It would only make sense, wouldn’t it? Mustard had his moment, but in the last year DJ Khaled has become a parody of himself. Going viral almost daily with his Snapchat escapades, including the birth of his child (while listening to his own music, of course), getting lost at sea on his jet ski (tail-end of last year, I know, but hilarious nonetheless) and of course the groundbreaking release of his ninth studio album, Major Key, which had a who’s who of hip-hop for a feature list. From Nas, Jay Z, Busta Rhymes and Fat Joe to Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Future and YG, Khaled got them all. Behind all the buffoonery, DJ Khaled is actually one of the best DJs in the world and should be respected musically. Laugh all you want, he’s doing the same. All the way to the bank.
PRODUCER OF THE YEAR:
MIKE WILL MADE-IT
Young Metro has done the rounds. Active since 2010, he’s only gotten better and is still only 23. With producing credits for the likes of Kanye West, Future, Young Thug, Collegrove, The Weeknd, Drake and Gucci Mane as well a joint project with 21 Savage entitled Savage Mode, 2016 has been one hell of a year for Metro. He’ll tell you himself his best work is yet to come. And if he doesn’t trust you, stay well clear of Future.
In what was by far the busiest category and one of the hardest to judge, ten of hip-hop’s biggest stars went head to head. 2016 introduced us to young upstarts like 21 Savage, Desiigner and Lil Yachty, saw the escalation to stardom accelerate for rappers like Young Thug and Migos’ Quavo, the confirmation of greatness for trap legends like Gucci Mane and Future. Despite all this, it was the year of a Texan by the name of Travis Scott. Top class features on the stellar DJ Khaled album alongside Lil Wayne and Young Thug’s JEFFERY mixtape put Travis Scott firmly in the public eye. However upon unleashing a fiery, atmospheric album in September, Travis cemented himself as a bona fide A-Lister in rap this year. Getting tier-one artists like The Weeknd, Andre 3000 and Kendrick Lamar on his sophomore album is an achievement in itself, but for the tracks themselves to be so infectious and compelling is a triumph for Scott. To show off the other contenders, a supersonic year was needed. Travis Scott had just that.
While he didn’t do a whole lot this year, Rich Homie Quan didn’t have one of his better years. From his crew being involved in a North Carolina nightclub shooting, botching a classic Biggie verse on TV, getting dissed by Young Thug, being sued by his own label and delivering possibly the worst radio freestyle of all time on Westwood… The list goes on but let’s just say Quan took a lot of L’s this year.