This is part two of my of favorite rap/hip-hop albums of 2016. Check out part one. Once again, these are the projects I connected to the most and seriously enjoyed for one reason or another. This is not a list of the best rap/hip-hop albums of 2016, but my favorites. Enjoy.
- Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
- Noname – Telefone
- Mick Jenkins – The Healing Component
- J. Cole – For Your Eyez Only
- D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M
- Anderson.Paak – Malibu
- Joe Budden – Rage & The Machine
- Bas – Too High to Riot
- Lecrae – Church Clothes 3
- Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade
- Saba – Bucket List Project ***
Video: Come Down
To be honest, this album was a masterpiece. It easily could have been number one on quality and vibe. Anderson.Paak is ridiculously talented, and poised to be the next industry darling next to Chance the Rapper. He makes a great blend of R&B, Soul, Funk, Gospel, Jazz, and Rap. I want him to succeed. Malibu was a testament combined with the fact that he released another full length quality project this year (Yes Lawd!). Malibu itself is funky and fun peek into a man’s soul.
Favorite Song: Parking Lot
Rage & the Machine
Video: Flex ft. Tory Lanez & Fabolous
I’ve always appreciated Joe Budden’s honesty. He was the first to really use social media to chronicle his life, relationships, music, and drug addiction with JoeBuddenTV. His social media presence is sometimes comical, a$$holish, but always him. Lyrically, he’s easily one of the best in the game and often called the pioneer of emo rap. His beat selection has steadily improved, his bars are sharp and insightful, and he never shied away from the good and bad about fame. Rage & the Machine was all the parts people love about Joe in one place.
Exemplary Song: Freestyle ft. Styles P
Sidenote: Definitely New York Rap
Too High to Riot
Video: Night job ft. J. Cole
Bas, the underdog from the Dreamville camp, probably had one of the most consistent and vibe ready albums of 2016. It was easily my favorite hip-hop album starting the year off. It’s competition was tough towards the end but was definitely a diamond in the rough. Bas himself seems like my homie that wants to prove his skill on the mic while still having a blast being alive. Lyrics were tight, beats ambient, cohesive sound, and good for night drives. My only problem is his fixation with white women as a measure of success but that’s not for a post live this.
Favorite Track: Live For
Church Clothes 3
Lecrae has become a personal inspiration for me recently. He maintains his family, faith, and his really pushed the limits of what a “Christian Rapper” could do. I loved the production, lyrics, samples, and just the feeling of peace I received while listening to this project. Lecrae also brought in some really powerful cameo performers to really say being a man of God is more than just talking about God; it’s allowing Him to use you to leave an impact.
Favorite Song: Cruising
The Sun’s Tirade
Video: 4r Da Squaw
After Isaiah Rashad’s signing to Top Dawg Entertainment (Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul, Sza, etc.) and exploding on the scene with Cilvia Demo, he bowed out for years due to an addiction to Xanax and alcohol. He comes back with more maturity and works through his addiction on the project here. Isaiah’s charm is his unusual word choice and unorthodox sing/rap style. It’s lazy but complex at the same time while he searches for answers for his own questions. I want to see him continue to grow and hear the lessons he brings with more years of life.
Favorite Song: Wat’s Wrong
Sidenote: Kendrick… I mean…wow >_<
Special #11 – Bucket List Project
Showcase Song: Church/Liquor Store ft. Noname
This project has been a recent favorite of mine. I didn’t get to listen to it until 2017 but I found myself replaying it often. Saba tries on a variety of flows, talks about many major topics in Chicago, and seems like he is having a blast doing what he loves. I really appreciate the music coming from Chicago (obviously). Bucket List Project has energy, positivity, and creativity that I have been attracted to. This is going to be my Spring into Summer album.
Favorite Song: Symmetry
Hope you all enjoyed my top 10 favorite rap/hip-hop projects for 2016. I still have some honorable mentions that we good but didn’t quite hold up for me. 2016 turned out to be an amazing year for music and I pray this continues into the future.
BONUS: Joe Budden – Freedom freestyle
WARNING: Contains Graphic Violence [Real life footage of the cases of police brutality this summer]
Lighthearted – Bonus: Isaiah Rashad – Free Lunch