12 music-packed months add high note to chaotic 2016


Emily Yu

Through the craziness and chaos of 2016, up-and-coming artists like Chance The Rapper as well as old groups like the Red Hot Chili Peppers kept their audiences wanting more. A year marked by a crazy election and tragic deaths like Prince and Muhammad Ali can also be described as 12 months of new, innovative, trendsetting music that set a high bar for the upcoming year. Here we highlight the best music of the year: one month at time.
Kicking off the year, Barbadian female artist Rihanna released her eighth studio album ‘Anti.’ Peaking at number one on the Billboard Top 200 and going certified platinum after only two days, the album feature talented artists like Drake in her song “Work,” which also reached number one on the billboard top 200. ‘Anti’ reached critic’s best albums of 2016 list and showed her fans that she is making the best music of her career.
Perhaps the most anticipated album of the year, artist Kanye West dropped “The Life of Pablo.” Recorded in countries including Italy, Mexico, Canada and the United States, West released his album on Tidal on Valentine’s Day. “I only listen to Spotify, so I couldn’t listen to the album at first” junior Gabe Pollack said. Even though West had originally said the album would only be available on Tidal, it was later made available on both Spotify and Apple Music.
After leaving the boy band, One Direction, Zayn Malik released his first solo work, “Mind of Mine.” The tough break in his former band obviously didn’t phase Zayn, as ‘Mind of Mine’ debuted at number one in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom, making him the first male artist to achieve such a feat.
April was marked by two big musical releases, the first being Drake’s anticipated ‘Views,’ which took control of the music leaderboards. Moreover, Beyonce’s surprise album “Lemonade” stirred up a social media firestorm over whether or not the album signaled the divorce of her and her husband, Jay-Z. As it turned out, the two are strong as ever and some believe the rumors were intentionally started to make more revenue off the album.
Born in Chicago, popular rapper and lyricist Chance the Rapper released his groundbreaking album, “Coloring Book.” Making all of his music free to the public, Chance continued to inspire Americans in 2016. He performed his new music on SNL in November. “I don’t not like one song on this album,” junior Andrew Hawley said. In addition, Justin Timberlake came back hot as ever, dominating the Billboard Top 200 with his single, ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling.’ Mike Posner also made a surprising comeback with his hit, “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.”
June was dominated by the big return of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and their release of “The Getaway.” Featured song “Dark Necessities” showed audiences that, after a hiatus, the Chili Peppers are still running strong.
A relatively small month in the industry, snapchat legend, sneakerhead and business mogul DJ Khaled released his hyped-up album, “Major Key.” “His snapchat stories got me excited for the release of the album,” junior Zack Lechner said.
We all knew it was coming. Potentially the most anticipated album of the year, ‘Blonde’ by Frank Ocean controlled the leaderboard for almost a month, every single song on his album being in the Billboard Top 50. Additionally, breaking gender standards and coming out as bisexual, hip-hop artist Young Thug released “Jefferey,” which received praise from critics.
In September, hip-hop artist and producer Travis Scott released his new album “Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight,”which controlled the Billboard Top 20 upon its release.
A blast from the past hit music listeners as Green Day, after a four year hiatus, released album “Revolution Radio,” which is a testament to the group’s timeless musical sound.
After hit single, “24K Magic,” Bruno Mars returned from a break and released the whole album, which reminded everyone of his unique sound. More so, up-and-coming artist The Weeknd released a new album, “Starboy,” which is filled with innovative music styles and is a potential candidate for album of the year.
Following selling out on Broadway and becoming a national phenomenon, Hamilton released the official mixtape of the soundtrack. And, after appearing the popular movie ‘Martian,’ singer-songwriter and actor Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino, released his first album in a while, “Awaken, My Love!”.


Josh Messitte

Arts Editor