Without further ado, here are the top 11 albums of this year after careful consideration and narrowing down; 11 is the odd number that was made final. Each artist has brought something new and fresh to the table this year, whether it be musically, artistically, or just down right buzzworthy. They were all bumping thru car speakers and office spaces at one time or another this year, even maybe still so, helping aid us thru the year with all the craziness in the world today. As the year “wraps” up, we had to “rap” up to, the hottest of 2016:
- Bruno Mars – 24K Magic
With Bruno so far ahead of his time, this guy is pure genius rocking us at the number 1 spot this year. The album is highly talked about with the leading single, “24K Magic” playing on every show, commercial, and radio station. The world is stunned, but not so surprised because we already knew what Mars was capable of, but he really did do us in this time with his outrageous vocal abilities and mega old school influences on this one. Continue to make us proud Bruno and I know you will!
2. Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love!
Mr. Donald Glover himself, is a vicious beast and we know that, but I don’t think anybody was expecting such a rarity with the arrangements and artistic plunge we all embraced just recently. With no rapping at all, just vocals with Funkadelic influences, Gambino has even made the Funk God himself proud, George Clinton. Gambino has out done his self with this masterpiece and we look forward to what chapter is next for Donald Glover in the future, but for right now we’ll keep vibin’ out to the funky sounds and watching him perform shirtless in the meantime.
3. Solange – A Seat at the Table
We’ve been protesting, ‘Black Lives Matter’ most this year and the homegirl in our heads has heard our cries giving us nothing, but raw blackness and sugar cane, so sweet. The album is dope and Solange serves up a dose of, don’t f with me with her straight up lyrics and melodies. Solange has proved she is one of a kind and like her sister, a special breed of the Knowles clan.
4. Beyoncé – Lemonade
Mrs. Carter what can we say, you always slay and this time around was nothing short. Beyoncé showed us how to get in formation and had us searching for Becky with the good hair too. With the HBO special and visual album, Bey has well prepared for what kind of year this would, “world stop!” The album is still a talking piece and still in our heads, not to mention the accolades she’s received since gifting us such talent, poise, and grit poured into one cup of ‘Lemonade.”
5. Rihanna – Anti
RiRi has us all winding with, “Work” featuring Drake and daydreaming with, “Love on the Brain.” Rihanna kills it every time with her island girl persona and sounds and this one did not disappoint. Her edginess is admirable and her aptitude is endless. Robyn Rihanna Fenty, you are a bad b***h.
6. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
As the third mixtape from Chance the Rapper, the Hip-Hop Prince from around the way dropped hotness onto the year right before the Summer season. Chance gifted us our very own coloring book as he painted and colored pictures with his lyrics and brought the songs to life. As a distinctive independent MC, Chance the Rapper refuses to be restricted by any label and has made more success, especially with this one, in streaming and doing things his way and that is why he holds a strong “6” on this list.
7. J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only
Lyrically we already know what to expect from Jermaine, but again with no features he pushing the envelope all by himself. J. Cole is no jive and can grace any track with his Fayetteville state of mind. He is truly one class act rapper and this album is pretty bad a** too.
8. Common – Black America Again
Revolutionary is what he is and his albums are listening proof. Common is Einstein in this game and he re-invents himself with every record he drops. This albums pulls on heart strings with the timeless tight beats and rhymes worthy of a listen over and over again. Common has my vote for president!
9. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service
This number “9” is fighting one because it’s special to the people and “9” is my favorite number so although it’s not number 1, it’s number one worthy. A Tribe Called Quest fans were not expecting it, but we are sure glad they did. With the same flava, originality, and odes, Tribe has done it again! After Q-Tip dropped the news via social media, the Hip-Hop community was patiently awaiting the blaze of the year. #RIPPhife
10. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
It’s hot in this bitter cold and if you wonder why it’s because Anderson .Paak is still dominating this year with Malibu. The superhero kind of an artist takes us on a world wind, time traveling, galaxy exploring, and peaceful journey. The album is outer space and each track has a different element from the last one and should be deemed scientifically phenomenal.
11. Emeli Sande – Long Live the Angels
This has to be her best album yet. Emeli Sande gave us mellow and good vibes this year with her powerfully written songs and ballads and as always; the emotional and multi-dimensional piece is worthy of our ears. This time it comes with a renewed spirit and flame behind the music.
Photo Credit(s): VIBE, Pitchfork, Saint Heron, Spin, Pop Sugar, E!, Wiipedia, Vulture, Twitter, Genius, Cantstophiphop, Okayplayer, Okayafrica, WWD, Ultimatemusic, BBC, Directlyrics