2016 was absolutely stacked with high-profile album releases. Somehow, it seems like everyone who matters managed to drop an album, and here are the best of the best: Honourable mentions: A Tribe Called Quest - We Got It From Here ... Thank You 4 Your Service DJ Khaled - Major Key DJ Snake - Encore … Continue reading BensBeat Top 25 albums of 2016
Despite the quality of the year itself, 2016 has been one of the best years of music I've ever seen. The next two posts are going to be dedicated to counting down the best of the best, starting with the Top 50 songs of the year. I'm aware that Run The Jewels just dropped an … Continue reading BensBeat Top 50 songs of 2016
Top Dawg Entertainment's most uncategorizable artist is back for the first time since 2014's lacklustre These Days..., and continues to straddle the line between ScHoolboy Q's unapologetic approach to his gangsta rap tracks and Kendrick Lamar's intelligent and conscious lyricism and messages. Do What Thou Wilt is an incredibly dense album, and for the first time Ab-Soul … Continue reading Ab-Soul – Do What Thou Wilt.
Dreamville label boss and North Carolina rapper J. Cole's 4th studio album is released on the 2-year anniversary of his fantastic previous effort 2014 Forest Hills Drive, and comes as a huge surprise. On DJ Khaled's Major Key album earlier this year, Cole expressed his frustrations with the rap game, feeling dissociated and considering retirement, also declaring … Continue reading J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only
R&B/Soul singer John Legend's fifth studio album is significantly stripped down from his previous efforts, choosing to focus more on his impressive voice as he sings about some rather heavy concepts. Featuring some interesting and unexpected collaborations, the album of slowed down and introspective ballads has some very high points, showing off Legend's musical ability … Continue reading John Legend – Darkness and Light
Donald Glover is having a good year. After creating one of the most critically acclaimed new shows in Atlanta, his casting as Lando Calrissian and becoming a father, the man of many talents sens his musical style to another dimension entirely on his latest project Awaken, My Love. He abandons the braggadocio and punchlines and the surprisingly … Continue reading Childish Gambino – Awaken, My Love
West Coast gangsta rap revivalist YG returns with a brief collection of songs which didn't make the cut on Still Brazy, his acclaimed album from earlier this year. Although YG continues to bring the high-energy tracks we've come to expect from him, and reunites with some key collaborators, some of this material falls much shorter in … Continue reading YG – Red Friday