Tag Archives: 2016

Favorite Albums of 2016 List

Back at it again with my favorite Hip Hop & R&B albums list.  Here are 15 projects that dropped in 2016 and remain in my current rotation.

Kendrick Lamar – untitled, unmastered

Unpolished and unapologetic, Kendrick Lamar‘s To Pimp a Butterfly scraps are auditory gems that continue to bring much-needed awareness to social injustice.

NxWorries – Yes Lawd

Anderson Paak and Knxwledge team up as NxWorries to deliver a highly enjoybale fusion of playboy persona with throwback Soul teeming with violins, horns and bass.

Kanye West The Life of Pablo

Hate him or love him, Kanye proves unpredictable yet again by taking elements of Gospel, House and Soul to create a first-rate album that integrates elements of the old Ye.

A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from here….Thank You 4 Your Service

Hip Hop legends reunite with vocals from the late Phife Dawg to create a modernized 90s masterpiece that now boasts the largest gap between No. 1 albums in Hip Hop history.

YG – Still Brazy

YG continues to represent his West Coast roots to the fullest with another project that showcases his vivid autobiographical storytelling skills along with G-Funk-inspired beats.

Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!

An ode to acts like Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins, Childish ditches rap for a titillating 1970s psychedelic experience dripping with Soul and nostalgia.

Frank Ocean – Blond
After a four year hiatus, Frank returns with heartfelt lyrics that meld perfectly with otherworldly instrumentation comprised of guitars, organs and piano.

Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine 

Jazzy and enlightened, Mac Miller displays evident maturation celebrating love over sensual R&B instrumentation that sounds light years ahead of his previous work.

Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

Filled with glory and praise, Chance‘s Coloring Book is dedicated to uplifting listeners in the style of church and Gospel that Kanye touched on with TLOP.

Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ 

Kid Cudi revisits his early intergalactic style rapping his innermost feelings during a tumultuous year and reminds peers who originated much of Hip Hop’s current melodic sound.

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition

The dynamic and unmistakable Danny Brown fearlessly compiles a vast range of out of the box beats and unabashedly raps over them with animated ease.

Solange – A Seat at the Table

Solange steps out with a beautifully empowering and transparent outlook on femininity and black pride expressed through airy ballads and minimalist production.

Travis Scott – Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight

Travis returns with another nighttime soundtrack filled with trance-like chants that will be easily be embedded in the listener’s consciousness upon first listening.

Rihanna – Anti

With countless hits under her belt, Rihanna details love, causal relationships and break ups to makeups in a cool and sexy way only she knows how.

ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face  LP 

Ominous and honest, Q delves into his past life as a Hoover Crip with OG cameos like E-40 and The Dogg Pound while simultaneously continuing TDE‘s current reign.

 

Album Stream: Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!

Donald Glover continues to create his own lane with his new 1970s R&B-inspired Awaken, My Love!  Soulful elements of George Clinton, Funkadelic, Tower of Power and The Isley Brothers can all be heard on the stunning project.  Rapping is noticeably absent from the album, but the harmonization over twangy electric guitars, electric pianos and flutes on its 11 tracks provide a breathtaking and dream-like experience for the ages.  Stream via Spotify below.

Freddie Gibbs – “All Day”

Freddie Gibbs is finally back in action with his first song release since January.  The Gary rapper was exonerated from sexual assault charges in September and is now back on his infamous grind.  Listen to the rhythmic “All Day” produced by Brooklyn’s Harry Fraud below on SoundCloud.

The Cool Kids feat. Maxo Kream – “Running Man”

After a 5 year hiatus, rapping duo Sir Michael Rocks and Chuck Inglish are back with a fresh new cut interspersed with pulsing bass and catchy vocals.  Featuring Maxo Kream, “Running Man” is  definitely a strong comeback that reminds listeners of their unmistakable chemistry.  Listen below via Audiomack.

Video: A$AP Ferg feat. ScHoolBoy Q – “Let It Bang”

The hype for A$AP Ferg‘s new album is heating up as he drops his second single, “Let It Bang,” with ScHoolBoy Q.   Due out April 22, Always Strive and Prosper, is also set to feature  Missy ElliottRick RossChris Brown and Ty Dolla $ign.  Watch below.

 

Album Stream: Kanye West – The Life of Pablo


Kanye West has finally dropped his seventh album, The Life of Pablo, tonight after his SNL performance of intro track “Ultra Light Beam.”  Listen to the beautifully soulful album filled with outrageous punchlines and some of Kanye’s’ finest production without the need for a Tidal subscription here.


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