AllMusic 2016 Year In Review

Favorite Rap and Hip-Hop Albums -

 It was a wild year for rap and hip-hop, with highlights including Kanye's constantly-evolving The Life of Pablo, Danny Brown's grim Atrocity Exhibition and Rae Sremmurd's SremmLife 2, as well as standout releases from ScHoolboy Q, Vince Staples, Young Thug and Common.
We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

A Tribe Called Quest

We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service

On their first record in 18 years, the group capture what made them great while giving their sound a modern update.

Always Strive and Prosper

A$AP Ferg

Always Strive and Prosper

The A$AP Mob member's sophomore LP is a diverse success with an excellent guest list.

The Impossible Kid

Aesop Rock

The Impossible Kid

The esoteric rapper gets autobiographical on his first solo LP since 2012's Skelethon.

Fishing Blues

Atmosphere

Fishing Blues

The alternative hip-hop group continue with the homecoming theme of their previous album but with a more positive and laid-back approach.

Anything But Words

Banks & Steelz

Anything But Words

Stellar debut from the Interpol frontman and Wu-Tang leader that meshes so well it sounds like they were meant to be together all along.

Out My Feelings (In My Past)

Boosie Badazz

Out My Feelings (In My Past)

The cancer survivor goes deep on this dark yet empowering album.

Coloring Book

Chance the Rapper

Coloring Book

Triumphant and uplifting third mixtape from Chancelor Bennett, operating at the top of his game.

Splendor & Misery

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Splendor & Misery

The Los Angeles-based noise-rap trio's astonishing second album for Sub Pop is a dystopian science fiction opera.

Black America Again

Common

Black America Again

Reunited with 1997-2007 collaborator Karriem Riggins, the rapper delivers some of the most thoughtful and vital material of his career.

Big Baby D.R.A.M.

D.R.A.M.

Big Baby D.R.A.M.

Exuding cheer and pure levity, the versatile rapper/crooner moves beyond "Broccoli" on a spirited and sweet debut.

Atrocity Exhibition

Danny Brown

Atrocity Exhibition

The Detroit rapper, assisted by producer Paul White on ten tracks, is in top grim form on his first Warp release.

Bottomless Pit

Death Grips

Bottomless Pit

The California-based avant-garde hip-hop group gives listeners its fifth LP.

Genesis

Domo Genesis

Genesis

The Odd Future member makes his debut with help from Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Juicy J, and Tyler, The Creator.

3001: A Laced Odyssey

Flatbush Zombies

3001: A Laced Odyssey

The Brooklyn trio stun with an ambitious, conceptual, rock-solid debut album.

Free Will

Freeway

Free Will

With Raheem DeVaughn and Young Buck as guests, the veteran rapper sounds renewed on this 2016 LP.

Evol

Future

Evol

Future's surprise album is a dark and satisfying ride produced primarily by Metro Boomin and Southside.

Good Luck and Do Your Best

Gold Panda

Good Luck and Do Your Best

The U.K. producer's third full-length is warm, wistful, sample-based electronic music equally informed by house and hip-hop.

Everybody Looking

Gucci Mane

Everybody Looking

After three years behind bars, the self-professed trap god returned to reclaim territory in a scene he helped popularize.

The Sun's Tirade

Isaiah Rashad

The Sun's Tirade

Top Dawg's faith in the troubled rapper's talent pays off and then some, with this riveting composite of grief and filth.

The Life of Pablo

Kanye West

The Life of Pablo

A fascinating and flawed return with support from Young Thug, Madlib, Kendrick Lamar, and others.

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Kendrick Lamar

untitled unmastered.

A vital assemblage of what its maker referred to as demos, most of which were recorded during the To Pimp a Butterfly sessions.

Islah

Kevin Gates

Islah

The longtime mixtape artist goes official with this excellent debut album.

Feature Magnetic

Kool Keith

Feature Magnetic

Hip-hop's most legendary eccentric sounds energized and surreal as ever on this collaboration-heavy, mostly self-produced full-length.

The  Divine Feminine

Mac Miller

The Divine Feminine

Crass and heartfelt love songs from the Rust Belt rapper, featuring collaborations with Ariana Grande, Anderson Paak, and Dâm-Funk.

This Unruly Mess I've Made

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

This Unruly Mess I've Made

Bookended by big, bold, and perhaps cumbersome tracks, the rest of Unruly equals, and often betters, this duo's Grammy-winning debut.

The Life & Death of Scenery

Mr. Lif / L'Orange

The Life & Death of Scenery

Beatmaker L'Orange and conscious MC Mr. Lif join forces to produce a brief but powerful dystopian concept album.

Don't Look Down

Mr. Lif

Don't Look Down

Uplift and hope fill the underground rapper's 2016 LP, but expect edgy lyrics and challenging production instead of a crossover or clampdown.

Don't Smoke Rock

Pete Rock / Smoke DZA

Don't Smoke Rock

Bringing a taste of the Golden Age of hip-hop into 2016, this collaborative album is a nourishing standout of solid production and hard-hitting bars.

SremmLife 2

Rae Sremmurd

SremmLife 2

Pegged as a one-hit wonder early on, this sophomore release proves the hip-hop duo are for real.

Dame Fortune

RJD2

Dame Fortune

Phonte, Josh Krajcik, and Blueprint join the producer on this ambitious, '70s-flavored success.

Animals Have Feelings

Samiyam

Animals Have Feelings

Fourth album of heavy, off-time beats and chopped-up samples from the Ann Arbor-born, Los Angeles-based hip-hop producer.

Martyr Loser King

Saul Williams

Martyr Loser King

Justin Warfield joins the poet, rapper, and artist on a challenging and compelling concept album.

Blank Face LP

ScHoolboy Q

Blank Face LP

Inside a sprawling, excessive track list there's a classic album from the Top Dawg/Black Hippy MC.

Konnichiwa

Skepta

Konnichiwa

The grime veteran's fourth proper album is laced with strong, combative material.

Cashmere

Swet Shop Boys

Cashmere

A well-produced, very focused, and politically relevant album that isn't afraid to laugh in the face of prejudice.

Us or Else

T.I.

Us or Else

A raw collection of protest music from the Atlanta rapper that is focused, deadly serious, and painfully relevant.

Prima Donna

Vince Staples

Prima Donna

The Long Beach rapper faces inner darkness and societal ills on this unflinching and socially conscious EP.

Still Brazy

YG

Still Brazy

Classic West Coast sounds and some caustic, compelling lyrics keep the rapper on G-Funk's top shelf.

The  Art of Hustle

Yo Gotti

The Art of Hustle

Pusha T, 2 Chainz, and the massive hit "Down in the DM" all land on the Memphis MC's great 2016 LP.

JEFFERY

Young Thug

JEFFERY

Thrilling third mixtape of 2016 from the Atlanta trap icon featuring tracks named after Thug's idols, and appearances by Gucci Mane, Travi$ Scott, and Wyclef.