Boy the emotions sure are high for a random Tuesday in November. Need to cool off a bit? Celebrate? Hide in a broom closet to do some meth? Here’s the 2016 albums you need to really cement your desired aura on the most vexing, confounding day of the year.
Cynical: Kendrick Lamar – untitled.unmastered
untitled.unmastered is a sprawling mess of an almost-album. There’s the collar-tugging “what did the Indian say?” and the prescient: “get God on the phone - said it won’t be long.” The politics are heavily imbued in it with a certain snake-eating-tail irony to “they say the government mislead the youth,” but that’ll only last another 6 hours or so, or, at least it should.
Depressed: Drake – Views
Jesus, Drake isn’t even from the U.S. and is somehow having a worse year than the rest of us. 2015 was a blockbuster year for the Torontonianien(?) by any standard, but when the much-anticipated Views dropped it completely fell apart. If you want to spend your evening reflecting on how everyone around you is such a disappointment, can’t go wrong with another guy who spent all of 2016 wishing it never came.
Desperate: Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
No other album pleads to a higher power more than The Life of Pablo while being so unbelievably atheist. Despite the appeals toward friends and family and community, nothing reminds us that we all die alone like a Kanye West album. This is what you need for those first 3 stages of grief.
Oblivious: D.R.A.M. – Big Baby D.R.A.M.
Big Baby D.R.A.M. is the complete counterpoint to Kendrick, and D’Angelo, and put Vic Mensa in the mix too. The sense of joy is so overwhelming it might as well be a collection of Fallon sketches. Whether it’s Erykah Badu’s advances (look out, D.R.A.M., you seen what she did to Andre!) or the world at large he’s completely unaware in the most blissful way. The perfect fit for any election counter-programming party.
Not, uh, terrestrial: Young Thug – Take your pick
While his focus is improving, Thugga’s frantic and occasionally erratic nature still make him the pick for the aforementioned “meth in a broom closet” crowd. If D.R.A.M. is for those that chose to stay away from this mess, Thugga is for those that might need a little something to get them far, far, far away.
Celebratory: Chance the Rapper – Coloring Book
If Obama won the Presidency this year instead of 2008, “No Problems” would be the song on the PA while he took a balloon shower on his way to the stage. Coloring Book is inseparable from feeling like it’s a victory lap, which is damn impressive considering the average Joe-on-the-street never heard of Chance the Rapper ‘til June. At the end of the night, put this shit on and pop some corks.
notsomethingstructural (aka @nss_ds) is an amateur listicle purveyor and the author of “The 25 Best Hip Hop Albums of All Time”. He co-authored the record-setting #WorstSongBracket and is terrible at Twitter.