For the fifth straight year, I have done my best to compile the year’s best musical offerings across the hip-hop, R&B, and pop genres into 25 signature award categories. What once started on Facebook, The Kammy Awards have a very special place in my heart. With the support of my close friends I have been able to share these awards via group poll voting on Facebook. Trying to recall every great song (especially in a phenomenal year of music such as 2016) from the past 12 months is incredibly tough. Sharing opinions with friends helps tighten up any loose ends or reveal snubs I may have missed.

These mostly mainstream awards are meant to highlight song and album quality rather than commercial performance and/or popularity for artists that are typically overlooked in the major televised award shows. There is some overlap, of course, but I hope to shed light on some of the year’s hidden gems, giving credit to those hard-working artists who might not get the attention they deserve. Special thanks goes to my good friend and assistant Jad Elias for setting me straight and helping shape these awards from day one. Without any further ado, here are the best songs, artists, and albums 2016 had to offer:

 

Album of 2016

  • Lemonade – Beyoncé
  • Malibu – Anderson .Paak
  • A Seat at the Table – Solange
  • We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service – A Tribe Called Quest
  • Blonde – Frank Ocean
  • Coloring Book – Chance the Rapper
  • The Life of Pablo – Kanye West

Song of 2016

  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers f/ Halsey
  • “Black Beatles” – Rae Sremmurd f/ Gucci Mane
  • “Work” – Rihanna f/ Drake
  • “Panda” – Desiigner
  • “One Dance” – Drake f/ Wizkid & Kyla
  • “FDT” – YG f/ Nipsey Hussle

Catchiest Song

  • “One Dance” – Drake f/ Wizkid & Kyla
  • “Broccoli” – D.R.A.M. f/ Lil Yachty
  • “Down in the DM” – Yo Gotti
  • “Starboy” – The Weeknd
  • “No Problem” – Chance the Rapper f/ 2 Chainz & Lil Wayne
  • “THat Part” – ScHoolboy Q f/ Kanye West

Best Hip-hop/Rap Album

  • We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service – A Tribe Called Quest
  • The Life of Pablo – Kanye West
  • Coloring Book – Chance the Rapper
  • Atrocity Exhibition – Danny Brown
  • Blank Face LP – ScHoolboy Q
  • Still Brazy – YG

Best Pop Album

  • Anti – Rihanna
  • Starboy – The Weeknd
  • This is Acting – Sia
  • XXIVk Magic – Bruno Mars
  • Joanne – Lady Gaga
  • Dangerous Woman – Ariana Grande

Best R&B/Soul Album

  • Malibu – Anderson .Paak
  • Lemonade – Beyoncé
  • blackSUMMERS’night – Maxwell
  • A Seat at the Table – Solange
  • Blonde – Frank Ocean
  • Freetown Sound – Blood Orange

Most Ignorant Song

  • “Then I Leave” – JUSTICE League f/ Future & Rick Ross
  • “Mad High” – 21 Savage
  • “I Don’t Like to Think” – RiFF RAFF f/ Problem
  • “Elevators” – ZelooperZ
  • “I Love Kanye” – Kanye West
  • “Molly Cyrus” – Stitches

Banger of the Year

  • “Uber Everywhere” – MadeinTYO
  • “New Level” – A$AP Ferg f/ Future
  • “No Heart” – 21 Savage & Metro Boomin
  • “OOOUUU” – Young M.A.
  • “Too Much Sauce” – DJ Esco & Future f/ Lil Uzi Vert
  • “Black Beatles” – Rae Sremmurd f/ Gucci Mane
  • “All the Way Up” – Fat Joe & Remy Ma f/ French Montana & Infared

Love Song of the Year

  • “Learn from Each Other” – Majid Jordan
  • “Shine” – BJ the Chicago Kid
  • “Luv” – Tory Lanez
  • “Best One” – Nx Worries
  • “True Colors” – The Weeknd
  • “Love on the Brain” – Rihanna

Sex Song of the Year

  • “Sex with Me” – Rihanna
  • “Overtime” – ScHoolboy Q f/ Miguel & Justine Skye
  • “Don’t Know How” – PARTYNEXTDOOR
  • “Lyk Dis” – Nx Worries
  • “Zaddy” – Ty Dolla $ign
  • “Versace on the Floor” – Bruno Mars
  • “All Night” – Beyoncé

Best Hip-hop/Rap Song

  • “Who Shot Me?” – YG
  • “We the People” – A Tribe Called Quest
  • “untitled 02 | 06.23.2014” – Kendrick Lamar
  • “When It Rain” – Danny Brown
  • “Angels” – Chance the Rapper f/ Saba
  • “Real Friends” – Kanye West f/ Ty Dolla $ign

Best Pop Song

  • “Starboy” – The Weeknd
  • “24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
  • “Needed Me” – Rihanna
  • “Dangerous Woman” – Ariana Grande
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia f/ Sean Paul
  • “Secret (Shh)” – Charli XCX

Best R&B/Soul Song

  • “Ivy” – Frank Ocean
  • “Cranes in the Sky” – Solange
  • “Am I Wrong” – Anderson .Paak f/ ScHoolboy Q
  • “Redbone” – Childish Gambino
  • “Formation” – Beyoncé
  • “Blood on Me” – Sampha

