Good Vibes For Bad Times: 7 Albums That Got Us Through 2016


The healing powers of music have long been acknowledged. At its best, an artist’s music can tackle the heavy topics we’d prefer to be left alone in a way that is more than just digestible, but desirable.

2016 took us through it all. The grief of death from our musical and societal legends like David Bowie, Prince, Phife Dawg and Muhammad Ali. The election of the least experienced and most inflammatory embarrassment of a presidential candidate—an opinion held on both sides of the political table—Donald Trump.

READ: This Is Fine: 50 Moments Of Black Magic From 2016

The reality that even though the brown bodies of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Korryn Gaines, Joe McKnight, Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher and a laundry list of others who, unfortunately, don’t ring a bell to the masses, can be gunned down and strangled by blue lives and angry white drivers with not so much as an indictment or an immediate arrest.

All these proverbial slaps in the face had us, as Solange eloquently put it, weary of the ways of the world. But luckily for us, music stepped in as a temporary cure-all. From Jesse Boykins III’s BARTHOLOMEW to Common’s Black America Again to Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, we have these seven artists and their de-stressing LPs to thank for good vibes for bad times.