2016 and its music

If February the 3rd, 1959 was the day that music died when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson all died in a plane crash, then surely 2016 will be remembered as the year that music died. From David Bowie dying in the early days of January to the passing of George Michael on Christmas day, you’d be hard pressed to find a music fan of any genre or era in the last 50 years that didn’t loose one of their heroes. Some of us were lucky enough to be treated to one final swan song with he likes of Bowie and Tribe Called Quest (Phife Dawg) releasing arguably some of their best work ahead of their departure, whilst all of the lost artists left us with music that will stay with us for our lifetimes.

2016 for me as a music fan was a strong year with a mixture of new artists and familiar faces releasing some very strong albums, especially within Hip Hop and Soul. I did how ever find that over all the UK seemed to take the foot off the gas after very strong years in 2013, 2014 and 2015. 2016 also saw coming out parties for many artists that were on the cusp of great things with the likes of Chance the Rapper, Anderson Paak and Solandge making strong statements of intent.

2017 is already looking to be a fantastic year for music. But ahead of us turning to the next chapter, please find my top tens of the year.

Albums

Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here… Thank You For Your Service

Michael Kiwanuka – Love and Hate

NxWorries – Yes Lawd

Baio – The Names

She Drew The Gun – Memoirs Of The Future

Frank Ocean – Blonde

Lapsley – Long Way Home

Anderson Paak- Malibu

Common – Black America Again

Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered

Singles

Jules Et Spatz – Rotwii Lied

De La Soul – Exodus

Moderate – Running (AME Remix)

Lee Burridge & Lost Desert – Lingala

Christine and the Queens – Titled

Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis – White Privilege II

Natia Rose – Sqwad

Matronomy – Old Skool

DJ Shadow feat Run The Jewels – Nobody Speak

David Bowie – Lazarus 

  • I decided to leave any tracks that were in my top ten albums off. Essentially, listen to those full albums.

Happy New Year brothers and I look forward to 2017!

2 comments

  1. whyohwhyohwhy

    Nice words brother Nolan. It’s been a year to remember for many reasons and, like you say, for music and culture its been pretty horrific. I guess this happens to every generation, but it feels we’re too young to see so many of these icons pass on.

    Some great calls up there. If anything, 2016 feels like the year I “got back into” hip hop. With Kendrick, and now ATCQ, it’s the first time I’ve really listened to (and loved) new stuff as much as the classic tracks I’ve always loved.

    I’ll have a list up there soon, but it’ll have Blackstar at the top. Even though that was January, it’s hard to see past that, and it was the biggest selling album this year in the UK, which is impressive given Adele being there.

    Another great year on the blog. A new brother. Here’s to 2017.

  2. David Allison

    Great list, Brother Nolan. Amazing how many we have in common. And amazing how many came from the blog this year, showing how great a thing it is!

    Here are mine: https://storify.com/DavidHAllison/albums-of-2016

    In list form:
    13. CHILDISH GAMBINO – “Awaken, My Love!”
    12: BAT FOR LASHES – The Bride
    11: KENDRICK LAMAR – Untitled Unmastered
    10: SOLANGE – A Place At The Table
    9: FIELD MUSIC – Commontime
    8: A TRIBE CALLED QUEST: We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service
    7: MICHAEL KIWANUKA: Love & Hate
    6: METRONOMY: Summer 08
    5: BEYONCÉ – Lemonade
    4: ANDERSON .PAAK – Malibu
    3: FRANK OCEAN – Blonde
    2: DAVID BOWIE: Blackstar
    1: CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS: Chaleur Humaine

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