LordTreeSap’s Top 10 Hip-Hop/R&B Albums of 2016

2016 was one of the best years in music history period. Here is my list of what I believe are the top 10 albums of the year.

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2016 was an incredible year for music, one of the best that I can remember. We got so many quality projects from the biggest stars in the industry. I’ve been dying for this the last couple years, but that thirst has been successfully quenched with the tuneful albums I’ve heard over the course of the last 12 months. I attempted to put together a list of the top 10 albums in hip-hop/R&B from 2016. Let me know what you guys think.

10. Vic Mensa – There’s A Lot Going On 

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The Chicago native made huge strides in 2016. The socially conscious artist brought it on every track of the eccentric short EP he released in June. I am so amped for his debut album, which should be releasing in the first quarter of 2017. Look for Vic to blow up next year, similar to how fellow Chi-town bro Chance The Rapper did this year.

9. DJ Khaled – Major Key

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Did anyone have a better year all-around than DJ Khaled? You can make an argument he became one of the biggest names in the game, and undoubtedly, the king of Snapchat. Everywhere you look you see him, whether its award shows or commercials, he’s in there preaching. Khaled also put out a very quality project over the summer, loaded with features and a sound unlike any other album he’s had his hands on before. Call him BILLI.

8. Drake – VIEWS

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It was a tough decision on where to put Drizzy on this list. He had an unbelievable year and is probably the “hottest thing in music” as DG would say. His voice is all over the radio. You can’t go 10 seconds without hearing one of his tuneful hits. VIEWS made history with streaming records and is quadruple platinum, but I’m still waiting on more of a hip-hop than pop album from the Toronto native. This is middle of the road as far as his discography goes.

7. The Weeknd – STARBOY

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The Weeknd is back on the music scene and his latest LP was impressive. Anything Daft Punk can get their hands on I’m usually a fan of, and that didn’t change here. I have to see the Canadian on tour at some point in my life. Look for him to grace the Super Bowl half-time stage soon as well.

***DG EDITOR’S NOTE: Looks like I convinced LTS that the Weeknd will perform at a Super Bowl. Just want to inform you that I planted that seed, but I’m still #humble.  Continue reading.****

6. Rihanna – ANTI

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Rih-Rih did her thing on her 8th studio LP, which released way back in January 2016. As a Rihanna fan, I will admit she lost me for a bit with her recent music, but I am definitely back on the 28-year-old’s wave as she delivered her most complete project yet. She’s even killing the fashion game, as her Puma silhouette was named the top sneaker of 2016.

5. Solange Knowles – A Seat At The Table

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I will admit I have never listened to a Solange album before, but holy shit was this project awesome. What a pleasant surprise to the ears. She is no longer Beyonce’s sister in my book and had the best project of the Knowles sisters this year. I’m definitely here for the Solange movement. #BlackGirlMagic

4. Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book

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Chance The Rapper had the best year in music, no doubt about it. He got everything he could out of 2016. The Chicago native infused hip-hop with gospel into one of the best projects of the year. The 23-year-old is the future of music. The culture is in his palms and I couldn’t be more confident in the independent artist.

3. Travis Scott – Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight

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It’s a shame this album didn’t get consideration for the Grammy’s, but it shouldn’t change your mind about how dope this project was. When you have Kanye West and Mike Dean behind you, greatness is on the horizon and Travis has produced a sound that many artists are trying to copy and bite. The Rodeo artist is the clear protege to Yeezy. The future is bright over at G.O.O.D Music.

2. Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo

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Yeezy, my guy, the greatest artist of our generation. TLOP has aged very well since its February release and is stacked with quality sound, as Kanye was on top of his game for this project. I really think the rollout and lack of promotion damaged fans relationships with the album, as Ye being the creative genius he is, made tweaks to give the best product possible. The listening party at MSG was fucking epic. All in All, great project and I am looking forward to TurboSZN.

1. Frank Ocean – Blonde

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Frank Ocean made his much anticipated return to music this year, as rumors flew through the air about when he would actually be releasing the project. But as only Frank Ocean could do, he drops a 45-minute music video out of nowhere and then another project on top of it that same weekend. This album’s sound and aesthetic is unmatched in music. There is nothing like it out there, and that is what made this project so dope. The world needs Frank Ocean music. Hopefully it won’t be another 4 years until his next project, but I was truly blown away at how powerful the story in this album was, as he had the hip-hop community in awe.

Honorable Mention: Beyonce – Lemonade, Anderson Paak – Malibu, A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here, Lil Uzi Vert – Lil Uzi Vert vs The World, Young Thug – JEFFERY

***This list excludes projects releasing in December 2016***

Song of the year: Pick Up The Phone – Travis Scott and Young Thug Ft. Quavo

Verse of the year: Chance The Rapper – UltraLight Beam

5 Years Ago Today, Drake Dropped His Masterpiece ‘Take Care’

I miss the old Drizzy.

