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Top 10 albums of 2016

Quinn Mccabe, Staff writer

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Over the past few years I’ve developed a serious passion for hip-hop/rap and its style changes. It has become a hobby to listen to new rap music when it comes out on iTunes, and I enjoy rating them based on their components such as the lyrics, beat, creativity, originality, and meaning. Here is a list of the best rap albums of 2016 not based on popularity, but on the overall combination of the five components.

  1. “DC4” – Meek Mill: Whether you stopped liking him for his loss against Drake or not, Meek is back and better than ever. DC4 completely exceeded its expectations and felt like Meek was making a confident comeback aimed at those who underestimated him. Meek stepped all over Drake with his threatening lyrics and rock hard beats. Drake now knows to never come at Meek again, because Meek is obviously all about that act’.
  2. “Blank Face LP” – ScHoolBoy Q: ScHoolBoy Q’s ingenuity and history with gangs, violence, and drugs provided him the ability to create a masterpiece about life in the streets. However, unlike most rappers, ScHoolBoy Q rapped about what life was like for him during his time spent with the Crips instead of rapping about the glories of drugs and sex. This album reached #1 on the charts immediately and held its place for a very long time and can be argued as the best rap album of 2016.
  3. “The Divine Feminine” – Mac Miller: In “The Divine Feminine”, Mac Miller infuses his love for R&B with his rapping in order to show a relaxed mind gently unspooling its creative eccentricities. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, Ariana Grande, and Anderson Paak, this album was a journey through Mac Millers imagination with sensual, calming production.
  4. “Therapy Session” – NF: NF packs therapy session with raw emotion, mainly extreme anger or sadness. He is one of the only hit rappers left that implements emotion into his raps and he does it perfectly. In therapy session NF challenges other rappers and dismantles their careers while promoting himself and making it clear why he is the best. He also elaborates on how music is therapy for him, helping him deal with family tragedies in his past.
  5. “Twenty88” – Twenty88: Big Sean and Jhene Aiko paired up to create a deep, sensual album about love, filled with wavy verses, hypnotic beats, and purred vocals, in order to timeline a modern relationship with ups and downs. This album was an 8 song work of art and everyone who listened to it is very thankful for Twenty88’s recent announcement that there will be another album in 2017.
  6. “Kairi Chanel” – Dave East: Kairi Chanel opened the doors to fortune and fame for East with this album. East has an unmatchable flow and spits raw bars in half of the album while using the other half as an outlet to speak on personal anecdotes. Although Kairi Chanel was very underrated, it started the rise of East’s career by showcasing his lyrical talent.
  7. “4 Your Eyez Only” – J. Cole: This album was highly anticipated and after waiting two years for it, it was sort of a let-down. The beats were very similar in each song and it was tough to get into the feel of the album. However, this was a concept album and what J. Cole did was outstanding. The entire album was him speaking as his friend but on the final song he reveals how his life parallels his friends’. The only difference is his friend never made it out of the streets while he did. So although it wasn’t very appealing musically, the execution of the concept album was next to perfect.
  8. “Views” – Drake: Initially, most people expressed a lot of disappointment with “Views” but they did not understand the difficulty of making this album. Drake had to appeal to all his listeners whether they liked his tough music, relationship songs, or pop songs, and he did incorporated all these as best as he could. For an album with extremely high expectations, he came as close to meeting them as possible.
  9. “Malibu” – Anderson .Paak: Anderson .Paak is arguably the most talented rapper of his time due to his ability to produce, sing, and rap. Amazingly, .Paak was able to showcase all of his talents in “Malibu” which illuminated his uniqueness as an artist. A blend of soul, funk, and hip hop in one album led to .Paak’s rise as an artist and made way for a new style in rap.
  10. “Savage Mode” – 21 Savage & Metro Boomin: With this major hit, 21 Savage made himself known and surprisingly is now one of the most talked about rappers in the game. Through hardcore rap about murder over beats as hard as metal, 21 savage appealed to listeners who follow the mainstream style of rap which unfortunately consists of watered down lyrics over tough beats. Although I do not enjoy his style, it is very catchy and made waves in the rap game.
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