Rap-Up’s 10 Best Albums of 2010

Kanye West, Eminem, and Janelle Monáe

It’s one thing to produce a hot single, but some artists expanded their horizons and funneled creativity into their full-length albums more than others. In 2010, listeners were given Kanye West’s mesmerizing and imaginative masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as well as Eminem’s most self-realized album in years, Recovery. Rihanna returned to making upbeat dance hits with her fifth LP Loud, while her “What’s My Name?” collaborator Drake backed up his hype with his sonically pleasing debut Thank Me Later. Find out which 10 albums had us hitting play time and time again in 2010.

10. R. Kelly – Love Letter

Love Letter

9. Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday

Pink Friday

8. Big Boi – Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty

7. Rihanna – Loud

Loud

6. Janelle Monáe – The ArchAndroid

The ArchAndroid

5. B.o.B – B.o.B Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray

The Adventures of Bobby Ray

4. Eminem – Recovery

Recovery

3. Rick Ross – Teflon Don

Teflon Don

2. Drake – Thank Me Later

1. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

What were your favorite albums of 2010? Tell us below.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

110 Comments

  1. Rihslayurfave

    I like this list but I would put LOUD higher and take off Janae or whatever her name is

    [Reply]

  2. JCOLE

    yess! Kanye West’s masterpiece of an album fully deserved to be top. B.o.B should have been higher than Drake because B.o.B’s singles have been more popular and better. Kanye West’s album is topping most “top albums of 2010″ charts!!!

    [Reply]

  3. DONTDOIT

    DONT DO JANELLE MONAE HER NAME IS LIKE THAT!! SHE IS JUST AS TALENTED AS RIHANNA

    [Reply]

  4. sandra

    NO BOYS ALLOWED

    [Reply]

  5. Nelz

    Janelle Monae album is hot . . .IDK what u talkin bout but we all have opinions . . . I would put Pink Friday Higher . . . take of Big Boi or Rihanna and put Ne-Y Libra Scale was tooo GOOD

    [Reply]

  6. Cameraman

    @Rihslayurfave

    Are you kidding? “The ArchAndroid” is easily one of the better albums of the past several years…it has a bit of all styles of music (not just hip-hop and R&B, but also alternative rock, oldies, folk guitar, and even tinges of classical!)

    I’d take off “Loud” and “Pink Friday” and put up Nas & Damian Marley’s “Distant Relatives” and John Legend & The Roots’ “Wake Up!”

    [Reply]

    @zakaBE7 Reply:

    @Cameraman, Yes! your right

    [Reply]

  7. nosaints10

    Pink Friday should not be on this list. T.I is missing, 8ball &MJG missing…

    [Reply]

  8. Nelz

    off* Ne-Yo* sorry got excited

    [Reply]

  9. saio

    are you sh!t!n me?!?!?!?!?!
    recovery way better than kanye and drake album’s
    and why officer ricky album is number 3?!?!?!
    this album is the worst album ever made
    f**k officer ricky
    f**k rap-up

    [Reply]

    jb Reply:

    @saio, are you insane mbdtf was way better than eminems recovery. although i do agree that its better than drakes mbdtf cannot be beat

    [Reply]

  10. Nelz

    Janelle Monae album is hot . . .IDK what u talkin bout but we all have opinions . . . I would put Pink Friday Higher <-(I take that back; leave it where it is) . . . Big Boi<-(i didnt listen to that album soo i should say anything bout it) so yea take off Rihanna and put Ne-Yo's Libra Scale that album was tooo GOOD

    [Reply]

  11. Shpend

    rihanna’s Loud and Drake’s Thank me later! >>> follow me on twitter @TheShpend

    [Reply]

  12. Rihslayurfave

    LOL @ TAKE OFF LOUD…Loud has been out for over 6 weeks and still in the Top10. While other albums that came after it is nowhere to be found. The album also has 2 #1 songs and as of today is the #1 ALBUM ON THE WORLD CHARTS. Rihanna doing her thing…While these artist selling well locally she is huge internationally. Even selling more that Susan Boyle in the UK.

