Drew’s Review: Top 10 hip-hop/rap albums of 2016

Drew Hagge, Music Columnist

  1. “Coloring Book” — Chance the Rapper
  2. “Blank Face LP” — ScHoolboy Q
  3. “Malibu”— Anderson .Paak
  4. “Blonde” — Frank Ocean
  5. “The Life of Pablo”— Kanye West
  6. “Still Brazy”— YG
  7. “Untitled unmastered”— Kendrick Lamar
  8. “Jeffery”— Young Thug
  9. “The Sun’s Tirade”— Isaiah Rashad
  10. “Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight”— Travis Scott

Chance the Rapper was music’s most improved player this year. The release of “Coloring Book,” his third mixtape, placed Chance among hip hop’s most interesting and important voices. “Coloring Book” forced the conversation of hip-hop’s best artists, which usually revolved around Kendrick Lamar, J Cole and Drake, to include the Chicago native.

Before “Coloring Book,” Chance developed a somewhat cult following based off two fresh-sounding mixtapes, “10 Day” and “Acid Rap.” So, worst case scenario, if Chance never made a good record again, he could have a Kid Cudi-esque career.

“Coloring Book” is easily Chance’s most creative and concise body of work. The album’s production is as rich and fulfilling as any other hip-hop record in recent memory. Chance’s voice is every bit as instrumental as the actual instruments. He ranges from beautiful spoken word on tracks like “Blessings (Reprise)” to more familiar rhyme schemes on “Mixtape.”

The star-studded track list, which features the likes of Justin Bieber, Kanye West and 2 Chainz (who seems to be enjoying a third prime in a near 15-year career) complement Chance’s gospel influences perfectly. Never before has gospel-based music been so excitingly palatable and relevant.