Wow, did five years go by fast or what. I’m so fucking washed up. ‘Take Care’ really made me a Drake fan and I’ve grown farther and farther apart from his music since. No album he’s made has even come close to this masterpiece.

‘Take Care’ may even be in my top 5 hip-hop albums EVER, no doubt it’s in the top 10 at the very least. Drizzy brought the fire, front to back no skippable songs, with perfectly executed features to collectively form an eccentric 20-track spectacle. This project even introduced me to The Weeknd with their signature banger, “Crew Love”. I remember listening to the tune in my college dorm Freshman year wondering, who is this second coming of Michael Jackson?

‘Take Care’ was the perfect followup to ‘Thank Me Later,’ which layed the foundation for Drizzy’s career, but this album truly launched his stardom into a different stratosphere with potential to be one of the all-time greats. The project sold 631,000 units in the first week and premiered at number one, topping the Billboard charts. Even taking home a Grammy for Best Rap Album. Shout out to 40.

With banger after banger, Drake brought fire bars to each track including classics (it’s crazy to call something in 2011 a classic, shit I’m old) “Marvin’s Room”, Weezy assisted “HYFR”, my personal favorite “Over My Dead Body”, “Underground Kings”, “Take Care” and many more.

I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t believe we will get another true classic “hip-hop” album from Drake again (If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was close) as the 30-year-old has moved his brand into a mainstream pop lane of consumption, which is heavily exposed on his latest installment of “Views”. Maybe he’s just growing as an artist and it’s unfair for me to expect an album with an aesthetic he’s already perfected.

I guess you could say, I miss the old Drake. Bring him back Kanye.

#Calabasas

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Producer Jim’s Debut: Sarah Hyland Gives Halsey A Run For Her Money

My debut for the Mix. Let’s do this.

I think by now we all know that DG has a sick obsession with The Chainsmokers. Obsession might not even be the right word to encompass how much of a fanboy he is. Either way, he’s not alone (even though his company are mostly white girls ages 12-30). It’s a known fact that the Chainsmokers have been absolutely killing it in the pop music industry. I remember when they released “Selfie”, and back then I would have told you that they’re just a flash in the pan. I couldn’t have been more wrong. You can’t go out to a bar on a weekend night without hearing “Closer” at least twice in a night, and seeing all the drunken white girls dancing and singing shouting incoherently along.

I can only speak for myself, but I am not the biggest fan of the Chainsmokers. I mean I totally have to give them props for killing it right now, but it’s simply just pop music. I can write a whole article on the state of pop today, but I’ll save that for another article.

With any number one Top 40 song comes a barrage of Youtube covers ranging from semi-professional musicians to shitty covers by girls with their boobs pushed up mediocrely singing into their webcams (and getting insane views for obvious reasons). Now usually I just go through these covers for about 10 seconds and rarely find something I actually like. However, this time I was pleasantly surprised by a certain cover by an unexpected celebrity, Sarah Hyland. You guys probably know Sarah from Modern Family, one of the few funny shows on broadcast television today. She’s a great actress, but I had no idea that she was a singer as well!

It appears that Hyland teamed up with this indie band called “Boyce Avenue” to cover Closer, and what a job they did. They tore the entire song down to make an awesome acoustic cover that actually makes it bearable to listen to. I’m usually not the biggest fan of acoustic covers but I think it’s safe to say that I actually… kind of… enjoyed it… Don’t believe me? Well take a listen to right now.

See! Not bad! It’s safe to say that Hyland gives Halsey a run for her money. Halsey does have a decent voice, but I never thought it was anything incredible. At best she’s an average pop singer with a ton of vocal effects to make her sound like every other female pop vocalist, no soul etc. I even listened to some of her solo stuff and couldn’t even stomach it. It was horrendous. Sarah has a much better voice than her.

My only question now is if Sarah Hyland is going to pursue a music career in addition to her acting career. It wouldn’t be the first time. Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez and others have done this and received success in the industry. I speculate this wasn’t just done for fun. I could see her using this as a way to break into the music industry. Who knows maybe she’ll receive offers from bigger artists or maybe even release her own album in the future. Either way I’m excited to see where this goes.

I’m Producer Jim, Daily Mix Report News.

***DG EDITOR’S NOTE: Just cause I like the Chainsmokers does not mean I have a sick obsession with them. Sure, I would go on tour with them in a heartbeat, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sick obsession. Can’t wait to go to a Chainsmokers concert and live it up with people who appreciate good music. Halsey is dece as well. Grow up, Jim.***

I Have Watched The New Video To Closer Roughly 100 Times And It Rules

The Chainsmokers Did It Again

 

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It’s time for my weekly “Fan Girl Over The Chainsmokers” Column. Previously, I called them The Best Thing In Music Today. I still stand by the statement.