    [Reply]

  13. ponyo

    Wht a bull shit.list.

    [Reply]

  14. DRAKE

    drake should be number 1.

    [Reply]

  15. PinkFriday

    Kanye really delivered a classic. I’m still playing that album like it’s brand new. If you haven’t bought it yet, go buy it today! Don’t even hesitate. The poster and all the artwork that comes with the CD is SICKKK! My friends tried to steal mine lol so I told them to buy their own.

    Glad Nicki, Rihanna and Drake made the list too! Nicki has come so far :)

    [Reply]

  16. Bnotorious

    “Last Train to Paris” and “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” – these are two masterpiece albums, best in 2010. It’s all about HISTORY!!!

    [Reply]

  17. RyanS

    Keri Hilson’s No Boys Allowed is up there for me :D!

    [Reply]

  18. Noringtone

    Janelle Monae should be #2. It was a classic! Kanye Deserves #1.

    [Reply]

  19. lys_Pt

    The Pink F and Loud on a Top 10?! Didn’t think that was even possible… Well… U proved wrong… Two words: Effin hilarious…

    [Reply]

  20. JCOLE

    @PinkFriday do you live in the u.s.? Coz in U.K. we got the uncensored version of MBDTF so its much better cuz nothing is pixelated and censored.

    [Reply]

  21. nay

    PINK FRIDAY SHOULD BE LIKE #3!! Haters KILL YOURSELF 2010 WAS NICKI & DRAKE’s YEAR

    [Reply]

  22. TA2802

    I really like Rihanna, but her album wasn’t AMAZING. Janelle Monae, Big Boi and Kanye should all be in the top 3. Drake’s album was really good, and I didn’t like him at the start so it shows how good he is. Janelle’s album was amazing and it didn’t have enough recognition, it should be 1 or 2 on this list. Um… Eminem’s record was pretty good. Nicki’s album was good as well, her verse on Kanye’s Monster was probs the best verse this year, she’s still got a long way to go, one of the best in the game. Haven’t heard Rick Ross’ one, but I heard it’s good…

    [Reply]

  23. ShanZ

    I would of went abit different with this list because a how come eminems album aint higher i dunno because his album was number one around the world and according to wikipedia its was top ten hit everywhere in da world apart from three conturies and two think loud shud be higher to apart from the rest am not bothered much

    [Reply]

  24. A Realist

    I like this list.

    [Reply]

  25. Kyle

    I love Janelle’s album so that would definitely be at the top of my list. Some of my other favorites from this year are: Kelis- “Flesh Tone,” Erykah Badu- “New Amerykah Part Two,” Nas & Damien Marley- “Distant Relatives,” Jazmine Sullivan- “Love Me Back” and many more. Overall I really think 2010 was a good year for music.

    [Reply]

  26. BoringCorin

    i dont see how rick ross beat out eminem

    [Reply]

  27. vanya1199

    LOUD very strong album,QUALITY AND GOOD!Nice music … RIHANNA GOOD GIRL:)

    [Reply]

  28. pap-game

    Drake thank Me Later :p

    [Reply]

  29. taj mahal

    i think janelle should be higher, overall B.o.B did have a good album, because people said he went away from his sound but that isn’t true. Drake made a could solid follow up. Kanye had the best album of 2010, hands down. Eminem did have a solid album. Rick Ross was respected by people that actually listen to the music, and Nicki may have been pop, but hip-pop. Rihanna was cool and Kellz made a great R&B album.

    [Reply]

  30. Stre3t Danc@

    Kanye’s @ the top! woot! woot!

    [Reply]

  31. hueyal

    b.o.b janelle monae big boi and kanye west I agree with the 10best albums of 2010

    [Reply]

  32. Dave

    Umm Pink Friday, lol. But everyone else’s was great.@JCOLE Actually Janelle is talented period, Rihanna isn’t. @Rihslayurfave I think the place Janelle’s album is at needs to stay there, Rihanna’s is the one that should be taken off if anything.

