In a year beset by the most horrid and unusual circumstances, leave it to the hip-hop community to challenge our beliefs and voice our activism. The best records of the year served as rallying cries and made us reconsider the very genre itself.
Run the Jewels have always had a taste for action-movie hyperbole, but as they've powered through their careers, the lines between slapstick and real have almost ceased to exist.
"Legend Has It" is particularly politically charged, and El-P and Killer Mike deserve all the praise they get as they throw down trenchant rhymes.
DJ Shadow's electronic beats add an extra layer of cinematic thrill to the track, giving us the no-holds-barred musical catharsis we all deserve for sticking it out through 2016.
I think most would be content to here Killer Mike and El-P rap the phone book at this point, but I for one am glad to hear a non-cat related Run the Jewels project come out this year.
Northside festival serves as the unofficial start of summer in Brooklyn as it brings a ton of (often free) music, film and tech events.