On the latest episode of Boardroom’s The ETCs, KD revealed his favorite albums of the year including Her Loss, Back for Everything, and 7 Shots.
Kevin Durant has always been a fan of hip-hop, so, of course, there is no better way to round out the year than with a list of his top five albums. While sitting down with Eddie Gonzalez for the latest episode of The ETCs, the Boardroom co-founder shared with his audience his top picks of 2022.
5. Kodak Black, Back for Everything
“Short album with 11 songs [and] got joints that I still listen to to this day on here,” Durant praised Kodak Black’s 2022 Back for Everything release. Though he admitted that he didn’t become a true “Kodak stan” until 2018, when Durant first heard the rapper’s 2016 song “Skrt,” which was produced by SkipOnDaBeat, he was immediately intrigued by the Florida-born artist’s flow and cadence. “I was like, ‘Yeah, this young boy got it.’”
Kodak Black’s fourth studio album topped Billboard’s Artist 100 charts and earned a second-place spot debut on Billboard’s album charts. His “Super Gremlin” single became a standout start amongst the tracks, which eventually landed it in the No. 4 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 songs. Back for Everything boasts production from acclaimed super-producer Zaytoven with “Elite Vision” and a sample from Flo Rida’s “On and On” in “Usain Boo.”
4. Steve Lacy, Gemini Rights
Eddie Gonzalez recalled hearing Steve Lacy’s Gemini Rights throughout the summer while he visited his basketball co-host at his Los Angeles home. Durant noted that the album was “easy to listen to” due to its short length with a total of 10 songs in a 35-minute span. “You can play this over and over again; every vibe is different,” Durant said. “I love this album.”
Known for his ability to create a medley of smooth sonics from psychedelic funk to contemporary R&B, Steve Lacy gave his fans the music they’ve been waiting for with the release of his second studio album Gemini Rights. Following his 2019 debut Apollo XXI solo album, Gemini Rights was released via RCA Records and the former The Internet guitarist did not disappoint with the fusion of retro-inspired melodies and a crystal clear evolution of his musical palette.
In October 2022, Lacy’s breakthrough single from the album “Bad Habit” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, following four consecutive weeks at the No. 2 spot. This marked the singer’s first No. 1 hit and his first entry onto the charts. “Bad Habit” was written and produced solely by Lacy himself.
3. 38 Spesh, 7 Shots
The 37-year-old Rochester, NY, native made it on KD’s albums of the year list and that’s no surprise. Dropping in September 2022, 7 Shots boasted features from Freeway, Ransom, and more, with production from The Heatmakerz, Thanos Beats, Jimmy Dukes, and others. The eight-track album, which is the third installment of his SHOT EP saga, contains songs “Painful” featuring Freeway and Che Noir, the feature-less track “Find It Out,” and “Can’t Show Love, Pt. 2.”
Gonzalez had the pleasure of meeting the artist himself and described him as “real cool,” with “Sal’s Pizza” taking the top spot as his favorite verse of the year. Durant added, “His metaphors [are] crazy,” while noting that The Heatmakerz-produced “Eye on Money” was his favorite track from the album. Following the 7 Shots solo project, 38 Spesh collaborated with Harry Fraud for a joint album. Titled Beyond Belief, it included features from Wiz Khalifa, Benny the Butcher, Conway the Machine, and Jim Jones.
2. Drake/21 Savage, Her Loss
A bout with the coronavirus may have delayed the drop date for the joint Drake and 21 Savage project Her Loss, but it only made fans more rabid for its release. The album brought a guest appearance from Travis Scott and a litany of caption-worthy lyrics, not to mention a Billboard 200 No. 1 debut, all while charting each of the 16 tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 during its first week.
Still not familiar with the project? If you’re on TikTok, chances are you’ve heard “21, can you do sum’ for me?,” as a trending sound and you can credit that to the intro of the album’s breakout single, “Rich Flex.”
The songs were set to debut live during Drizzy’s show at the Appollo, but the quest for perfection delayed things once again, and the two are set to take the stage after the turn of the calendar. It’s no surprise that this album rose nearly to the top for KD, who has never been shy about his Drake appreciation. Durant pinned the collab as the perfect soundtrack for any moment.
“I play it during shootarounds before games. I play it everywhere, actually. Top to bottom, you already know,” he added.
No. 1 – Future, I Never Liked You
Durant’s top album of the year goes to — Future’s I Never Liked You. The rapper’s ninth studio album, which features a total of 16 songs, dropped on April 29 and it’s been a steady burn for the Atlanta rapper ever since. The album boasts features from Drake, Tems, Ye, Young Thug, and Gunna. According to Billboard, Future logs the highest one-week title count on the Hot 100 since Taylor Swift placed 26 on Nov. 27, 2021, while Drake still holds the record for the most concurrent Hot 100 entries at 27.
“Every song. I wouldn’t say he had any misses on here,” KD noted. “[His] transparency. He’s honest. He’s vulnerable, confident, aggressive. He really is authentic with his music, you know?”
With the Drake and Tems feature on “Wait for U,” Kevin found one of his favorite tracks of the year — and he wasn’t alone. The song charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was included on a wide range of year-end best-of lists. In May 2022, all 16 tracks from I Never Liked You found their way onto the Billboard Hot 100, including the Drake-Tems featured track taking the lead and “Puffin on Zootiez” following at No. 4 and “712PM” at No. 8.
The year provided a steady soundtrack that extended beyond just the top five. KD and Eddie handed out some additional flowers to the songs that kept them moving. While KD is hesitant to isolate his top song, he has a few in the running.
In addition to “Wait for U,” he calls out New England breakthrough rapper BIA’s “London” featuring J. Cole. “BIA as a rapper is beyond elite,” he boasted about the “Whole Lotta Money” femcee. “I don’t wanna hear about her being a woman. She transcends all that shit. She can rap better than anybody. Man or woman. She’s tough, and then [with] J. Cole, that verse is up there for verse of the year.”
KD’s Honorable Mentions:
- No Rest for the Wicked by Ransom
- The Shadow in the Shade by Sy Ari Da Kid
- Tana Talk 4 by Benny the Butcher
What will rise to the top in 2023? Only time will tell, but you know that Eddie and Kevin Durant will have opinions and their pulse at the heart of hip-hop and music culture. Be sure to tune into each episode of The ETCs.
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