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



 
10. YG
Still Brazy
(400/CTE World/Def Jam Recordings)

YG's sophomore effort not only proved the acclaimed My Krazy Life was more than just a flash in the pan; it bridged the gap between old heads and new. On Still Brazy, the "Bompton" native resumed his cinematic portrayal of his hood — (mostly) without Ty Dolla $ign or homie-turned-enemy DJ Mustard — while bringing G-Funk into the 21st century.
 
And it worked. A handful of beatsmiths remarried thumping bass lines to timeless funk samples while YG continued to prove a born raconteur with some expertly placed interludes and uniquely Compton tales like "Gimmie Got Shot" and "Bool, Balm & Bollective."
 
The Angelino restores the West Coast's former glory by vividly reminding heads that where N.W.A once had Reagan, today's rappers have Trump (still just a presidential candidate during the making of the album), and their comings and goings with the police are as acrimonious now as they were then.
 
Still Brazy might delight with flashbacks of Chevies and Death Row's prime, but it remains firmly rooted in the hard truths of YG's "Bompton."
Themistoklis Alexis