Fresh Music Was A Silver Lining For An Otherwise Washed 2016

Fresh Music Was A Silver Lining For An Otherwise Washed 2016


December 6th, 2016


By: Whisky Wilson

2016 was a rough year to say the least. Over the last 12 months we’ve lost Phife Dawg, Muhammad Ali, David Bowie, and Afeni Shakur amongst countless other cultural icons. We also elected Donald Trump to be our next President.
The one saving grace during this time has been the music. As is proven throughout history, the best art comes from the worst conditions. Okay, that was a bit dramatic but you get the gist of what I mean. All jokes aside, we are quickly approaching the epicenter of a new golden age in audio art.
Whether you prefer Beyonce’s “Lemonade” or her sister Solange’s “A Seat At The Table”, 2016 has provided an amazing soundtrack for almost any lifestyle or musical taste. My personal favorite in the category of R&B was Alicia Keys’ newest project “HERE”. This album is a raw display of why we all fell in love with Miss Keys in the first place. A delicate balance of Hip Hop and Soul without the digital interference of synthesizers seems to mirror her No Makeup campaign.
Meanwhile, in the ever-expanding world of Rappers, the one named Chance has a shot at Album Of The Year with “Coloring Book”. Anderson Paak’s “Malibu”, Drake’s “Views” and Kanye’s “The Life Of Pablo” have all received critical acclaim as well.
2016 also brought us a surprising yet refreshing resurgence from two of Hip Hop’s most important groups: De La Soul(And The Anonymous Nobody) and A Tribe Called Quest(We Got It From Here, Thank You For Your Service). The Native Tongue veterans blessed us with updated versions of their legendary formulas and didn’t miss a beat. In fact, each of these albums are sonically on par with the best stuff to come out this year.
Now in December, you might imagine you’ve heard all the best music of 2016. If you haven’t sat down with Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” you’d be dead wrong. Just when we think we’ve seen all of his tricks, Mr. Glover pulls a hat out of a rabbit and completely blows our collective minds again. This project was made with your Parliament Funkadelic loving uncle in mind. Maybe a twist of Earth, Wind & Fire but little to no rap. And I’m not mad.
Even the reclusive J. Cole has given us a title for his newest collection of songs (4 Your Eyez Only) set to drop before the new year and it seems intriguing. If the two videos he put out as singles serve as any indication, light skinned Jermaine isn’t pulling punches this time around. Ab-Soul and Kid Cudi round out the list of artists to watch before the ball drops.

Other 2016 releases I would recommend checking out include: Dave East “Kairi Chanel”, Schoolboy Q “Blankface”, Currensy & Alchemist “Carrollton Heist”, Frank Ocean “Blonde”, Westside Gunn “Hitler Wears Hermes 4”, BJ The Chicago Kid “In My Mind”, Common “Black America Again”, NxWorries “Yes Lawd” Mick Jenkins “The Healing Component”, Smoke Dza & Pete Rock “Don’t Smoke Rock” and Conway “G.O.A.T.”

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