As I sat down on New Year’s Eve counting down the minutes until 2017, I suddenly felt anxious for the year of 2016 to be gone forever. In my opinion, 2016 was a tough year to swallow. During some instances throughout the year, it appeared that 2016 would just be a barrage of bad news, a compilation of natural disasters, and an increasing deficit of respect for one another. In addition, we left behind some important people in 2016, including legendary music artists. Music often carries us through the worst of times and propels us to through the best of times, which is why I would like to highlight some of my favorite works of music of 2016.
These were chosen based off of my personal music preference so there may be a lack of diversity in my music selection. These are also listed in no particular order.
|Awaken My Love
I know that I said that these are listed in no particular order but if I absolutely had to, I think that this would be my number one pick of 2016. Donald Glover has consistently shownus his versatility as an artist, whether that be through acting, writing, standupandnow music. I was surprised and delighted to find that there was very little rapping on this project and Childish Gambino virtually sang the whole album. Not only did he impress me as a composer and producer but he also surprised me with his singing abilities. I feel his vocal skills are best highlighted in my two favorite songs “Me and Your Momma” and “Redbone.”
Anderson Paakis setting a new standard for thehip hop artist, if you can even call him that. Similar to Childish Gambino, Anderson Paakis a multitalented artist and is part of the reason I feel that one-trick-ponies are on their way out. Anderson is a part of a select groupof rappers (actually none come to mind) that can rap, sing, and play an instrument… all at the same time. His soulful voice and classic style are evident in this album and as Dr. Dre’s new protégé, I think we will be seeing more from him. My personal favorite from this album is “The bird.”
I have said this before and I will continue to say it again. Bruno Mars is the baddestcat in show business. I mean, the guy is swagger personified. I’ll admit that this is a bold claim but I think that Bruno is Michael Jackson reincarnated. He’s that smooth and this album shows us why. Now personally, pop music is my least favorite kind of music but I can’t ignore the funk that he brings to the table. I challenge anyone not to danceand sing alongwhen “24k Magic” comes on the radio or when the DJ plays “Chunky.” In addition, this album had to make the list just for the sheer number of workout songs on here.
|The Coloring Book
Chance the Rapper
And we back!This album right here is heavenly. Not just because most of the production was based in gospel and soulful roots but because if I imagined an angel rapping, it would sound like Chance.The man is like water on a track. His lyrics, flow,and adlibs are like no other. This album is what it sounds like when secular music and gospel make a baby. I respect Chance for paying homage to his rootsbut also being able to sustain a modern sound. I also appreciate this album because it exudes energy and it is contagious. It’s hard to listen to this album and stay in a somber mood. Just play “No Problem” or “Blessings” and your head will be bobbing in notime.
Where have you been Mr. Ocean? This album was the most anticipated album of the year in my opinion. Frank Ocean fans have been waiting for years for this album to come out but I have constantly been met with delay and disappointment. This album makes it on the list for some of the same reasons as The Life of Pablo. It’s almost like a legacy award. Frank is too good forme to leave him out. It wasn’t his best work but it still was pretty good. It sounded more like a summer mixtape than a full length album but we still gotsome gems. For example, “Solo (Reprise)” featuring Andre 300 and “Ivy” are songs worth remembering.