Here’s The 25 Best Albums Of 2016

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It’s been a pretty fast year. I can’t even lie. 2016 really zoomed by. Over here at Kidfromthe6ix, it’s been a really good 2016. I’m laughing at the fact I said “Over Here” when I’m the only writer on this site. Back to the point, I got a media pass to cover four major festivals this year. Manifesto, NXNE, Canadian Music Week and TURF. The site also hit 800,000 views this year, so It’s been an amazing year. It’s also been a great year for music.

Even though I write about pretty much everything on this site, It’s pretty clear music is the focal point. In 2016, a lot of albums were dropped, some classics and some recycle bin classics. With that being said, “Here’s the 25 Best Albums Of 2016.”



Artist : Solange

Album : A Seat At The Table

Release Date : September 30th

I’m going to be honest and say I really haven’t jumped into this album a lot. I heard that it was immediately critically acclaimed upon release and I was like damn, I guess I should check it out. The first song I listened to was “Cranes In The Sky” and I was blown away. The song is a clear 10/10 classic and because of that the album merits a placement.



Artist : Beyonce

Album : Lemonade

Release Date : April 23rd

Just like Rihanna, I’ve never listened to a full Beyonce album. Like, her song “Halo” is one of my personal favourite songs of all time, but nope. Her album Lemonade is really good too, the Kendrick Lamar feature, the James Blake feature, but when it comes to me, the album wasn’t on constant rotation for me, so sorry Beyhive.



Artist : Craig David

Album : Following My Intuition

Release Date : September 30th

The original Drake. Craig David’s debut album, “Born To Do It” still stands as one of the greatest albums of all time. With tracks like “Walking Away” and “Fill Me In” and finally, “Seven Days” his debut album is a masterpiece and I’ll forever be a fan of Craig David for that album, but after he dropped that album, he kind of vanished for me. For me at least, he vanished. He recently came back into the light with a new album called, “Following My Intuition” and man is this album a banger. With that being said, it merits placement.


Artist : Wet

Album : Don’t You

Release Date : January 29th

The first concert I ever went to alone was this band. I had to. There was absolutely no way I was missing this band in concert. The ticket was only $15 dollars too or $25 dollars, either way, it was nothing major. The bank account was going to be fine, so I pulled the trigger. This debut album from the band Wet is full of incredible, soulful, R&B tracks. Seeing them live was 100% a highlight of the year for me. If this list wasn’t so tight, this would be better ranked, but it is what it is. At least, it’s on the list.


Artist : Yung Lean

Album : Warlord

Release Date : February 25th

When I first discovered Yung Lean, I never imagined that 3 years later, I would still be listening to him, but the mans has only gotten better. After dropping his debut tape, “Unknown Death 2002” he dropped his debut album, “Unknown Memory” and it was incredible. And it’s still incredible. The question was, could he continue the wave he created and then he dropped “Warlord.” And the answer was yes. The production got crazier, the flows got even better and from a meme rapper, we had Yung Lean with Mike Dean production. With Leandoer, Sweden’s got talent.



Artist : J Cole

Album : 4 Your Eyez Only

Release Date : December 9th

I really wasn’t going to put this album on this list. I listened to the album a couple of times completely through and I haven’t really wanted to go back. The only reason this is on this list is because I hope later on I’ll actually enjoy it, but as of now, not really. It’s borderline a recycle bin classic, but since I love J Cole’s debut album, “Sideline Story” I won’t call it that. In a few months or a year, I’ll probably read this and I’ll be like damn, this should be ranked better, but as of now, it sits at 20.


Artist : Panic! At The Disco

Album : Death Of A Bachelor

Release Date : January 15th

I’m going to come clean and say Panic! At The Disco is honestly my favourite band of all time. It’s pretty close between them, The Killers, My Chemical Romance and Linkin Park. These are the bands I grew up with. Looking at all of their discographies, I feel like Panic! really stands tall. I also saw this band live four times including this past summer, and I saw this band perform this new album, so it’s no shock this album gets ranked on here.


Artist : 21 Savage

Album : Savage Mode

Release Date : July 15

An instant classic on first play. That’s exactly what Savage Mode is. This dude is the scariest rapper I’ve ever seen. Someone said that the scary part about 21 Savage is that he isn’t even rapping, he’s talking and it’s scary as shit. With Metro Boomin on production, 21 came through and brought the heat. Match made in heaven.


