Pen’s Rhythm Nation: The Best Hip-hop and R&B Albums for Fall

Solange on the cover of A Seat at the Table Solange on the cover of A Seat at the Table

Dear Pennies  & Pens,

Now that Fall is upon us, I was thinking about music and what music fits this season best. Currently, my team and I are working on ISLP’s first hip-hop and R&B compilation album, LPZ. We believe that most of the music that’s out right now is kind of shitty so we want to bring back good music. Our favorite era of music is the 90s so the album will be based on that.

Moving right along, I have mixed feelings about Fall. I love the fashions but I could do without the colder temperatures. Hence why I live in Dallas. Anywho, I love music and I love the challenge of finding music that fits my mood, the weather, season, and time of day. So in today’s post, I wanted to talk about my favorite Fall albums. These albums weren’t necessarily made or produced during the Fall but they remind me of the season.

Rebirth of Gene by Gene Noble

This album is dark yet soulful. Gene’s singing is perfection and the production is great as well. The entire album flows and it’s more like reading a book than listening to an album. You get to know Gene and his life story through this album. You can tell that it’s very personal and oh so real. I love this album. I definitely keep it in heavy rotation during the Fall. As the leaves fall, so should your albums.

Gene Noble


Trilogy by The Weeknd

Trilogy was The Weeknd’s first mixtape/album and it is by far his best. This album is dark as hell. Like the Weeknd is clearly steps from jumping as he sings the lyrics. I love this album because The Weeknd’s voice is so beautiful yet you feel every inch of his pain. He makes you think and really try to understand what he’s going through. It’s crazy deep. This album is perfect for Fall because fall is when you reflect and think about life. And that’s exactly what Trilogy is all about.

trilogy by weeknd


A Seat at the Table by Solange

Baby sis showed everyone how much she’s grown up on this one. Solange killed it with this album. A Seat at the Table tells the story of what it’s like to be a Black woman in America. This album is literally ICONIC. There’s is nothing about it that should be changed or altered. It’s perfect for Fall because Fall is the time of year when you’re tired and broke from traveling all Summer so you sit at home drinking wine and thinking. So give yourself a seat at the table by playing it while you sit at the table you bought.

a seat at the table small

Lemonade by Beyonce

Now it’s Big sis’ turn. With this album, Beyonce` reminded everyone that she is Black. She loves her Negro nose and Jackson 5 nostrils. If you don’t know what that means it’s cause you’re not black. #iaintsorry. But seriously, Beyonce` created some stunning and iconic images of Black womanhood. Like I don’t even know where to begin. Lemonade is the perfect Fall album because it just is. I mean it’s fuckin Beyonce` dude. If you ain’t on the Beyhive exit stage left.


4:44 by Jay Z

Those that know me know I love Jay Z. There is no greater rapper. Like come the fuck on. Who’s better than Jay? Only the Beatles…nobody’s ahead of him. So one morning at 4:44 Jay Z woke up and decided to write an album. And he did it all without a pen. That fact alone is why Jay Z is an ICON, Pennies & Pens. Respect his hustle. Like I get it, he cheated on Bey but fuck y’all act like y’all do everything you’re supposed to do. And honestly if all you got from 4:44 is that he cheated, you’re basic as fuck. Moving on. This is the perfect Fall album because it’s got those cool Fall weather vibes, with Jay Z’s storytelling and lyricism, it’s the perfect Fall hip-hop joint. 


Coming Home by Leon Bridges

I knew Leon Bridges was dope when I played Coming Home for my Mom and she swore it was some old school music. She couldn’t believe that it was a new album. Like bruh, my Mom is old school through and through, she’s a Temptations & Supremes kind of girl. A James Brown fan. So if she digs Leon then you know it’s dope. This album is so soulful and loving. You feel the love when you listen to it. And that’s what you need during the Fall, some love cause it’s starting to get cold outside.

coming home leon bridges

Cool Relax by Jon B

I’m gonna take y’all back on this one. Jon B was the Justin Timberlake of the 90s aka a white boy who can sang. This album is perfect for Fall. It takes you back to a time when men actually sang real lyrics instead just “rapping” about doing dirty things to women they’ve gotten drunk or high (and FYI to do that is rape #imjustsayin). I love this album because it’s a “press play” aka an album you can listen to from beginning to end.

cool relax jon b

Good kid, m.A.A.d city by Kendrick Lamar

It took me fuckin forever to listen to Kendrick Lamar. I swore he was one of those new rappers who was talking about some bullshit and I definitely wasn’t interested. So imagine my surprise when I realized a kid from Compton created a modern hip hop classic. Like damn Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe is the Fall mood. You’ve been working hard all year and you want to tell every potential buzzkill, Bitch, don’t kill my vibe. Then there’s Poetic Justice and Backseat Freestyle, those are solid records. And the interludes are genius. Like bruh, Kendrick brought back the fuckin interlude. I thought those were gone forever.

kendrick lamar

Here I Am by Kelly Rowland

I love Kelly Rowland. She is soo underrated. And Here I Am is a genius album. It’s pure perfection. Released in 2011, it’s definitely one of her best. This album is perfect for Fall because it’s all about love and female empowerment. My favorite tracks are “Work It Man”, “Lay It On Me” and “Commander”. This album allows you to turn up and turn down. What could be better for Fall?


