The world’s a weird and wild place at the close of 2016. A giant racist cheeto took the nation’s highest office (despite losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million clicks). Kanye‘s on board. Prince and Bowie are gone. Maurice White too. Yeah, we’re in The Upside-Down, and it’s scarier and more depressing than any of us ever thought. So this year, unlike the last couple, when it came down to the year-end superlative brawl (make no mistake: the discussions that precede these lists are nothing short of it) we felt it unconscionable to proceed without hearing from you, dear players. Because where the electoral college failed you and the world, we won’t.
In 2016, a year equal parts trash and glory, our ever-vocal readers got the chance to vote for their top picks from what has to be one of the most lush and cathartic trips around the sun in years for music. The Daisy Age returned in full-effect with a pair of grown-ass offerings from two now grown-ass Native Tongue crews. The Sisters Knowles proved to be two integral components to healing our hearts. A nomadic beatmaker linked up with a raspy musical misfit and introduced us to the next phase of the Stones Throw duo; deeply soulful, deceptively seductive. Kaytranada infected the world with house, Frank Ocean returned from sabbatical and Chance took us all to church with a historic record.
And that barely scratches the surface of what 2016 was or meant.
But you know all this. You’re out here with us. And your votes proved it, all 8,000 of them. So without further adieu, here are the best albums of the year, according to you, player. Final tallies and all. Peep the list down below and keep an eye out for our own to arrive in the weeks ahead. Thank you for your service.
Reader’s Choice – Best Albums of 2016:
1. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It From Here…Thank You 4 Your Service – 555
2. Anderson .Paak – Malibu – 497
3. Solange – A Seat At The Table – 330
4. Oddisee – The Odd Tape – 293
5. Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered – 278
6. Chance The Rapper – Coloring Book – 266
7. Kaytranada – 99.9% – 259
8. Childish Gambino – “Awaken, My Love!” – 245
9. NxWorries – Yes Lawd! – 241
10. De La Soul – And The Anonymous Nobody – 217
11. Frank Ocean – Blond(e) – 213
12. Beyonce – Lemonade – 158
13. Common – Black American Again -158
14. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo – 150
15. Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade – 135
16. Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP – 131