HipHopDX's 20 Best Rap Albums of 2016

HipHopDX's 20 Best Rap Albums of 2016

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20. J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only

J. Cole - 4 Your Eyez Only
December 9, 2016
Critic Score
69
15 reviews

With 4 Your Eyez Only, J. Cole deserves consideration for tugging at the heartstrings of listeners with raw human emotion but still leaves open the door to reach a musical zenith.

19. Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Brown - Atrocity Exhibition
September 27, 2016
Critic Score
83
29 reviews

Although the unconventional song structures and ostensibly clashing influences may create an unsettling experience for some, this is Hip Hop’s most sonically focused project since Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly.

18. A$AP Mob - Cozy Tapes Vol. 1 Friends

A$AP Mob - Cozy Tapes Vol. 1 Friends
October 31, 2016
Critic Score
70
6 reviews

Bestowed with more responsibility and creative control than ever before, Rocky curates and entertains listeners, exercising self-analyzation, and implementing the usage the young talent outside of the mob’s immediate cypher.

17. Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.

Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered.
March 4, 2016
Critic Score
84
26 reviews

There is now a cavern between what Kendrick does and what everyone else does. His lane, his sound, is a roaring train with only he and his team as passengers.

16. Mick Jenkins - The Healing Component

Mick Jenkins - The Healing Component
September 23, 2016
Critic Score
73
8 reviews

His highly anticipated debut album The Healing Component serves as a 15-track showcase of youthful positivity.

15. Various Artists - The Hamilton Mixtape

Various Artists - The Hamilton Mixtape
December 2, 2016
Critic Score
69
7 reviews

The Hamilton Mixtape is an enthralling musical journey through American history that manages to stay relevant to our country’s turbulent political landscape.

14. KA - Honor Killed the Samurai

KA - Honor Killed the Samurai
August 13, 2016
Critic Score
81
4 reviews

Such menacing musical backdrops, coupled with Ka’s hushed, raspy tone, ultimately imbue Honor Killed The Samurai with a quietly fearsome vibe which never lets up over the course of the album’s 10 tracks.

13. De La Soul - and the Anonymous Nobody...

De La Soul - and the Anonymous Nobody...
August 26, 2016
Critic Score
72
23 reviews

And the Anonymous Nobody is an album that, though lacking in congruence, displays De La’s staying power.

12. Isaiah Rashad - The Sun's Tirade

Isaiah Rashad - The Sun's Tirade
September 2, 2016
Critic Score
75
12 reviews

Back and better than ever are the spaced-out blues he demonstrated on Cilvia Demo, and even if Shad’s slurred bars suffer from hints of attention deficit, he scales scat-riddled verses more smoother than any TDE artist not named Cornrow Kenny.

11. T.I. - Us or Else: A Letter To The System

T.I. - Us or Else: A Letter To The System
December 16, 2016
Critic Score
74
2 reviews

10. The Game - 1992

The Game - 1992
October 14, 2016
Critic Score
71
4 reviews

1992 showcases some of the strongest storytelling of his career.

9. Travis Scott - Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight

Travis Scott - Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
September 2, 2016
Critic Score
62
9 reviews
He proves here, more than ever, that he has the true ability to use featured guests to his precise liking instead of just getting emailed a comfort zone type verse here and there.

8. YG - Still Brazy

YG - Still Brazy
June 17, 2016
Critic Score
81
12 reviews

Still Brazy is a testament that real-life experience breeds the best music but we can do without the shootouts from this point on. We need you alive YG to fully realize your potential because it's nothing short of incredible.

7. Ab-Soul - Do What Thou Wilt.

Ab-Soul - Do What Thou Wilt.
December 9, 2016
Critic Score
63
8 reviews

At times profound and others, utterly confusing, the 16-track opus gets denser with every listen. All the while, Soulo becomes more lyrically proficient than he’s ever been on top of some of the darkest production in 2016 raposphere.

6. Schoolboy Q - Blank Face LP

Schoolboy Q - Blank Face LP
July 8, 2016
Critic Score
77
18 reviews

While Oxymoron balanced chutzpah and remorse with the maturity of a gang banger who has made it out, Blank Face LP sees Q almost fully immersing himself into his old world, brazen and remorseless.

5. Royce da 5'9'' - Layers

Royce da 5'9'' - Layers
April 15, 2016
Critic Score
72
6 reviews

4. KAYTRANADA - 99.9%

KAYTRANADA - 99.9%
May 6, 2016
Critic Score
78
19 reviews

He seems to have complete control over the proverbial dance floor, switching up tempos to match the crowd’s mood throughout the 15-track album; this prevents 99.9% from feeling bloated and is yet another reason Kaytranada’s debut album is a resounding success.

3. Kanye West - The Life of Pablo

Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
February 14, 2016
Critic Score
79
32 reviews

Pablo could easily be confused for a collaborative album. It’s as if Ye said, “OK, ya’ll tired of hearing me rant? Well listen to how dope the rest of your favorite artists sound when Kanye is conducting.”

2. A Tribe Called Quest - We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service

A Tribe Called Quest - We got it from Here... Thank You 4 Your service
November 11, 2016
Critic Score
86
23 reviews

Through thick and thin, Tribe embodies the fully fleshed out idea of the Hip Hop their impassioned audience clamors for: work that’s soulful, thought provoking, and gripping enough to transport minds away from strife to another world sonically.

1. Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book

Chance The Rapper - Coloring Book
May 13, 2016
Critic Score
85
22 reviews
Rather than cheap ploys to cross over, the questionable collaborations are more likely calculated concessions with the intent of sneaking his evangelical message to a greater audience. After the communion cup runs empty, Chance proves himself worthy of hero worship by subtly and subversively overthrowing the commercialized horrors of his town’s violent drill movement.
Original Source: http://hiphopdx.com/editorials/id.3600/title.the-20-best-rap-albums-of-2016
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