Choppa" to the somber menace of "Mega Man." D.D.

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