Artist : Jorja Smith

EP : Project 11

Release Date : November 18th

Blue Lights is one of the greatest songs dropped this year by Jorja Smith. I’ve been blogging about this girl all year. She’s going to have a huge 2017 and I can’t wait until she comes to Toronto. You know mans are copping tickets. On November 18th, she finally dropped a full-fledged project called, “Project 11.” This EP didn’t have a lot of songs, but the gold still shined bright in the small package. I implore you, if you have never listened to her music, please do. The world will know her name soon.



Artist : DVSN

Album : Sept 5th

Release Date : March 27th

The mystery surrounding who DVSN really was, was a  large part of 2016. The first time I heard about the singer was right in the start of his career. OVO Sound Radio played his first two songs and then I wrote about DVSN and I’ve been paying attention to the singer since. We all eventually found out who the singer was and on the Summer Sixteen Tour, I saw the dude live. His soulful debut album, “Sept 5th” ranks among the best R&B albums of this year, so of course this album is on my ranking.


Artist : Rihanna

Album : Anti

Release Date : January 28th

A lot of people love this album and hail it as Rihanna’s best album and I’m going to be honest, I never ever listened to a full Rihanna album before. I think she’s amazing and “Unfaithful” is one of the greatest songs of all time, but meh. I’m not a crazy fan of hers. I really enjoyed her cover of Tame Impala’s song on this album and the song “Needed Me” is a great song, but I don’t know, I just don’t see it. Anti is still a solid album though.



Artist : Travis Scott

Album : Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight

Release Date : September 2nd

This album should have got nominated for a Grammy Award, but it’s a cole world after all. A terrible snubbing, but it is what it is. This album was amazing and if the ranking wasn’t really tight like it’s going to get, then it wold have been higher. Honestly, if Travis had done a tour and I were to see the album live, I would have more incentive to rank it higher, but mans still hasn’t gone on tour yet, so ah well.


Artist : Majid Jordan

Album :Majid Jordan

Release Date : Februray 5th

Someone told me every Majid Jordan song sounds the same. Life really hasn’t been the same since. They make incredible music, their first two EP’s are now classics at this point, but my god, it’s pretty true. Play this entire album over and you might just think you’re playing the same song over and over again. I expect big things from them on their next album because they can’t already be getting criticism like that. Regardless of all of that, their song “Love Is Always There” is one of my personal favourites of this year from the new album and makes them ranking worthy.


Artist : Zayn

Album : Mind Of Mine

Release Date : March 25th

Another artist that got Grammy snugged. SMH. I’ll be honest, when Zayn dropped, “Pillow Talk” I wasn’t impressed. I was like wow, I just blogged this to generate traffic, I’m a sell out for real, but then something happened. He performed a new song called, “It’s You” and it sounded amazing. Then the official song came out and it was incredible. I never thought I’d listen to a One Direction singer, but Zayn really came through. His debut album is full of amazing songs. Even though I’m only listening to the album here and there now, it was on heavy rotation for months. And when he finally goes on tour , I’ll be copping tickets.



Artist : Childish Gambino

Album : Awaken! My Love

Release Date : December 2nd.

Just like The Weeknd’s debut album, “Kiss Land” I already know “Awaken! My Love” will be a cult classic in a few years. It just has to grow on me. It’s a complete change from what Gambino usually puts out musically. It’s like his own Yeezus. It’s an experience. Some of my favourite songs on the album include Stand Tall, Terrified, Redbone and Me And Your Mama. My man Donald Glover had an amazing year with his show Atlanta and being cast in Star Wars. He’s finally being appreciate and I couldn’t be happier.


Artist : Lil Yachty

EP/Album: Lil Boat

Release Date : March 9th

What can I say about Lil Yachty. He had a pretty flawless 2016. I even wrote about it. From nobody knowing who he was to being everywhere. His debut tape, “Lil Boat” is a huge part of 2016. I saw him live 2 times in 3 days. That was a wild week. I can’t wait until he drops his debut album and becomes a mainstream star because I can really see that happening. Also, he’s not just Lil Yachty, he’s Grammy nominated Lil Yachty. This is the first project in the top 10. The list is about get tight



Artist : Bruno Mars

Album : 24k Magic

Release Date : November 18th

Instant classic on first play. This album just makes you feel good. It’s pure joy and happiness. If you listen to this album and you aren’t bopping your head, you’re a confirmed sociopath and you lack no emotion. This album was very needed in 2016 and Mars came through.



