5 Hip Hop Albums of 2016 You Shouldn’t Be Missing Out On

Posted: 15/04/2016 in Hip Hop, Lists

Bas - Too High To Riot

Bas – Too High to Riot: Queens, New York has always been very generous to the Hip Hop game in terms of producing great rap artists and Bas is no exception. Kicking off his career only 5 years ago, Bas has already released two albums with top 20 peak chart positions in the US, the latter one being his best work up to the present. Too High to Riot is too well-constructed of a project to be overlooked and the 12 songs in it lack neither collectivity nor harmony. Part of the tracklist looks like it’s taken right out of a Breaking Bad episode as Bas establishes chemicals/drugs as one of the main themes of the album, with “Methylone” and “Dopamine” being its main contributors. A member of both Dreamville Records and Interscope Records, Bas somehow managed to keep his tracks in conformity even though working with almost 10 different producers with a variety of musical characteristics. Abbas Hamad is only 28 years old but his mature rapping style is certainly promising going forward.

Best 5: Methylone, Matches, Night Job, Ricochet, Black Owned Business

BJ The Chicago Kid - In My Mind

BJ the Chicago Kid – In My Mind: Mostly known for his flair for unique R&B/soul hooks in rap songs, it was already time for Bryan James Sledge to take the next step and ditch his unfortunate reputation as a “guest appearance”. In My Mind is only the second studio album of the 31-year-old Chicago native, who’s been around for more than 15 years, making records and working with the best artists in the business. The album features some of them including Kendrick Lamar, Big K.R.I.T. and Chance the Rapper, however none of them succeeds in overshadowing the main act, BJ the Chicago Kid, who takes the listeners to a soul-themed journey full of love, sex, affection and passion. BJ is at his best when he doesn’t go out looking for new musical adventures and sticks to such concepts he’s most familiar with and In My Mind is undoubtedly the peak of his career so far. This is definitely an early candidate for the best R&B album of the year.

Best 5: Church, The Resume, Shine, Home, Turnin’ Me Up

macklemore-this-unruly-mess-ive-made

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – This Unruly Mess I’ve Made: The regular listeners/fans have this bad habit of immediately starting to compare the new to the artist’s previous works whenever a new project is launched. The latest album of the dynamic Seattle duo Macklemore & Ryan Lewis suffers from this illogical fan reaction, although being one of the finest albums to be released this year. This Unruly Mess I’ve Made succeeds in being both mainstream and underground, and does a marvellous job of gathering old school and new school artists together to serve as a “Hip Hop for everyone” album. New bloods YG, Chance the Rapper and Anderson .Paak have the privilege to be a part of the same project as the legendary acts DJ Premier, Melle Mel, Kool Moe Dee, KRS-One and Grandmaster Caz. It is safe to say that while recording the tracks, the authentic duo had the intention of proving to the world that they were the whole shopping mall, not just a “Thrift Shop”.

Best 5: Light Tunnels, Downtown, Buckshot, Growing Up, Need to Know

Anderson Paak - Malibu

Anderson .Paak – Malibu: What a way to show the world that you are not someone’s protege, but in fact you are an act on your own. Let’s be honest, most of us had no idea on who the heck this Anderson guy was before Dr. Dre’s Compton and even then, people were surprised that he was featured in no less than six songs even though he was terrific in every single one of them. Brandon Paak Anderson hadn’t had much commercial success before Malibu, although he had released three studio albums, a bunch of EPs and made countless guest appearances. Apparently this had nothing to do with a lack of talent as the California native showcases his rapping skill set, also adding a tad of R&B and soul to almost each of the 16 songs. .Paak both raps and sings throughout 60 minutes, which could have easily turned out to be a disastrous call if the artist hadn’t had the necessary tools to accomplish it which is definitely not the case in Malibu. You know you are kind of a big deal when you get 9th Wonder, Madlib and Hi-Tek to work for the same album.

Best 5: The Season / Carry Me, Put Me Thru, Am I Wrong, Without You, The Dreamer

Sylvan LaCue - Far From Familiar

Sylvan LaCue – Far From Familiar: As Sylvan -formerly known as QuESt- likes to point out, this is not his debut studio album as he prefers to call it a “project”. It damn sure feels like a major debut, though. The Hip Hop artist from 305 states that he “feels like his most self” after switching from QuESt to his given name and Far From Familiar is a living proof of that. As he always does, Sylvan continues to take us on his real life journey and shows us what’s happening behind the scenes. We witness his struggles, his desires and the transformation process he experiences that is not just about a stage name, but is about finding himself and his path. The album reveals that although Sylvan’s only 25, the things he’s gone through made himself and his music more mature than his peers and their works. Fair to assume that the Miami native is going to get some criticism for “singing too much” instead of rapping but the people who are actually familiar with Sylvan and his style would know this has nothing to do with going mainstream or selling out. Sylvan LaCue is just a guy trying to make a living by doing the thing he loves. And he is going nowhere but up.

Best 5: Heavenly, Fall From Grace, Emeryville, Caravan 04, Back to the City

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