Since we are only in the infancy of 2017, I thought I’d post a list of my top 10 favorite hip-hop albums of 2016. While many of these also appeared on the Top 40 Albums of 2016 list and the Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2016 podcast, I wanted to focus in on a genre that had a really great year in terms of creative output. As you will see, my taste in hip-hop leans toward the more experimental and alternative, but if you’re interested in reading about some of the most innovative, thought-provoking hip-hop albums of 2016, this is the list for you. For some of these posts I used excerpts from past write-ups (I hope you don’t mind!).
For me, this list is the most important thing I write all year. While I enjoy all the various writing avenues I take, the “Top Albums” list is really the end-all-be-all. I’d be beating a dead horse if I discussed what a disappointing year 2016 has been, but instead, I want to focus on some of the great music released. Once again, I’ve compiled a list of some incredible albums that hail from a wide range of genres. Give the first 20 a read through and a listen, and I’m sure you’ll find something that strayed beyond your listening peripheral in 2016.
Swet Shop Boys
It is officially time to start wetting our pants – Donald Trump will be the President of the United States in mere months. The thought of that orange faced, mentally ill galoot running the most powerful country in the world is reason enough to be nervous, but his hateful rhetoric of bigotry and oppression has been even more appalling. Expressing this panic and anxiety as a white man feels a bit like empty venting in comparison to those who actually have something to fear in the Trump dictatorship.
Enemy #1 seems to be anyone of Muslim descent. Threats of a Muslim registry and even internment camps have already been floated by the Trump camp, and one can’t help but feel helpless to a Republican majority that might just appease the mad man’s wishes. Swet Shop Boys, a hip-hop duo comprised of Heems and Riz MC (both of Muslim descent), might just be the soundtrack of angst and hope that we have all been looking for in these trying times.