DAR Hip Hop: 7 Important Albums Released In 2016

By @TrueGodImmortal


It has been three short years since we were in 2016, but in someway it feels like it has been longer and in some ways, it feels even shorter. Regardless, after we took a look at 2015 and the albums that year brought to us, we figured it's only right to take a look at some of the albums that made 2016 what it was, good and bad. Which albums do we select for this list? As usual, you have to read on and find out.

*Drake- Views


-So, I felt indifferent about this time when it dropped and I feel the same way now. Like with any album, this has ups and downs, but coming off a victorious battle with Meek Mill should have had Drake feeling amazing as an artist. Instead, he is almost angry and bitter in spots, as the album feels almost darker than expected. Despite that, Drake is able to create and craft some genuinely good songs per usual, of all different styles of sounds. Whether you enjoy songs that sound like "9", "Keep The Family Close", "Hype", or "Weston Road Flows", or you like the vibes of "One Dance" and "Controlla", or even arguably the best song here IMO "Fire and Desire", Drake has something for all. This album was commercially huge, which is why it is included on the list. The album did get mixed reviews, but regardless of how you see this album, it is a highlight on the year commercially.

*Kanye West- The Life Of Pablo


-So, Kanye has had an interesting year for the most part in 2018. While his mental health has been called into question, it was his music making skills that were called into question after the release of the poorly executed Yeezus. With Kanye feeling the need to create again and craft more gems, he went into the booth with a set of writers and artists and created an album that is equal parts great and disappointing. When Kanye is in rhythm and has a vision, the music sounds great. There are other instances however where you see he isn't creating at his best and his focus might be shaky. This is a theme for Kanye in his life period, which would explain the random dropoffs in terms of his music and his albums. Regardless, with this album, Kanye does give us highlights like "30 Hours", "Father Stretch My Hands", "Real Friends", and "No More Parties In LA". I always felt that if you trimmed down most of this album, you would have one of the best Kanye projects. Instead, this is just an uneven listen that many place among his worst.

*J. Cole- 4 Your Eyez Only


-So, this project was not received well by a number of fans, but I actually enjoyed it for the most part. After the success of 2014 FHD, I'm not so sure what fans expected out of Cole, but an album with a concept is viable and good enough to enjoy. The biggest knock against Cole is his production, but I always felt as if his production was fine. Cole experiments with jazzy instrumentals once again, as well as soulful style beats, and he does it well with the knocking snare drums accompanying every track. The album touches on a variety of topics and while some of the songs I could have done without ("Foldin' Clothes" being the main one)", I can appreciate highlights like "Ville Mentality", "Neighbors", "Immortal", and the hit single "Deja Vu". Cole didn't release a great album here, but it was still solid for the most part.

*ScHoolBoy Q- BlankFace LP


-So, TDE had something special with Kendrick in 2015, and in 2016, they were extremely active. Albums from Q, Ab-Soul, and Isaiah Rashad were big releases, some bigger than others. Q would hold down the mainstream side of TDE, dropping an album that was well received and critically acclaimed. Q doesn't disappoint at all here, dropping his signature style of lyricism and aggressive flow on every track. He has some great songs here like "Torch", "That Part", "By Any Means", "Black Thoughts", and more. The album would be certified gold marking another plaque for TDE and another big moment in the career of Q.

*Isaiah Rashad- The Sun's Tirade


-TDE could do no wrong really at this moment. Kendrick and Q had pretty much dropped two of the best albums of the respective years they came out in, so Isaiah had to bring the heat with his second noteworthy project. His debut project Cilvia Demo was seen as a classic by many and this project would be no different, as he takes smooth production and his lyricism to another level here. This is a great listen from start to finish with highlights that include "Free Lunch", "Wat's Wrong", "Bday", "Silkk Da Shocka", and "Dressed Like Rappers". The Sun's Tirade is up there with the best albums of recent memory and it is easily one of the best from 2016. I think it's time for the next Isaiah album as we enter 2019.

*Future- EVOL


-You might be surprised to see this album on the list over say the Travis Scott album or even Chance The Rapper's project, but the truth is, this is one of my favorites from the year. It wasn't met with the warmest reception from some of the critics and fans, but this was still good music from Future. An album that went somewhat slept on, EVOL showcases a lot of character, and it features hits, as the commerical power of "Low Life" and "Wicked" carry over to this platinum project. For me however, the highlights on this album are "Ain't No Time", "Lil' Haiti Baby", "Photo Copied", "Lie To Me", and "Fly Shit Only". This isn't my favorite Future album, but it is a really good project in his catalog IMO.

*A Tribe Called Quest- We Got It From Here.... Thank You For Your Service


-It had to be tough finishing an album without Phife Dawg's presence. He was a huge part of A Tribe Called Quest and without him around, any reunion would feel cheap. Thus, it is fitting the group released their last album together shortly after his unfortunate passing, featuring verses from not only the legendary Phife, but other artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, and more. This is one of the best reviewed albums of the year, and with highlights like "The Space Program", "Solid Wall Of Sound", "Melatonin", "Black Spasmodic", and "Ego", who can blame the critics for loving it. This might be tbe best album of 2016 honestly, and at the very least it is in the top 5 for sure. RIP Phife.

-True 

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