Now to the video. Spoiler Alert: IT IS FIREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Are you even surprised? When don’t The Chainsmokers put out fire? Unreal chemistry between Drew and Halsey. There current run is one of the more impressive things I’ve seen in the past year. It reminds me a lot of what Justin Bieber did the past 2 years. Bieber went from Teeny Bopper to a jam maker with a run of a few great songs in a row: Where Are You Now, What Do You Mean, Sorry, Love Yourself, *Skip Company*, Cold Water, and Let Me Love You.

The same thing is happening to The Chainsmokers. The mainstream singles they are releasing are continuing to take off. Roses, Don’t Let Me Down, *skip Inside Out (not a bad song, just hasn’t gotten any traction)*, Closer, All We Know. The next logical step would be to release an album, but The Chainsmokers have decided to release an EP instead called Collage, which comes out on November 4th. With the run they are on, I’m sure that Collage will be just fine.

2016 has been The Year of The Chainsmokers. If you don’t agree, well, then you’re wrong.

P.S. HALSEYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

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P.S.S. I always debate on my favorite Chainsmokers song. As of now, I think I’m gonna go with Until You Were Gone. This will probably change tomorrow.

 

Bruno Mars Released A New Jam And My Computer Is On Fire

24 KARAT MAGIC IN THE AIRRRRRRR

Current state of my computer

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Bruno Mars puts out a single. It’s a fire jam. Rinse. Repeat. Was there ever any doubt?

24K Magic is the upcoming third album for Bruno Mars and today, he decided to bless our ears with the lead single named after the album. When I first listened to it, I was scared to hear the auto tune. I didn’t even know it was Bruno until the auto tune ended. I honestly said to myself, “Is this a new Kanye song?” That being said, once the song started, I was hooked from the start. I’ll be honest, if I had to point out a weakness, I’m not too crazy about the first two verses. That being said, the chorus and hook are great and the beat is absolutely fire. It reminds me of late 70s / early 80s hip-hop. Right off the bat, I thought of The Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

Tell me 24K Magic is not the lovechild of Rapper’s Delight and The Message.

 

I love the direction Bruno Mars has gone in over the past couple of years. It’s a lot of funky / disco sounds with some reggae and soul mixed in. The perfect cocktail for a hit record. Like him or not, the dude is talented. I know people use the “he / she plays a lot of instruments” a lot to show that someone is talented. Obviously that helps and Bruno can play a variety of instruments, but you have to keep raising the bar with every album and so far, Bruno has consistently done that. Plus, Bruno has the Hooligans and everyone else does not. Bruno 1, Everyone Else 0.

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The only downside of Bruno releasing a new jam is that the radio is going to POUNCE on this song. The radio loves Bruno. The radio needs Bruno like humans need air. They’ve been dying to hear new songs from him. For example, Uptown Funk was a banger when it first came out. It started to get some airtime and it was perfect. Then, the radio would not stop playing it to a point where I had to turn it off when it came on. Uptown Funk is STILL on the radio. Everyone still knows the words. It’s the perfect song for weddings, Sweet 16s, and family parties. My parents could not pick out Bruno Mars in a picture, but they definitely know the words to Uptown Funk.

So let’s enjoy 24K Magic while we can. I’ve listened to it 10 times today and all I can say is…

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We Are The Millers

 

Big Sean’s ‘Finally Famous’ Turns 5 Today

The Detroit native celebrates the anniversary of his debut LP ‘Finally Famous’

Did 5 years fly by or what? When I heard that this album turned 5 today (June 28). I was in shock because it brought me back to the days when I would bump it while cruising the streets of Yorktown as a high school graduate back in 2011. That’s some scary shit man.

Sean’s first LP, Finally Famous, put the Detroit native on the map in the hip-hop scene. He has grown over the years, dropping two very successful albums along the way, vaulting him into one of the stars of the game under the G.O.O.D Music label.

When I go back into this album I hear some timeless hits with some great production work, most of which is done by the legendary No I.D. There is also a great use of features throughout the project by some big time names in the industry such as: Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco, Chris Brown and more.

The three singles released leading up to the album charted successfully.

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“My Last” featuring Chris Brown debuted at #30 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped the rap charts giving Sean his first number 1 hit. “Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay” featuring Kanye West peaked at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Dance (A$$)” was remixed in October of 2011 with a feature from Nicki Minaj.

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Finally Famous came in at #3 on the Billboard 200 and moved 87,000 copies in the United States in the first week.

The Def Jam rapper followed up with LPs Hall of Fame in 2013 and Dark Sky Paradise in 2015. He also stated a new album is on the way later this year.

Happy Anniversary Boiiiiii