Don’t look now but the clock is quickly running out on 2016. This, of course, means exactly two things: we’ll finally be able bid this most trying year adieu, and before that, we get to fight to the death over whose album was top of the crop. Only this year, being perhaps one of the most overwhelming torrents of quality releases in recent memory, we’re gonna try and keep things civil and strictly democratic. Which is to say that in 2016, we want to know who your selections are for year-end superlatives.
The year saw graceful returns from some of r&b’s most reclusive and marked a watershed moment for independent artists of every creed, now more empowered than ever with the Grammys finally offering free and stream-exclusive projects consideration (thanks in no small part to Chance The Rapper.) Beyonce put us in formation, Solange healed our hearts, Kanye stripped the album of its holiness altogether. Throw in exceptional debuts from Kaytranada, Noname, Jamila Woods and dvsn, sophomore stunners from Anderson .Paak and Frank Ocean, final farewells from David Bowie and A Tribe Called Quest and you realize just how spoiled we really were.
So yeah, you’ve got a ton to think about right now. But know this, if you’re not happy with our 2016 selections, you now have only yourselves to blame. Below you’ll find 50 (yes, five zero) of the year’s standouts, but if you don’t find what you need in the list, we’ve left you space to school us by plugging in your own selections. Remember: you can vote for as many or as little of these as you’d like. We’ll be taking a final count one week from today and publishing the resuts next Friday, December 16th. Now let the debates begin.