The Year’s Best Music
The year 2016 has been an absolute roller coaster thus far. First, we had a gorrilla get shot down in cold blood. Then, the Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals after registering a 73-9 record, the best in NBA history. Then, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series in 108 years, climbing back from a 3-1 deficit against the Cleveland Indians. Then, Willy Wonka rose to heaven to join Harambe, and Donald Trump became the president of the United States. Finally, the movie Arrival captivated our imagination and left us inspired and motivated to do good in the world. But one thing that has stayed consistent all year was the music.
2016 has been a fantastic year for music. With so much selection and so many new artists making big booms in the industry, it has been a very exciting year. According to Spotify, Drake was the most popular artist of the year with 4.7 billion streams and counting. His LP Views was one of 2016’s most popular albums and boasted 20 songs. Views contains a variety of Drake’s sounds including slower samples that remind you of his ever classic Take Care album, as well as harder beats reminiscent of 2015’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.
Another heavy hitter in this year’s music scene was Rihanna, who dropped her album ANTI in January. Her hit songs “Work” and “Needed Me” peaked at #1 and #7, respectively. Another female artist who reassured us of her brilliance was the Queen B herself who dropped her stunning album and visual art piece Lemonade. The most popular song was “Formation”, a prideful piece about the struggles of African-Americans and specifically African-American women. Lastly, Twenty One Pilots dropped their album Blurryface in 2015, but it was crowned the fourth most streamed album by Spotify of 2016. The album brought two massive radio hits including “Stressed Out”, which hit #2 on the Billboard charts, and “Ride”, which hit #5. The band also boasts “Heathens”, a song that was the lead single for the motion picture Suicide Squad, and hit #2 on the charts.
Songs that made us all dance a little extra this year include some rap and trap bangers. Mike Posner’s “I Took A Pill In Ibiza,” which was released in March, was the second most streamed song of 2016 behind “One Dance” by Drake. It became a smash hit on the radio and its soft but hard hitting drop had people hitting the dance of their choice at every red light they stopped at. Young M.A., a new young lesbian rapper out of Brooklyn, dropped “OOOUUU” in 2016 and it became a smash hit. The song received a royal treatment, pulling tons of freestyle remixes from huge rappers such as A$AP Ferg, Jadakiss, and Nicki Minaj. Arguably the biggest slapper of 2016 was “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd. The song, produced by Mike Will Made It, includes rapper Gucci Mane, who has dropped two albums (and has announced a third) since getting out of prison. The “mannequin challenge” videos which became popular on Instagram and Facebook boosted the songs popularity. The track has now been #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for four weeks.
Music in 2016 has been nothing but the best, and with all the problems the world is dealing with right now, we needed it more than ever. Let’s just hope that 2017 brings the same level of heat that 2016 did.