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2016 was an eventful year to say the least. This year, we saw the return of Kanye, who hadn’t dropped an album since 2013, the rise of Chance the Rapper, and the first Tribe album since 1998’s The Love Movement.

Outside of that, we also had huge releases from J. Cole and Drake, the latter selling over a million copies of Views in his first week; Future continuing his legendary run that started at the end of 2014; Kevin Gates going platinum with no features (sound familiar?); and Travis Scott dropping the very strong Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight.

It was especially a great year for Top Dawg Entertainment. After a phenomenal 2015 which saw the release of Kendrick’s To Pimp a Butterfly and Jay Rock’s 90059, the LA-based record label dropped 4 outstanding albums: Schoolboy Q’s Blank Face LP, Isaiah Rashad’s The Sun’s Tirade, Lance Skiiiwalker’s Introverted Intuition and Ab-Soul’s Do What Thou Wilt., not including Kendrick’s Untitled Unmastered.

From J. Cole’s 4 Your Eyez Only to Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition, here are the top 25 best hip hop albums of 2016.

25. Kevin Gates – Islah

Released: January 29, 2016

Label: Bread Winners’ Association, Atlantic

Singles: “Kno One”, “Really Really”, “2 Phones”, “Time for That”

Features: N/A

24. YG – Still Brazy

Released: June 14, 2016

Label: 4Hunnid, CTE, Def Jam

Singles: “Twist My Fingaz”, “FDT”, “Why You Always Hatin?”

Features: Lil Wayne, Drake, Nipsey Hussle, Slim 400, Syke 800, Duce, Marley Blu and Burnt Out

23. Young Dolph – King of Memphis

Released: February 19, 2016

Label: Paper Route Empire

Singles: “Get Paid”

Features: N/A

22. Skepta – Konnichiwa

Released: May 6, 2016

Label: Boy Better Know

Singles: “That’s Not Me”, “Shutdown”, “Ladies Hit Squad”, “Man”

Features: Jme, Boy Better Know, D Double E, Novelist, Wiley, Chip, Pharrell Williams, ASAP Nast and Young Lord

21. Smoke DZA & Pete Rock – Don’t Smoke Rock

Released: December 2, 2016

Label: Babygrande

Singles: N/A

Features: Dave East, Rick Ross, Royce da 5’9″, Cam’ron, NymLo, BJ the Chicago Kid, Jadakiss, Styles P, Wale, Big K.R.I.T., Dom Kennedy, theMIND and Mac Miller

20. Drake – Views

Released: April 29, 2016

Label: Cash Money, Republic, Young Money

Singles: “Hotline Bling”, “One Dance”, “Pop Style”, “Controlla”, “Too Good”

Features: PartyNextDoor, Pimp C, Dvsn, Wizkid, Kyla, Future, and Rihanna

19. Young Thug – Jeffery

Released: August 26, 2016

Label: 300, Atlantic

Singles: “Pick Up the Phone”, “Wyclef Jean”

Features: Travis Scott, Gucci Mane, Gunna, Quavo, Offset, and Wyclef Jean

18. NxWorries – Yes Lawd!

Released: October 21, 2016

Label: Stones Throw

Singles: “Suede”, “Link Up”, “Lyk Dis”, “Get Bigger / Do U Luv”

Features: N/A

17. Vince Staples – Prima Donna

Released: August 26, 2016

Label: ARTium, Def Jam

Singles: N/A

Features: Kilo Kish and ASAP Rocky

16. Yo Gotti – The Art of Hustle

Released: February 19, 2016

Label: Epic, CMG

Singles: “Down in the DM”, “Law”

Features: K. Michelle, Lil Wayne, E-40, Timbaland, Future, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Nicki Minaj

15. De La Soul – And the Anonymous Nobody…

Released: August 26, 2016

Label: A.O.I., Kobalt

Singles: “Trainwreck”, “Pain”, “Royalty Capes”, “Drawn”, “Greyhounds”