    [Reply]

  33. Dillon_68

    Loud and Pink Friday are on the list, but Love King isn’t? smh

    [Reply]

  34. ced

    I am cool with everything except Drake.wtk smh..that album sucks n so does he

    [Reply]

  35. AB

    @Dillon exactly! SMDFH! Rap up, don’t call me when your lonely again, lonely again!

    [Reply]

  36. youdontneedtoknow

    RICKY ROZAY SHOULD BE#1
    KANYE WEST #2
    EMINEM #3
    RIHANNA #4
    DRAKE #5
    R KELLY #6

    HAVENT HEARD THE REST

    [Reply]

  37. YEAH

    haters kill yourself and GET LOUD BITCHES!!!!!!!!!!
    :—P

    [Reply]

  38. Natasha

    EMINEM #1

    [Reply]

  39. bia

    I agree with some things here but… where katy teenage dream?

    Rihanna would be on first place!
    And what ?janae? doing in this list. i dont know any sonf of her. bieerrccc.

    Big Boi on this list?
    I don’t know who is he. LOL

    [Reply]

  40. john

    where is No Mercy!!!!!!!!!!!!! this list is bs r u gona tell me the nicki minaj album was better

    [Reply]

  41. MyNiqqa

    kanye OWN 2010

    [Reply]

  42. Killmatic

    Kanye was the best, but Recovery totally shits on Teflon Don & Thank Me Later!

    [Reply]

  43. Drew-Shane

    I’m surprised Jazmine Sullivan’s didn’t make the list. That’s a more solid, vocally strong and lyrically dope album…

    [Reply]

  44. Phoenix_Wright

    Smh @ yall knocking others list, put UR list up!
    It’s all opinions, yall going tooooo hard!

    My list(as far as hip hop & R&B):

    1. Jazmine Sullivan – Love Me Back
    2. Drake – Thank Me Later
    3. Usher – Raymond v. Raymond
    4. Ciara – Basic Instinct
    5. N.E.R.D. – Nothing
    6. Miguel – All I Want Is You
    7. Rihanna – Loud
    8. Kanye – MBDTF

    [Reply]

  45. Rubberband Man

    The DeAndre Way by Soulja Boy is the best album of 2010 by FAR! Shoot, it’s the best rap album of all time. Music like this is what is keeping hip hop alive. Better believe it! I know because I’ve been in the hip hop scene for over 20 years. I’m a well respected hip hop advocate and artist in my hood.

    [Reply]

  46. Lisa

    Great list, but I would replace Thank Me Later & Pink Friday with Christina’s ‘Bionic’ and Diddy – Dirty Money’s “Last Train To Paris.’

    [Reply]

  47. perry

    Totally agree with the three first ones, not really for the 7 left

    [Reply]

  48. Chris B

    Basic Instinct

    [Reply]

  49. ish

    R kelly came number one in all the r n b charts so i would have like to seen him hit at least #s. But at least rap up got some taste rather dan just promotong shit and those who worship the devil rihanna kanye etc

    [Reply]

  50. ish

    #5*

    [Reply]

  51. Wasalu

    Man on the moon II should be on there

    [Reply]

  52. taj mahal

    @rubberband man i understand you like soulja boy but he needs to be nowhere near this list

    [Reply]

  53. rihanna

    IF YOU HAVEN’T HEARD OF JANELLE MONAE YET THEN I DON’Y KNOW WHAT THE F*CK YOU MIGHT BE LISTENING TO.

    HER ALBUM DESERVES TO BE NUMBER 2. KANYE’S ALBUM IS RIGHTFULLY NUMBER ONE

    [Reply]

  54. RK

    Pretty great list actually. The only thing I’d change about the list is swapping the #3 and #4 albums around.

