Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2016 (So Far)


2016 has been a decent year for hip hop. Although not quite on the level of 2015 (until now), we've gotten a solid amount of great albums, and some incredibly vicious verses. In this list, we celebrate the five best albums of the first 6 months of the year. Once December is done, another list shall be crafted, featuring the 5 best albums of the second half of the year, and a last ranking piling all the albums against each other to see who comes up with the AOTY.  Without further ado, let's get to some good music:


5. Kanye West - The Life of Pablo


The one thing I learned from the road to The Life of Pablo's release is that Kanye West is a titan in the rap game. Seriously, he might be this generation's biggest rapper. From the name changes, to people constantly going insane on Twitter, and the legendary listening session at a packed Madison Square Garden, Kanye proved he has an enormous voice in the entertainment business. However, I kept asking myself if the project would be able to live up to the incredibly high expectations. In my opinion, it did. From the chaotically beautiful 'Father Stretch My Hands', to classic Kanye songs like 'Real Friends', Mr. West crafted a luxurious, melodic, and beautiful body of work about his life. Is it his best work? No. Is it Ye's best project since Dark Fantasy? Absolutely!

Favorite Songs: Famous, Real Friends


4. Royce da 5'9' - Layers


When it comes to the all-time greats, Royce da 5'9' is heavily underrated. Go back twenty years or listen to current mainstream rap;cats simply don't spit like him. His latest release, 'Layers', truly appeals to the thoughtful side of me. In every single song, he's rapping the type of bars that take multiple listens to fully understand. Alongside having some of his most memorable tracks in recent memory, this project is a reminder that Royce is still the complex MC we all know and love.

Favorite Songs: Tabernacle, Dope!


3. Vic Mensa - There's Alot Going On


For the longest time, I  didn't know exactly how to feel about Vic Mensa. He seemed like a decent lyricist with a versatile style, but no real sound. Wouldn't call myself a hater, but I wasn't fully sold. That all changed with 'There's Alot Going On'. In this short EP, Mensa solidifies his position in the rap game: a potential star. With only seven tracks, production is remarkably polished and clean throughout the tape, and his content and lyrics have severely improved. He has never been this honest, introspective, and loud. He has a message to deliver, and he will make sure you hear it. More than ever, I can't wait for his debut LP to drop.

Favorite Songs: There's Alot Going On, 16 Shots


2. Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered


Kendrick Lamar is probably my favorite new-school rapper. Not only is he one of the deadliest spitters, but he also has an amazing ear for beats, and an exceptional mind to create music. Just take this project as an example: a body of work entirely made of untitled, unmastered songs! Sound simple enough, but who would do that? The answer: King Kendrick. I was extremely excited to check this one out, and it did not disappoint. Now, unlike his previous two projects, this is not a classic. However, make no doubt about it, it's a fantastic piece of work. Kendrick Lamar continues to deliver magnificent content, alongside playful instrumentals and ferocious verses. Hope this streak of dope music never stops.

Favorite Songs: Untitled 02, Untitled 07


1. Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book


Chance The Rapper's journey to success is the most satisfying story in recent music history. After being suspended from school, he released a mixtape that earned him a lot of local recognition. However, things didn't hit the ceiling until his 'Acid Rap' project dropped. Suddenly, the Chicago native MC was one of the hottest new-school rappers. With 'Coloring Book' Chance The Rapper defies expectations by delivering the best gospel/Hip Hop project I've ever heard. Similar to a real Coloring Book, this body of work tells a narrative within each song. Every melody, line, and hook is full of positiveness, soul, and love. This is easily the strongest rap project I've heard this year. A must listen.

Favorite Songs: Blessings (Outro), Angels

No comments:

Post a Comment