Artist : Kid Cudi

Album : Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin’

Release Date : December 16th

I don’t care what anyone says about Kid Cudi, but the dude hasn’t stopped dropping G.O.O.D Music. In 2013, he dropped Induced and there were some solid songs on that, I love the album Satellite flight and as we all know, Speedin’ Bullet To Heaven will get its cult classic status soon enough. To the main point though, everybody can agree his new album is outstanding and exactly what we needed. It’s still growing on me, but it’s clear his song “Kitchen” on this album ranks among his very best in terms of catalogue.



Artist : Kanye West

Album : The Life Of Pablo

Release Date : February 14th

Kanye West is culture. You can hate him all you want, but he will go down as one of the greatest artists of all time. The Life Of Pablo rollout, I feel like will tarnish this album and all of the chaos that West went through will tarnish it too in 2016 when we look back on this album in years time, but let’s be real for a second. We all watched on Tidal when the album was being played. It was a moment in time and Ultralight Beam is one of the best songs West has ever made along side Real Friends. Let’s hope Kanye finds the peace he so desperately wants.



Artist : James Blake

Album : The Colour In Anything

Release Date : May 6th

An absolute masterpiece. That’s the only honest way to describe this album. You can’t even listen to it a lot because it really takes a hold of your emotions. Seeing the album live made the album so much better. Seeing it live was truly one of the highlights of 2016. James Blake is one of the most talented artists alive and he continues to give us gems.


Artist : Frank Ocean

Album : Blond

Release Date : August 20th

After disappearing on us, trolling us, lying to us, giving us an album we couldn’t actually listen to until people stripped it down, Frank Ocean finally gave us something tangible. He gave us the song and video, “Nikes.” And with that, Ocean finally returned to us. Then he dropped the album, “Blonde.” Now he just needs to tour and I can finally see him live. Yes, Endless is higher ranked than Blonde.


Artist : Frank Ocean

Album : Endless

Release Date : August 21st

As you can tell by the placement of Blonde and Endless, Yes, I think Endless is better than Blonde. There’s just something about the honesty and stripped backness of Endless that just makes it better. Or maybe, I’m just trying to be a hipster and say Endless is better, but honestly that’s not the case. When both albums were both simultaneously out, I felt more drawn to Endless than Blonde and even in nearing the end of the year, I still feel like that. The saddest thing is Endless will always be a foot note to Blonde. Isn’t that a damn shame?


Artist : Drake

Album : Views

Release Date : April 29th

“Views Already A Classic.” Drake may have been the greatest rapper on earth before Views, but if there was any talk of him not being the best, “Views” proved its him on the top and no one is even remotely close to him. The numbers don’t lie. Views is already 4x platinum. Honestly, I could do an entire article of how much of an impact Views has had, but it’s so apparent. The album cover says it all. Drake’s on top and he will be until he wants to retire. Damn it feels good to be from Toronto.



Artist : The Weeknd

Album : Starboy

Release Date : November 25th

Sorry Drake, you didn’t drop the best album from Toronto in 2016. That honour goes The Weeknd. Starboy is a classic. Like, it’s a god damn classic. It really should be number one, but that honour goes the album that dropped earlier in the year and I still play it. Every song on Starboy is 10/10. Every single song. Abel really came through and dropped an incredible album, just a year later from dropping Beauty Behind The Madness. Absolutely insane.


Artist : Bladee

Album : Eversince

Release Date : May 25th

In the month of May, the best album of 2016 was dropped in my eyes. The crazy thing is when I first tried getting into Bladee when he dropped his “Gluee” tape, I hated it. It was way too much autotune. Then something started happening. Bladee kept getting better. Every new song he dropped on Soundcloud sounded so much more refined and it wasn’t too heavy on the autotune. Then he dropped “Eversince.” I swear to god, not a day has gone by that I haven’t played this album. This is the type of music that you don’t even show to people, but Yo! I don’t even care. I love this album.


From The 6ix,With Love

Thank You For Reading

Sincerely, Kid From The 6ix

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