Hello Step Off! Magazine family, it’s an understatement to say that 2020 has been a very long, difficult year for all of us both in United States and across the globe. From the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, city wide lockdowns, protests throughout the U.S. over the summer following brutal police violence, state sanctioned violence against protestors, and what has perhaps one of the ugliest, most contentious presidential elections in modern history. Indeed, 2020 has been one of most difficult years many of us have ever been forced endured. The past year has been one of loss, struggle, hardship, and sacrifice. That being said, 2020 has also been a year of solidarity, camaraderie, bravery, and love. A time of crisis where those called upon have rose to the occasion and showed the best that humanity has to offer.
At some point in all of our lives we endure events that test and push us to our very limits, these are what I call our diamond moments. When a diamond is created it takes great heat and immense pressure, but, under the right conditions it’ll transform even a common piece of coal into a diamond. It’s these moments that create the jewels within ourselves that are character, integrity and determination. Attributes that shine and last forever, just like diamonds. In 2020, many of us had our diamond moments and through the most difficult of these of these moments many of us found solace in the works of our favorite artists. Whether it be in the words of books penned by authors and poets, the brush strokes of visual artists, or the lyrics and melodies of our favorite musicians; for many of us, art served as a brief escape from a harsh and unrelenting reality. In 2020, perhaps no artistic scene has been hit as hard as our beloved music scenes. From the countless artists who have pushed back the release of cherished projects. To the DJs who spin at the ritziest of clubs, or the tiniest of dive-bars and local house parties. To the biggest concert arenas, to the local venues who are true the life blood of touring artists and every local music scene, no sector of the music industry has been left unscathed over the past several months and life as we’ve known it has screeched to a halt.
Admittedly, this year I had reservations about even putting together a top album poll given the number of artists who have opted to push back release dates or postpone projects altogether due to the pandemic and the inability to tour. However, given the amount of artist who have chosen to release projects in spite of this difficult year I felt it was only right to continue on in our yearly tradition and publish our online music poll for the top Hip-Hop album of 2020; and celebrate our fourth full year of operation here at Step Off! Magazine. Although I have branched out as a writer and journalists, writing for and contributing to other publications (and scaled back contributions on Step Off! as result) this website still and always will hold a special place in my heart, and I want to thank all you for supporting this platform over the past four years. It’s my hope all of you still continue to rock with us as go into 2021, and hopefully brighter and better days well. As always, we did our best to compile what we felt were strongest, most compelling, and most enjoyable releases of 2020. If we didn’t mention your favorite album, please feel free to add it below. Take to the polls to tell us what you think was the best album of 2020, and as always thank for you rocking with us!
Roberto ‘Rob’ Camacho
Step Off! Magazine
(Reminder: When making your selection be sure to click submit at the very bottom of the survey or your response won’t be recorded. Happy voting!)