The Top (Black) Albums of 2016

I know what you’re thinking: not another “End of the Year” list. The internet is bombarded this time of year by everyone’s opinions on the “top” this and “best” that. When it comes to music, it seems like critics love to present only their favorite artists with their empty “Album of the Year” honors. This is not that type of list.

Design: Andre Loftis Jr. Click to download the high-quality image.

The following list of albums are some of the most important works to be released in 2016 by Black folks, in collaboration with Black folks, and/or for Black folks.

It has been popular to say that 2016 was a terrible year, but that was not true concerning music releases. Works like Alwasta by Oddisee perfectly captured the zeitgeist of the time with songs like “Lifting Shadows” which describes the discrimination faced by many Muslims in the United States and around the world. While A Seat at the Table by Solange powerfully illustrated Black complexity and affirmed Black humanity through her songwriting.

I’ve removed the numbering system associated with traditional “End of the Year” lists because I don’t think about the arts as a competition, but rather as a conversation, and I hope you take some time during this holiday season to give each artist’s music here a spin.

Peace.

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A Tribe Called Quest

We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

A$AP Ferg

Always Strive and Prosper

Anderson .Paak

Malibu

Audio Push

90951

Beyoncé

Lemonade

Blood Orange

Freetown Sound

Bruno Mars

24K Magic

Chance the Rapper

Coloring Book

Chantae Cann

Journey to Golden

Childish Gambino

“Awaken, My Love!”

Common

Black America Again

Corinne Bailey Rae

The Heart Speaks in Whispers

D.R.A.M.

Big Baby D.R.A.M.

Danny Brown

Atrocity Exhibition

De La Soul

and the Anonymous Nobody…

Domo Genesis

Genesis

Drake

Views

Esperanza Spalding

Emily’s D+Evolution

Frank Ocean

Blonde

Gallant

Ology

Gucci Mane

The Return of East Atlanta Santa

Hodgy

Fireplace: TheNotTheOtherSide

Isaiah Rashad

The Sun’s Tirade

Jamila Woods

HEAVN

Kanye West

The Life of Pablo

KAYTRANADA

99.9%

Kendrick Lamar

untitled unmastered

KING

We Are King

Laura Mvula

The Dreaming

Lecrae

Church Clothes 3

Michael Kiwanuka

Love & Hate

Mick Jenkins

The Healing Component

Noname

Telefone

NxWorries

Yes Lawd!

Oddisee

Alwasta

Phonte & Eric Roberson

Tigallero

Rae Sremmurd

SremmLife 2

Rihanna

ANTI

ScHoolboy Q

Blank Face LP

Sho Baraka

The Narrative

Skepta

Konnichiwa

Solange

A Seat at the Table

Terrace Martin

Velvet Portraits

The Weeknd

Starboy

Travis Scott

Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight

Tweet

Charlene

Xenia Rubinos

Black Terry Cat

YG

Still Brazy

Young Thug

JEFFERY

Andre Loftis Jr, Graphic Designer

Website: www.loftisgraphics.com

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Content Strategist

Andre Loftis Jr. is a graphic designer, writer, and music lover. He is one of Black Voice News’ content strategists and curator of BVN Music.

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