All | Back to the Lab | Contact | DVD | FAQ | History | Home | Links | New Reviews | News | Search | Special Year 2016 in Review

The Year 2016 in Review
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

Flash's Top Ten Albums of 2016

#1. Elzhi: Lead Poison.
Much like the plight of Flint, Michigan this album seems to have been completely forgotten and shouldn't be. The impact will continue to be felt for years to come.

#2. Torae: Entitled.
Arguably the best emcee out of New York right now -- but also the least recognized for it. He made some great albums with Marco Polo and Skyzoo but this is truly the next level.

#3. Common: Black America Again.
I waited a couple of weeks to post my "best of 2016" just to make sure I had heard all of the worthy entries the other writers were talking about, and nobody was exagerating about "Black America Again." It's that' good.

#4. Aesop Rock: The Impossible Kid.
There aren't too many rappers left who remind me of the feeling I got discovering and raving about the underground rap scene in the 1990's, but Aesop Rock is even better now than he was then.

#5. De La Soul: and the Anonymous Nobody.
This could actually have ranked higher if it didn't take as long to come out as it did, but deserves all the credit for being a Kickstarter project which (unlike Mighty No. 9) was NOT a huge letdown in 2016.

#6. Run the Jewels: Run the Jewels 3.
In a year with lesser competition this could have ranked higher as #2 or #3, but it's not even the best of all three RTJ albums. That's hardly a negative though given how AMAZING the previous entries were. This rocks hard.

#7. La Coka Nostra: To Thine Own Self Be True.
Speaking of that underground indie rap aesthetic, this album brings back all of my positive memories of Non-Phixion and Ill Bill records, then updates it for modern times with really hard hitting beats.

#8. Kendrick Lamar: untitled unmastered.
The Game is probably the rapper singularly associated with Compton to the general public for the last decade, like the group N.W.A. was in the 1980's, but Kendrick Lamar is rapidly overtaking Jayceon as the new king of the CPT.

#9. Your Old Droog: The Nicest.
The late Keith Elam said it was mostly the voice. He was talking about himself but he was also taking about Your Old Droog, who (like Torae) has a voice I find simply memorizing over any beat with the least bit of head nodding appeal.

#10. SkyBlew: SkyBlew the Cowardly Boy.
Despite the self-deprecating title there's nothing cowardly about SkyBlew at all. He's making some incredibly brave music. This is your new generation emcee who isn't too hard to get in touch with his emotions and I dig that vibe.

Originally posted: January 17, 2017

© Copyright 2017, Flash Web Design Exclusive