Drummer and producer Karriem Riggins had a busy 2020 that included releasing an instrumental jazz album with Madlib as Jahari Massamba Unit, Pardon My French, in November, as well as contributing to his August Greene bandmate Common's new album A Beautiful Revolution, Pt. 1. He also joined Common on a virtual Juneteenth special.

With the year drawing to a close, we caught up with Karriem to ask him about his favorite music of 2020. He made us a list, complete with commentary, of his favorite albums of the year, including releases from Freddie Gibbs & The Alchemist, Busta Rhymes, Black Thought, Big Sean, Jyoti, and more. See that, and stream Pardon My French, below.

Karriem Riggins' Favorite Albums of 2020

Freddie Gibbs & Alchemist - Alfredo

Freddie Gibbs is one of the freshest emcees. I love how rhythmic he is off the triplets with different cadences. Alchemist on the beat is the truth.

Busta Rhymes - Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God

Extinction Level Event Part 2 was a highly anticipated album for me. I’ve been a fan of BUSTA’s albums since The Coming. This new project shows you how great innovative artist evolve and also stay true to the essence of hip-hop.

Jay Electronica - A Written Testimony

Jay has always been one of my favorites. This album is simply dope and it was released right on time for me to dig in with no distractions.

Black Thought - Streams of Thought, Vol. 3: Cane & Able

Black Thought is one of my all time favorite artists. I was waiting on this type of project from him. Thought sets the bar and so many artist aspire to get to that height.

Knxwledge - 1988

I love how Knxwledge hears rhythm and chords. He has a very interesting approach. It’s new and fresh.

Butcher Brown - #KingButch

This is a great group of people who are all multi talented musicians and producers. This is a soulful project.

Nas - King's Disease

I think this is just another record by Nas that showcases how incredible he is. Car #85 is such a brilliant concept and gives me memories of being in NYC. This album is in full rotation.

Anti-Philosophy - Anti-Philosophy Vol.1 "Viral" LP

A project by saxophonist De’Sean Jones and guitarist Sasha Kashperko. Two extremely talented musicians from Detroit that are making some fresh music. This is a great project.

Big Sean - Detroit 2

He is such a ridiculous emcee. I met Big Sean through Kanye years ago and been a fan ever since. This album is a gem for sure. I love how he puts songs together.

Jyoti - Mama, You Can Bet!

Georgia Anne Muldrow is one of my favorite people. I think the world should know how amazing she is as an artist/producer. This album is just the medicine I needed this year.


Browse our Best of 2020 tag for more year-end lists.

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