10. BROCKHAMPTON – “J’OUVERT”
I’ve always been a bigger fan of the aggressive Brockhampton than the mellow one, so “J’ouvert” was an absolute treat when it dropped. It’s youthful arrogance and angst entirely enveloped into a single song. Almost as if it’s an ideal track thought up by its young fan base, BROCKHAMPTON proves once again that they’re the number one boyband to look out for in the years to come.
9. Vince Staples – “FUN!”
Thank you Kenny Beats for equipping Vince Staples with one of the best beats of the decade. The bouncy production is a quirky update on West Coast hip-hop. Vince’s nihilistic pessimism remains at the forefront of the track, requesting us to dance while he laments about the troubles of his environment. Just like he predicts, we just look on and enjoy the music, barely registering the actual message.
8. Young Fathers – “In My View”
Young Fathers have always worked on a much more cryptic level than any of their contemporaries, choosing to immerse listeners through their sound than the lyrics. “In My View” is akin to that of a gospel track that’s heavily influenced by tribal music, as they both croon and rap over the unforgiving production. Young Fathers make music unlike anything else out there.
7. Denzel Curry – “CLOUT COBAIN | CLOUT CO13A1N”
On the verge of his mainstream breakthrough, serving up “CLOUT COBAIN” as the lead single off his debut album TA13OO is a delightfully meta one. Directed at the those that base their entire career off ‘clout chasing’, Denzel sends out a warning on the destructive consequences of such a lifestyle. Essentially a cautionary tale for both his peers and himself, this track is a statement that all artists should heed by.
6. Joji – “Slow Dancing in the Dark”
Twenty One Pilots weren’t the ones to rebrand themselves this year. Joji, best known for his lofi hip-hop-tinged R&B, came out of the gate swinging when he proved his detractors wrong by showing that he can actually sing. Curating one of the best heartbreak ballads of the year, “Slow Dancing in the Dark” not only works as Joji’s best song yet, but also a sign of the excellent quality that he’ll be able to produce in subsequent projects.