Vocal Performance of the Year

  • “It’s You” – Zayn
  • “Solo” – Frank Ocean
  • “Love on the Brain” – Rihanna
  • “Angela” – dvsn
  • “Redbone” – Childish Gambino
  • “Million Reasons” – Lady Gaga

Most Improved Artist

  • Solange
  • Rihanna
  • Childish Gambino
  • Kid Cudi
  • Gucci Mane
  • Ab-Soul

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration

  • “Low Life” – Future f/ The Weeknd
  • “Mad” – Solange f/ Lil Wayne
  • “Freedom” – Beyoncé f/ Kendrick Lamar
  • “untitled 05 | 09.21.2014” – Kendrick Lamar f/ Anna Wise & Jay Rock
  • “Dang!” – Mac Miller f/ Anderson .Paak
  • “Wat’s Wrong” – Isaiah Rashad f/ Zacari & Kendrick Lamar
  • “Ultralight Beam” – Kanye West f/ The-Dream, Kelly Price, Chance the Rapper & Kirk Franklin

Best Debut Album

  • HEAVN – Jamila Woods
  • Big Baby D.R.A.M. – D.R.A.M.
  • Ology – Gallant
  • Majid Jordan – Majid Jordan
  • DNCE – DNCE
  • Islah – Kevin Gates
  • The Sun’s Tirade – Isaiah Rashad

Best Rap Collaboration

  • “No More Parties in L.A.” – Kanye West f/ Kendrick Lamar
  • “Good Drank” – 2 Chainz f/ Quavo & Gucci Mane
  • “pick up the phone” – Young Thug & Travi$ Scott f/ Quavo
  • “It Ain’t Safe” – Skepta f/ Young Lord
  • “Kids” – A Tribe Called Quest f/ André 3000
  • “Bad and Boujee” – Migos f/ Lil Uzi Vert
  • “Lockjaw” – French Montana f/ Kodak Black

Best Vocal Collaboration

  • “Come and See Me” – PARTYNEXTDOOR f/ Drake
  • “Don’t Touch My Hair” – Solange f/ Sampha
  • “Don’t Hurt Yourself” – Beyoncé f/ Jack White
  • “Work from Home” – Fifth Harmony f/ Ty Dolla $ign
  • “WiFi” – D.R.A.M. f/ Erykah Badu
  • “Best to You” – Blood Orange f/ Empress Of
  • “No Justice” – Ty Dolla $ign f/ Big TC

Best New Artist

  • Tory Lanez
  • Gallant
  • D.R.A.M.
  • 21 Savage
  • Lil Uzi Vert
  • Lil Yachty
  • Young M.A

Verse of the Year

  • Chance the Rapper – “Ultralight Beam” – Feature Verse
  • Lil Wayne – “Intro” (QSM2) – Feature Verse
  • Kanye West – “Famous” – Verse #1
  • Vic Mensa – “Shades of Blue” – Verse #1
  • J. Cole – “4 Your Eyez Only” – Verse #4
  • Kendrick Lamar – “Wat’s Wrong” – Feature Verse
  • Jay Electronica – “How Great” – Feature Verse
  • André 3000 – “way back” – Feature Verse

Posse Cut of the Year

  • “Really Doe” – Danny Brown f/ Kendrick Lamar, Ab-Soul & Earl Sweatshirt
  • “Yamborghini High” – A$AP Mob f/ Juicy J
  • “Champions” – G.O.O.D. Music f/ Gucci Mane & Yo Gotti
  • “Floyd Mayweather” – Young Thug f/ Travi$ Scott, Gucci Mane & Gunna
  • “Gunsmoke” – Promnite f/ Denzel Curry, Nell, JK The Reaper & Twelve’len
  • “Minnesota (Remix)” – Lil Yachty f/ Young Thug, Quavo & Skippa Da Flippa
  • “Dis Generation” – A Tribe Called Quest f/ Busta Rhymes

Beat of the Year

  • “outside” – Murda Beatz, OZ & Nisi for Travi$ Scott & 21 Savage
  • “Controlla” – Boi-1da, Supa Dups, Allen Ritter & Di Genius for Drake
  • “Caroline” – Aminé & Pasqué
  • “Formation” – Mike WiLL Made-It, Beyoncé & Pluss
  • “Low Life” – Metro Boomin, The Weeknd & Ben Billions for Future & The Weeknd
  • “High Hopes” – PARTYNEXTDOOR & Varg
  • “Father Stretch My Hands” – Kanye West, Mike Dean, Rick Rubin, Metro Boomin, DJDS, Allen Ritter, Noah Goldstein, Menace, Plain Pat & Caroline Shaw

Best Producer/DJ Track

  • “For Free” – DJ Khaled f/ Drake
  • “Too Much Sauce” – DJ Esco & Future f/ Lil Uzi Vert
  • “Never Be Like You” – Flume f/ Kai
  • “Kung Fu” – Baauer f/ Pusha T & Future
  • “Cold Water” – Major Lazer f/ Justin Bieber & MØ
  • “Glowed Up” – Kaytranada f/ Anderson .Paak
  • “This is What You Came For” – Calvin Harris f/ Rihanna

Best Electronic/Experimental Album

  • The Colour in Anything – James Blake
  • Indigo – River Tiber
  • 22, A Million – Bon Iver
  • 99.9% – Kaytranada
  • Skin – Flume
  • Epoch – Tycho
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