My 10 Worst Albums/EP’s/Mixtapes of 2016

Just a few clarifications before I get into this list. For me, there are a number of factors contributing to placement on this list. Disappointment was a huge one, as there are a few of these albums you may look at think aren’t so terrible but when compared to the hype, sales or even the bar their previous work had set, they failed. Miserably. Putting some of these names on this list hurt my inner fanboy but I had to be honest with myself, so without further ado, here are my most disliked projects of this year.

Dishonourable Mention

VIEWS by Drake

Okay, before you lose your mind let me just say this. This album (for me) is not good. In terms of quality it is definitely above the albums that actually made the list but I have a few reasons for its inclusion here. Firstly, in terms of lyrics this is Drake’s worst effort in his entire career, some of the bars here are so beyond cringeworthy that I had to replay certain lines several times just to make sure I was hearing them correctly. Secondly, Drake is not an amazing singer, he doesn’t have the necessary vocal performance to carry a mostly sung record and so for me this was another major turn off. Thirdly, this album is way too long with nothing really justifying it’s length, there are maybe 3 songs out of the 20 that I can still stomach listening to. So yeah… skip. 

Passion, Pain and Demon Slayin’ by Kid Cudi 

Cudi almost made it out of 2016 relatively unscathed and looks to be very recently to be on the path back to stability. Unfortunately, I do not believe this album was recorded in that time and after releasing one of the worst albums I’ve had the misfortune of sitting through in Speedin’ Bullet 2 Heaven, my expectations here were really low. Even the feature list, which contained Andre 3000 twice still had me doubting how good this would be as it’s a Cudi project. So I listened and… this sucks. Maybe not as bad as his previous work or some of the top 10 but this is not good. Nothing about this is entertaining or interesting or even reflective of the pain and struggle within his personal life. And worst of all, it’s long as hell. Avoid this like the plague. Luckily as it’s release was so late in the year, it’ll probably miss most publications trash list.

10 – Khalifa by Wiz Khalifa

This is Wiz’ sixth studio album and by now, so many of these have been sub-par I’ve actually almost forgotten why I ever liked the Philly rapper at all. Flight School Kush and Orange Juice seem a lifetime away now, and besides a slight resurgence with his “We Dem Boyz” and “See You Again” in 2014, he has been mostly disappointing for me. This album just added eleven songs to the list of Wiz songs I have no time for in my life. Whilst “Bake Sale ft Travis Scott” and “Most Of Us” are decent songs for sure, the rest of the album drags it into a pit, where it’s not even bad, it is just supremely boring and uninspired. This album just had me rushing back to in search of the 2009-2011 mixtapes that made me fall in love with his music in the first place. This is so bland it’s not even bad enough for me to suggest listening to it for a laugh.

9 –PartyNextDoor 3 by PartyNextDoor

Firstly, OVO hold this L. If there is one label in hip-hop right now, that has a roster of entirely underperforming artists than this might be the number one contender. From their frontman Drake, who commercially achieved but failed in terms of critical acclaim this year, all the way through the roster, everyone here should be doing better. PartyNextDoor is no exception, the man is clearly gifted (You need only look at the leaked demos and reference tracks he’s penned for proof he can write and sing). However, he is yet to really turn this into any project that contains anything close to fulfilling his potential. PND3 is another epic fail in this regard. This feels like a slog at just over an hour in length and the only track that stands out as even a little interesting is the lukewarm “Come And See Me ft Drake” which clearly benefits from having Drake on it but still falls a tad flat compared to his usual efforts. This is another album so bland I would thoroughly recommend hitting skip if it pops up on your shuffle.

8 – Majid Jordan by Majid Jordan

OVO, take your third L on this list. And my issue with this albums follows on in a very similar vain to the previous entry. It’s not that this is so atrocious, but God it ain’t half boring. This is what I’m going to term generic Toronto crooner music, at its most basic form. If the Weeknd is the Olympic Gold standard for this brand of music and Bryson Tiller is the silver, then these guys are definitely Did Not Finish. I could do with a lot less of this music in my life, there is nothing unique or endearing about these songs. They aren’t even written in a way that is captivating or interesting lyrically, and to be honest this is all a shame because the singing itself is not an issue at all. This duo just needs much better writing and maybe a more distinctive sound before they really can step out of Drake’s OVO sweatshop with anything of note themselves. Otherwise they really will struggle to make their mark in my opinion, there isn’t a whole lot unique about them outside of them being a duo on this record.

7 – Peach Panther by RiFF RaFF

So now from albums that are bland, to one the is vibrant and oh so very boo-boo. There is literally one moment on the entire record that doesn’t majorly suck and that’s the Danny Brown verse and Gucci Mane chorus on “I Drive By”. The vast majority of this is an unenjoyable mess, a few half decent hooks here and there but the verses….I don’t think I’ve heard a series of verses back to back, track after track that I’ve disliked so much (except for later on in this list). RiFF RaFF is good when he’s not taking himself too serious and he’s being ridiculous, as happened on several cuts from his Neon Icon record. This doesn’t have that fun edge and it suffers because of this. Essentially, this really, really sucks…skip.