    Recovery > Teflon Don

    [Reply]

  55. jk

    this list is trash because nicki has better sales than rihanna and freeakin janelle monae

    [Reply]

  56. YEAH

    @jk
    Nicki is not selling more than Rihanna, hoe
    LMAO
    she’s already 2 million
    kill yourself and GET LOUD BITCH

    [Reply]

  57. RaheemT

    i fux with Em bigtime but hell Rocovery wasn’t really that great of a classic as caompared to MBDTF and Teflon Don. I agree tho its stil likeable but im just feelin the new Em ego, not all, not all, smh

    Em on drugs >>>>>> Em post drugs (flowise, delivery, Topics and Wordplay)

    [Reply]

  58. Jojoluver23

    Drake should be #1, but if it’s album sales than it should be Eminem. Nicki should definitely move up, take Kanye’s album out and R Kelly

    [Reply]

  59. Fan Ov A Fan

    THIS IS ALL WRONG RIHANNA SHOULD BE FIRST !!
    THEN EMINEM
    THEN NICKI MINAJ
    THEN KANYE
    THEN DRAKE
    THEN B.O.B
    THEN who ever
    that fat muthaf**ker shouldnt even be on that list. it should of been t.i instead !!

    [Reply]

  60. dustin

    just as talented as rihanna? janelle monae has more talent in the nail on her pinky toe than rihanna could even imagine in her wildest dreams.

    kanye and janelle had the two best albums of the year if we are talking strictly urban.

    bottom line.

    [Reply]

  61. x

    I stan hardcore for Rihanna. As good LOUD may be, I must admit she had really strong competitions. My list:
    1. Kanye
    2. Eminem
    3. Rihanna
    4. Drake
    5. Nicki Minaj
    And then probably R Kelly, although I haven’t heard all of the songs on his album. I might do it the next couple of days. I will also listen to Janelle Monae, since there are so many in this comment section liking her new stuff.

    Great list! :-)

    [Reply]

  62. emil

    Rap-Up predictable as always. Loud? Pink Friday?

    [Reply]

  63. GangsterA

    yes at rap-up i agree with list take away rick ross album and ad animal

    [Reply]

  64. q

    lloyd banks hunger for more should be on the damn list ….. u guyz rate on popularity and sales not quality .fuoh

    [Reply]

  65. pOOKD

    Please, Take off “loud” and “pink friday” and put them the garbage bin.

    Jazmine Sullivan’s Love Me Back should be there instead of them!

    Bullshit List except for Janelle, Kanye & Big Boi

    [Reply]

  66. tip

    T.I shud b on the list

    [Reply]

  67. Detox

    Remove Pink Friday and Thank Me Later and put Ghostface Killah – Apollo Kids, John Legend & the Roots – Wake Up!, Nas & Damian Marley – Distant Relatives & N.E.R.D. – Nothing

    [Reply]

  68. Rubberband Man

    The DeAndre Way by Soulja Boy is the best album of 2010 by FAR! Shoot, it’s the best rap album of all time. Music like this is what is keeping hip hop alive. Better believe it! I know because I’ve been in the hip hop scene for over 20 years. I’m a well respected hip hop advocate and artist in my hood.

    [Reply]

  69. blackmamba

    damn this list and some of these comments are shit.

    you guys comparing rihanna and janelle and saying rihanna is better? smh album sales doesn’t mean she is better, janelle is light years ahead of rihanna musically. and you guys not knowing who big boi is? have you ever heard of outkast? and he had one of the best albums of 2010 if you haven’t heard it you need to.

    when i first found this site i was expecting a good rap blog not a pop one focused on sales and radio popularity.

    my list? 1. Yeezy 2. Big Boi 3. The Roots 4. Janelle Monae 5. B.o.B 6. Em 7. Drake 8. Curren$y (Pilot Talk I & II) 9. Nas & Damian Marley 10. Kno – Death is Silent

    [Reply]

  70. From Tokyo

    Big ups to Rap-Up for recognizing Janelle and real art/music.

