Staff Picks: The Best Music Of 2016

2016۪s a wrap on music and it was a blockbuster year. Hip hop and RnB, in particular, had massive 2016s, maybe their biggest year ever in fact, both critically and commercially. Outstanding releases from superstars like Drake and Kanye, future kings like Chance the Rapper, and next-level RnB gods like Frank Ocean (finally!) and Solange elevated these specific genres to new heights this year and the future of these styles is undeniable across all audiences. With that, here are our favorite picks, in no particular order, from the year that was. Queue up your Spotify, let۪s do this.

Scott, Editor In Chief
Drake - Views
That it was overplayed and completely ubiquitous was irrelevant to me, The 6 God۪s no-fucks-given style delivered again.

Beyonce - Lemonade
Speaking of high-profile releases, the internet chatter almost overshadowed what an incredibly soulful, diverse, powerful statement of music this was. Bow down to the queen.

Leon Vynehall - Rojus
Making believe that there actually can still be cool, interesting electronic and house music produced these days.

Honorable Mentions: Chance the Rapper - Coloring Book, Frank Ocean - Blonde, Skepta - Konichiwa (grime bruv!), Solange - Seat at the Table

Daniel, Unhemmed Contributor
Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
With that voice, the commentary associated, and a dream world I want to float in_it۪s the perfect musical genius I expected from Thom Yorke.

Band Of Horses - Why Are You Ok
There is something worthy when you slow things down - and BOH has done just that. A meditation, really.

Lapsley - Long Way Home
This year she made me weep (for days) and then helped me back up to dance on the subway, all in one album.

Sharan, Director of Marketing
Kaytranada - 99.9%
Aside from some great cameos, Kaytranada is a fresh take on the melting pot of electronic, funk and rap. Plus, you can't fight the urge to bust a move.

R_f_s Du Sol - Bloom
The perfect mid-afternoon creative fuel, road trip vibes or dance at home when no one's watching jams. Standout songs include "Like An Animal" and "Hypnotised.

Mark, Unhnemmed Contributor
Anderson Paak - Malibu
Paak put together a banner 2016 campaign that started in January with the release of Malibu, his second record. On it, Paak combines the soul of James Brown with the lyricism and songwriting of Kendrick Lamar.

Francis and the Lights - Farewell, Starlite!
After a huge year, (collabs with Bon Iver, Chance the Rapper, The Weeknd, and Cashmere Cat among others), this record came in under the radar but was critically acclaimed, thanks in no small part to the collaboration on "Friends" with Bon Iver and Kanye West.

David Bowie - Blackstar
The timing of the record's release nearly coinciding with Bowie's death notwithstanding, this brief record was a brilliant masterpiece. Still, it's hard not to feel all the feels at the start of the best song, "Lazarus," when Bowie sings, "Look up here, I'm in heaven."

Coralyn, Director of PR
Solange - A Seat at the Table
With her incredible voice and melodies setting the stage, this one is about identity, and then some, and illustrates a powerful, hopeful narrative that came at such a perfect time. I get chills just thinking about it.

Phantogram - Three
Everything I love about Phantogram - dark, gritty, and with the perfect amount of rhythmic pop. Though I will say seeing them perform live for the first time made this album exponentially better.

Kendrick Lamar - Untitled, Unmastered
When an artist drops an album full of raw, half-finished, literally untitled and unmastered hits and still strikes a weighty chord, you know it۪s real.

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