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My 10 favorite listens of 2016 so far (with explanations)

So many quality + anticipated projects have been dropping such as Abhi & Dijon’s Montana project, Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition,  Andretti by Curren$y and many more!

Next month, Bay Area legend E-40 releases the D-Boy Diary Books, Chi-Town legend Common drops Black America Again, Lil Bibby comes with FC3 the Epilogue, and maybe a few surprise releases as well. Here are my top 10 listens of the year so far!

#10 Kamayiah – A Good Night in the Ghetto // Oakland, CA // Rap & Hip-Hop

Standout Songs: How Does It Feel?, Come Back, Fuck It Up (feat YG)For My Dawgs


— Female MC from Oakland with charisma

— West Coast Rap is in a renaissance right now

— Numerous slaps/bangers; good use of production

#9 Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade // Chattanooga, TN // Hip-Hop

Standout songs: Free Lunch, Park


— Doesn’t sound like any other contemporary rap

— Mellow vibes

— Best non-Kendrick TDE project

#8  Noname – Telefone // Chicago, IL // Spoken Word Rhythm

Standout songs: Diddy Bop (feat Raury & Cam O’bi), Reality Check (feat Eryn Allen Kane & Akenya)Forever (feat Ravyn Lenae & Joseph Chilliams)


— Lyrically profound

— Great exhibit of how to merge spoken word + rap

— Suitable beat selection

#7 Phonte and Eric Roberson – Tigallerro // Greensboro, NC // R&B & Rap

Standout songs: Waiting 4 Ya, Hold Tight, 3:45, It’s So Easyphonte-tigallerro-1160x1160

— Good mix of rap + r&b

— Soothing

— Grown man music

#6 KAYTRANADA – 99.9% // Canada // Alternative Instrumental

Standout songs: Glowed Up (feat Anderson . Paak), Got It Good (feat Craig David), You’re The One (feat Syd Tha Kid)


— Variety of sounds

— Sonically colorful

— Musically ambitious and cohesive

#5 Kendrick Lamar – untitled, unmastered // Compton, CA // Rap & Hip-Hop

Standout songs: Track #3, Track #7image

— Best compilation album since Nas The Lost Tapes?

— Hopefully this is mastered & released soon

#4 Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book // Chicago, IL // Rap & Gospel

Standout songs: Blessing 1 & 2 (feat Noname & Ty$), No Problem (feat Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz), Angels (feat Saba), Mixtape (feat Young Thug & Lil Yachty)


— Great mix of gospel + rap

— Focused Chance > Acid Chance

— Mixtape of the Year

#3 NxWorries – Yes Lawd! // Oxnard, CA // Hip-Hop & Neo-Soul

Standout songs: Suede


— Super melodic

— Knxwledge and .Paak go together seamlessly

— Lyrically animated


#2 YG – Still Brazy // Compton, CA // Gangsta Rap

Standout songs: Who Shot Me?, Twist My Fingaz, Still Brazy, Word is Bond, Police Get Away Wit Murder, I Got a Question (feat Lil Wayne)


— Surprisingly socio-political

— Amazing West Coast production w/ no Mustard

— Best sophomore follow-up in years

#1 Anderson .Paak – Malibu // Oxnard, CA // Alternative R&B

Standout songs: Come Down, The Season / Carry Me, Parking Lot, Heart Don’t Stand A Chance


— So gad damn good

— Extremely melodic and musical album

— Very lyrically inclined

— Veteran song structuring ability


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