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A Defensive Stance

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Cudi

My Top 20 Projects of 2016

Happy New Years everyone. These are my top 20 projects of 2016, this aren’t necessarily the best but the projects that I found myself playing and revisiting the most.  I don’t care about your gripes or “This isn’t real hip-hop” bullshit.  Go debate your grandmother I don’t care. But without further a dieu here’s my favorite projects of 2016.
20.Gucci Mane and Lil Uzi Vert: 1017 vs. The World

Lil Uzi has been growing on me in 2016 and what he lacks in lyrical content, he excels in making good songs.  Mix that with a legendary artist such as Gucci and you get 1017 vs the world.  The two made a project that has been on repeat since it dropped.

Favorite Tracks: Changed My Phone, In 04′,Threesome

19.  Post Malone:StoneyImage result for stoney

If you would have told me last year Post Malone would be on my year end list I would have laughed in your face.  But I found myself constantly going back to Stoney .  The genre bending artist demonstrated how he is more than a one trick pony, who has more to prove.

Favorite Tracks: No Option, Deja Vu, Yours Truly, Austin Post, Feel, White Iverson

18.  Lil Uzi Vert: Lil Uzi Vs. The World

Image result for lil uzi vs the world

I loved Lil Uzi Vs The World. This mixtape is filled with fun tracks and catchy flows.  The replay value on this project is insane and the production is amazing.
Favorite Tracks, P’s and Q’s, Canadian Goose, Baby Are You Home, Team Rocket

17. Dave East: Khari Chanel

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Newcomer Dave East is a classic New York City spitter.  The album dedicated to his daughter showcases his ability . I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to see what East has in store for 2017

Favorite Tracks:It Was Written, Type of Time, Bad Boy On Death Row, Can’t Ignore

16.Kevin Gates: Islah

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Kevin Gates has always been a great rapper. But his antics outside of music makes it hard for a lot of people to take him seriously.  But Islah proved that Kevin knows how to make a good album.  Kevin has released Mixtape after Mixtape and I was wondering when he was going to drop his album.  After Islah it’s clear that Kevin is more than what he puts on Instagram.

Favorite Tracks: Really Really, 2 Phones, Thought I Heard(Bread Winners Anthem), Pride, La Familia

15.  Rae Sremmurd: SremmLife 2

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Sremmlife was one of my favorite albums last year, and Sremmlife 2 keeps the ball rolling. Sremmlife 2 only furthers the duo songwriting abilities and showcases their growth as artist.  Swae Lee and Jxmmi both improve on the rapping abilities and they get a string of guest features to complete this project.  I had no idea how they would top their first album and I was suprised with what I got.

Favorite Tracks, Black Beatles, Real Chill, Look Alive, By Chance, Shake It Fast

14.  Young Thug: Jefferey

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Jeffrey is a drug-filled, intoxicating blur of a album.  I was impressed by how Jeffrey is able to flow on tracks and it still be fun to listen to.  The production really threw it over the top for me.  I have always been a fan of thug but this project blew me away.

Favorite Tracks: Harambe, Guwop, Wyclef Jean, Floyd Mayweather

13.  Danny Brown : Atrocity Exhibition

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Danny Brown has always been a very polarizing figure.  XXX projected him into the spotlight after years in the underground .  Atrocity Exhibition was a dark, haunting album and I loved it . The production was amazing and the way Danny approached the tracks is genius.  I can’t wait for his next album.

Favorite Tracks: Really Doe, Downward Spiral, Dance in the Water, Today

12.  Kid Cudi: Passion Pain and Demon Slayin

Image result for Passion Pain and Demon SlayinPassion, Pain, and Demon Slayin is a beautiful collection of songs, reassuring us that Scott was down for a while but he wasn’t out.  Cudi came back after a slew of mediocre releases , he finally released the album everyone knew he could release.  Many had given up on Scott Mescudi , but he proved why he is still one of the most innovative, influential figures in Hip Hop culture.

Favorite Tracks: Rose Golden , Frequencey, By Design, Baptized In Fire,The Guide, Surfin’

11. Madeintyo: Thank You Mr. Tokyo

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Mr Tokyo, has an abundance of catchy , fun songs and they have they tendency to get stuck in your head.  After Uber Everywhere I doubted whether Tokyo would fizzle out or if he would come back with another hit.  After hearing this project, it was made  clear to me that Tokyo will be around for a while.

10. Vic Mensa: Theres Alot Going On

Image result for vic mensa there's alot going on

Vic Mensa’s There’s A lot Going On is one of the most honest and liberating projects to come out of 2016.  I found myself unsure about where Vic would go as a artist after the Innanettape but after hearing this project there’s no doubt about Vic’s placement in this music industry.  There’s a lot Going On proves his versatility and songwriting abilities.

Favorite Tracks: Liquor Locker, 16 Shots, Dynasty, Danger

9.  Isaih Rashad: Suns Tirade

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Isaiah Rashad had a lot to prove after he signed to TDE.  Isaih delivered a amazing project with Suns Tirade.  Isaih improved his flow and the concepts in this project.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait another three years for another project from Rashad.