Features: 2 Chainz, Damon Albarn, David Byrne, Estelle, Little Dragon, Snoop Dogg, Jill Scott, Justin Hawkins, Pete Rock, and Roc Marciano

14. Common – Black America Again

Released: November 4, 2016

Label: ARTium, Def Jam

Singles: “Love Star”, “Black America Again”

Features: Stevie Wonder, Marsha Ambrosius, PJ, Syd, Elena, Bilal, BJ the Chicago Kid, John Legend, Tasha Cobbs

13. Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book

Released: May 13, 2016

Label: N/A

Singles: “Angels”, “No Problem”, “Summer Friends”

Features: Kanye West, Young Thug, Francis and the Lights, Justin Bieber, 2 Chainz, Kirk Franklin, and the Chicago Children’s Choir

12. Future – Evol

Released: February 6, 2016

Label: A1, Freebandz, Epic

Singles: “Low Life”, “Wicked”

Features: The Weeknd

11. Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels 3

Released: December 24, 2016

Label: Run the Jewels, Inc., RBC

Singles: “Talk to Me”, “2100”, “Legend Has It”

Features: Danny Brown, Joi, Trina, Boots, Tunde Adebimpe, Zack de la Rocha, and Kamasi Washington

10. Noname – Telefone

Released: July 31, 2016

Label: N/A

Singles: N/A

Features: Saba, Ravyn Lenae, Raury, Smino

9. Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight

Released: September 2, 2016

Label: Grand Hustle, Epic

Singles: “Wonderful”, “Pick Up the Phone”, “Goosebumps”

Features: André 3000, Blac Youngsta, Kid Cudi, Nav, 21 Savage, Kendrick Lamar, Bryson Tiller, Young Thug, Quavo, K. Forest, and The Weeknd

8. Kendrick Lamar – untitled unmastered.

Released: March 4, 2016

Label: Top Dawg, Aftermath, Interscope

Singles: “Untitled 07 | Levitate”

Features: N/A

7. Isaiah Rashad – The Sun’s Tirade

Released: September 2, 2016

Label: Top Dawg Entertainment

Singles: “Free Lunch”

Features: SiR, Zacari, Kendrick Lamar, Deacon Blues, Kari Faux, Syd tha Kyd, Hugh Augustine, Jay Rock and SZA

6. Anderson .Paak – Malibu

Released: January 15, 2016

Label: ArtClub, Empire, OBE, Steel Wool

Singles: “The Season / Carry Me”, “Am I Wrong”, “Room in Here”, “Come Down”

Features: BJ the Chicago Kid, Schoolboy Q, Rapsody, The Free Nationals United Fellowship Choir, The Game, Sonyae Elise, Talib Kweli, Timan Family Choir

5. J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only

Released: December 9, 2016

Label: Dreamville, Roc Nation, Interscope

Singles: “Deja Vu”, “Neighbors”

Features: N/A

4. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo

Released: February 14, 2016

Label: GOOD, Def Jam

Singles: “Famous”, “Father Stretch My Hands”, “Fade”

Features: The-Dream, Kelly Price, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Kid Cudi, Desiigner, Rihanna, Young Thug, Chris Brown, The Weeknd, Ty Dolla Sign, Vic Mensa, Sia, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, Post Malone, and Sampha.

3. Schoolboy Q – Blank Face LP

Released: July 8, 2016

Label: TDE, Interscope

Singles: “Groovy Tony”, “That Part”, “Overtime”

Features: Kanye West, Jadakiss, E-40, Tha Dogg Pound, Miguel and Anderson .Paak

2. Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition 

Released: September 27, 2016

Label: Fool’s Gold, Warp

Singles: “When It Rain”, “Pneumonia”, “Really Doe”

Features: Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt, B-Real, Kelela, and Petite Noir

1. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service

Released: November 11, 2016

Label: Epic

Singles: “We the People….”, “Dis Generation”

Features: André 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, Elton John, Kanye West, Anderson .Paak, Talib Kweli, Consequence, and Busta Rhymes

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