Let’s face it, It’s kind of hard to be an original music blog in 2016. Considering the fact that a lot of the time people don’t event read your words, it can be frustrating to see quality work get skipped over for disposable click bait content that is only ruining our culture at a rapid pace. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good high school girl fight or collection of derpy cat gifs, but why can’t we have quality content from sources we can trust? Where did all the passion go? I know there is little to no money in “Blogging” and we are all far too old to do this shit for free shows, but what happened to people taking pride in what they do?
Well my goal for 2017 is to bring back that passion and to show people that there is a group of us out there that really care about this music, our culture, and the world around us. Our plan is to do this by just being authentic. You won’t find too many single features or BS e mail interviews on AlwaysHustle next year. What you will find are real words from people who care too much to just let this stuff go without being seen or heard.
Music is such an important part of our lives but the fans deserve something more than just the mindless dribble that most music blogs are putting out now. You will not be able to buy your way on to AlwaysHustle. If we like something or feel like it’s something that the world needs to know about, we will find a way to get it out there. I have been working in this business for over a decade now and it’s always been about making money, but now I see something bigger out there and a new hustle that we need to get on quick because things will not change with out action. When it comes down to it, I’d rather have a site with genuine value for the few people who read it then anything else at this point and if we can get people to change the way they think about music and life then it’s a huge win for me and this brand.
With all of this being said, I have not had the time in 2016 to really dedicate myself to the music I love. So rather then BS you with my fake ass picks of 2016, I have collected a list of lists that I think are worth checking out if you really want to get an idea of some of the better stuff that dropped this year.
Check out some of these picks below and get ready for a new year with new perspective from people who really care.
Finally I want to thank you all for riding with me over the years. I am nothing without the friends and fans that I have made from running this site and it’s only going to get better from here!
Enjoy all the music and have a happy holiday season.
– Ben de Ayora
Never Rest, Always Hustle
The Best Music Related End of the year lists:
I do a lot of business with Red Bull and no other brand in their space comes even close to the impact that they make on the music community every year. Working on Events like 30 Days in LA and Their Sound Select Shows is proof enough that these guys know music and they love it just as much as I do. Their list of top songs for the year is not perfect, but you can bet that everything you listen to is bump worthy for one reason or another.
I’m supposed to come up with some sort of “Best Hip Hop” chart for Magnetic as well but since I’ve been buried at work, for now I just want to give some shine to the very wise Danny Kaufman who came up with a solid list of House tracks from 2016. Hopefully I will have a bigger presence on Magnetic in 2017 as well but I feel like AlwayHustle needs me a bit more right now. We shall see I guess but for now get your grove one with this epic list.
Diplo probably didn’t make this but whoever put it together for him did a great job of curating the best of 2016. While I know that AlwaysHustle has always been more of a hip hop website, I’d be a fool if I left out all of the great electronic music that came out this year. If 2016 told us anything it’s that these 2 genres work well together and we can expect to see even more crossover in 2017. Check out the best from Diplo and Friends (mostly his friends) here.
XLR8R’s Best of 2016: New Artists
While XLR8R has gone through quite a few changes over the last few years, you still can’t hate on this digital publication’s fine taste in music. They have consistently been an outlet I have kept tabs on through the years and their “Best New Artists” list for 2016 is full of both obvious stand outs and special gems that should keep you bust if you have been sleeping on the worlds of techno and REAL electronic music in 2016. You can read all about their picks right here.
P&P is another site that started around the same time as mine except the kid who started this blog struck a deal with complex at some point because Complex couldn’t figure out how to cover this indie/underground shit by themselves. It was a smart move because even now, Pigeons and Planes still comes up with a lot of great music that you just won’t find anywhere else. With that being said, they are infamous for posting quite a bit of noisy bullshit as well but not enough to keep them off of this list of lists. Check out their top tracks for 2016 by clicking right here.
No need for any BS here. I fucking love this website. Even though I can’t afford most of the shit they tell me I need to buy in order to stay cool, the fine folks who run HighSnobiety seem to have the exact same taste as I do when it comes to all things, fashion, art, culture and most of the time, music. They have put together a quality list of the tops albums of 2016 which is worth checking out which you can view here.
Thank god for NPR. Besides sports talk radio I really have nothing else to listen to in my car except for KCRW and the rest of the brilliant programing that NPR provides. This list of their 100 top songs of 2016 is about as solid as you can get for a list this long. While the placements of some of the songs could be up for debate, they really missed nothing that I can see and even though I wasn’t around for most of these releases, NPR is a name you can trust when it comes to music curation. Dig in to this monster list here.
While normally I would tell the fine folks at Pitchfork to suck a D as far as what I think of their pretentious ability to curate and forecast a lot of the dope emerging music in our world, I actually believe they did a pretty good job with their list of the best music videos of 2016. Out of all of the other lists I tried to make my way through, they were the only ones that actually took the time to do it right and for that I will give them some shine (but not too much). There are some weird videos on this list as well but over all it gets the job done. You can check it out here.