Fashionably-Early’s Top 50 Albums of 2016

40. Boogie – Thirst 48 Pt. II

PURCHASE: iTunes

The idea seems a little cheesy – an album based mostly around social media thirst for girls, but Compton’s Boogie – a rapper with little similarity to his city’s legends – put together a strong sequel to his 2014 mixtape with Thirst 48, Pt. II. After gaining some hype in 2015 with his banger “Oh My”, Boogie went a little softer for the ladies on Pt. II, but his rhymes are tight and funny. His flow is slick over the strong west coast production and even bangers like “No Way” fit right into the tracklisting. “Fuck Em All” with Mozzy and DJ Quik towards the end of the record is one of the best songs of the year. – Mitch


39. Le$ – Olde English

PURCHASE: iTunes

Curren$y may have released upwards of a dozen projects in 2016 but it was his Houston-based Jet Life artist LE$ who dropped the collective’s best album of the year. 18 full length tracks for a retail debut album is bold, but right from the plucking strings of the opener “Highway” this album starts off strong. The purely southern sound of the production is some of the best all year, with beats sounded primed to bump through your car’s bass system all summer. LE$‘s lyrical performance is the best of his career, with great storytelling and rapping all throughout, as well as a strong ability to craft hooks. When he calls upon Houston legends Z-Ro and Slim Thug on the cut “Real”, and drops the last, and best, verse on the track, LE$ proves he’s a stellar MC who showcased the ability to make 18 track debut albums. – Mitch


38. FM-84 – ATLAS

PURCHASE: iTunes

FM-84 came to my attention through a submission on our Submithub platform. Never did I imagine that I would fall into an album like I ended up doing with ATLAS. The album is a retrowave, synth-pop masterpiece that is the closet thing we have to a time machine back to the 1980s. The album is led by the frivolous single ‘Running Through The Night.’ Ollie Wride contributes vocals that will pierce your soul over FM’s production that takes you off to brand new world. While the project boosts other vocal performances including two others by Ollie, ‘Running Through The Night’ is the indisputable standout.

A lot of times, nostalgic efforts end up sounding outdated. ATLAS is a genuine rendition of the beauty of 80s synth-pop. This 11 song, 46 minute effort should be the soundtrack to some of your fondest memories over the next few years of your life. – malbin


37. G Perico – Shit Don’t Stop

PURCHASE: iTunes

Evoking immediate comparisons to N.W.A. legend Eazy-E with his jheri curl hair and squeaky, staccato voice and flow, LA emcee G Perico is an easy standout in a crowded west coast rap scene. Calling back sounds of old favorites without sacrificing a newer charm (or sounding too much like a copy-cat), Shit Don’t Stop is an album of banging west coast cuts that paint a perfect picture of G Perico in South Central Los Angeles. G’s storytelling is a strength throughout, and when LA friends Jay 305 and TF join him on the hometown anthem “South Central” we get one of the strongest west coast rap songs of the year. The production is both funky and banging, but all totally west coast. At such a young age, this is an impressive piece of work, and G Perico has pretty much nowhere to go but up from here. – Mitch


36. Sylvan LaCue – Far From Familiar


PURCHASE: iTunes

Been a fan since the early QuESt days when he was just some kid on the blogs that could really spit and since. He’s progressed into a lot more than just a rapper; he’s a truly great artist. Searching Sylvan was our first taste of the Miami kid’s talent in crafting albums and telling cohesive tales throughout the length of an album and Far From Familiar took the next step and succeeded where the last album failed. The production’s dense like on “Cruel World”, a song whose production would sound at home on 808s & Heartbreak. On the flipside there’s somber songs like “Emeryville”, truly making this album a roller coaster rides of ups and downs. If this album hasn’t met your ear yet, it’s never too late to make the introduction. – Trixx

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