DEHH Staff Writer Picks: Top 10 Slept-On Albums 2016

DEHH Staff Writer Picks: Top 10 Slept-On Albums 2016

Candice Wilder

We can all rejoice that 2016 is finally over, and while it was a compelling year for new trends and sounds in hip-hop, we saw the

skepta ascendance of mumble rap artists such as, Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage and Lil Yachty dominate the rap game headlines. However, it’s  time to actually assess the year in hip-hop by giving recognition to some of the not so celebrated emcees. Last year offered so many breakthroughs for new talent. Skepta’s Konnichiwa introduced the eclectic, U.K. grime sound that reigns supreme in the East London jungle to mainstream hip-hop. Female artists, Kamaiyah, Lizzo and Noname dropped some of the most soulful mixtapes of 2016. And how can we forget rappers, A$AP Ferg and Kid Cudi made great comebacks this year with their albums, which innovated their sound and brand. Overall, we can agree that 2016 opened up the avenue for new artist and talent to shine through within the coming years.

1. Skepta – Konnichiwa
2. Lizzo- Coconut Oil
3. A$AP Ferg – Always Strive and Prosper
4. Kamaiyah – A Good Night In The Ghetto
5. Anderson .Paak – Malibu
6. Kid Cudi – Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’
7. Noname – Telefone
8. Bas – To High to Riot
9. Travis Scott- Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
10. Kendrick Lamar- Unmaster Untitled

Sam Bezjak

There were several releases that didn’t get nearly as much press as they deserved, or seemed to have fallen off the map as soon as they Maxo_Kream_The_Persona_Tape-front-largemade an impact. Flatbush Zombies and The Underachievers both released quality projects that didn’t generate much of a buzz. Open Mike Eagle dropped an incredibly goofy and low-stakes project with producer Paul White that was a ton of fun. Arcane wordsmith Elucid came through with a lyrically dense and incredibly enjoyable project that deserved much more recognition than it got. The most criminally slept on record from this year (in my opinion anyway) was Maxo Kream’s Persona Tape.

1.Maxo Kream – Persona Tape
2. Open Mike Eagle and Paul White – Hella Personal Film Festival
3. Elucid – Save Yourself
4. Noname – Telefone
5. Flatbush Zombies – 3001: A Laced Odyssey
6. Ka – Honor Killed The Samurai
7. The Underachievers – It Happened in Brooklyn
8. Apathy – Handshakes with Snakes
9. Joey Purp – iiiDrops
10. Bas – Too High To Riot

Paul Dickerson (@pauldickerson18)

I can’t say that there’s an album on my list that I love, but that’s just how 2016 was for hip hop. However, I do find each project on this  gucci-mane-everybody-looking-album-coverlist as unique and totally capable of impressing listeners who may have missed any of these. As far as the more familiar artists on the list, A$AP Mob has some bangers on Cozy Tapes, Gucci had a great comeback year that all started with Everybody’s Looking, and Kid Cudi put out the best album he’s dropped since Man on the Moon II. Speaking of comebacks—The Avalanches released Wildflower, a bubbly and playful hip hop leaning electronic album that some more adventurous rap fans might enjoy. Then there’s Hellboy, a strange blend of cloud rap and emo that makes the cut as more a testament to Lil Peep’s potential than to the actual tape itself. Even though Everybody’s Looking is a close second, there’s no doubt that The Persona Tape is my personal favorite on this list. Maxo came off as sort of a generic trap rapper to me at first, but after a few listens I realized that Maxo doesn’t even sound like a trap rapper—he’s too proficient of a lyricist. The Persona Tape also benefits from diverse, energetic production and “Spike Lee,one of the top twenty-five rap songs of the year.    

1.Maxo Kream—The Persona Tape
2. Gucci Mane—Everybody’s Looking
3. The Avalanches—Wildflower
4. Mick Jenkins—The Healing Component
5. Open Mike Eagle & Paul White—Hella Personal Film Festival
6. A$AP Mob—Cozy Tapes Vol. 1: Friends
7. Ka—Honor Killed the Samurai
8. Clams Casino—32 Levels (Deluxe)
9. Kid Cudi—Passion, Pain, & Demon Slayin’
10. Lil Peep—Hellboy

Terrence Sage

2016 was a crazy year for music. I got some albums I didn’t know I wanted and could finally take a sigh of relief for finally getting some fc13f72db56b44bba688c1b216e96887.1000x1000x1projects. With all the music that dropped some were slept on more than others and what kind of person would I be if I didn’t remind you of them? Prima Donna by Vince Staples was an album you can play backwards and forwards and it still maintain the theme Staples set out to make. Vince keeps it tightly knit with only seven tracks and a handful of features. Andre 3000, A$AP Rocky, and Kilo Kish. We got positivity in major ways out of Chicago, specifically from Noname and her project Telefone. Terrace Martin went above and beyond with Velvet Portraits, you’ll only understand if you listen to the album. Each song is carefully constructed weaving through all manner of instruments and sounds to provide a jazzy R&B tinted escape through LA. My number one pick for the Sleep Awards is ENDLESS by Frank Ocean we couldn’t spend a lot of time with the visual album and, how could we? The project we truly were waiting on dropped 24 hours later. The album has an air about it…it’s more calm, cool, and collected with a hint of that these are the songs that weren’t primed and ready for Blonde.

1.Frank Ocean- ENDLESS
2. Vince Staples- Prima Donna
3. Frank Ocean- Blonde
4. Terrace Martin- Velvet Portraits
5. NoName- Telefone
6. KAYTRANADA- 99.9%
7. Mick Jenkins- The Healing Component
8. Isaiah Rashad- The Sun’s Tirade
9. Hudson East- Eastway
10. Brockhampton- All-American Trash

Donnie Skillz

This is not an exhaustive list but rather albums I have been going back to and I felt they didn’t garner enough props(from my uglyperspective). I had to throw in Kano too because it seemed Skepta got all the shine and left mans with a little gleam nahmean. You have to give Props to Masta Ace though- for scripting yet another brilliant entry in his conceptual album series since 2004’s Long Hot Summer. Ka’s consistency is unparalleled as well .

1.Ugly Heroes- everything in between
2. Blu & Nottz- Titans in the flesh
3. Ka- Honor Killed the Samurai
4. Mickey factz & Nottz- The Achievement Circa 82
5. Master Ace- Fallin Season
6. Homeboy Sandman- Kindness for weakness
7. Joe Budden- Rage & The Machine
8. NoName- Telefone
9. Logic- Bobby Tarantino
10. Kano- Made In The Manor


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