Here are a few of my favorite tracks this year with a bit of info on each of them. Enjoy!
“King Cobra” – Yung Lean ft. Thaiboy Digital
Prod. Hurtboyag, Bluey, Foster
The standout Drain Gang and Sad Boys members dropped this track out of the blue earlier this month. Hurtboy provides the pair with a beat reminiscent of the Lean and Thaiboy’s best collaboration “How U Like Me Now?” managing to top it. Lean returns to his pre-Stranger ignorant style (“Five x pills bitch, I’m f*cked out my mind”) while Thaiboy handles the adlibs and hook. It’s the most hype song of the year and, for me, proves Yung Lean is at the top of his game.
“Goodbye” – Porches
The first time I heard this track, I was immediately reminded of LCD Soundsystem’s masterpiece, “All My Friends”. Starting off melancholy, Aaron Maine builds the track to an emotionally charged climax declaring, “it is so sad to say goodbye”. There’s so much power in contrasting bright beats with depressed crooning and it’s executed perfectly here.
“Powerglide” – Rae Sremmurd ft. Juicy J
Prod. Juicy J, J. Hovart, Mike WiLL Made-It
The first track from Sremmlife 3 finds Swae Lee and Slim Jxmmi at the top of their games. Mike WiLL provides a beat that sounds URGENT which the pair ride with their signature falsetto and aggressiveness. Juicy J was made to join them on this track with his typical sexual punchlines (“Then she told me put it on her chinny chin-chin”) that somehow never seem too ridiculous. I’m excited to see what the group has to provide on their third LP.
“Paramedic!” – SOB x RBE
Prod. Sounwave, CuBeatz, DJ Dahi
TDE’s Black Panther soundtrack was guaranteed to be a success from the beginning. What was most surprising was the inclusion of outside artists that put Sounwave’s production under new eyes. “Paramedic!” is the standout track with the Bay Area based rap collective spitting some of their best verses ever. Who knew Disney would sponsor a track like this?
Headstone – Flatbush Zombies
Prod. Erick The Architect
If you want to hear the best beat transition of the year, look no further than 20 seconds into this track. I’ve sat and restarted this track numerous times just because of how hype it is. After slightly disappointing production on 3001, A Laced Odyssey, Erick returns with one of his best beats ever while the trio pays homage to hip-hop’s legends in reference-packed verses. Look out for their next LP Vacation in Hell because, if this track is any indication, Flatbush are going to drop one of the best albums of the year.