The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards, Pt. 7

ALBUM OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – WE GOT IT FROM HERE… THANK YOU 4 YOUR SERVICE
  • KENDRICK LAMAR – UNTITLED UNMASTERED
  • TRAVIS SCOTT – BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING McKNIGHT
  • ANDERSON .PAAK – MALIBU
  • SKEPTA – KONNICHIWA
  • DANNY BROWN – ATROCITY EXHIBITION
  • KEVIN GATES – ISLAH
  • YG – STILL BRAZY

THE WINNER:

  • TRAVIS SCOTT – BIRDS IN THE TRAP SING McKNIGHTtravis-scott

If you listen to only eight albums this year, make it these ones. Every single one of them is a masterpiece in its own right. YG remained the flag-bearer of modern West Coast gangster rap. Skepta crossed the pond with the very British Konnichiwa. Kendrick Lamar managed to get into the conversation by putting out a collection of leftovers from his previous two albums. A Tribe Called Quest surprised everyone by recreating their signature sound in 2016. Danny Brown gave a perfectly gritty account of his drug abuse and mental health over cluttered, biting beats on Atrocity Exhibition. Anderson .Paak properly introduced himself to the world stage after featuring heavily on Dr. Dre’s Compton the year previously with an album that infused countless genres. Kevin Gates went from internet darling to outselling Adele in first week sales.

Despite all this, Travis Scott let his ambition carry him to putting out the greatest album of ate, with fourteen excellent tracks. A star-studded supporting cast including Andre 3000, The Weeknd, Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar and Bryson Tiller helped BITTSM overcome all its competition this year. Peaking at number one in the Billboard 200, Scott became an icon with this album.

SIDENOTE:

ferg

The worst hip-hop album this year goes to A$AP Ferg with Always Strive and Prosper. I’m not sure if it’s just because he’s frequently seen beside the most charismatic man in hip-hop, A$AP Rocky but Ferg is probably the least cool rapper there is. Despite being woefully lame, Ferg’s music is usually pretty good. His 2013 debut album Trap Lord was critically acclaimed and was admittedly excellent. However, this year, Ferg’s music seems to have caught up with his personality. Always Strive and Prosper comes off like it’s confused and directionless and may have driven off some of the fans he won with Trap Lord. Apart from New Level which was brilliant (wholly thanks to Future), nothing here stands out at all. Sure, the production values are high and he has some high-profile features but the lostness and distractedness of it all just makes it unlistenable.

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The Boom Bap and Acid Rap 2016 Year End Awards, Pt. 2

GROUP OF THE YEAR:

THE SHORTLIST:

  • A TRIBE CALLED QUEST
  • MIGOS
  • COLLEGROVE
  • FLATBUSH ZOMBIES
  • A$AP MOB
  • RUN THE JEWELS
  • RAE SREMMURD

THE WINNER:atcq

 

  • A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

 

Who would’ve thought that in 2016 we’d be celebrating the return of everyone’s favourite 90’s rap group? It was made even less likely when the group’s lovable enigma, Phife Dawg passed away in March. Little did we know, Q-Tip and his merry men had been cooking up an album – We Got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service – during Phife’s final months. Despite this, a lot of reasonable doubt still hung over whether the group could come close to surpassing their previous classic five albums. However, upon release this doubt was blown out the water in typical Tribe style. Calling on frequent collaborators like Busta Rhymes and Consequence helped it retain its soulful authenticity, while Andre 3000, Talib Kweli, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar and more were called on to give the new album a fresher, modern feel. Overall, this group breathed some retro life into 2016 and let us reminisce a little about the Tribe’s glory days. Migos and Rae Sremmurd had their time in the spotlight, but will we look back in 20 years at their work as fondly? No. For that reason, this award goes to A Tribe Called Quest.

 

SIDENOTE:

The worst group of the year has to be the makeshift duo of Twenty88 (Big Sean and Jhene Aiko). After some decent singles together on Sean’s previous solo album and becoming a real-life item, ‘Twenty88’ decided to lazily create some carbon copies of those singles and make a whole album of them. Brilliant. Big Sean’s lethargic imagery weighs down the overall merit of the project, while Jhene Aiko’s talk-singing is fine on a song but grating on a whole album. The full on battle-of-the-sexes theme of the LP is weak and totally swallowed any musical chemistry they might’ve been building. I really didn’t like this.