By: Papa Minnow

Summer 16 was one of Toronto’s best summers ever. Part of what made 2016 so great was the sheer amount of quality music that came out and in addition, the energy behind that music was largely positive.

Revisiting those albums was a pleasant awakening to the various stories told within each artist’s body of work. Moreoever, there was a great deal of polish and care when it came to the construction and production of each album.

In maturation,  a fresh perspective brought about newly discovered layers of depth. Take Rihanna’s ANTI album for example, after years of neglecting the album, the return provided a reminder of how much range and variety she packed into it.

From the Caribbean vibe of Work to the western under tones of Desparado and her raw soul on Love on the brain; there’s a multitude of genres that all flow seamlessly from one to the other.

Anderson .Paak was another artist that delivered not only one, but, two separate magnificent albums in both Malibu and Yes Lawd! with the Neo Soul duo NxWorries. An incredible feat for any artist.

.Paak was no stranger to collaborations either, as he also appeared on west-coast rapper ScHoolboy Q’s album Blank Face as the opening act, as well as on the title track. Q’s second studio album was highly acclaimed and for good reason. The album contains little to no skips and expands upon various elements of the traditional west-coast sound whiles maintaining the feel.

Solange’s release of A Seat At The Table showed the world that she wasn’t just Beyonce’s younger sister and it was a powerful album that empowered the culture. A Seat At The Table will be relevant for many generations to come.

Despite the fact that his long awaited album couldn’t live up to the hype, Views was arguably Drake’s most diverse album as he officially claimed his Toronto upbringing and infused Caribbean elements into his biggest singles. It may not be a fan favourite but Views is well worth further listens.

Fresh off his most polarizing album to date, Kanye returned to his roots with the Life Of Pablo. An album that incorporated all the elements of his past works, along with some new sounds that brought fans comfort that his musical genius was still alive. It was also the major debut of G.O.O.D Music’s Desiigner.

Rap veteran Royce Da 5’9 gave us his most introspective album ever in Layers which shed light on Royce’s past and the trials and tribulations that led him to be the man he is today. 2016 also saw fresh blood in Post Malone who brought about a new sound with his hit single White Iverson and Stoney album and he’s been a staple ever since.

With a lot of main acts such as Rihanna, Kendrick, Drake and Beyoncé saving their upcoming works for later this year, 2019 may shape up to be the next great year of music and here’s hoping that Summer 19 can be a repeat of 16.

Featured image via: Love On The Brain Video (YouTube)


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