Top 12 Albums of 2016 (You Probably Have Not Heard)

So many artists were overlooked this year. I have decided to make a list highlighting those with incredible projects for 2016. Many great projects came out at fourth quarter this 2016 and I did not want to forget anyone. Check it out below.

1. KING - We Are KING

 

My brother introduced me to KING, when I listened to them I realized they were the background singers for Mick Jenkins song "Shipwrecked" off his album "The Waters". Later I was shown their singing on "Shipwrecked" was actual a sample to their original song "Supernatural". This isn't your typical big voiced RnB group. The songs on KING are more angelic than anything. Despite them being nominated for a Grammy for this album, I saw them perform at SXSW16 and could not believe the show wasn't packed out the door. Check out their album HERE.

Sounds like: Celestial sisterhood

Favorite song: Hey (Extended Mix)

2. NO PANTY- Westside Highway Story

With bars from Puerto Rican artists Nitty Scott, Bodega Bamz and Joell Ortiz the album from "Super Group" NO PANTY is full of culture. It feels like something I want to relate to because it sounds so authentic and is hiphop through and through. If you're a rap fan or a Puerto Rican music fan, you will love this! The whole album was made in 3 days and produced by super producer Salaam Remi (when was the last time he produced a rap album?). DL NO PANTY for free HERE.

Sounds like: The Puerto Rican Day parade live

Fav song: Hola

3. Saba - Bucket List Project

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Saba is easily one of my favorite artist right now. He has an impeccable ear of knowing how he wants his songs to sound, he comes up with the most interesting melodies and is not afraid of trying new things. You will most likely listen to Bucket List and assume he has more features than his album states, only to realize it's him. Stream Bucket List HERE.

Sounds like: Chicago yet like something you haven't heard yet

Fav song: Photosythensis

4. Ravyn Lenae - Moon Shoes

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Ravyn Lenae has been on my site before and I feel more people should know about her. This year she re-released Moon Shoes, because she felt like I did! 2016 has been a great year for her with new recognition and touring with Noname, I am excited for her future, PLUS SHE IS ONLY 17 YEARS OLD. Listen to Moon Shoes HERE.

Sounds like: Amel Larrieux with funky production

Favorite song: Venezula Trains

5. Ari Lennox- Pho

I bought this album after some of my music business friends posted about Ari Lennox. She is a new signee to Dreamville and her album Pho is so full of soul, I'm surprised I haven't heard of her sooner. Her production is slow and fresh and her voice is velvety and textured which pretty much makes for earphoria. Get her album HERE.

Sounds like: Chrisette Michele's daughter

Favorite Song: La la la la

6. Ish Darr- Broken Hearts & Bank Rolls

Milwaukee born artist will leave an imprint in your mind with catchy punch lines and melodies. Ish Darr's last album "Old Soul, Young Spirit" was on my 2015 list and his follow-up makes it here today, because he's consistent. I can't help but think that the College Dropout had an influence on Ish Darr when I hear Broken Hearts, and Bank Rolls. Stream BHBR HERE.

Sounds like: Soulection production with writing to match

Favorite Song: Bandits/Sugar

7. Duckwrth - UUGLY

I have been an avid listener of LA artist Duckwrth for a couple years now and happy to hear him come into his own. All of his visual marketing will draw you in more and pretty much make you listen. See Duckwrth's website and find out for yourself. DuckWrth's - I'm UUGLY is unresticted and outside of the box. Listen to I'm UUGLY HERE.

Sounds like: N*E*R*D* adopted a boy from South Central

Favorite song: I'm Dead/Rare Panther

8. Jalen Santoy- Charlie Eastern EP

I once posted The Charlie Eastern EP on my site because I literally couldn't take it off my daily drive playlist, then it was wiped from the internet and I thought it was gone forever. Later I found out he re-released it on major platforms. I first heard North Carolina native, Jalen Santoy on Big Pooh's "Words Paint Pictures". Every song on The Charlie Eastern EP could be a single and Jalen spits on the whole project alone. It's remarkable and worth a couple listens. Stream Charlie Eastern EP HERE.

Sounds like: Very original, but sounds like someone who is already signed and is on his way

Favorite Song: Off the Glass

9. Joey Purp- iiidrops

Joey Purp's iiidrops was overlooked because it was only released via Soundcloud. iiidrops is the most listened to album in my music library this year. The production is mostly classic boom-bap samples that have been upgraded and a couple of EDM-esque songs scattered throughout the project. The song Cornerstore on iiidrops to me, is one of the most moving songs I've heard in a long time, Saba (mentioned above) on Cornerstore gives the best verse I've ever heard from him. Stream iiidrops HERE.

Sounds like: Somewhere in between Chicago cloud rap and Chicago trap music

Favorite Song: Cornerstore 

10. Injury Reserve - Floss

I heard about this album from one of my friends. I didn't like it at first but it grew on me fast. Now I can't stop playing in when I workout. Injury Reserve consists of three guys from Arizona and if you would of told me they were from L.A., I would believe it. It's hard to describe Injury Reserve's music, it's young and a compilation of a bunch of different things, I would watch their latest video "Oh Shit!" to get a bit more acquainted. Stream Injury Reserve's album Floss HERE.

Sounds like: 2006's The Pack mixed with soul samples

Favorite song: Look Mama I Did it

11. St. Domonick - Orphic

Tulsa artist St. Domonick is the artist I listen to the most out of all the artist in Oklahoma. When he told me about his album's name, I had visions in my sleep for about 2 weeks after researching the Orphic. The project stuck with me and his love for chill soul samples, eye for song structure and production keeps me coming back for more music. I can't ever guess what he's going to say next. I Believe that when you are listening to Orphic it will put you in a chill mood every time. Stream Orphic right HERE.

Sounds like: The epitome of rap music to relax to

Favorite Song: Angels

12. Topaz Jones - Arcade

I once shared a Taxi with Topaz Jones long ago and I had no idea his dad was a funk musician that played with some of the greats. Topaz's sound has evolved to mimic his father's and yet, it is still true to those who love rap music. It's refreshing to see growth in between his album The Honeymoon Suite(2014) and Arcade. Arcade is textured and meaningful, as soon as you press play you will be dancing for all 10 songs. Stream Arcade for free HERE.

Sounds like: Andre 3000 mixed with futuristic funk

Favorite song: Powerball

Honorable Mentions:

Mick Jenkins- THC, Gabby B.- The EP, Dave B.- Tomorrow, CJ FLY- Flytrap, Charles Hamilton- Hamilton, Charles, Jesse Boykins- Bartholomew, Like - Songs Made While High