8 Best Rap Albums of June 2024

So much rap music comes out all the time, and especially with frequent surprise releases, it can be hard to keep track of it all. So, as a way to help keep up with all of it, here’s a roundup of the 8 rap albums from June 2024 that stood out to us most. We also probably still missed or haven’t spent enough time with some great June rap albums that aren’t on this list. What were some of your favorites of last month? Let us know, and read on for the list (unranked, in no particular order)

Megan Thee Stallion – Megan
Hot Girl

Megan Thee Stallion’s rise in popularity has long been accompanied by personal struggles, whether it’s the Tory Lanez assault trial (and other rappers accusing her of lying about the shooting) or her lawsuit against her record label 1501 Certified Entertainment, but she always seems to persevere. She finally freed herself from her label last year and launched her own company (called Hot Girl Productions, natch) earlier this year, and now she just released her Hot Girl debut, Megan. She acknowledges the public gossip that surrounds her more than once on the album, but for the most part, you get the sense that she finds living well is the best revenge. She sounds free on this album, and she’s rapping her ass off. It’s an onslaught of shit-talk and braggadocio raps, and it’s one of her most focused, cohesive albums yet. With 18 songs in 52 minutes, she’s not immune to the streaming-era trend of overloading albums, but the strong moments far outweigh any filler. Guest appearances come from recent collaborator/tourmate GloRilla, her home state Texas heroes UGK, Brooklyn drill rapper Kyle Richh, Japanese rapper Yuki Chiba, rising R&B star Victoria Monét, and fellow Southern rappers Big K.R.I.T. and Buddah Bless (appearing together on “Miami Blue”), and Megan benefits from their presences but never relies on them to draw people in or boost numbers, like she might have done with Beyoncé and Dua Lipa on past albums. The best, strongest, and fiercest parts of Megan are all handled by Megan herself.

Channel Tres Head Rush

Channel Tres – Head Rush

Channel Tres emerged in the late 2010s with a new spin on hip-house that he dubbed “Compton house,” due to pulling equally from the house music of Chicago (where Channel’s father is from) and the hip hop of Compton (where Channel was raised). It’s an even more specific offshoot of an already-hyperspecific subgenre, and as appealing as Channel Tres’ music is, I imagine working within such narrow confines can start to feel pretty limiting. He had been planning on releasing his debut album Real Cultural Shit last year, but he turned it into a five-song EP of the same name after deciding that the material wasn’t strong enough to make up his first proper album. In the time since then, he’s solidified his most musically vast, transcendent batch of songs yet, and those 17 songs come together on his long-awaited debut LP, Head Rush. On this album, hip-house isn’t the destination; it’s the starting point. Head Rush is a melting pot of dance beats, hip hop beats, singing, rapping, echoes of everything from jazz to industrial, and a whole lot of hard-to-define, experimental art pop swirling throughout the LP, with assists from Thundercat, Toro y Moi, Ravyn Lenae, Teezo Touchdown, Ty Dolla $ign, Estelle, and more. (“Head Rush” is a very good title.) It’s an ever-shapeshifting album that never feels self-indulgent, and as joyous as it sounds, there’s some darkness in Channel Tres’ lyrics, which are informed at times by childhood trauma and grief. Sometimes I roll my eyes at artists waiting this long to release a “debut album,” but even if Head Rush is far from Channel Tres’ first body of work, it feels like a grand introduction. Those early EPs sound like rough drafts in comparison; Head Rush is the start of Channel Tres as the chameleonic artist he’d always been working towards becoming.

Your Old Droog Movie

Your Old Droog – Movie

Brooklyn rapper Your Old Droog is extremely prolific and not always easy to keep up with, but Movie is his first proper full-length album since 2021–17 songs with skits, etc–and it really feels like an album that’s full of intention. Not that there’s anything wrong with firing off seven-song EPs like he did all throughout 2022, but it hits different when the project feels as grand and purposeful as this one does–it’s not called “Movie” for nothing. Over a great selection of ’90s-style boom bap beats from Just Blaze, Madlib, Harry Fraud, Conductor Williams, and more, Droog does what he does best, delivering knockout punchlines, memorable pop culture references, and creative rhymes that could make his heroes shit their pants. Method Man and Denzel Curry show up on recent single “DBZ,” and otherwise Droog holds his own for the entirety of the LP. He talks on Movie about seeing himself as a counter-culture guy, and at this point, it’s pretty tough to deny that he’s reached iconic status within that realm. Underground/counter-cultural rap has changed a lot since Droog stirred up buzz with his debut EP a decade ago, and he’s been a staple the entire time. This year alone he’s had standout guest verses on two of the best new rap albums (Mach-Hommy’s #RICHAXXHAITIAN and Heems’ LAFANDAR), and now he releases one of his most legacy-cementing projects yet.

