Along with 2016, as is the case with every twelve months that passes by, came the age-old complaints that 'hip-hop isn't the same' and that any progression or change is automatically a bad thing. UK based artists make up four of my Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums Of 2016, and Skepta has led a British invasion on American shores. High Focus representatives Dabbla and Ocean Wisdom are also pushing progressive and forward-thinking product on their exciting releases, and on the other end of the spectrum we find London MC PhybaOptikz delivering some of the silkiest boom bap of the year with his under-appreciated project. We also had a number of noteworthy comeback LP's, and some of the biggest names in rap music returned with projects that were as much noted for clickbait context as they were for the quality of the music; the quality was most definitely there though.
Skepta - Konnichiwa
One of the UK's most treasured MC's finally hit his deserved recognition with this year's LP 'Konnichiwa'. Grime is going global, and who better to serve as its overseas figurehead than Tottenham lyricist Skepta. With undisputable bangers like 'Man (Gang)', 'Shutdown' and 'That's Not Me' (all of which individually set YouTube alight with huge videos), big name collaborations such as Pharrell Williams, Young Lord and A$AP Nast along with an intense and polished sound, the album was an instant hit. People have been waiting for Skepta to deliver a consistent, hard-hitting project for years now, and 'Konnichiwa' did everything we hoped for and more. If you're as uncompromising as Skepta is on this album and even the Mercury panel are rooting for you, you've got to be doing something right.
Continue reading: Sam Bennett's Top Ten Albums Of 2016
Q-Tip posts emotional Facebook post revealing new album release date.
Legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest have confirmed the release date for their new album will be the 11th of November 2016. In a poignant Facebook post, Q-Tip revealed the news and just what started the process of a new record.
A Tribe Called Quest Rock the Bells in 2008
"On November 11, 2016 we will complete our paths of rhythm," said Q-Tip. The desire to make their first album in 18 years was fuelled by a performance on 'The Tonight Show' with Jimmy Fallon last November, a move which has only become more prominent with the death of Malik 'Phife Dawg' Taylor, after a long battle with diabetes, at the age of 45.
Continue reading: A Tribe Called Quest Announce Release Date Of Final Album