Archive for December, 2016


This list is in alphabetical order and based on personal preferences.

Atrocity Exhibition

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The Danny Brown experience has always managed to be simultaneously entertaining and baffling and his newest 47-min masterpiece bears no difference. Although having their head in the clouds would lead most people to chaos and obscurity, that ambiguous darkness stands firm as his strongest suit as we notice the cloud that Danny has his head in is cloud nine for him. With 4 major success stories (The Hybrid, XXX, Old, Atrocity Exhibition) under his belt, Daniel Dewan Sewell pleads his case as one of the most talented Hip Hop artists alive.

Best track: “Rolling Stone”

 

 

Black America Again

Common - Black America Again

You would think Common would have lost his touch or simply become disinterested in the rap game after 24 years in the industry, 10 albums and countless guest appearances. Well, the politically-conscious musician seems improbable to be shutting up anytime soon as long as his country keeps on taking one step forward and two steps back. His eleventh album is as blunt and daring as it gets.

Best track: “Black America Again”

 

 

 

Coloring Book

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The early career of Chance The Rapper continued on taking fairy tale-like turns when the multi-skilled Chicago native dropped his second consecutive universally acclaimed mixtape this past May. He’s soon to be running out of ladders to climb as it gets more and more likely to see him lead the elite group of rappers he’s previously joined. To think that he’s only 23 is quite scary for his competition whereas it’s the best news we’ll get the whole day.

Best track: “All Night”

 

 

Do What Thou Wilt.

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Ab-Soul’s undeniable urge to be misunderstood/not understood at all knocks not much of his audience for a loop, however, encircling an entire album with feminist themes while preserving his extremist point of view is unfamiliar territory as well as being exquisite. He’s on top of his game and undoubtedly enjoying the critics that claim otherwise more than the ones praising him.

Best track: “God’s a Girl?”

 

 

 

Genesis

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Although Domo Genesis may have benefited from his long-term association with ever in-trend record label Odd Future, his solo debut shines bright as a bold statement on how individuality is the key to step his game up. Laid-back beats from more than a dozen producers suit his smoke-infused lyrics well and complement his less than often aggressive flow that’s as smooth as a Tyler Johnson jump shot. Having added this gem that’s flown under the radar to his repertoire, the California born and bred rapper has nowhere to go but up now.

Best track: “Dapper”

 

Islah

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Kevin Gates’ debut studio album would be a horrific choice if the intended listen is political rapping and conscious lyricism. On the other hand, the New Orleans native’s forte, often-spiritual bangers with unskippable hooks, should be more than enough to have an instant impact for the first-timers. It’s an unpleasant fact that having a platinum album means less and less every day, nevertheless achieving that honor on a first album is never an easy task.

Best track: “Not the Only One”

 

 

Malibu

Anderson Paak - Malibu

What a difference a year makes, huh? Anderson .Paak has journeyed from a no-name newcomer to being featured as one of the hottest up-and-coming Hip Hop artists on some of the most prestigious media channels, thanks to his mid-January soul/Hip Hop/R&B jewel. The reason I’ve got high hopes for him is not how skilful he’s proven himself to be, but how hungry he looks for producing top notch music as a collabo album with Knxwledge before the year comes to an end utterly demonstrates his devoted nature.

Best track: “The Dreamer”

 

 

The Sun’s Tirade

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Tennessee product Isaiah Rashad has been in the process of transformation both as a person and  a musician for a prolonged period of time, having to bite the bullet and get his act together as it’s pointed out by his lengthy absence from the microphone. The good news is he somehow managed to come out of his recent struggles with drugs, alcohol and most importantly, himself in one piece and make his way back to the Hip Hop scene with one of the flashier records of the year. The TDE artist is at his best when he’s honest and open, and The Sun’s Tirade disappoints on neither.

Best track: “Stuck in the Mud”

 

We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

a-tribe-called-quest-we-got-it-from-here-thank-you-4-your-service-cover-art

It’s only fitting for A Tribe Called Quest to have assembled one of the best records of the decade to add to their legacy after the passing of one of their core members, Phife Dawg. 16 tracks of classic jazzy Tribe sounds are a perfect display of everything the three-time-platinum-certified group has and could have become. Let Phife always be remembered.

Best track: “Solid Wall of Sound”

 

 

 

4 Your Eyez Only

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Is it a coincidence that the title of the supposedly no.1 album of the best Hip Hop storyteller of all-time, All Eyez On Me sounds very much like the title of J. Cole’s latest release, the reflections of an emotionally-packed real story? Probably yes, but that does take nothing away from how beautifully and delicately crafted these 10 tracks are. The display of Jermaine’s sentimental side shouldn’t come as a surprise though, as a trip down memory lane will remind us that touching stories like “Lost Ones” and “Never Told” were the cornerstones of his major debut and eventually, his rise to success.

Best track: “Ville Mentality”

 

Next 10:

ScHoolboy Q – Blank Face LP, Sylvan LaCue – Far From Familiar, Atmosphere – Fishing Blues, Apathy – Handshakes with Snakes, BJ The Chicago Kid – In My Mind, Ka – Honor Killed the Samurai, T.I. – Us or Else: Letter to the System, Bernz – See You On the Other Side, Noname – Telefone, Bas – Too High to Riot

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