40 Best Rap Albums of 2016

Kanye West, Chance the Rapper, Danny Brown and more in the year in rhymes

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Saba, 'Bucket List Project'
40
12/40

12. Saba, 'Bucket List Project'

Saba successfully mashes of-the-moment hip-hop and atmospheric, live-band funk textures on his fourth mixtape. The rapper/producer from Chicago's West Side, best known for his guest verse on Chance the Rapper's "Angels," pulls a slew of artists into his orbit, stacking the tape with features – including a typically motormouth appearance from local vet Twista – and rich hooks sung by multiple voices in harmony. Saba shows formal ambitions here as well, gluing songs together with recordings of collaborators revealing what they hope to achieve before they die. These lists of future goals – Chance wants to learn to play the drums; Jean Deaux wants to smoke weed with Beyoncé – provide both moments of levity and an emboldening sense of purpose. E.L.

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