During the latter half of November 2019 I’m going to be doing a little write up on my top 50 songs of 2019. This is just a draft for now really, and is more accurately my top 50 songs from December 2018-September 2019. I’m without a computer at the moment so have been unable to listen to the last 7 weeks of music, but once I have caught up I will post a final ‘Top 50 of 2019’ list, which will be much more accurate.
I’ll be doing this in 10 parts (with 5 songs each), with the first being Tuesday 19th, and another coming out each day for the following 2 weeks. So, with that said, read on, listen to some of the songs, and let me know what you think, hopefully you discover some songs you enjoy!
• Sada Baby – Skuba Says
Early in 2019, Sada Baby released his ‘Bartier Bounty’ project, and boy was I surprised when I gave it a peep. Having never really heard Sada before outside of some features, I had low expectations, but ended up enjoying nearly every single song. Sada Baby is interesting in terms of the way he structures his songs, veering away from the usual structure. Strangely enough, almost all of the songs on this project follow the same structure of hook>long verse>hook and that’s it, but it’s executed extremely well throughout. The thing that makes this song, Skuba Says a standout to me, is that not only does it have one of the most solid verses on the album, but it has what is my favourite 2 bars of 2019.
This song does have some fairly simple features, namely the beat and the hook, though both are above average and add to the song as a whole. The hook is delivered with swagger, is crazy catchy despite the repetitiveness, and has some funny bars to top it off, such as;
“Fuck all the cute shit, I’m here to shoot shit,
I need a bitch who gon’ such dick and shoot trips”.
The beat too is basic, made up of mainly a distorted electric synth and typical trap drums and claps, but is mastered well with the drums fading out at points to make the song sound a bit less repetitive as a whole.
Where this song really shines is the lyrics, particularly during the verse, and although Sada isn’t some writing genius with crazy metaphors and double entendres, he tells things in such a vivid way and has a wide range full of bars full of amazing imagery and hilarious one liners. Although his flow is constantly switching up as the verse goes on, Sada retains a hungry, almost angry delivery, delivering every bar with confidence and with purpose. The bars themselves are super fun to listen to, with Sada describing seemingly everything in a way that makes it sound funny and enjoyable, and this is probably the funniest song of the year. On top of all that, this song contains my favourite bars of the year;
“She been suckin’ so much dick she need some extra knees,
Matter fact she been suckin so much dick I need an extra me!”
Overall this song is an amazingly fun listen from start to end, with a great hook, a catchy beat, an incredible verse and my favourite couple of bars of the year. Sada sounds hungry, he sounds angry, but always sounds like he is having fun on the mic and rapping with ease, making this an easy song to vibe along with and enjoy a bunch while you’re at it
• Slowthai – Toaster
UK rapper Slowthai released one of my favourite albums of 2019 in ‘Nothing Great About Britain’, and the track that’s gradually risen through the ranks to become my all round favourite is titled ‘Toaster’. Toaster really pushes Slowthai to step outside his comfort zone, rapping over a laid back guitar beat and playing around with his delivery, utilising a much more melodic flow and even almost singing at times.
The song features Slowthai detailing the struggles he faced growing up in Northampton, and is lyrically and sonically one of his most impressive songs yet. Toaster starts off strong straight out the gate, with Slowthai spitting the first verse with confidence and lyrics containing so much visual imagery that you can really envision what he is talking about. His second verse is just as strong, with both verses being made up of impressive wordplay and some great one liners scattered throughout. Slowthai really showcases his versatility throughout this track, with him varying his flows and delivery from a typical rap flow, to a more hungry flow, to even delivering parts of the verses in a much more slow and melodic manner. Where the versatility is most obvious is on the hook, which is one of my favourite parts of the track. The hook is one full of content, with Slowthai singing in a laid back, yet beautiful tone;
“Crumpets in my toaster,
Bum parked on my sofa,
At one with nature,
Pissing of my neighbours.”
The beat does an exceptional job at setting the tone for the song, and overall gives it this real nostalgic vibe. The drums are slow and purposeful, the 808s subtle, and the backbone of the track, an acoustic guitar synth, is calming and used well to give the song structure and set this relaxing mood. The song also features some other subtle layers which are used excellently, such as the spacey synth used in the first verse, the violin like instrument at the start of the second verse, and the vocal samples used during the outro of the track. Just an exceptionally crafted beat and Slowthai makes the most of it.
Overall, this song is just incredibly well made in all ways, from the multi-layered beat, to the incredible flows throughout, all the way to Slowthai’s ability to tell a story so visually, and all whilst delivering a super enjoyable vocal performance. I may end up liking other Slowthai songs more, but at the moment this stands as the most enjoyable and also one of the most accessible songs in his catalog so far.
• Moneybagg Yo – Relentless Again
Relentless Again is another standout track from Moneybagg’s 2019 project 43va Heartless, and another real ‘grower’. This song originally was outside my top 50, but with each listen I realise how good it is, and it slowly moves up in the rankings. It combines Moneybaggs usual showing of incredible rap ability over one of the most beautiful beats of the year, and as a result the song has a real knack of getting caught in your head in the best of ways.
