This ain’t your mainstream 2DopeBoyz review, and neither do I care for Anthony Fantano’s exhaustiveness.
Hip-hop’s my solace, and I’m yet to come across an honest look at the MANY dope albums we’ve been blessed with in 2016.
[Note: Complete albums can be listened to at anytime by accessing the red hyperlinks]
Number 10: A smooth combination of soul and hip-hop from former Little Brother member, Phonte, and singer/songwriter, Eric Roberson in Tigallero.
This is a veterans piece of work, so appreciate it accordingly 😎
Number 9: Case Arnold’s Debut LP, So[u]l Theory impresses.
“The album represents the spiritual battle I was facing while making it the past few years. It’s a direct reflection of the state of mind I was in at the time. The overall concept comes from something I came up with when I was younger: If you remove “U” from SOUL, you’re Shit Out of Luck, and that concept started making its way back into my life as I was creating the project. The main themes really stem from battling to remain yourself in negative life situations, the journey of self-discovery, the idea of soul mates, and the process of trying to remain consistent.”
Number 8: Kansas City, Missouri, underground phenom, Mac Lethal, relates on essential themes of life, relationships, vices, work, love, and our society in Congratulations.
Number 7: This record is close to my heart, and I respect the vulnerability and emotional depth in Phora’s raps.
One of the dopest, lyrical emcees outta Los Angeles, With Love.
Number 6: Macklemore’s, This Unruly Mess I’ve Made – a record which isn’t as widely received as 2012’s, hella-mainstream LP, The Heist.
Rather showcasing intimate records, such as “Growing Up” (for baby girl, Sloane), “Kevin” (advocating against a pervasive American drug system), and “This Unruly Mess I’ve Made” (the story with regards to the ill-fated 2013 Grammy win), listeners can understand Macklemore as a storyteller and an advocate for positive in the game.
Number 5: One of my personal favorites – Mellow Music Group lyricist, Red Pill, and his contrarian tendencies make all the difference.
“Instinctive Drowning plays out like the ghost of Bukowski on a snarling bender. His songs are lifelines for the doomed, death letters written for fatigued skeptics,
the anthems of an existence precariously balanced among a fifth of gin and a loaded .38 revolver aimed at the temple.”
Number 4: Not surprisingly but sonically, another Mellow Music Group LP nabs a top-10 spot.
With Apollo Brown on the boards, and Skyzoo spitting fire on The Easy Truth, this is easily a classic hip-hop record.
Number 3: A truly refined, artistic, and intellectually grounded album from the New York veterans.
Presenting the very cool, open, and experiential, and the Anonymous Nobody from De La Soul.
Open your mind and soak in the vibes!
And before matters were even grasped fully, the Dreamville emcee dropped one of the hardest records of the year – 4 Your Eyez Only.
You can’t deny the lyricism and intention behind J. Cole’s highly engaging FLOW.
Number 1: And finally, the moment of truth – Common’s, Black America Again is the real deal and so fucking underrated it makes me despise the establishment.
There’s a distinct FRESH attitude and veracity of purpose with the project, piercing the heavy arguments of race and social inequality in America with ART.
A masterpiece in my books, you gotta bump this album throughout and then tell me if it doesn’t evoke the slightest sense of animus and deep-longing within your being for a better America.
RESPECT to Common for reinventing and delivering himself with nobility and power for peeps and the culture.
Let me know what were your favorite records from the past year?
HAPPY NEW YEARS – 2017 !