When thinking of 2017, plenty of hilarious memes have made the social media circuit describing the year as a wild experience. The same can be said for the year in hip-hop, but we're taking wild in a good way.

When it comes to new music, your favorite rappers did not disappoint and kept the hits coming. In fact, we think hip-hop's work ethic is like no other. In what genre do artists drop back-to-back albums in consecutive weeks and then continue to deliver mixtapes and collab projects throughout the year? Yeah, we know, it's hard to think of another other than hip-hop.

This year, rappers from JAY-Z to Tee Grizzley created some of the most transparent, reality-driven projects with lyrical substance, all while delivering hit records at the same time. Lil Uzi Vert's effort supported his continuous reign as the face of rap's new generation, Kendrick Lamar conquered the charts and the respect of rap fans everywhere with his album, and Rapsody solidified her place in the game with an opus replete with refreshing rhymes.

JAY-Z's 4:44 offered an unfiltered look into the life and times of Shawn Carter, the man behind the music who deals with marital troubles, infidelity and broken friendships. Tee Grizzley's My Moment pulled back the curtain on his legal troubles, highlighting pages straight out of his mental diary. Lil Uzi Vert's Luv Is Rage 2 balanced pain and passion with a melodic spin. Kendrick Lamar's DAMN., on which he takes rivals, society and himself to task, proved his storytelling and rhymes are in an advanced class of their own. Rapsody's Laila's Wisdom stands as a smooth, cohesive and powerfully insightful effort.

And those are just five of the many outstanding efforts to drop this year. After highlighting the best songs and the best videos, XXL presents the standout music releases that ruled the last 12 months. Here are 50 of the Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2017, in no particular order.

Words by Roger Krastz, Georgette Cline, Peter A. Berry, Emmanuel C.M., Preezy and Kairi Coe

See 50 of the Best Hip-Hop Projects of 2017

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