There are hip-hop releases I haven’t gotten to. I bet if you were to ask me sometime mid-2017, there might be changes to this section. That being said, here’s what stood out to me this year.

Big K.R.I.T.

2016 was a pretty eventful year for him. He goes out and kills Rhythm Roulette, he leaves Def Jam and becomes a Free Agent, and went 12 for 12 by releasing one song of him rapping over other people’s beats every hour for 12 hours. Mississippi remained in my rotation the entire year, especially with 12 for 12. There were plenty of times where I went from listening to Luna to Big K.R.I.T. and enjoyed every moment of it. 

Pusha T

For not putting out a project himself, King Push had himself a good 2016. For one, he shut down the internet for at least a few hours when he put out Drug Deals Anonymous. Having Jay-Z (I will forever use the hyphen) sound revitalized and motivated was the cherry on top. But then he had to put out H.G.T.V. and remind everyone that the GOOD Music president hasn’t forgotten the studio for the office.

Don’t Smoke Rock

Damn. It feels like we are in a second coming of a DJ/MC duos in the game. We got PRhyme, Statik KXNG, Run The Jewels, and now Don’t Smoke Rock with Smoke DZA and Pete Rock. Smoke has been hitting his stride in the last few years, and teaming up with Pete Rock came at the right time. Pete’s production is still on-point. If the weather has gotten cold for you, Don’t Smoke Rock. Instead, just listen to the heat. 

De La Soul

One of the best albums this year. Period.

Royce Da 5’9

Ain’t shit changed. Royce is still dope.