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Best Albums of 2024 (So Far): Tierra Whack, Ghetts and Shaboozey released heat

This is a content collaboration with Urban Pitch, the leading website covering soccer culture.

In music terms, the year 2024 might be defined by the Kendrick Lamar and Drake beef. But there’s plenty of other music that has made an impact, whether motivating, inspiring, or just a lot of fun. Many people wonder if hip-hop is dead because it’s not reigning at the top of the charts like it used to. Perhaps “Not Like Us” proves that theory wrong, as K.Dot’s West Coast anthem snagged the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and was referenced by everyone — even Turkish football club Galatasaray.

But now more than ever, music seems to follow the path of total football. Just like the Dutch philosophy encourages fluid, positionless play, we’ve seen today’s artists defy traditional genre labels. They’re mixing country with R&B with rock. And it works!

While we continue to cross our fingers for a new album from Dave, who went off on Giggs’ “Incredible Sauce” last year by comparing himself to Thierry Henry in the Champions League, here are the best albums of 2024 so far.

Tierra Whack — "World Wide Whack"

Tierra Whack reminds us all that it’s okay to be your wonderfully weird self. The Philadelphia rapper easily avoids the sophomore slump with "World Wide Whack," a thoughtful project that’s equal parts fun and reflective.

“Ms Behave” has drums and a mechanical feel that would have perfectly fit on the "Black Panther" soundtrack, and it leads right into the whimsical “Chanel Pit,” whose beat could serve as the theme song for a children’s show, although the braggadocious bars are meant for a more mature audience. Throughout the project, Whack reflects on bouts of depression and wrestling with loneliness. She ultimately offers her fans hope that they’re not alone.

Sierra Ferrell — "Trail of Flowers"

You might have heard Sierra Ferrell on Zach Bryan’s “Holy Roller” song. Her ethereal voice helped create the track’s beautifully eerie soundscape, and her own music has the same effect. Ferrell’s "Trail of Flowers" album is folksy and fresh. It opens with the anthemic “American Dreaming,” which the United States women’s national team might want to use to help recover from their World Cup letdown with the Olympics around the corner. The album then flows into the wallowy “Wish You Well” and the beach-tinged “Why Haven’t You Loved Me Yet.” Ferrell’s lane is clearly country, but her whimsy is inviting for all.

Ghetts — "On Purpose, With Purpose"

"On Purpose, With Purpose" reminded us all that Ghetts is still one of Britain’s best. It’s the follow-up to the extravaganza that was 2021’s "Conflict of Interest" and he didn’t miss a beat. Top Boy fans will be excited to hear Kano on the aptly-titled “Mount Rushmore,” which also features Wretch 32. The project is a balance of light and dark as the first half features the looming “Anakin (Red Saber)” and “Blood on my Hands,” and then the second half leads listeners down a road of reflective gratitude with “Hallelujah” and “Blessings.” Perhaps Ghetts felt extra inspired after his favorite football club, Arsenal, enlisted him to voice a hype video.

Shaboozey — "Where I’ve Been, Isn’t Where I’m Going"

If Luke Combs is country’s Alex Morgan — the longstanding talisman atop the game — Shaboozey is Sophia Smith, the newcomer carrying the torch.

The Virginia artist started off 2024 with not one, but two appearances on Beyoncé’s "Cowboy Carter" album. His single, “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” skyrocketed him to new heights and now he’s basking in all the glory with the help of his new album, "Where I’ve Been, Isn’t Where I’m Going."

The project features the hit song and also showcases Shaboozey’s full range of artistry. He’s most well-known as a country artist at this point, and the opener, “Horses and Hellcats” has just the right amount of twang to let his gritty voice shine. “Last of My Kind” furthers his outlaw image and adds a little rock edge with the help of Paul Cauthen. “Drink Don’t Need No Mix” has a hint of ‘90s R&B and brings in the hip-hop flavor with an assist from Dallas rapper BigXthaPlug. Shaboozey proves that you don’t need to be defined by a genre to become a superstar.

Read the full list of Best Albums of 2024 (So Far) at Urban Pitch.

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