Summer 2016 is coming to a close. Although we did not get a summer anthem this year, there were a lot of strong projects that came out in the past 3 months. From up-and-comers to solidified acts, many brought their A-Game as we got the release of many anticipated projects and a few surprises along the way. Here are my top 5 favorite projects of Summer 2016.
- SremmLife 2 - Rae Sremmurd
Favorite Song: “Black Beetles”
The two party animals from Mississippi followed up their 2015 with their sequel sophomore album. You can tell the two have grown as a group and individual rappers. This album is a nice mixture of head bangers and vibe out hits. As they begin with “Start A Party” they let it be known that their aesthetic has not changed. They move through the party with more bangers such as “Shake it Fast”, “Set The Roof”, and “Over Here”. However, they give us a mellow break with songs like “Came A Long Way”, “Take It or Leave It”, and “Now That I Know”. These two have cemented themselves as a top tier talent and that the Sremmlife is here to stay.
- Young Jefe 2 - Shy Glizzy
Favorite Song: “Ride 4 U”
It would be hard for the D.C. native to top his last year. XXL Freshman cover and two strong mixtapes, it was a year to remember for the young star. With the release of his highly anticipated mixtape, Young Jefe 2, he lets it be known that he got a lot more left for the streets. This tape shows how he is influenced by the south but bleeds for D.C.. As one of his best bodies of work he gives you a different feel on each song. He has some major stand outs such as “Bankroll” and “How It Go”. Jefe is one of the street artist that contains the ability to create street anthems and still give you actual bars. Just don’t listen to this while next to baking soda and a stove.
- P3 - PARTYNEXTDOOR
Favorite Song: “Transparency”
PND has been the Pippen to Drake’s Jordan since he first signed to OVO. He has ushered in a new wave of R&B that has separated himself from the pack. On P3 you hear a different sounding person though. On this project he gets more deep and personal as he speaks about his ups and downs of the past year. He shows versatility as he jumps from one sound to the next but making it all thread together flawlessly. From his moody ballad single “Come and See Me” to reggae inspired tracks such as “Not Nice” and “Only You” and even the jazzy “Joy”. He stays transparent as he allows his fans to get a peek into his world of women, drugs, and late nights.
- Jeffery - Young Thug
Favorite Song: “RiRi”
There is no artist out now that is better than the artist formerly known as, Young Thug. Now, that I got that out the way, the Atlanta superstar stays consistent with the release of his album. The crazy thing about Young Thug is that he evolves after each project. After thinking he has reached his peak with Slime Season 3 and I’m Up he comes back even better with Jeffery. After naming each track after someone who inspires him, he gives us a different sound for each track and what is more impressive a different flow. From melodic songs like “RiRi” and “Kanye West” to hard hitting joints like “Future Swag” and “Harambe”. This is Young Thug in Perfect Cell form as he devours each song. As he pushes the envelope by testing masculinity while still letting you know “he’ll cut off ya tongue, ya dig” if you mistake him for a lick. Young Thug is the new face of rap.
- Prima Donna - Vince Staples
Favorite Song: “Pimp Hand”
It’s harder to find a better rap personality than Vince Staples right now. Vince gives this vibe that he means what he says. Vince is like Larry David if he grew up crippin’ and had the ability to out rap. With Prima Donna he mixes his sense of dry humor with his “wokeness” on what is going on in the world. He’s rapping on a whole new level as he shows that even with this newfound fame he’s still a kid from Long Beach. He links up with with friend Kilo Kish for the track “Loco” and, surprisingly, A$AP Rocky for “Prima Donna”. On this 7 track EP he takes us on a ride that shows the dark side of his rise to the top, while still being aware how he is seen as a black man.
With such a strong summer from many different artist, it was hard to boil down my favorites to just 5. So, here are the ones that just missed my list but still deserved to be mentioned.
- Savage Mode - 21 Savage
- The Perfect LUV Tape - Lil Uzi Vert
- Summer on Sunset - Wale
- Monda - Cousin Stizz
- Daniel Son; Necklace Don - 2 Chainz