The BierWax List of Boom-Bap (2016 Edition)

2016, oh 2016!?! At least you brought us some great music. The following records were our favorites this year. In no particular order, here are our ten…


Czarface – A Fistful of Peril

Inspectah Deck, 7L, and Esoteric continue to display amazing chemistry with their third album. Inspectah Deck has a post-Wu outlet for his talent and it’s a welcome breath of fresh air.

Highlights: Czar Wars; Dust



Elzhi – Lead Poison

Elzhi took quite a while to finish this Kickstarter funded album, but it was worth the wait. Lead Poison is introspective and creative. Who else would pen a story about becoming a bloodthirsty vampire?

Highlights: Two 16’s; Introverted



Skyzoo & Apollo Brown – The Easy Truth

Apollo Brown creates such a beautiful soundscape for Skyzoo. Simply a great listen from beginning to end.

Highlights: A Couple Dollars; Innocent Ambition



Royce 5’9 – Layers

After the heralded PRhyme project with DJ Premier and his work with Slaughterhouse, Layers is a very well crafted solo project by Royce 5’9.

Highlights: Tabernacle; Shine



Ugly Heroes – Everything in Between

Honest and thoughtful, it’s a delight to listen to Red Pill and Verbal Kent over another beautifully produced album by Apollo Brown.

Highlights: Today Right Now; Notions



Smoke Dza & Pete Rock – Don’t Smoke Rock

Pete Rock is simply superb on “Don’t Smoke Rock.”

Highlights: Black Superhero Car; Milestone



Masta Ace – The Falling Season

The 50 year old wordsmith continues to certify his legacy as one of the best. The beats on this album are a treat, as well.

Highlights: Mathematics: Story of Me



Torae – Entitled

This album stayed on rotation for much of the year. Solid album. Definitely one of our favorites.

Highlights: Imperial Sound; Get Down



A Tribe Called Quest – We Got if From Here…Thank you for Your Service.

A wonderful bookend to one of the greatest hip hop groups ever.

Highlights: We the People…; Whateva Will Be



Common – Black America Again

Common’s Black America Again is timely, soulful, and poignant. A true return to form.

Highlights: Home; Pyramids



Ras Kass – Intellectual Property: SOI2

A complete surprise. The beats on SOI2 serve as a proper platform to Ras Kass’ lyricism.

Highlights: Paypal the Feature; Constant Elevation

Okay, that was eleven.

These didn’t make the list, but are worth a listen:

Termanology – More Politics

There are a few great moments on More Politics (Just Politics, I Dream B.I.G., and We’re Both Wrong), but some of the beats and hooks are underwhelming.

Reks – The Greatest X

Too damn long, but there are an album worth of fantastic tracks on the 2016 release.