2018 Wrap-Up: Top Tracks of 2018

2018 Wrap-Up: Top Tracks of 2018

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on Dec 27, 18 • by • with No Comments

Unlike my top albums list, counting down 100 of my favorite songs from the past year was not quite as straightforward. Surprise releases from mega-acts like Beyonce & Jay-Z, Drake, Childish Gambino, and others seemed to happen every other week, while big names outside of hip-hop such as Father John Misty, Lykke Li, Lord Huron, and the 1975 peppered my ears with strong efforts as well. House and dance music seemed to occupy more of my time with my recent purchase of a new Traktor Kontrol S2, which you’ll see reflected in the list with appearances by Weiss, Kideko, Loud Luxury, and Crush Club. Even new names in indie pop/rock like Soccer Mommy, Liz Cooper & the Stampede, and Superorganism joined the crowded field. Kacey Musgraves, Soccer Mommy, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra earned the most individual song nods (3 each), while Drake technically garnered 5 places on the list with 2 features. Needless to say, this collection crosses a lot of genres, so hopefully there is something here for everyone, unless you’re a Drake hater :).

Rather than write about the entire top 100, below are some quick hits about the top 5. Give it a read and let me know your favorites (and what I missed) in the comments!

1.Childish Gambino-This is America

Donald had one helluva 2018, but “This Is America” is my favorite moment of the year for Mr. Glover. Only Childish Gambino could include a gospel choir and the jolliest song intro of 2018 in a song about gun violence in the USA. From the half-sung/half rapped flow to the subtle features (everyone from Young Thug to Quavo dropped an ad-lib) and multi-layered video that was dissected for hidden meanings more than a ‘Lost’ episode, “This Is America” was nearly perfect. This is also probably the only song in my top 10 that I would not listen to any of the remixes I saw floating around the internet.

2.Janelle Monae-Make Me Feel

Speaking of big year’s, Janelle Monae had a pretty nice 2018 herself across movies, TV, and music. “Make Me Feel” kicked off the fun as infectious dance anthem that started a new chapter in Monae’s musical career. The bouyant bass and keys bounce with Monae’s multitude of vocal heights for a dance anthem Michael Jackson, James Brown, and others would be proud of. You can’t listen to “Make Me Feel” without thinking of the late great Prince, but its likely the legend co-signed the influenced track as he was cited as being involved with Dirty Computer.

3.Travis Scott-Sicko Mode feat. Drake

It almost seems unfair to include “Sicko Mode” in this list. Its as if Travis Scott and Drake knew they could cook up 3 separate hits, but didn’t separate them because they have smashes to spare. Drake leads off “part one” in about as epic of an introduction that you could ask for with boastful rhymes and a glowing production before a clever “pick and roll” lyric segways to Travis Scott’s more grimey “part two” that manages to also feature Uncle Luke, Swae Lee, and Biggie. “Part three” sees the 2 spitters share the spotlight with a particularly confident flow by Aubrey. If Drake’s “out like a light” phrasing doesn’t get caught in your mind on repeat, you likely have a hearing issue.

4.Drake-Nice For What

Get ready to see a lot of Aubrey on this list. “Nice For What” rose above Drake’s other solo efforts mostly because of my penchant for the production’s nostalgic New Orleans bounce (bravo for sampling Lauryn Hill and Big Freedia on the same song). However, it was also one of the songs that Drake sounded most comfortable rhyming on. Rather than tough talk and glorification of sex, Drake cooked up a female empowerment anthem that will surely get men on the dance floor as well. The song even inspired Scott Vener (on of my favorite Beats1 Radio hosts and music supervisors) to craft a well-done crowd sourced list of songs that you knew were hits from the first note (aptly titled ‘On the 1’).

5.Parquet Courts-Wide Awake

Congrats to Parquet Courts to being the only non-hip-hop/R&B track to squeeze into my top 5! The Danger Mouse-produced indie rock anthem is light on lyrics, but heavy on punk and funk-influence with what has to be the most fun guitar melodies of the year. The message though simple, could easily apply to staying aware of political narratives or even providing extra motivation to get out of bed on a particularly sluggish morning.

