9. Kamasi Washington: Heaven and Earth
It’s hard to say exactly how Kamasi Washington became a thing. Not that the guy doesn’t deserve his fame. He’s a peerless sonic explorer, relentless in his pursuit of more influences and vibes to add to his already astonishing collection of ambitions. But Washington’s demanding sound isn’t the type that usually comes with mainstream recognition, as artists of his caliber are generally sentenced to the odd corner of the record store.
Heaven and Earth, suffused with everything from G-funk to gospel, seems like the sort of project that would spur the interests of the curious. Instead, Washington keeps getting bigger. Maybe that’s just a sign of how good he is.