The beat is beautiful, but it’s quite simple in comparison to a majority of Moneybagg songs. The song has basic drums and 808’s throughout most of the track, but the feature that makes the beat sound incredible is this pitched up vocal sample which is playing for the entirety of the song. There’s no real better way to describe it, it’s just a high pitch vocal sample similar to a lot of hip hop tracks you would hear like 10 years ago, and it’s gives the whole song this dreamy kind of feel, the kind of best that can almost put you in a trance and have you not paying any attention the the raps.
In saying that though, the raps on this song are super solid throughout and don’t take away from the track in any way. Considering this song features no hook, and is just one long verse from start to end it’s fortunate that the rapping is as impressive as it is. For like 48 bars Moneybagg raps his ass off, showing off his incredible range of flows and his confident delivery throughout, all while delivering a crazy number of impressively quotable bars. One other subtle thing this song does well, is showcase Moneybaggs amazing use off ad-Libs, such as the start of the song, with;
“Don’t know how I talked ‘bout money back when I was poor (How you do that?),
Had to speak it to existence like a magic show (Abracadabra)”.
Overall this is a song I feel will continue growing on me for a while yet, with a catchy beat they utilises something we don’t see too often these days. This is also the first track from Moneybagg’s project, and is probably my favourite intro track of the year. If you enjoyed this I’d recommend checking his latest album, and then going back from there if you like what you hear
• Stunna 4 Vegas – 100 Or Better (ft. NLE Choppa)
Surprisingly enough, DaBaby didn’t have any songs make my ‘Top 50’ just yet, but his labelmate and protege ‘Stunna 4 Vegas’ had one track on his album that absolutely deserves a spot. ‘100 or Better’ is a banger from Stunna’s 2019 album Big 4x, and features fellow Up and comer NLE Chopper. The song is hard and aggressive, but at the same time fun and incredibly enjoyable.
The beat is very simple throughout the track, giving both Stunna and NLE Chopper a chance to showcase their impressive flows and bars. Combining a simple piano melody with your typical trap drums, this beat has a real ‘NLE Chopper type beat’ kind of feel, and the song as a whole sounds like someone threw on a YouTube instrumental at a party and 2 guys just starting spitting bars over it. Stunna handles the hook, and does so surprisingly well, delivering my favourite hook on the album and one of the better hooks of the year. Lyrically Stunna is just flexing his fearless attitude, but does so using some great rhymes, and all while flowing excellently over the beat, giving us a catchy end result.
Both Stunna and Choppa have a verse each, and both of them rap in a similar, fast paced fashion, bringing life to the simple beat. Stunna has the first verse, and raps in his typical ‘punch in’ style for a majority of the verse, while changing up flows throughout and delivering a number of great bars. His verse is full of great rhymes and he sounds real hungry for the entirety of the verse, making this one of my favourite Stunna verses. NLE carries on with the high energy flows and hungry delivery, possibly even outclassing Stunna on this track. This is easily my favourite NLE Choppa feature that I’ve heard, with him switching up flows and experimenting with his vocal delivery much more than usual. His verse is also chock full of solid bars and impressive rhyme schemes, and it’s at this point you really realise the insane chemistry Stunna and NLE have on this track.
Overall I think ‘100 Or Better’ is a great intro to 2 newer artists in the game, and is still one of my personal favourite performances from each of the 2 rappers. Combining a simple, yet addictive best, with some fun bars and high energy flows gives this song a real ‘kicking back with some friends’ kind of vibe, but is executed well enough to get it a spot in my favourite songs of the year!
• Various Artists – Forecast (ft. Jay Critch & Vendetta)
Forecast is a track from the ‘Talk Money Tape 2’, a collaboration album between Jay Critch and his Talk Money label. The track features Jay Critch himself and Vendetta, and is one of the most addictive songs of the year, showcasing both artists high energy flows over a real playful beat.
The beat is exceptional, and is the facet of the song that makes the track as enjoyable as it is. The most prominent feature of the beat is this repetitive, upbeat piano loop, but the song as a whole never sounds repetitive, largely in part to the addition of this flute sounding instrument at various parts of the song. The bass is well implemented, hitting at all the right times, and the drums overall are great. Both rappers utilise the beat amazingly, matching the upbeat vibe with some high energy deliveries and a range of impressive flows. Vendetta has the first verse, whereas Critch handles the hook and the second verse. Although Vendetta has an amazing feature, the standout on this track is Critch. The hook is amazingly catchy, and yet delivered with just as much energy and impressive wordplay as the verses. Critch’s verse itself if crazy enjoyable, with Critch flexing his ability to flow quickly with ease and without sacrificing solid wordplay and bars.
The song overall is just super enjoyable from start to end, and is easily my personal favourite track from the album. The beat would have to be one of my favourites of the year so far, and both Critch and Vendetta do an excellent job at flowing over it with ease. If you enjoyed this track I’d highly recommend Jay Critch’s 2018 album ‘Hood Favourite’, one of the most overlooked albums of last year.
• Summary and Discussion
Spotify playlist of all songs here!
Apple Music of all songs here!
Have you heard any of these songs before? What are your opinions on them?
Do you have any recommendations for me based off these songs?
If you havn’t heard them before, I’d highly recommend giving them a listen and letting me know what you think!
– Shan –