2016 is nearly a wrap… and it flew by quick. It was a busy year for us, with a number of stories that garnered the most attention from our readers. From Kanye West to Donald Trump, 2016 was filled with countless topics of discussion, both good and bad.
With 2017 just days away, we’ve compiled a list of some of the biggest moments of the year… here at BallerStatus.com. Read on to recap some of our biggest stories and coverage of the year… in no particular order:
Drake had a huge year, in which he broke a number of music records, with his VIEWS album. Upon release in April, the album remained atop the Billboard 200 for 13 non-consecutive weeks, while spawning a number of smash hits, including his first No. 1 single as a solo artist, “One Dance”. The song also went on to become the most-streamed song ever on Spotify, while Drake himself recently became the most-streamed artist on the platform for the year.
By December, VIEWS was 4x platinum, while also garnering over 1 billion streams on Spotify.
It’s safe to say Drizzy had a big year, and 2017 is already shaping up to be another, with fans anticipating the release of his upcoming album, More Life.
2016 Presidential Election; Donald Trump Becomes President Elect
Throughout the year, Donald Trump dominated headlines and social media as he made his run for President. While no one believed he had a chance at winning initially, he proved everyone wrong when he won the Republican nomination … and eventually the Presidential Election.
From his brash stance on policy to his controversial tweets, Trump proved to be one of the most talked about figures of the year, prompting protests both in support of his campaign and against it. Entertainment figures took a strong stance against him as well, including rappers like YG who launched a full-fledged “F*ck Donald Trump” campaign to respected actors like Robert De Niro expressing his desire to punch Trump in the face.
Hate it or love it, Trump capped off the year by becoming the President Elect, and elected as the 45th President of the United States. 2017 will begin his four-year stint in the White House… and only time will tell if he’ll make good on his promises and if his policies will be positive for our country.
NFL Returns to L.A., with the Rams
Throughout 2015, the Rams were in the running to return to Los Angeles, alongside the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. While the Chargers and Raiders were in it together, proposing a plan for a joint stadium in Carson, Calif., it was Stan Kroenke and his Rams that won… returning to the city the franchise left some 20 year ago.
Since their return, Los Angeles residents have welcomed the team back with open arms, many of whom openly express their support by rocking Rams merch or decor on their cars. We’ve even seen a McLaren 675LT fully wrapped in an L.A. Rams theme cruising through the city.
Despite the fanfare, the Rams have struggled all season, and currently sit at No. 14 in the NFC with a 4-11 record.
Whether you’re a Rams fan or not, it’s great to see the NFL back in one of the country’s biggest markets. And, there could possibly be two teams in the future, as the Chargers will have the option to move to L.A. and share the Rams stadium, with the Raiders also having the option if the Chargers decline.
Kehlani Suicide Attempt & Return
Kehlani is closing out 2016 on a high note, after the announcements of a release date for her long-anticipated debut album and its accompanying tour. But earlier this year, the young singer was going through it… and disappeared for a minute to recuperate.
After rumors of dating Cleveland Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving were confirmed in January, just three months later, she popped up on PARTYNEXTDOOR’s Instagram feed, with a photo of the two holding hands in bed. This sparked widespread backlash by fans, who accused her of cheating on her NBA boyfriend, although it was likely that they were already broken up. Days later, Kehlani was in the hospital after a suicide attempt, which she revealed herself on social media.
While the internet lit up with comments in support for her, some weren’t buying it. Chris Brown took to Twitter, calling her suicide attempt fake, accusing her of “flexing for the gram”. While the comments stirred up controversy, it also found Breezy on the receiving end of anger by supporters of Kehlani, including L.A. rapper Bambu, who publicly challenged him to a fist-fight.
Despite the incident, Kehlani eventually returned to work, releasing a slew of new material … and finally, announcing a release date for her SSS album to the excitement of fans. 2017 looks to be on the up and up for Kehlani.
Birdman Threatens The Breakfast Club, the Internet Goes Crazy
Although most Birdman headlines involved his ongoing issues with Lil Wayne this year, his most talked about moment came in April, when he showed up to Power 105’s morning show The Breakfast Club and threatened hosts Angela Yee, DJ Envy and Charlamagne Tha God.
