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Top 5 Albums of 2016

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5.Lemonade

Artist: Beyonce

Release Date: April 23, 2016

Genre: R&B / Pop

Three years after the release of “Beyonce” which was her fifth studio album, the Houston native releases another hit called “Lemonade” which debuted April 23, 2016 with a one-hour film that aired on HBO. The album came with 12 songs and visuals for each song soon came along. Lemonade was number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, and sold 485,000 copies in its first week. Even though Beyonce is mainly a R&B singer, the album has a variety of genres such as: pop, blues, rock, hip hop, soul, funk, country, gospel, and trap. It includes guest vocals from The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, and James Blake.

Like Beyonce’s older albums, her music tell stories about her life and other experiences she had. However, “Lemonade” has many songs that are about heartbreak, betrayal, and pain. With the release of the album, many popular magazines and entertainment shows talked about how Jay-Z cheated on Beyonce, which was how Beyonce set the mood of her album. Overall, the album “Lemonade” empowered women to stand up against cheating men. As you came towards the end of the album, the songs were about forgiveness and loving your other.

 

  1. Life of Pablo

Artist: Kanye West

Release Date: February 14, 2016

Genre: Hip Hop/ Rap

After changing the album name three times, artist Kanye Omari West finally released his album The Life of Pablo on Tidal. The name went from: So Help Me God, to Swish, to Waves, and finally The Life of Pablo. With all the controversy happening about the album only being available on Tidal, many would say this album is one of his best works since the “Graduation” album he dropped back in 2007. The sales for this album weren’t that great due to it being only available on Tidal and everyone illegally downloading it. However, West kept re-releasing the album, making slight changes to certain songs which was a great move,and adding a beautiful piece called “Saint Pablo”.

Three years back, Kanye West dropped “Yeezus” and most may say it was his worst work he has ever put out. It also started a slogan on social media “I miss the old Kanye”. I would say from coming from an album that could’ve ruined his career, “The Life of Pablo” was a major comeback for Mr.West.

 

  1. The Views

Artist: Drake

Release Date: April 29, 2016

Genre: R&B

One of the most anticipated albums of the year, “Views” by Toronto’s rapper, Aubrey Drake Graham, better known as just Drake, finally dropped on April 29, 2016. It was the highest record sale for Drake’s career, selling 215,000 copies in the first week. There were quite a few songs released as singles such as: One Dance, Pop Style, and Hotline Bling. Which made fans wanting his album to drop even more. Drake also sampled classics from DMX, The Fugees and many more. Literally every song on the album was amazing! It possibly has the best features you could have in one album having: Jay Z, Kanye West, PartyNextDoor, and Future.

Reminiscing back to his freshman album “So Far Gone,” his album “Views” is very similar because of him singing more than rapping. Many may question why he went this way with this album after releasing disses to Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill. I believe that Drake is more successful as an R&B singer than a rapper.

 

  1. Coloring Book

Artist: Chance The Rapper

Release Date: May 12, 2016

Genre: Christian Hip Hop

Chance The Rapper’s Coloring Book is one of the sensational rap albums released this year. Released on May 12th, 2016, it streamed 57.3 million times via Apple Music in its first week, which is about 38,000 album copies. Coloring Book is No. 8 on billboard 200. With his unique ability of collaborating both rap and gospel music, it gives many of his fans an experience they have never heard of. With just 14 songs and a plethora of featuring artists varying from Kanye West, Lil Wayne, 2 Chainz, Jeremih, Young Thug, Lil Yachty, Justin Bieber, Future, T-Pain, and Ty Dolla Sign, he created one of the most collaborative albums of the year.

Compared to his previous album, “Acid Rap’’, this album has a more softer and humble approach. He was not allowed to have a gospel band in his last album due to his label disapproving it, thus taking advantage of it when he released it as a “mixtape”. Unlike Acid Rap, it was exclusively released on Apple Music and various streams. It has already beaten out Acid Rap, although, with the amount of streams and album sales that it has.

 

  1. Blond

Artist: Frank Ocean

Release Date: August 20, 2016

Genre: R&B

After four years of drought from the well known mystery, Frank Ocean, he has finally spoken out to his long awaited fans with his new album labeled “Blond”. Released on August 20, 2016, it sold 250,000 copies within its first week of release and made Top 100 billboard albums of the year within two weeks. Frank paints a visual story within his audience’s’ head with just 14 songs and only two artists: himself and Andre 3000. Accompanied with this album is also the release of “Endless”, a video album he orchestrated over a mysterious livestream.

As opposed to his last album “Channel Orange”, “Blond” has less of a jazz approach and way more of a storytelling aspect. Blond has many references to Channel Orange as it shows subtle hints throughout the album. The album did sell 150,000 more copies than his previous album within the first week. With Channel Orange having six grammy nominations and winning one grammy, will Blond beat out its personal competitor?

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