Exclaim!'s Top 15 Hip-Hop Albums Best of 2016

15. Rae Sremmurd
SremmLife 2

Look, 2016's been a tough year. It's been the sort of year that inspires people to make the sort of protest music that gets people out in the streets and storming the barricades. It's also been the sort of year that makes people look for a distraction, something that lets them cut loose and feel good for a few minutes. That's the sort of music Rae Sremmurd make: tear-the-roof-off party music. And they do it better than almost anyone working in music today.
SremmLife 2 is a goddamn joy to listen to. It's the hour-long vacation we all needed. You can't not move to it. You can't not smile. You can't not get pulled into the day-in, day-out party that is Sremmlife. "Look Alive" is the sort of song you want played every time you walk into the room, like you're a UFC fighter, while "Black Beatles" is a catchy, hypnotic piece of ear candy that may be the best rap, pop, electronic and R&B song of the year. Frankly, we should all be sending Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi a thank you note.
Chris Dart