Previous Industries - Service Merchandise

Previous Industries – Service Merchandise

Open Mike Eagle’s last two projects (2022’s A Tape Called Component System With The Auto Reverse and 2023’s Another Triumph of Ghetto Engineering) heavily featured his friends Video Dave (who he’s known since college) and Still Rift (who he’s known since high school, and who has yet to release his own music), and now Mike has a group with those friends, Previous Industries. They cite late ’80s / early ’90s rap groups like Native Tongues, Wu-Tang, and The Alkaholiks as influences, and they pull not just from the sound of that era but also the actual way that this music was written in those days, before rap groups could exist remotely over the internet. As Mike himself put it when asked for the BrooklynVegan digital magazine what he hopes people take away from Previous Industries, “I hope people remember that they miss rap songs by rap groups that actually hang out with each other and rap in the same room.”

ShrapKnel Nobody Planning to Leave

ShrapKnel & Controller 7 – Nobody Planning To Leave
Backwoodz Studioz

For their third album in four years as ShrapKnel, New York/Philly rappers Curly Castro and PremRock connected with West Coast producer Controller 7, who entirely produced Nobody Planning To Leave, following albums primarily produced by Steel Tipped Dove (Metal Lung) and ELUCID (self-titled). Controller 7 brings a new dimension to the duo’s sound, with tracks that range from spacey psychedelia to clamoring jazz to neck-snapping post-boom bap, and Castro and Prem’s bars are just as dizzying and unpredictable as the beats. Open Mike Eagle, ELUCID, D-Styles (of Beat Junkies), Onry Ozzborn, Lungs, and Breezly Brewin guest.

Polo Perks FearDorian AyooLii A Dogs Chance

Polo Perks, FearDorian, & AyooLii – A Dog’s Chance

Former Surf Gang member Polo Perks, FearDorian, and AyooLii’s collaborative LP A Dog’s Chance is far from your average rap album. The genre-blurring LP samples everything from slowcore legends Carissa’s Wierd’s “Die” (on a song called “Carissa’s Wierd”) to emo legends Texas Is The Reason’s “Do You Know Who You Are” (on “BREESHWLRD”) to M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” (on “PaperPlanesSoulja”) to chiptune vets Anamanaguchi’s “Another Winter” (on “TONY SNELL”) to art rock weirdos Teen Suicide’s “Dye My Hair” (on a song named after Teen Suicide leader Sam Ray’s electronic solo project Ricky Eat Acid called “Ricky Eats Acid”), and it’s all presented in glitchy, erratic form. The production comes off like a cross between Lil Peep and The Avalanches, and the rapping is just as all over the place, from AyooLii’s auto-tuned alien melodies to Polo Perks’ relatively traditional rapping. To call it surreal would be an understatement.

Sideshow FUNTOY

Sideshow – F.U.N.T.O.Y.

LA rapper Sideshow has a penchant for abstract, mind-bending production–like a lot of his labelmates on MIKE’s 10k label do–but his choice of beats exists in stark contrast to the stark realism of his words. On F.U.N.T.O.Y., he’s got an all-too-real story to tell of growing up in LA surrounded by poverty, violence, and untimely deaths. When you’re not zoning out to the warped instrumentals, you’re hanging onto his every word.

Boldy James Across the Tracks

Boldy James & Conductor Williams – Across The Tracks
Near Mint

For fans of ’90s-style boom bap revival, Detroit rapper Boldy James and in-house Griselda producer Conductor Williams are basically household names. They’re also both extremely prolific (as far as I can tell, Across The Tracks is Boldy’s third project in 2024 alone), and their new collaborative album is everything you’d expect from these two: eerily calm bars from Boldy set to a hazy backdrop of chipmunk soul vocal samples and jazzy keys.

Honorable Mentions
Headie One – The Last One
Homeboy Sandman – Rich II
JasonMartin & DJ Quik – CHUPACABRA
Jay Exodus – The Exodus
Nyck Caution – Yellow Tape Road
Sauce Walka – Saucefather 2

Browse our Best Rap Albums archive for more.