    [Reply]

  71. From Tokyo

    blackmamba, I feel you!

    [Reply]

  72. Nait Phoenix

    You had me till you got to the top five. I guess those are the best rap albums, and Kanye’s deserve to be the number one (I won’t take that rightfully-deserved place from him!), but B.o.B’s album had only one blockbuster song, Recovery is in the same boat, I don’t know how Rick Ross even made it on the list, and Thank Me Later was a solid debut, but not a top three worthy effort. This list is definitely focused on fans/sales and not on quality, but it would help if you based it on all three next year.

    [Reply]

  73. dustin

    okay i’ll rank mine… are we doing just urban? okay i can do that.

    1.)Janelle Monae- The Archandroid (perhaps one of the best albums of the last decade)
    2.)Kanye West- MBDTF (could be on that list as well)
    3.)The Roots- How I Got Over (“Right On” might be one of the dopest songs of the year)
    4.)Damian Marley & Nas- Distant Relatives (Nas hasn’t sounded this fresh and relevant in years)
    5.)Keri Hilson- No Boys Allowed (hell, you can put “loud” on here and I liked Keri’s album more)

    okay i did a top 5 because i wasn’t really big into what got released this year.

    [Reply]

  74. PinkMonsterKSA

    Rihanna album is OK but not the best & Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday have take #1 Or #2 or #3 ..

    [Reply]

  75. Lorin

    First of all Janelle Monae should be a LOT higher on this list. Cee-Lo is vacant (kick rozay’s redundant ass off).

    [Reply]

  76. MY Bad

    ALL OF THEM are in wrong positions ! ..
    Kanye dont deserve to be first ~
    No T.I, Bruno Mars .. shuld make a makeover.

    [Reply]

  77. MY Bad

    ALL OF THEM are in wrong positions ! ..
    Kanye dont deserve to be first ~
    No T.I, Bruno Mars, Ne-Yo.. shuld make a makeover.

    [Reply]

  78. Smiley Smilez

    this is my list
    10.Nicki Minaj- Pink Friday
    9.Eminem-Recovery
    8.B.o.b-The Adventures Of Bobby Ray
    7.Rihanna-Loud
    6.Keri Hilson-No Boys Allowed
    5.R.Kelly-Love Letter
    4.Drake-Thank Me Later
    3.Cee Lo -Lady Killer
    2.Kanye West-My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
    1.Rick Ross-Teflon Don

    [Reply]

  79. the cool

    i like that teflon don was second but rih even being on there makes the list childish but its way better than ur best song and video list yall made eairler

    [Reply]

  80. Adam

    Where are No Boys Allowed and Basic Instinct?

    [Reply]

  81. Julian

    I definitely think Teenage Dream and Doo-Wops & Hooligans (Bruno Mars) are missing…

    [Reply]

  82. D

    i mostly agree with this list but i would take out loud and pink friday and replace them with soldier of love(sade) and basic instint (ciara)

    [Reply]

  83. lee

    @yea nicki has sold more than riri in the usa she sold like 100k more than riri and she came out a week later than her but WW riri has sold way more i mean she has the #1 album in the world but in the us only nicki doing better

    [Reply]

  84. Thesaurus

    Pink Friday…let’s get real here and Big Boi shoulda been #2 period.

    [Reply]

  85. MishX

    its Very Fun cuz Ludacris Must #1!

    [Reply]

  86. asd

    RICK ROSS is fag

    [Reply]

  87. king

    look ish u is jus a rihanna hater u need to kill yuh self and get loud

    [Reply]

  88. Mary

    niki’s album is waay better than rihanna’s

    [Reply]

  89. Why So Pressed?

    ^^^The world disagrees

    [Reply]

  90. Sean

    Meh…..

    I don’t think Rihanna deserves a place on this list. The album is okay.

    [Reply]

  91. Toby

    is it just me or did Lil Wayne release a monster album this year! I am not a human being, easily in the top 5.

