After my favorite full length projects of 2016, I wanted to follow up with 10 EPs. The way that people consume music has shifted things away from the 70 minute album. Nowadays, very few people sit down and listen to every song of a new project. Playlists and curated radio are starting to replace the album. That being said, a lot of people seem to think that the EP is safe and has potential to become even more useful. I have read articles proposing a three-EP release cycle in a year that would amount to one LP’s worth of music stretched out over 12 months. I love to see artists link up for collaborative projects of this length because it allows us to hear more than just one song but doesn’t put too much pressure on the the artists to create a lot. So without further ado, the top EPs of this year (in rough order) are:
The Alabama emcee has been going through a lot of personal struggles over the last few years but he seems to have found a better place recently. That discovery has coincided with a breakthrough in the development of his sound too. He does a lot of things well but his new direction of Country/Hip-Hop is done at a level that we’ve never seen before.
Big Sean & Jhene Aiko Twenty88
Some catchy R&B/hip-hop hybrids from the recently named duo.
Curren$y Stoned On Ocean
He released 12 projects this year so it is hard to choose one. I always love when Spitta links up with Cool&Dre so I went with Stone on Ocean.
Gee Watts Sketches
Since I first read a post by Gotty at TSS years ago, I’m always checking for new music from the KC emcee. He takes huge strides with each release and displays a lot of growth.
Dizzy Wright Wisdom and Good Vibes
Dizzy’s music has been striking a chord lately. His every-day philosophizing, optimism and kind nature have laid a very relatable framework for every subsequent release.
DJ Quik Rosecrans
Quik revamps his classic Compton sounds with Problem, The Game, Candace Boyd, Buddy, Wiz Khalifa, and Bad Lucc.
Keeping up the good fight, Mello Music Group’s Oddisee dropped a stellar 7 tracks. Of course, everything is produced by the man himself.
Vic Mensa There’s a lot Going On
Loved Vic since he was in Kid These Days but I think he has really developed into one of the more important voices right now. He seems to have the ear of a lot of the kids his age and is using his platform to speak on some very necessary issues.
Vince Staples Prima Donna
Vince is right up there with Vic on the important voice list. He has found a way to speak his mind, in interviews and in music, without compromising any of its mainstream appeal. I hope Vince wants to stick around for a long time because we need him.
YES! The Queen blessed us with some straight hip-hop once again.