2016 has been a great year for music, especially for Hip Hop & R&B! Last year, I only posted my top 10 albums but I’ve listened and enjoyed so many albums this year, I’ve decided to list 25 (yes, 25) of my favorite albums of 2016! So, here’s part 2 (1-10) of my favorite albums of 2016!
- Anderson .Paak – Malibu
There was no question as to who was getting the number one spot. Where do I start? From contributing on Dr. Dre’s Compton album, getting signed to Aftermath, successfully completing a summer tour, and getting nominated for TWO Grammy awards, .Paak has had the greatest 2016! The fact that this album was released on January 15th, I’m still constantly playing it as if it came out yesterday. To add to a great up and coming 2017, you can catch Anderson .Paak alongside his band, The Free Nationals, on tour with Bruno Mars! How cool is that? I’m so proud of this guy!
- Favorite tracks: ALL OF ‘EM!
- Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
- I never would’ve thought that my love for Kanye would dwindle the way it did. Ask anybody who knows me; they know I’ve been a HUGE supporter of Kanye even before The College Dropout. I’m talking Roc-a-fella “Champions” as my introduction to Kanye. But you know what, I will always appreciate the musical contributions Kanye has given us since the early 2000’s (I listen to music differently because of him). I did enjoy TLOP though, it’s different and it doesn’t sound like every other album Kanye has put out (which is a good thing).
Favorite tracks: Ultralight Beam, Father Stretch My Hands, Feedback, I Love Kanye, Waves, Wolves, Fade.
- A Tribe Called Quest – Thank You 4 Your Service
- The Hip Hop world was in complete shock when we lost one of the greatest emcee’s, Phife Dawg, back in March. It was great timing when ATCQ released this album because it was well needed for hip hop and music in general. I’m so happy for the return of a genuine hip-hop group creating good music. Too bad it’s their last 🙁
Favorite tracks: I actually enjoyed every song!
- Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
- I’m upset at myself for not giving this guy a chance (HA!). Chance came to my alma mater a few years back and I was like, “WHO?” I had no idea who this guy was or what he was about and had no interest in listening to his music; I totally regret that choice now because this guy is so talented! I actually became interested when I heard Chance’s verse on “Ultralight Beam” from Kanye’s The Life of Pablo album and I instantly became a fan (super late, right?). Anyway, Chance is a new rapper that I’m excited to hear new music from and I will definitely keep up with whatever he does in his career.
Favorite tracks: All We Got, No Problem, Angels, How Great, Finish Line, Blessings 2.
- Solange – A Seat at the Table
- Hey wait a minute, ain’t that Beyoncé’s sister?! Solange is a true definition of #BlackGirlMagic as she manages to not be in the shadow of big sister Queen Bey, but instead makes a positive name for herself. From her personality, style, hair inspiration and “wokeness,” one could say that Solange is a bit more relatable (maybe because of social media presence) compared to her big sis, but equally as talented. I grew to love Solange simply because of her unique style and the simple fact that her music didn’t sound like everyone else’s. A Seat at the Table is unapologetically black with songs like, ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’ and ‘F.U.B.U.,’ special appearances from her parents who discussed being pro-black and interludes from rap mogul, Master P, who talked about being a black businessman in a white-dominated world. Though Solange may not be the strongest singer (IMO), the tracks on the album showcase that she has the potential to hit those important notes such as on ‘Cranes in the Sky,’ and is able to beautifully harmonize with other singers such as Tweet on ‘Weary.’ A Seat at the Table has earned its right to be at the top of anybody’s list and the fact that Solange is nominated for a 2017 Grammy for ‘Best R&B Performance,’ I’d say it’s about damn time!
Favorite Tracks: Weary, Cranes in the Sky, Mad, Don’t Touch My Hair, F.U.B.U., Where Do We Go, Don’t Wish Me Well.
- KING – We Are King
- I would like to thank social media for introducing me to these ladies. KING, who is based out of Los Angeles, is a group that I would describe as harmonically rich with their vocals and blissful arrangements. I was ecstatic when I found out that KING was FINALLY releasing their full length album because there were only so many times I could listen to their 3 track EP. Listening to this album makes me want to walk across the beach and take in all of God’s creations. Please lisen to this album; it’ll soothe your soul!
- Favorite Tracks: The Right One, The Greatest, Red Eye, Love Song, Hey.
- Rihanna – ANTI
- So, I’m in shock! I’ve never been the biggest Rihanna fan but I can honestly say that I really enjoyed this album! Yes, ‘Work’ featuring Drake was the hottest song of the Summer but ANTI had plenty of other bangers such as ‘Same Ol’ Mistakes’, ‘Consideration (featuring SZA)’, and ‘Kiss It Better.’ Good job Rih Rih, you’ve just gained a new fan!
- Favorite Tracks: Consideration, Kiss It Better, Same Ol’ Mistakes, Close to You.
- Beyoncé – Lemonade
- No shade or blame to Queen Bey but it was hard for me to enjoy Lemonade because only a few days earlier, Prince shockingly passed away and I was mourning his loss (and still is). When I watched the actual short film, I caught myself dozing off a few times and I can’t even remember if I watched anymore after that. Anyhow, when I finally sat down and actually listened to the album, I thought it was decent. While I did enjoy a few tracks, I wasn’t getting the overall hype that everyone was giving it. I do appreciate Beyoncé for constantly putting out new music that is different than her solo debut (every album is definitely different than each other).
- Favorite Tracks: Don’t Hurt Yourself, Sorry, Love Drought, All Night, Formation.
9. NxWorries – Yes Lawd!
- Coming off the success of Malibu, Anderson .Paak teamed up with producer, Knowledge to create their album, Yes Lawd! One of their most popular tracks, Suede, is always in rotation because the beat is so smooth and .Paak talks so much shit in it! Definitely an album for the throwback sound/hip hop lovers!
- Favorite Tracks: What More Can I Say, Get Bigger/ Do U Luv, Scared Money, Suede.
- Common – Black America Again
- Common almost never disappoints in the albums he puts out. Since we’re living in BIGGER tragic times with the countless and senseless murders of Black men, women and children from the hands of the police, blatant racism against people of color, and just pure evil in this country, Black America Again is what we need right now. Even though Common disappointed and shocked many of us when he said that Blacks should “extend a hand in love” to white people to “cure racism.” Nah. Nope! Common must have bumped his head after winning that Oscar because, again, NOPE! But somehow, I forgive him because I know (and he knows) better than that. Plus, Twitter went in in on him enough for him to get the point. Anyway, Black America Again is a solid album that features R&B crooner, Bilal, Syd the Kid, BJ the Chicago Kid, Stevie Wonder and more.
- Favorite Tracks: Black America Again, Love Star, Red Wine, The Day Women Took Over, Rain, Little Chicago Boy.
See ya next year!