This year, my “Best Of” playlist was shaped by an inward sense of strengths and defeats. There’s no contention that 2016 was an extraordinary mess, but it has undoubtedly produced an interesting, insightful soundtrack of sorts (depends on who you ask). It’s easy to pluck the best out of them, songs that mattered deeply to me. And a year that yielded full-length releases from my heroes is perhaps the only thing that made sense in 2016. That, and at one point, standing within spitting distance of Kanye West (those lights were hot).
Some specifics: 3/4 of this playlist is comprised of hip hop cuts, many of which plumbed the depths of self-examination and unraveling, which literally kept me from mental breakdowns. For better days, there’s Anderson .Paak, whose stage presence alone is intoxicating, and threw in a Donna Summer classic, which was a part of Netflix’s The Get Down playlist, and a song I danced to countless of times this year.
But if I must really grunt, the unavailability of Musical O’s ‘House Tea’ (and a follow-up record) on Spotify – one of this year’s finest in local music, as far as everyone’s concerned – is just another reason why this year sucked.