8. Game:1992


Despite all of his antics in 2016, Game dropped a great album, incorporating classic G-funk and gangster rap into a modern album.  I was happy to see Game still has the ability to rap and make good songs.  I just hope he keeps all of the instagram antics to a minimal in 2017.

Favorite Tracks: Savage Lifestyle, 92 Bars, The Juice,True Colors/Its On

7.  Meek Mill: DC4

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After a rough 2015, Meek Mill bounced back and dropped an amazing mixtape.  Meek improved on his flow and showcases his versality.  Meek shows us he can rap without blowing out the listeners eardrum, and switching up the beats from his previous projects.  I was skeptical at first, but I haven’t stoped playing the project since it dropped.

Favorite Tracks: On The Regular, Litty, Lights Out, Offended, Blue Notes

6.  Big Baby D.R.A.M

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I’ve never heard a full D.R.A.M. and I did not know what to expect.  What I got was a delightful mix of Hip-Hop, Funk, and Soul.  D.R.A.M. is more than a rapper but, a multifaceted artist who can’t be put in a box.Big Baby D.R.A.M. is an amazing album and I can’t wait to see where D.R.A.M. does in 2017.

Favorite Tracks: Wifi, Misunderstood, Brocolli, Monticello Ave, Password, 100%

5.  Chance The Rapper: Coloring Book


Chance’s follow up to 2013’s Acid Rap  was a gorgeous album projecting his faith and shortcomings .  His powerful message and positivity is what makes him one of the most interesting figures in Hip-Hop.  From the instrumentation to the live choir in Coloring Book, I was simply taken back by it all
Favorite Tracks: Angels, Smoke Break, Blessings(Reprise), All We Got, No Problem

4. Schoolboy Q: Blank Face LP

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Schoolboy has always released amazing projects, and BlankFace LP was no different.  With the amazing guest features from Anderson .Paak to Sza and many others .  This is another notch in TDE’s amazing discography.

Favorite Tracks: John Muir,Groovy Tony/Eddie Kane,Ride Out, Neva Change, Overtime

3.  Travis Scott: Birds In The Trap Sing Mcknight

Image result for Travis Scott BITTSM

If y’all remember Travis’s debut album Rodeo was one of my favorite albums from 2015.  Birds is everything I loved about Rodeo and more.  With features from everyone from Andre 3000 to 21 Savage.  Travis shows everyone he is a force to be reckoned with.

Favorite Tracks: Coordinate, Biebz in the Trap, Goosebumps, Way Back, Pick Up The Phone

2. Kanye West: Life Of Pablo

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Life of Pablo is a hectic project , from the album rollout, to the album artwork.  Kanye re-invented himself and the music and while I was ecstatic the project at first after multiple listens I grew to love the album and craziness behind it.

Favorite Tracks: Famous, Father Stretch My Hands Pt 1, Pt 2, Real Friends, Wolves, Frank’s Track

  1. Solange Knowles: A Seat At The Table

Image result for A seat at the table album artwork

Solange dropped the most beautiful project in 2017.  I don’t know where to start, from Solanges angelic singing, to the beautiful production, or the important message, I was just blown away by A Seat At The Table.  This was my first time listening to a full Solange project and I did not know what to expect, And what I received was the best project of 2016, and ultimatley becoming one of my favorite albums of all time.

Favorite Tracks: Cranes In The Sky, Don’t Touch My Hair, FUBU,  Mad

What did you think about my list?  What were some of your favorite albums to come out in 2016? I would love to know and converse with you all about it.  Happy New Years and I hope everyone is starting off 2017 right.  Thank You.

NE

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Passion Pain and Demon Slayin Review

Kid Cudi has had one interesting 2016.  The Ohio Native had a highly publicized beef with Drake and Kanye.  Scott also checked himself into rehab for suicidal urges, many were surprised at this decision and an outburst of support from many of his fans.  After his album Speedin’ Bullet to Heaven, dropped in late 2015 to terrible reviews and dismal sales, many people had given up on Scott Mescudi.  Did he deliver with Passion, Pain And Demon Slayin’, or is it another flop?

Cudi has returned in rare form on this LP. I haven’t been impressed by a Kid Cudi album since Man on the Moon II and I was skeptical if Cudi would ever make a good record again.  The instrumentation and how he incorporated all of the sounds and verses to make this project blew me away.  He structured the song like a film, like his first two albums which I have been waiting for.  The only gripe I had with this album was the song Releaser, I felt that it had no place on the album and that it could have been left off of the project.  On some of the tracks Cudi’s singing can be off-key and come off as lazy.  Despite my problems with the album I thoroughly enjoyed the project.

I was amazed at how Cudi crafted some of these tracks.  None of the features feel forced, they all feel organic and cohesive. Willow smith added an amazing touch to Rose Golden, and Andre 3000 gave two phenomenal verses on By Design, and The Guide.  The project was sort of long, I do wish it could have been cut a little bit shorter.  But none the less, Scott Mescudi took us on an adventure through his mind, in a beautiful in elegant fashion.  Passion Pain and Demon Slayin’ is the Kid Cudi album that his fans have been waiting for, for years.

 

Favorite Tracks: Rose Golden, By Design, Frequency, Baptized in Fire

 

Score: 4.5/5

 

What did you think of Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ ? Did you Love it, Hate It? Let me know what you think.  Happy Holidays everyone!

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