    [Reply]

  92. Elvis Madore

    1. Monica – Still Standing
    2. Fantasia – Back To Me
    3. Nicole Wray – Boss Bitch
    4. Trina – Amazin’
    5. Macy Gray – The Sellout
    6. Toni Braxton – Pulse
    7. Ciara – Basic Instinct
    8. Keyshia Cole – Calling All Hearts
    9. Kylie Minogue – Aphrodite
    10. Kelis – Flesh Tone

    [Reply]

  93. kCudi

    1. Kanye West – M.B.D.T.F.
    2. Eminem – Recovery
    3. B.o.B – The Adventures Of Bobby Ray
    4. Drake – Thank Me Later

    But why is Rick Ross on the #2 spot? His album was more like #12.

    [Reply]

  94. cool hwip

    WHAT ABOUT NAS AND DAMIAN MARLEYS COLLABO? That was a very solid album. They straight killed it.

    [Reply]

  95. @lil_chips

    1. RICK ROSS @rickyrozay
    2. KANYE WEST
    3. NICKI MINAJ

    [Reply]

  96. Lovely Nicole

    What the heck, Why is Loud and Pink Friday on here? Pink Friday was good and Loud was okay, but John Legend, Jazmine Sullivan, Sade, and Nas/Damien Marley could have easily replace them. Also Recovery should be higher. Teflon Don and should be like 10 and Thank Me Later should be 3. But to each his or her own.

    [Reply]

  97. prismatik

    i love Pink Friday & No Boys Allowed. best two albums of 2010. :)

    [Reply]

  98. Alfred Islas

    Janelle should be higher and she should be way above that Drake sh*t. How about we get someone that isn’t 90% programmed on the computer because he barely has any talent?

    I don’t listen to much hip hop, but I’m not sure I agree with Nicki being up there. I like Nicki and I’m a fan, but her album wasn’t really that good nor would I call it much of an art over make it sound like girly pop to sell CDs.

    [Reply]

  99. CIARA'S BASIC INSTINCT#1

    Anyone who listened to Ciara’s Basic Instinct KNOWS IT IS THE BEST CD of the entire year. The obvious hits like Ride, Speechless and Gimme Dat were great but just as great are her songs – whats for dinner, girls get yo money and heavy rotation. I WISH she’d get rid of her record company.

    [Reply]

  100. t-bag

    nr 1 is Eminem … your list is a joke

    [Reply]

  101. MS BK

    Monica should be on the list and Trey Songz!

    [Reply]

  102. DIJON

    THIS LIST IS JUST PERFECT BUT I WOULD HAVE PUT Sir Lucious Left Foot AHEAD OF JANELLE MONAE

    [Reply]

  103. Bangers N Mash

    Man Em, Jay, Dre and 50 were dead on with that Syllables song.

    I can’t believe how much lyrics DO NOT come into play when making a list. Kanye should not be #1, Drake and Ross should not even be Top 7.

    Other than that… the list wasn’t too bad. Glad Big Boi and Bobby Ray got some love.

    [Reply]

  104. real hip hop

    only heard about half of the albums on the list, but janelle monae owns the ones i’ve heard (maybe aside from ‘ye).

    if you havent listened to her album yet, do it. do it now.

    [Reply]

  105. tomasz

    1. kanye west my beautiful dark twisted fantasy
    2. usher raymond v raymond
    3. drake thank me later
    4. trey songz passion, pain & pleasure
    5. kid cudi man on the moon 2 the legend of mr rager
    6. b.o.b the adventures of bobby ray
    7. rick ross teflon don
    8. ne-yo libra scale
    9. diddy-dirty money last train to paris
    10. omarion ollusion

    [Reply]

  106. Anthony Smizaski

    MAN ON THE MOON II: THE LEGEND OF MR. RAGER!!!

    [Reply]

  107. 'Shad

    The Hunger for More 2

    [Reply]

  108. cz rock

    i like this rank kayes album desurve it to top 1 rap up MBDTF

    [Reply]

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