This is a list based solely on my personal opinion, eclectic taste in music, and who I listened to most this year. If you don’t agree or think I’m crazy I don’t care and you are right. Enjoy.
10. Famous Dex
Dexter is part if the new wave of artist who’s music is entirely composed of energy. While some disagree with the “mumble rap” title given to artists like Dex I think its fitting and nothing to be ashamed of. They do mumble a lot, and it sounds great. With hits like “2 Times” “Drip From My Walk” and “Hit Em Wit It” combined with all the work he’s put in with Rich Forever captain Rich The Kid it was impossible to ignore Dex this year.
9. Lil Yachty
Back in April when I first started this blog I wrote an article titled “Lil Yachty Is The Truth”. This was upon me first hearing his breakout tape “Lil Boat” and more specifically the song “Out Late”. Obviously a few idiots disagreed with me but Yachty’s output helped me prove them wrong, you can’t front on someone who puts out a 2X platinum single in 2016, when its nearly impossible to sell music. Yachty dominated the internet in 2016 as well as smashed numerous features and his “Summer Songs 2” mixtape. QC is damn near the new Mowtown at this point.
8. Lil Uzi Vert
Uzi’s 2016 was probably one of the most high profile considering the placements and collabs he racked up. From the collab project with Gucci to records with Wiz Khalifa, Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj, ASAP Ferg, and the near flawless “Lil Uzi Vs The World” tape and now buzzing single “Do What I Want” Uzi and his mumble rap counterparts took my playlist by storm in 2016.
7. Divine Council
I found about these kids this year and have been obsessed ever since. ICYTWAT, Lord Linco, $ilkmoney, and Cryax! have an undeniably fun chemistry that bleeds through every track they are on together or apart. Songs like “Cant Afford Me” “Council Shit”, “Dick In Da Dope” and “Decemba” were all the convinving I needed. While Divine Council is still pretty unknown to the masses the only other evidence I needed besides their great music is the cosign they received from the legendary Andre 3000. 3 Stacks isn’t just gonna do a song and direct a video for a group that has no talent or isn’t going to go anywhere. Opening up for Young Thug and 21 Savage on the HiHorsed Tour isn’t a bad look either. These kids are in for the long haul trust me.
Drake wasn’t lying when he said 21 had all the juice earlier this year.While high profile collabs like “Sneakin” with Drizzy,”Offended” with Meek Mill and “X” with Future cemented 21 in the rap landscape. His solo work to me is what is really compelling. Songs like “Dip Dip”, “No Heart” , “Red Opps” and “Skrt” to me are a better look at what 21 has to offer. This man raps like a fourth grader who got called in class and its game changing, who would have thought?
My feature on X is one of the most popular articles on this blog and for good reason. X to me has the most potential to go really big out of anyone currently popular in the underground. Songs like “Look At Me” “I Love It When They Run” and “Yung Bratz” show the promise in XXXTENTACION’S unapologetically genre bending, and boundary pushing music. He will be free soon so look for X to fuck up 2017 properly.
4. Gucci Mane
I listened to more Gucci this year than I ever have in my life. Most likely because in his career which spans decades, he has been putting out some of the best music he ever has. His most recent jail stint has changed him all for the better and the music reflects that. “Everybody’s Looking” “Woptober”, “The Return of East Atlanta Santa” and “1017 Vs The World” are all in the top 10 of his best albums to me and they all dropped in 2016. Gucci fathered the style of most of the popular rappers out today and it was fitting that he received the attention and praise he deserved upon coming home.
3. Kodak Black
As soon as I heard “Skrilla” by Kodak I knew there was something special about the kid. The work he put in the rest of the year proved that fact to me. Songs like “LockJaw” “Shit On Me”, “Vibin In This Bih”, and “Like Dat” are undeniable in my opinion. Having just been released from prison in a Gucci like fashion I’m sure Kodak has plenty of street stories to share come 2017. He’s one of the young legends to appear this year.
2. A Boogie
Artists like A Boogie look to be the saving grace for those who claim New York is dying and has completely lost its identity in the rap world. Boogie’s style has that trademark New York grit combined with the ever popular vibing and melodizing that has taken over the game. Songs like “Macaroni”, “Friendzone, “My Shit”, “Bag On Me”, and “Timeless” should prove to anyone that A Boogie is here to stay.
1. Travis Scott
I have been thoroughly invested in Travis Scott since Owl Pharaoh and “Birds In the Trap Sing McKnight” showed his progression and command of his style that I wanted him to display. The album is damn near flawless to me and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. All Hail LaFlame.
Chance The Rapper
Ski Mask The Slump God