It’s Been Real 2016: the Good, the Bad & the Ugly That Made The Year

When you’re growing up, you always believe that 16 is sweet. You get your license, maybe a new car, and if your parents aren’t mine, maybe a little more freedom (No Shade Mom & Dad).

For me however, 16 wasn’t that sweet. Which leads me to believe that there is something eerie about the number 16. Let’s face it. The year 2016 hasn’t been all gumdrops and lollipops. We saw our share of coal-stuffed stockings before December 25th even arrived. We were served lemons and unfortunately, we couldn’t all perfect that lemonade recipe like the Queen. But MAMA WE MADE IT! So before we all say our farewells to this shit-show of a year, and proclaim our prosperity in the new year, I must highlight The Good, The Bad and The Ugly that made 2016 the year that it has been.


There were so many awesome singles and albums released that made 2016 a great year for music. So great that this is probably one of my top favorite things about 2016. When I thought that Lemonade was my favorite album of the year, I had not yet heard Coloring Book. Then, A Seat at the Table just came and took over my life. But Wait! 24K Magic just made my dreams of being an adult during the late 80s/early 90s come true (Kind Of). Dang, I almost forgot — Tank actually brought back the kind of R&B that I love at the beginning of the year with Sex Love & Pain II. As you can see, I’m still conflicted about what I can actually name my absolute favorite of 2016. Other notables for me (and in no particular order): Life of Pablo, Eric B for President: Term 1, ANY AND EVERYTHING Chris Brown released or was featured on, Anti, Views, TWENTY88, Campaign, and I definitely can’t forget to mention Young M.A. and her single, “Ooouuu,” for probably giving us the most quoted line during the summer. I’ll still be listening to all of this music well beyond 2016. Or at least quoting it. OOOUUUU!

More good in 2016:

  • President Obama granted more clemencies than any U.S. president, bringing his total to 1,176, according to All Black Media.
  • Dylann Roof was found guilty for killing nine black people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C.
  • Hilary Clinton clenched the presidential nomination for the Democratic Party, making her the first woman to do so for a major political party.
  • President and First Lady Obama ARE STILL RELATIONSHIP GOALS and Michelle Obama in general is LIFE GOALS.
  • Black Girl Magic thrived at the Olympics in Rio.
  • Colin Kaepernick’s (even though he is insane for not voting) took a stand by taking a knee during the National Anthem to bring awareness to unjust treatment of black people.
  • Protestors stood up in Solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe to the Dakota Access Pipeline and prevailed.
  • Jesse Williams’ 2016 Humanitarian Award Speech and especially the final line resonated with so many – “. . .just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”
  • Chance The Rapper’s Social activism was on 100. I love it!
  • Issa Rae had the most unreal and amazing golden come up, like EVER!
  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture held its grand opening in Washington, D.C.

The BAD:

I think 2016 was a year that we saw too much dumb shit. For instance: Chris Brown’s viral videos after he allegedly pointed a gun at the uninvited white girl at his home, who was apparently there with intentions to set him up. Like, wtf? Melania Trump plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech, and was subsequently defended for doing so – so funny. People really wanted to boycott the Super Bowl after hearing Beyonce would perform because they didn’t approve of the imagery in her “Formation” video. People boycotted Nate Parker’s movie, ‘Birth of a Nation’ after learning about him being tried (and acquitted) of rape, but still shop at retailers whose CEO endorsed Donald Trump. I definitely have to mention that anything that came out of Raven-Symone or Stacey Dash’s mouth was BAD. I also cannot forget about Dr. Love, the 18-year-old who started a whole medical practice in Florida with no license. How SWAY?

More bad in 2016:

  • The death of Muhammad Ali, Prince, Gwen Ifil, Tommy Ford, Pat Summitt, Radio Raheem (I know that’s not his real name) and Shawty Lo to name a few, shocked many.
  • Tomi Lahren’s chat with Trevor Noah on the Daily Show revealed just how simple she is.
  • Ben Carson said he will not join Trump’s cabinet because he has no government experience – but he tried to run for Prez. #ThingsThatDontMakeSense
  • Delta Airlines flight attendant prolonged help for a sick passenger because she didn’t believe a black woman was a licensed doctor.
  • Cameron Newton’s coonery. The end.
  • Young Thug.
  • Kanye’s rant about the Carters and everybody else. Need I say more?
  • The creepy clown epidemic plagued neighborhoods across the country.
  • Trump supporters and people who are anti-Kaepernick (if the two groups are mutually exclusive) took the cake as biggest dummies for getting ‘Trump’ on their Starbucks cups (which they bought) to protest the company and for buying Kaepernick’s jersey to burn them in protest of his protest. That’s not how this works. THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS.


If you know me or if you have read any of my blog posts then you know without a doubt that I think the ugliest thing about 2016 is ANY AND EVERYTHING REGARDING DONALD TRUMP – from his statements about ‘The’ African-Americans to his uncovered recording about grabbing women by the puxxy. To top it off, YAL ELECTED THIS MAN AS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT. SMH, yal cray. Let us not forget that we had another year of unjust shootings of unarmed black people – which is especially alarming and crazy to me since Facebook Live became a huge resource to broadcast such incidents this year. You would think the cops would consider this type of stuff. The re-emergence of blatant racism, discrimination and a constant reminder that my black life doesn’t mean shit are things that made 2016 uber depressing. At times, I felt like I was living during the Civil Rights era when reading or watching media coverage about protests, racial discrimination and racially-charged vandalism and violence. Shit got real. Real UGLY.

More ugly in 2016

  • Stanford rapist got sentenced to six months and then released after three for ‘good behavior’
  • Flint Michigan was declared to be in a state of emergency by the Governor due to lead contaminated water supply, leaving thousands of children exposed and experiencing serious health problems
  • Another deadly natural disaster, Hurricane Matthew, hit Haiti.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 7s got recalled for their potential risk of exploding. #TeamiPhone
  • The Ebola outbreak became a bigger obsession as cases in the U.S. were reported.
  • The Orlando nightclub shooting took 49 lives and wounded 53, raising awareness of the hate shown towards the LGBT community.
  • Dallas police officers were shot and killed, causing people to blame Black Lives Matter, even after the suspect said he was not affiliated with any groups.