The MF Life by Melanie Fiona

Melanie Fiona is another highly underrated artist. The MF Life was dope AF. This album is perfect for Fall because it’s all about failed relationships. I recommend this one especially for my Pennies going thru breakups. Get some So Delicious Vegan ice cream, watch Waiting to Exhale, and listen to this album. You’ll feel better, I promise.


Mya by Mya

This was Mya’s first album. Released in 1998 it fell under the radar like most of Mya’s work. But it is oh so dope. I like this album because it is chill and easy to listen to. It’s has slower tracks and uptempo tracks. I highly recommend it. I think this album is perfect for Fall because it’s something you can listen to on a breezy fall day with a glass of wine. 



Bangerz by Miley Cyrus

I love Bangerz because although it seems like a party album but it’s actually really deep. If you listen to it, Miley talks about relationship issues, sexuality, drugs, and so much more. It’s insightful and real. That’s why I like to listen to it during the Fall. This is definitely one of my Miley’s best and work that should be recognized.

Miley Album Cover

Nothing Was The Same by Drake

This is when I truly fell in love with Drake. Drake to me is one of the best things to ever happen to Hip-hop. He made the shit so sensitive. He makes music that shows appreciation for women when so many rappers do the opposite. On this album, Drake dropped some hits like “All Me” “Started from the Bottom”, and “Worst Behaviour”, he showed us that after this album, nothing would be the same. It’s perfect for Fall because it’s easy listening yet it’s got some hardness to it. It’ll toughen you up and make you feel soft all at the same time. 

nothing was the same


Perfectly Imperfect by Elle Varner

I chose this album because Fall is when you realize that you haven’t accomplished any of your new year’s resolutions because you aren’t perfect. However you are perfectly imperfect. Elle takes us on a journey in this album. Through a crush, breakup, and wild drunk nights. It’s dope and definitely appropriate for Fall.

Elle Varner Album cover

100% Ginuwine by Ginuwine

This is by far one of Ginuwine’s best albums. I think it’s perfect for Fall because it’s all about romance. Ginuwine used to make music for the ladies. And boy were we listening. I was just joking with some other creatives on IG about how fine Ginuwine was. Like he was the panty dropper before Trey Songz could even write the song. Anywho, with tracks like “So Anxious” and “What’s So Different”, this album will have you jamming throughout the Fall season.

100 ginuwine

Just Gotta Make It by Trey Songz

Since I just mentioned Trey I figured I would add his debut album to the list. It’s a dope album and absolutely one of his best. This album is all about how real the struggle is. By the time Fall rolls around we’ve all realized the struggle is real never fake. That’s what makes this album perfect for Fall, you can listen to Trey’s fine ass sing about his struggles until you forget your own.

trey songz

Traces of My Lipstick by Xscape

This album is definitely dope AF. I remember getting this for my birthday and swearing up and down I was a woman just because I listened to it. Traces of My Lipstick talks about all the issues that women face. By Fall, we’ve all realized that life ain’t been no crystal stair so we need albums like Traces of My Lipstick to keep us sane. Def get this one in your rotation. It’s a classic that deserves new listeners.

traces of my lipstick

Alright so as you can see, I love music. So let me wrap this post up now. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

Love, peace, and hair grease


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LoudPen is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur with two different businesses, 8515 + ISLP. That said, Penny has many different titles that she uses for each company. As far as ISLP, Pen is a Lifestyle Blogger, Influencer, Writer, Editor, Photographer, Designer, Producer, and Director. In regards to 8515, Pen is a Publicist, Event Planner, Creative Director, Casting Director, Stylist, and Makeup Artist. Basically, LoudPen has many different pens and loves to ink the page. On a day to day basis, Pen is usually writing content, developing products, producing, directing, creating a marketing or PR campaign, meeting with clients, planning events, posting on social media, etc. Follow Penny's Ink on Instagram & Twitter: @LoudPen @ISLPDTX @8515Agency @PenniesandPens

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