Earlier this week the nominations for the 2017 Grammy Awards were released and hip-hop was represented very well this year. Drake’s triple platinum album Views is nominated for both Album of the Year and best Rap Album of the Year, while Kanye West and Chance The Rapper are up for a number of awards including Best Rap Performance.
So in light of the nominations I decided to look back on this year in hip-hop and see who should have nominated for Rap Album of the Year.
2 Chainz – Collegrove ( and mixtapes)
If there was an award for rapper of the year, 2 Chainz and Drake would be your front-runners for the award. While Drake had the mainstream, Chainz had the streets. In 2016 Chainz released four projects – one album and three mixtape. His album Collegrove, a joint project with Lil Wayne released in February showed just how good of a rapper Chainz was, that album was followed up by two more tapes in the summer – Daniel’s Son:Necklace Don and Hibachi for Lunch. Simply put, Chainz wasn’t just putting out projects, he was putting out quality projects.
Travis Scott – Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight
At 24-years-old Travis Scott might be the next mega superstar in hip-hop. The producer, rapper, and creative has long been credited with helping Kanye West find his new youthful sound, but it was Travis on his sophomore album who really found his own wave. Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight was the perfect follow up for Scott to a critically acclaimed debut album. In the age of hip-hop being about more than lyrics, Travis unique and often weird sound has made him a staple in the industry – with many of his sounds becoming the next popular wave. This snub might be the hardest to swallow.
Dave East – Kairi Chanel
Harlem newcomer Dave East made his presence known this year in a major way. After bubbling in the underground scene for a few years, his first major debut Kairi Chanel was released late fall and had an immediate impact on the game. Kairi Chanel is an ode to classic 90s New York hip-hop. With vivid story telling, catchy skits and bars on bars – Dave East was never going to get a Grammy nomination, but boy did Kairi Chanel deserve one.
Bas – Too High To Riot
in my opinion this was the best hip-hop album of the year. In under 40 minutes and 12 songs Bas paints a beautiful picture of the rapper’s struggle with drugs, love and fame all while tackling the many struggles of black life in the United States. Like Dave East, Bas, from New York truly showcased his bars on this album. Track after track whether it be word play, flow or delivery he did it all. The artist signed to J Cole’s Dreamville imprint may not be a household name, but his album should be one.
Anderson .Paak – Malibu
This was one album I didn’t give it’s proper due, but whenever music discussions would come up this was the album that would find it’s way into the discussion. Anderson Paak sound is one I couldn’t accurately describe to you. The rapper out of California who’s signed to Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label will be at the 2017 Grammy’s and may even leave with some hardware, but even if he does go home with the Best New Artist award his album should be vying for the best Rap album as well.
Now let me know who I missed on this list. Oh some honorable mentions: Kendrick Lamar – Untitled, YG – Still Brazy