Chance the Rapper. A Tribe Called Quest. Gucci Mane. It was a big year for hip-hop. So why does it feel like the rap game was an afterthought in 2016?

Hip-hop was, in many ways, overshadowed by R&B this year. So many singers and rapper-singer hybrids offered definitive albums in 2016; but that doesn't mean hip-hop was slouching. Quite the contrary, this became one of the most interesting years for rap albums. Veterans returned to the game victoriously, mainstays found ways to push themselves creatively and new stars ascended to the forefront of the culture.

As always, controversy was not in short supply. Kanye West made sure to keep his name near the top of Google searches throughout the year; while Gucci Mane re-emerged reinvigorated and rehabilitated. It seems like everybody had an opinion on Trump, but ATCQ gave us the music that we needed to vent our frustrations.

With all of that, here are 25 of the albums that we felt defined 2016 for hip-hop fans and artists.

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