Are you exhausted yet? I know I am. 2016 keeps surprising me with hit after hit. I never thought I’d live to see such an eventful year, not just for hip hop, but for all genres of music. Old mate Kanye West kicked off ’16 with a series of batshit-crazy fashion shows, accompanied by the release of his latest effort, The Life of Pablo.
There was only a second for breath before Chicago’s latest prodigy, Chance the Rapper dropped his instant classic, Colouring Book. This was the moment every music fan sat back and said “That’s got to be it, there’s no way another smash can be drop this year.”
Then came Blonde. It’s hard to remember the last time an album caused such a stir and answered such gross anticipation than Frank Ocean’s latest effort. Add that to some solid EP’s from Young Thug and Vince Staples, respectively and you’ve got nine months-worth of artistic boundary-pushing and good listening. Oh, and some small-time rapper named Kendrick Lamar also dropped a stupidly good b-sides collection back in March. No biggie.
Now that we’re ticking away towards the end of 2016, it’s time to focus on the now and what’s ahead. The past week may have been shy of big-name releases, but there’s an abundance of underground and independent releases out there worthy of an Ocean wave of hype. With Bars, not only do we provide a weekly summation of new releases but we also like to give a shout out to the musical battlers trying to get a foot in the door. This is the platform for the established and up-and-comers.