This year has been exhausting. Filled with lies, deception, hypocrisy, hate, and violence. What helped me in this shitty year was the great music that was released. There is something uniquely cathartic about music in these kinds of days. So without further rambling, here are my top ten tracks of the year. Beware, rap dominates once again and I’m only including one song from an artist, no doubling on one artist.
10 – Lil Yachty – 'Minnesota' (Remix)
This song is just so much damn fun. The joyful piano under artists like Young Thug and Quavo just having fun and creating a great chemistry together is a great way to start the list.
9 - Nails – 'You Will Never Be One of Us'
This is the soundtrack for you anger outburst, this song is full balls to the walls heavy. No one does it like Nails; they are the heaviest, most brutal band out.
8 – PUP – 'DVP'
I love the raw emotion and honesty in this track. It’s relatable but still personal to the lead singer. The chorus is also so damn catchy.
7 – Death Grips – 'Giving Bad People Good Ideas'
Of cause Death Grips is on this list. While at first, I didn’t appreciate the song, after a few listens it became one of my favourites. The speed and intensity are off the charts, this song feels like drug fuelled paranoia and you’re running away from something, but you’re not sure what it is.
6 – DRAM – 'Cash Machine'
How can you not love DRAM at this point? He is so much fun and is a nice breathe of fresh air. Also, the cash machine sample on this one is so perfect. Great banger of a song that never fails to get me happy and signing along.
5 – Denzel Curry – 'ULT'
Denzel is making some of the hardest music this year. The beat is daunting and his flow is insane. He has the best breathe control in the industry and this song makes me so damn hyped every time I hear it. Also a great hook.
(note: 'ULT' dropped in 2015, but was unleashed as a single in 2016)
4 – Young Thug & Travis Scott - 'Pick Up the Phone'
A great banger. Young Thug has some great melodies, and Travis doesn’t fuck this one up like he did the majority of his last album. Quavo also has a decent feature. Great track to get you in that party mood. The lyrics also see the rappers stay on track for once, like as if they are telling a personal story, an anomaly for these guys lately.
3 - A Tribe Called Quest – 'Lost Somebody'
I recently lost someone important in my life and when I first heard this song it hit me like a brick wall. All those feelings came back. While this song is a tribute to Phife Dawg it felt relatable. The song is raw and emotional. The song is about love, acceptance, sadness and hope. If you have ever lost someone before you know how it feels, and you understand the emotion that went into this song.
2 – Danny Brown – 'Really Doe'
Best posy cut of the year. Great beat, great verses, Earl Sweatshirt went savage on his verse. Overall an amazing song from the best album of the year.
5 honourable mentions before number 1...
Young Thug – Wyclef Jean, Yung Lean – Hoover, Isaiah Rashad – Park, Clipping. - Air 'Em Out, H09909 – The Dope Dealerz, and Jeff Rosenstock – Festival Song
1 – Kanye West – 'Father Stretch My Hands Pt.1'
Okay yeah, hear me out. I recently went to Tokyo, and while I was travelling from the airport to my hotel all you could see were the walls of the freeway, pretty boring. I started playing the album, which had just recently dropped. When the song started we rose above the walls and I saw the endless skyscrapers and this feeling of wonderment and an overwhelming sense of beauty swept over me. So really there was no other choice. Not only that but the beat and the sample on this track is just so beautiful and yeah Kanye says dumb shit, but would it be a Kanye track without that?
Written by Rhys Prka