Welcome to HHM‘s 3rd year and 3rd project list where we chart the Top Projects of the year before. 2016 was full of surprises and good music and the rise of mumble rappers. Start the list at number 16 below:
Coming in at number 15 on the list is one of the hated mumble rappers, Lil Uzi Vert with his first tape released in 2016 Lil Uzi Vert Vs The World where he took on the world for the love of his lady. He created a cohesive 10 track project with endless bangers that most haters couldn’t denied the feeling. It was more like he’s not for me.
“Money Longer”, “Scott and Ramona” & “Ps & Qs”
At number 15 comes Future’s Purple Reign tape. Ironically we lost Prince in 2016 and Future Hendrix started 2016 strong and maintain that throughout the year from a joint album with Drake to one of the biggest tours of the year. Future cemented himself as a hip hop heavyweight last year.
“Drippin (How U Luv That)”, “Inside the Mattress” & “Perkys Calling”
As we inch closer to the top 10 we bring you to the future with number 12 Flatbush Zombies’ 3001: A Laced Odyssey. The long awaited debut album finally made its way to their loyal fans base ears. The Zombies had a sold hour tour some of the most vivid videos and killed their live performances on late night TV.
“Bounce”, “R.I.P.C.D.”, “This Is It”
One of the less brought up and maybe slept on, Kevin Gates comes in at 11 with Islah. He had an amazing year which got him in the mainstream spotlight without help from his dog. He couldn’t ask for anymore, the year ended rough with him serving some jail time but he’ll be out soon and hopefully right back to giving us more heat.
“2 Phones”, “Pride” & “The Truth”
With number 12 we get back to the gangsta rap with YG’s Still Brazy. In a era where most rappers chase the same sound to be successful, YG keeps it Los Angeles from the beats to the lingo to the culture. He also mad a protest and campaign anthem with “FDT”. Even if you don’t gangbang you might twist your fingers to some of this G-Funk.
“Who Shot Me”, “Fuck Donald Trump” & “Still Brazy”
Another album that may have went over a couple of heads is Isaiah Rashad’s sophomore album The Sun’s Tirade. TDE continued to be the best hip hop labe. Each of their artists that dropped had high quality projects and Isaiah Rashad showed growth and some of the best lyrical content released in 2016.
“4r Da Squaw”, “Park” & “Dressed Like Rappers”
Now we get to dig into the top ten albums. Coming in at number 10 is Dave East’ latest project named after his first child Kairi Chanel. In a game where everyone was searching for what New York sounds like in 2016 and where would it fit, Dave Ea$t made his way through the shadows and reached the forefront of Hip Hop. With Dave making the freshman cover and having Nas and Def Jam behind him, 2017 is looking promising.
“Type Of Time”, “30 N***az” & “The Real Is Back”
Drake may have had the biggest years out of anyone on the list with countless hits and sold the most but he didn’t show one thing from If You’re Reading this It’s Too Late to this album and that is…growth. He gave us what we expected and we was happy with that. His hit list is untouchable at the moment but let’s see what he does in 2017.
“Redemption”, “Faithful” & “One Dance”
With our number 8 pick comes the man himself Jermaine Lamarr Cole with his surprise album 4 Your Eyez Only. Cole put today’s game on notice with his two releases prior to the album “False Prophets” and “Everybody Dies” which everyone took notice too. 4YEO may not be his best work but he’s still light gears ahead of today’s work.
“Change”, “Neighbors” & “4 Your Eyez Only”
One of the newest Roc Nation signees, Rapsody comes in at number 7 with her project Crown. Rapsody is usually overlooked because she’s not as marketable as a Nicki Minaj but Rapsody is the most lyrical female spitting and Crown proves that more than ever. Using the samples of 9th wonder the dynamic duo murdered these 10 Tracks.
“Tina Turner”, “Mad” & “2 AM”
At number 6 is a blast from the past with A Tribe Called Quest with their last album We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service. With the lost of Phife Dawg, the group mourned with celebration of his life and his art with this amazing piece of work that even in 2016 made people stop and listen..now that’s power.
“The Space Program”, “We The People….” & “Dis Generation”
The starting 5 starts with the voice of the independent artists with Chance The Rapper’s amazing project Coloring Book. One of the more anticipated projects and it did not disappoint throughout. He used ever color in the box for this book and made it vivid in sound, production, flows and his unique ad libs.
“Same Drugs”, “How Great” & “Smoke Break”
Coming in at number 4 is Mr. Groovy Q with his best work yet with Blank Face LP. He scored his biggest hit with “THat Part” featuring, Kanye which gave him more appeal and opened he up in a new light. He made the best of that opportunity and dropped a cohesive project that will live on.
“THat Part”, “Str8 Ballin” & “Tookie Knows II”
With number 3 is a delightful surprise although Rodeo was a good debut album Travi$ Scott went to another level with Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight. Out of every rapper that uses any type of auto tune Travi$ set the bar on how it should be used with great melody and song writing.
“through the late night”, “sweet sweet” & “beibs in the trap”
Slept on album of the year comes in number 2 on HHM‘s list with Do What Thou Wilt by another TDE artist, Ab Dash Soul. The most quotable album in 2016 by far and that’s for anyone that craves bars in their diet. The big question throughout the project is if God a girl and Soul puts his soul into answering that question. After a lackluster sophomore album he came back stronger than ever.
“Threatening Nature”, “God’s a Girl?” & “D.R.U.G.S.”
The best album of 2016 is almost undeniable in the sense of what it did. It pushed the culture in terms of sound. The Life Of Pablo from the start gives your spirit a lift from the choir to the words of Kirk Franklin it gives you that lift for the day. Kanye West is a master of his art and putting people exactly where they belong on songs. From his tour to his sneakers he made headlines all year from being nearly nonexistent the year before. From the title changes to the breakdowns Kanye had hand on the neck of the culture. Even if you didn’t care, you cared and that is why Mr. West receives top honors.
“Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1”, “Highlights” & “Real Friends”