Holy s–t! 2016 was a crazy year; I feel like we’ve all been through a lot together. There’s been this crazy US election that’s seemingly brought out the ugly in many, created more uncertainty than comfort and effectively divided a nation. We also took some huge losses, like Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest, who had been battling with diabetes and kidney failure for years, and iconic singer Prince. There was also Shawty Lo, who died in a car accident; or course, that’s sadly just the tip of the iceberg. However, as a writer, I’ve been happy to take in lots of amazing music this year. It’s been a great year for the culture. Sadat X’s Agua, Pete Rock and Smoke Dza’s Don’t Smoke Rock, ScHool Boy Q’s Blankface, and—obviously—Tribe’s bitter-sweet final album, all gave me a great listening moments that I was happy to share with my readers. I’m talking both here at AAHH, and with my followers who read my work on XXL Magazine’s site.

I also have to give a special shout out to my team; AAHH had a great year. With superstars like Wyclef, Skyzoo, Atmosphere (and countless others) gracing the site, our internship program, and all of the great indie discoveries we’ve made, I couldn’t be happier or prouder of the tremendous growth we’ve had in 2016. I can say with absolute certainty that the upcoming year will be just as big—fuck it, BIGGER.

Bless up to all of our lovely readers for riding with us; we’ll keep bringing that realness. What I’ve put together here is—at its core—a collection of my personal writing for AAHH. It’s the most memorable moments and finds of my 365. My fave interviews, my top six upcoming acts, some of my newest reviews, and a few features I was humbled to write. So sit back relax, and enjoy my [personal] 2016 roundup.