However, things didn’t quite go as planned for the hip-hop mogul, who got into a heated back-n-forth with Charlamagne, before he stormed out of the studio after just a few minutes. During the appearance, Birdman dropped a number of hilarious quotes, like “Respek my name” and “When my name come up, put some respek on it”, which would immediately became widely circulated memes and Birdman himself becoming a consistent object of ridicule.
Still, Birdman took things in stride, releasing a song called “Respek” and a line of apparel with quotes from the interview. He even began using the hashtag #respek consistently in the weeks after the on-air blow up.
Despite the brief surge in attention, he’s still going through a legal battle with Lil Wayne, who is suing him and Cash Money Records for over $50 million USD.
YG Launches “F*ck Donald Trump” Campaign
While we mentioned this in the Donald Trump portion of this piece, YG took a political stance against the eventual President Elect earlier in the year… in the most gangster way possible. He teamed up with Nipsey Hussle in April for the release of a straight-forward single called “F*ck Donald Trump”.
The song became an anthem of sorts for Donald Trump critics in hip-hop circles. YG said it got so much attention, he was on the Secret Service’s radar and was forced to censor lyrics on both the song and other tracks on his sophomore album, Still Brazy.
On Election Day, the rapper gave out Blood Red bagels to voters in Compton, urging them to vote for anyone else besides Trump, but despite his efforts, Trump won the election. After, he declared “F*ck Donald Trump” hip-hop’s anthem for the “next four years”.
Conor McGregor Shoots to Super Stardom
Conor McGregor has been a star in the MMA world for the last few years, thanks to spectacular knockouts and his domination of the UFC’s featherweight division. But, 2016 was his coming out party.
His pre-fight antics, coupled with an epic two-fight saga with Nate Diaz, helped him break out of the MMA world and into pop culture.
After losing to Diaz in their first meeting in March at UFC 196, McGregor was eventually pulled from the UFC 200 card after being a no-show to a required press conference promoting the event. So, his response was to announce his retirement on Twitter.
While going back-n-forth with the UFC behind the scenes, McGregor became a regular on the blogs, first when he began hyping a fight with Floyd Mayweather, who had previously retired, but is widely expected to return for one last fight. While this unlikely fight is still being talked about, Conor also returned to the Octagon and made a huge impact, avenging his defeat against Diaz with a decision victory at UFC 202, and then, earning a historic win at UFC 205 over Eddie Alvarez to become the first fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously.
With 2016 in the history books, the UFC superstar is taking time off to have his first child, but 2017 is looking extremely bright for the flamboyant MMA fighter.
DJ Khaled Blows Up Via Snapchat
DJ Khaled has long been a visible figure in hip-hop with an over-the-top personality, but in 2016, the world got to know the Miami rap figure, thanks to his popularity on Snapchat.
With hilarious catch phrases like “Major Key Alert” and “Special Cloth Talk”, Khaled won the hearts of pop culture.
His quick rise to stardom resulted in Miami declaring Jan. 20, 2016 “DJ Khaled Day”, Jay Z signing him to Roc Nation, and Khaled becoming a worldwide celebrity. Mainstream media even gave him love, with appearances on The Ellen Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, just to name a few.
This year, Khaled accomplished a number of career goals as well, releasing a book titled The Keys, an album called Major Key, and also landed an endorsement deal with Champs Sports, where he appeared in a number of commercials for the retailer.
With momentum behind him, 2017 could be very big for DJ Khaled.
Yeezy Season Continues, Kanye West Has Mental Breakdown
There’s no year-end list with Kanye West. The rap superstar has continued to dominate headlines all 2016, whether it be for his outrageous rants, Yeezy sneakers or his marriage to Kim Kardashian.
He kicked off 2016 with a brand, dropping a Nike diss track called “Facts”, in which he declared that Yeezy “jumped over Jumpman”, before announcing a new album that underwent a number of title changes until he decided on The Life of Pablo.
The album culminated with a TIDAL-only release, after debuting during a hyped event held at Madison Square Garden, where he played Pablo in full and showcased his Yeezy Season 3 collection.
