You could easily say that 2016 was one of the best years for hip-hop in recent memory, but who had the BEST year? The contributors at Artistic Manifesto submitted their pick of which artist had the biggest 2016, and wrote a speech from that artist’s perspective. Now it’s up to you, the reader, to decide who should be the 2016’s President of Hip-Hop.
The current state of hip hop is in flux, and needs the steady hand of elder statesmen to guide it. These kids are running around without any proper orientation to the culture. We have old heads running around, thumbing their nose at the new waves in the culture all while writing off an entire generation’s achievements over aesthetics and tradition.
The only candidate this year with the experience, swagger and proven know-how to bridge this ever-growing gap is A Tribe Called Quest. Who else can come from an 18-year hiatus in a genre with the changing landscape and make a critically acclaimed album? Who else in this year’s field of candidates has certified Golden Era classics to match a modern body of work with critical acclaim? How many MCs have used their platforms to speak out against the current social and political madness in America?
We might have lost Phife this year, but we still have so much to give to the culture. So who had the best 2016? Cast your vote for The Tribe. For too many years, we’ve been living off of Low End Theories, let us now Midnight Maraud our way into more Instinctive Travels and Paths Of Rhythm. We need a Love Movement. To the other candidates in the field this year we say, We Got It From Here…but Thank You For Your Service.