6 – Slime Season 3 & I’m Up by Young Thug

Prior to the release of Jeffery, I operated under the belief that Young Thug was destined to be a rapper with a discography of hot singles and no consistency within a single record. Whilst that record proved he could sustain for an entire project, it does not erase these ones. Between Slime Season 3, and I’m Up, a lot of the filler tracks could have been cut and led to an even better project instead of spreading the bangers thin over 2 records. These two records are making the list mostly because of the high amount of filler tracks I had to sift through to be rewarded with about 4 good songs, namely “F Cancer”, “Hercules”,  “Memo” and “Digits”. I should not have to sift through two separate projects for that measly return, and for the several generic, uninspired trap tunes thrown at us, Young Thug takes this L. Which hurts, because I really do like the 4 songs that are actually good but there’s just way too much trash here to justify my rage. Quality over quantity please Thugga. Skip, Skip…

5 – Always Strive and Prosper by A$AP Ferg

Another entry into the massively disappointing category, Ferg’s follow up to his pretty decent debut, Trap Lord falls flat in every way imaginable. The three singles off of the album, “Psycho”, “Let It Bang” and “New Level” are literally the only good things here and to be honest they’re not even that great. At least not in comparison to the bar set with his aforementioned debut. This album lacks cohesion in a way that doesn’t seem intentional, and it tries way too hard to sound commercially viable. Whereas previously, Ferg had been unashamedly dark and atmospheric, that’s traded in for mumble rap tropes that do not sound enjoyable at all. “Uzi Gang” in particular stands out as super trash. And it’s boring too.

4 – Coolaid by Snoop Dogg

This one hurt. I was a teen in the second Snoop Dogg era, when he frequently collaborated with Pharrell and made nothing but hits so I am definitely a fan. But since Tha Blue Carpet Treatment I haven’t really rocked with a Snoop project. The odd song here and there yes but not an album, and it’s more of the same here. It’s like he doesn’t know what sound to go with, he wants to sound modern but keep that G Funk style, but whereas YG did it perfectly with Still Brazy, this is oh-so boo-boo. Literally the only song I found tolerable was “Super Crip” which I liked but also really struggled with Snoop still giving us hard-core gangster lines, when in all. honesty he most likely hasn’t put in work since his murder trial in ’95. So what the hell is this?! It’s made worse because there are a plethora of rappers who do this style better than Snoop now, such as the aforementioned YG, Nipsey Hussle and Problem. Just don’t bother with this album. At all. 

3 – Balloween by RiFF RaFF

Imagine being so trash you get two albums on the worst list…Well congratulations Jody Highroller aka RiFF RaFF. This album is boo-boo. I don’t understand why this is a thing that exists, from the God awful Skepta feature on “Back From The Dead” to the God awful Lil Debbie feature on “Go Get It”, there is no one on this record contributing positively. He must of had to pay for all these guests as not a single one sounds like they cared about their verse. And as for RiFF RaFF, he brings the very worst of his persona…the part that takes these bars way too serious and lacks the main redeeming feature of some of his previous work, namely the humour. I am so upset that I had the misfortune of listening to this trash, I really didn’t deserve this. I would love to say I won’t listen to him again but I’m known to keep giving these wack rappers chances so who knows. But still, skip. 

2 – Summer Songs 2 by Lil Yachty

I really didn’t need this record in my life. Why does this exist? Even after an interesting feature on DRAM’s “Broccoli” and a thoroughly enjoyable song, “Terminator ft ASAP Ferg”, every time I come back to this,  I hate this guy’s music again. Which is a shame because he might actually not be as trash as this project would suggest, but Lord this is trash. I cannot name one redeemable feature in this, whereas at least his earlier tape, Lil Boat had a little charm to it. this does not. It’s obnoxious, not catchy and very repetitive. “For Hot 97 and “King of the Teens”showcase this high quality garbage. Yachty can do better than this, and I’m sincerely hoping that this was a project full of B-Sides or something along those lines, otherwise we could have another Trinidad James on our hands.

1 – New English by Desiigner

This (and I use the term lightly) mixtape, is everything that is wrong with mumble rap, and showcases it at its laziest and most jarring to the ear. This entire thing sounds like no effort was put into it and the fact that a lot of the songs seem to be unfinished further demonstrates this fact. The fact that Desiigner is the most unintelligible of all the mumble rappers, and has basically built his sound as an energetic version of Future just continues to add to the list of reasons why this doesn’t sound good. Whereas Future sounds slow and almost too cool for school, Desiigner sounds anything but cool. Listening to this was actually torture to my ears, and I was super excited when it finally finished. This mixtape is absolutely trash and in my opinion definitely the worst hip hop has had to offer this year.