This year tons of albums came out from each genre; however, my review of this year’s albums will be narrowed down to Hip Hop/Rap. Even in just this category, many albums came out from Kendrick’s Untitled Unmastered to Drake’s Views.
To start off the list we have Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled Unmastered, released on March 4, 2016 which was also named “To Pimp a Butterfly Leftovers” by fans because these were the tracks that did not make it onto his last studio album released in 2015 but were still worthy of a listen.
Up next, we have Drake’s Views released on April 29, 2016 which was his fourth studio album released to date. This album had mixed reception by fans and critics alike for Drake’s more commercial flow on this album. Fans felt Drake was going more mainstream and losing his original sound that had made him what he is today.
Another Top Dawg Entertainment artist released an album this year; ScHoolboy Q’s Blank Face LP was released on July 8, 2016. Long time fans had been waiting on this album since his 2013 release of Oxymoron. This album takes on racial issues as well as his hard gangster flow you’d come to expect from this artist.
The one exception to the genre theme I have is Childish Gambino’s long awaited “Awaken, My Love!” released on December 2, 2016. This comedian gone, actor gone rapper released this album after a 3 year hiatus from his last studio album Because The Internet. Unlike his other albums which were all rap; this album is a throwback to the soul and funk era of music. It has an old school feel that some loved but others hated. This is one of Gambino’s best projects to date even as he juggled working in other industries making TV shows and movies.
The last album on the list is from Top Dawg Entertainment’s Ab-Soul. Do What Thou Wilt was an album fans have waited for to see if Soul would redeem himself from his last album that was not his best work. Released on December 9, 2016, this was Soul’s fourth studio album, which is not only one of his best works but also deals with modern issues such as how women are treated and theological questions about God. Christmas is coming up so if you know a fan of this genre these might be the perfect gift or you can even give them a listen yourself.