From there, Kanye’s Pablo was in constant rotation, helping double TIDAL’s subscription base and also stirring up controversy. First, Taylor Swift took issue to lyrics aimed at her on the single “Famous”, before its visual became a topic of discussion, thanks to the nude sculptures of a number of celebrities lying in bed together.
Ye also hit the road for his “Saint Pablo Tour”, sold countless Gildan-printed Pablo merch items, dropped new Yeezy Boost sneakers, and publicly asked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to fund his ideas.
Despite all the positives, the last few months have been rough for Kanye. After garnering backlash over his endorsement of Trump, he canceled his “Saint Pablo Tour” and was hospitalized due to a mental breakdown. He’s since been released, and recently posted a Christmas photo with Kim and the kids, so hopefully, Kanye can turn things around in 2017.
Deaths in 2016 (Rest in Peace)
While deaths happen every year, it seems as though the world lost an overwhelming number of celebrated figures in 2016.
Most recently, we got word that actress Carrie Fisher died at the age of 60, just days after suffering a massive heart attack during a flight from London to Los Angeles. So sad, especially after seeing her reprise the iconic role of Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise after so many years.
Obviously, she’s not the only one we lost. Other deaths this year include: singer Natalie Cole (65), legendary rocker David Bowie (69), BMX pro Dave Mirra (41), singer Vanity (57), rapper Bankroll Fresh (28), former Toronto mayor Rob Ford (46), A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg (45), former WWE star Chyna (46), Prince (57), Tupac’s mom Afeni Shakur (69), boxing legend Muhammad Ali (74), MMA star Kimbo Slice (42), actor Anton Yelchin (27), rapper DTTX of A Lighter Shade of Brown (46), former NFL coach Dennis Green (67), Willy Wonka actor Gene Wilder (83), Ruthless Records co-founder Jerry Heller (75), rapper Shawty Lo (40), golfing legend Arnold Palmer (87), Fidel Castro (90), rapper Big Syke (48), actor Alen Thicke (69), NBA reporter Craig Sager (65) and George Michael (53), among others
Also, a number of deaths at the hands of police took place, including Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. RIP!
Game vs Meek Mill & Sean Kingston
In the days leading up to the release of his 1992 album, Game was involved in a rap beef. Nothing new to the Compton rap vet, he went in on Meek Mill seemingly outta nowhere, when he dropped a track called “92 Bars”, accusing the Philly rapper of being a snitch.
After Meek fired back with a diss track of his own, featuring Beanie Sigel, Game jumped in with both feet, delivering a scathing diss track called “Pest Control”, alongside an accompanying music video.
Kylie Jenner’s Star Emerges
While Kim Kardashian remains one of the most talked-about figures on the Internet, her younger sister is on her heels.
Although she’s just 19 years old, Kylie has become a mogul in her own right. In addition to landing a deal with PUMA, she’s launched a successful line of lip gloss, and most recently, rolled out Kylie-branded merch that sold out quickly.
On top of her career success, Kylie has remained a juicy topic for online gossip blogs, thanks to her love affair with Tyga (which included a break-up and reunion), as well as a rumored romance with PARTYNEXTDOOR.
It appears as though Kylie isn’t going anywhere in 2017.
Tyga remains TMZ fodder, thanks to his connection with Kylie Jenner and the Kardashians, but he’s also remained in the headlines for his long list of outstanding debts. He has been sued countless times over the past year for either failing behind on payments or flat-out ignoring them.
Oh, Tyga did drop some music, but it was mostly overshadowed by his controversies.
Trans Am “Bandit Edition”
One of the most read stories here at BallerStatus.com came in March, when we posted about a limited edition modern interpretation of the iconic Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that starred in the 1977 classic, Smokey and the Bandit.
Garnering attention from muscle car enthusiats and fans alike, the “Bandit Edition” of the Trans Am is built on a fifth-generation Chevy Camaro SS and is supercharged with a 840 hp 7.4-liter General Motors V8.
It is limited to just 77 units, each of which carries a $115,000 pricetag.
There you have it, the biggest moments of 2011. May everyone have a Happy New Years, and a prosperous and happy 2017! Cheers!