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



 
12. Kamaiyah
A Good Night in the Ghetto
(Independent)

Kamaiyah gained notoriety at the end of 2015 with "How Does It Feel," a colourful single that displayed a '90s sensibility with a modern twist. Her ensuing mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto, is one of those game-changers that ruffle feathers by keeping its head down and doing its thing.
 
The 20-year-old rapper doesn't put on airs; she raps from the believable point of view of a hard-partying, unattached Oakland girl. At a time when a lot of hip-hop hinges on bleak beats and rhymes written from the perspective of invincible cartoon characters, Kamaiyah's music isn't only a breath of fresh air, but a much-needed return to authenticity. If nothing else, hooks like the "woopty-woos" of "Out the Bottle," or the "freaky-freakys" of "Freaky Freaks" are infectious enough to justify the album's place among the most memorable hip-hop releases of 2016.
Mathias Pageau