Stream on my Top 100 Tracks on Spotify (link)

1.Childish Gambino-This Is America

2.Janelle Monae-Make Me Feel

3.Travis Scott-Sicko Mode feat. Drake

4.Drake-Nice For What

5.Parquet Courts-Wide Awake

6.boygenius-me & my dog

7.Sylvan Esso-Parad(w/m)E

8.Dj Koze-Pick Up

9.Beyonce & Jay-Z-Ape Shit

10.Soccer Mommy-Cool

11.Robyn-Missing You

12.Big Red Machine-Hymnostic

13.Unknown Mortal Orchestra-Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays

14.Kacey Musgraves-Space Cowboy

15.The 1975-Love If We Made It

16.Cardi B-I Like It feat. J. Balvin & Bad Bunny

17.Natalie Prass- Hard Court Style

18. Frankie Cosmos-Jesse

19.Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper-Shallow

20.Pusha T-The Games We Play

21.Kacey Musgraves-High Horse

22.Drake-In My Feelings

23.Cavlin Harris-One Kiss feat. Dua Lipa

24.Ella Mai-Boo’d Up

25.Ariana Grande-thank you, next

26.Lykke Li-sex, money, feelings die

27.Father John Misty-Mr. Tillman

28.The Internet-Roll (Burbank Funk)

29.Maggie Rogers-Give a Little

30.Soccer Mommy-Your Dog

31.Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, Future and James Blake-King’s Dead

32.Nicki Minaj-Chun Li

33.Unknown Mortal Orchestra-American Guilt

34.Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats-You Worry Me

35.Rolling Coastal Blackouts Fever-Talking Straight

36.Jade Bird-Uh Huh

37.Mt. Joy-Silver Lining

38.Maribou State-Kingdom

39.Loud Luxury-Body feat. Brando

40.Tuneyards-Heart Attack

41.The 1975-It’s Not Living (If It’s Not with You)

42.Soccer Mommy-Still Clean

43.Sure Sure-Friends

44.Lord Huron-Ancient Names (Part I)

45.Big Red Machine-Gratitude

46.Frankie Cosmos-Apathy

47.Jay Som-Pirouette

48.Kurt Vile-Loading Zones

49.Natalie Prass- Sisters

50.Wye Oak-The Louder I Call, The Faster It Runs

51.Janelle Monae-Pynk feat. Grimes

52.Lil Wayne-Let It All Work Out

53.J. Cole-1985 – Intro to “the Fall Off”

54.Migos-Stir Fry

55.Rae Srummond-Powerglide feat. Juicy J

56.Leon Bridges-If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be)

57.Michigan Rattlers-Didn’t You Know

58.Unknown Mortal Orchestra-Hunnybee

59.Shakey Graves-Mansion Door

60.Jade Bird-Lottery

61.Superorganism-Everybody Wants to be Famous

62.Justin Timberlake-Say Something feat. Chris Stapleton

63.Post Malone-Better Now

64.CHVRCHES-Graffitti

65.Sure Sure-Giants

66.Anderson East-Girlfriend

67.Leon Bridges-Bad Bad News

68.Kacey Musgraves – Oh What A World

69.Carly Rae Jepsen-Party For One

70.Neko Case-Last Lion of Albion

71.Mountain Man-Stella

72.Father John Misty-Hangout at the Gallows

73.Courtney Barnett-Nameless, Faceless

74.Carseat Headrest-Nervous Young Inhumans

75.Big Red Machine-I Won’t Run From It

76.Migos-Walk It Like I Talk It feat. Drake

77.Childish Gambino-Summertime Magic

78.BlocBoy JB-Look Alive feat. Drake

79.J. Cole-KOD

80.Royce Da 5’9”-Caterpillar feat. Eminem and King Green

81.Liz Cooper & the Stampede-Mountain Man

82.Trampled By Turtles-The Middle

83.Middle Kids-Mistake

84.Mt. Joy-Jenny Jenkins

85.Louis the child-Better Not feat. Wafia

86.Oliver Hazard-Illinois

87.S. Carey-Yellowstone

88.Khruangbin-Evan Finds The Third Room

89.Michigan Rattlers-Just Good Night

90.Rainbow Kitten Surprise-Fever Pitch

91.Silk City-Electricity feat. Dua Lipa

92.Maggie Rogers-Fallingwater

93.White Denim-Performance

94.Rayland Baxter-Casanova

95.N.E.R.D.-Don’t Do It feat. Kendrick Lamar

96.A$AP Rocky-Praise the Lord feat. Skepta

97.Crush Club-Trust

98.Shay Lia-Funky Thang

99.Kideko-Good thing

100.Weiss-Feel My Needs

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