All in all, 2016 has been a dreadful year.
We've lost a lot of heroes—Ali, Prince, Bowie, Cohen—and somehow, global politics has gotten even worse as we skip gleefully towards the apocalypse. As ever, the world of music has proved a perfect escape from all of this. We've had newcomers and icons alike putting out career-defining songs and albums, and British MCs like Skepta, Kano and Giggs found their global influence increase even more. So you could just imagine how much of a task this year's selection process was.
Quite a few tracks from the Konnichiwa and Made In The Manor LPs could have made their way onto this list—in fact, just about everyone in the grime scene has come out with something hard this year. Similarly, UK rap and R&B are in better shape than ever—Jorja Smith's "Blue Lights" and Giggs' "Whippin' Excursion" are undeniable proof of this—and a lot of artists pooled their resources on some truly unforgettable collabs to do the wild and unexpected. The year of 2016 may have been garbage for literally everything else, but at least we got some amazing music out of it.