27 Best Hip-Hop Albums of 2016 So Far
Six months ago, the hip-hop landscape was fresh and inviting. It was time for rappers from every corner of the game to bless fans with new material, especially if they've kept their legion of supporters waiting way too long. As January came and went, it was apparent that 2016 was going to be full of solid albums from some of hip-hop's major players. The fans even chimed in on which projects they were anticipating, with LPs from Drake, Lupe Fiasco, Ab-Soul, Missy Elliott and Macklemore, among others, getting thrown into the mix.
Now that June has arrived and summer is officially here, the midway mark of the year means it's time to take a look back on the albums that matter most. From newbies to veterans, there's something to satisfy every kind of hip-hop fan. Royce da 5'9" allows his introspective side to shine on Layers while the Flatbush Zombies evolve from their mixtape run for a sonic trip with 3001: A Laced Odyssey. Then there's XXL Freshman Anderson .Paak and Denzel Curry, who both dropped stellar albums with Malibu and Imperial, respectively. Boosie BadAzz proves he's no washed-up, old-school rapper with In My Feelings and Kanye West's The Life of Pablo showcases why he's one of the most talked about guys in hip-hop (plus the fact, he keeps adding updates to the album well after its release date).
Since there's been so much heat dropping over the last six months, XXL highlights the best albums of the year so far. Find your favorites here or get put on to some fire projects you can have on repeat for the rest of the summer.
Compiled by Max Weinstein, Miranda J., Roger Krastz, Sidney Madden, Emmanuel C.M. and Georgette Cline