Top Five | Schutter’s favorite albums document a time in her life

Music has always been an integral part of me, and I see certain periods of my life documented throughout the music I listened to at that time. This list was extremely difficult to curate, but after heavy thought, I compiled this list.

5. “D***” by Kendrick Lamar

Top Songs: “PRIDE,” “XXX,” “YAH,” “ELEMENT”

Why this album? This album tells a story, similar to the work of J. Cole (later in this list). He modernizes old school hip-hop, combining chill beats with fluid rhymes, while also containing lyrics showing modern-day racism and inequality. The overall vibe of the tracks really pull this album together, making it both enjoyable to listen to and enjoyable to think about. I was in junior high when this album came out, and it really helped me realize the struggle of minorities in America. It also became the first album to win a Pulitzer outside of the classical or jazz genre.

4. This Old Dog by Mac Demarco

Top Songs: “Dreams from Yesterday,” “Moonlight on the River,” “Still Beating,” “Baby You’re Out”

Why this album? I absolutely cannot say enough good things about this album. The lethargic beats and tones really resonate with several of my life experiences, and I find myself listening to this album on a daily basis. Several songs are more upbeat, with guitar strums and more positive lyrics, while others demonstrate love and loss with more slow harmonies. I’ve listened to this album a lot lately, but when I first started listening to it I felt very content with my life. It helped bring up my mood, or I could just chill in my room listening to it.

3. 2014 Forest Hills Drive by J. Cole

Top Songs: “Apparently,” “St. Tropez,” “Love Yourz,” “G.O.M.D.”

Why this album? 2014 Forest Hills Drive is a masterpiece. This album shows J. Cole’s struggles with his childhood and adolescence, as well as his straying away from general violence that the community subjects African Americans to. This album (and all of Cole’s work) tells a story. That’s what I enjoy most about it, and aside from that he makes every song a hit. I listened to this album the most in middle school/junior high, and it opened my eyes to peak hip-hop. It was on frequent replay during bus rides to school and athletic events.

2. IGOR by Tyler the Creator


Why this album? I think this album covers just about every human emotion within and without a relationship. Every single song beautifully portrays specific feelings with unique synth and beat change. It’s also the album that won Tyler the Creator his first Grammy, for good reason. I listened to this album the day it came out, which was during track season of my freshman year. GONE, GONE / THANK YOU was my instant favorite. I related a lot of the songs to situations I was experiencing in a new relationship, and struggles I had with myself at the time. 



Why this album? My discovery of BROCKHAMPTON in 2017 marked a pivotal moment in my life: the moment where I broadened my music taste. For a long time, I’d stuck with strictly rap, but BROCKHAMPTON combines so many different styles of music… making something beautiful out of it. I love every album they’ve released, but SATURATION III had the most enjoyable songs. 

Honorable Mentions: 

Chase by Aaron May, BALLADS 1 by Joji, KOD by J. Cole, What Could Possibly Go Wrong by Dominic Fike, Bandana by Freddie Gibbs Iridescence by BROCKHAMPTON, 1999 by Joey Bad***, Who Really Cares by TV Girl, ASTROWORLD by Travis Scott.

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