Critically Acclaimed Albums in 2016

This is a list of some of the most critically acclaimed albums and projects of 2016. And this is just a big post about music in 2016 in general. Because there was so much great music to come out this year. And there is still so much of it that I haven’t even heard. A lot of it came from Black artists, of course, like Frank Ocean, Beyonce, Rihanna, Solange, Chance the Rapper, ScHoolboy Q and more.

But the year of 2016 pretty much started off with Rihanna and Beyonce. Anti and Lemonade. Let’s begin with Rihanna.


I definitely think this is hands down her best album. It’s a shame that it didn’t really get a whole lot of love with the Grammy’s this year. From the opening track, “Consideration,” it’s clear that the production on this thing is going to be grand. SZA‘s vocals are also awesome. It’s got plenty of memorable songs and quotable lyrics, even the bonus tracks. I guess since this came out in like January, a lot of people forgot about it. Not the Navy, I’m sure, and just general fans of Ri’s.


This was a beautiful album for Bowie to go out with.


What else can be said about this masterpiece that has not already been said? Probably at the top of the list of critically acclaimed albums to drop this year. I became a full-blown Beyonce stan after listening to this album. This became my new standard for contemporary R&B. I’m judging all of y’all with this album. If it don’t sound like this, it ain’t shit. Not one song sounds like the one before or after it. Again, outdoing herself with the visual component of the album. Not one bad song, love that she’s keeping it short with 12 tracks. It’s perfection.

Blank Face

This still might be my favorite hip-hop album of the year. I bounce back and forth between this, We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service and Coloring Book. I thought this was a major improvement over his previous album. It’s a big long with 17 tracks, but I like almost every song. Love a lot of them. Production is so fire.


As far as critically acclaimed albums go, I mean, damn near every artist mentioned in this post deserved the Album of the Year spot much more than Drake did with Views. The smooth R&B and soul sounds that can be felt in this album are so hypnotiq and good. Anderson is extremely talented.

In My Mind

This is an artist, BJ the Chicago Kid, I wish would get more shine over artists like Drake.


Kaytranada is a great producer, and this is a great collection of songs. Definitely should be getting much more recognition than it is currently getting. It’s a great dance record. Should’ve been nominated.

Coloring Book

This is one of my favorite hip-hop albums this year. “No Problems” is one of my favorite singles of any genre this year.


This is definitely a solid album in grime/British hip-hop this year. One of the better albums I remember listening to earlier this summer.

Freetown Sound

This album has a lot going on. There’s stuff that reminds me of the ’80s, with some contemporary sounds, but in done in an indie kind of way. A lot of slow, love songs, but they’re not typical.

Still Brazy

YG’s last album was good, and he came through and made another banger in 2016.


One of my absolute favorites, I think it is damn near flawless. So beautiful and amazing. In love with this album.

We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service

Def one of my faves of the year.

Awaken, My Love

I have written about this album elsewhere. But it is superb. A surprisingly great album from Gambino. I love that DOnald Glover is stepping outside of the world of hip-hop. And he actually knows what he’s doing musically, and that’s always the best.

There’s probably a few more albums I’m forgetting that I didn’t mention here. Some other stuff I enjoyed. Like Ferg’s Always Strive and Prosper. ROCKISDEAD by DOROTHY is another. Atrocity Exhibition by Danny Brown is another. I was surprised by how much I liked this album. It’s one of the most unique hip-hop records I have heard all year. Black America Again by Common is also getting critical acclaim. I don’t know. I listened to most of it, didn’t pull me in. Perhaps I should try it again.

I also forgot A Seat at the Table and Telefone. Solange made an incredibly beautiful, pro-Black album, woke ass album. Noname is a fantastic artist I’m going to keep my eye on. It is a really great mixtape, and doesn’t sound like anything else out this year. There are just so many critically acclaimed albums this year. It’s nuts.

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