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!
• Doobie – Power (remix) (ft. DaBaby & Icewear Vezzo)
The ‘Power (remix)’ by Doobie was one of the biggest surprise entries in my top 50 this year, and is actually the only song in the top 50 by an artist I hadn’t heard of before this year. Over a hard hitting beat, Doobie really impressed me with his presence on the track, and enlists DaBaby and Icewear vezzo as features to help make this track even greater, with both of them delivering amazing performances and helping this song easily reach top 50 status.
The beat seems simple at first, but actually has a whole lot of layers that do a great job at adding to the song. This song contains a bunch of different sounds and synths that are hard to describe, with there being this subtle guitar-like synth, this eerie high pitched distorted piano loop, and this little high pitched vocal ‘ooh-ooh’ like sample. One thing that’s consistent throughout the track is the amazing drums, which are used sparingly throughout, being fast paced and sporadic at times, and dropping out completely at others. The bass in particular on this song is insanely good, with it being ridiculously low pitched and almost dirty sounding, but changing up at times with this ascending then descending like effect. Overall none of the parts of the beat stand out, but as a whole it’s incredible well put together. The hook is super catchy, with Doobie using a number of flows and deliveries to deliver some enjoyable bars over the beat which is also constantly changing up to enhance the hook. It’s actually a super well crafted hook, being funny and catchy without being too repetitive at all.
The song features 3 verses and all 3 are incredibly enjoyable, with the opening verse being delivered by Dababy, the second by Doobie himself, and the last by Icewear Vezzo. Each of the rappers rap with a similar high intensity flow, with all of them riding the bass heavy beat with ease. Although DaBaby doesn’t sound too different from his usual verse, this is one of my favourites of his, with his flow being extremely fun to listen to, and his lyrics containing the same humour and charisma as usual. As i’d never heard of Doobie previously, I thought he would be the one to bring down the track, but his verse is fire too, with a solid delivery throughout, and one of the best lines of the song; “I’ma bust the rice down, like a Chinese kitchen,
When I fucked my first squirter, thought she might be pissing”.
Icewear Vezzo did well to close out the song, carrying on the impressive flows and funny lines delivered by the other 2 artists. Overall all 3 artists just had a great chemistry, all sounding at home over the beat, and keeping a consistent vibe going throughout the track.
In summary, this song may not be my favourite song of the year, it’s not even my favourite track titled ‘Power Remix’, but it’s a certain contender for a top 50 songs of the year, and has a well deserved spot for now. Featuring some great bars and fantastic delivery from 3 up and coming rappers, this song is a great showcase of their skills, and works as an impressive introduction to each of the 3 artists. It’s just a song that starts off real solid and doesn’t drop below that for the entirety of the song. And on another note, one of the best Dababy features of the year, which is really saying something considering the 25+ DaBaby features I have heard in 2019.
• G-Eazy – It’s Eazy
G-Eazy has been steadily releasing his B-Sides project in quite an interesting fashion, with it originally being a 2-3 song EP on streaming services, but then having another couple of songs added every couple of months. Don’t let the title fool you though, as these tracks are far from ‘B-Side’ quality, with most of them being amazing and the project as a whole being my favourite G-Eazy project. In the end, one song in particular really stood out to me, the P-Lo produced ‘It’s Eazy’. The track features G-Eazy doing what he does best, flaunting his wealth over an immaculately produced beat.
The beat on this one is reminiscent of a 2018 Tyga club banger, and would feel right at home in any club or beach party in this day and age. It’s composed mainly of little flute loop, which varies between high pitch and low pitch as the song progresses, but all whilst maintaining the same catchy melody. This flute combined with some basic percussion, namely the 808s and claps create that real ‘2018 Tyga Song Vibe’ whole also sounding unique, and insanely enjoyable. This is one of the only beats of the year that get stuck in my head (I’m much more of a ‘lyrics stuck in my head’ person so this is rare).
G-Eazy does an amazing job at carrying the song by himself with both an amazing hook and verses. The hook is quite simple, but really plays into the whole vibe of the song by being delivered in a way that’s catchy and enjoyable. The verse take this song to the next level, being delivered exceptionally and being chock full of great bars. As mentioned earlier, the song is mainly about G-Eazy just flexing his wealth, and everything about the song just oozes that. Like despite his vocal delivery varying a bunch and him changing up flows, he consistently sounds confident and even smug, like you can just tell he loves flexing on us. G-Eazy is amazing in every way on this track, with his impressive flows and addictive delivery, but it’s never at the expense of great bars. This song has a lot of lines I really like, with great metaphors, good use of imagery and some hilarious one liners too. I wasn’t going to quote any, but some are just way too good not to. A couple of my favourites are;
“It’s easy you breezy, my money is green ol’ Luigi,
My wrist is on Fiji, I just told me jeweller to freeze me,
If it ain’t a bag don’t CC me”
“Could’ve bought a crib with what I spent on one watch,
I’m the ring leader, it’s a circus, come watch,
Ten hoes here jumping all on one crotch,
Rapper got money like I’m shooting jump shots,
Told my little cousin ‘keep them grades up, watch’,
Sent him to third grade with a Louis lunchbox,
Yes that’s a little flex,
You got some cereal money, what’s that? A little chex”
Overall this song is just so likeable, with that addictive flute based beat and G-Eazy’s incredible flows and one liners, it’s just so accessible and enjoyable. Although this track doesn’t do anything new, it showcases what G-Eazy does best, which is flaunting his money and success over a beat that’d fit in perfectly at your typical club. If you enjoyed this track I feel like you would probably enjoy most of the project, so give that one a listen and let me know what you think!
• Jay Critch – Don’t @ Me
‘Don’t @ Me’ is a random loosie released by Jay Critch in May of 2019 (although it may end up on a future album), and despite Jay Critch being super consistent all year in regards to features and loosies, this is my favourite track of his. The song is 2min43seconds long, but it feels so short and sweet thanks to the song being structured as hook>verse>hook, and every part of the song is crazy enjoyable.
Although Critch sounds great over just about any beat, I feel he shines when flowing over real atmospheric beats, and this is a great example. The beat revolves around this real airy woodwind like synth loop that sets this atmospheric jungle like vibe. Combined with the fairly simple drum pattern the whole song is super relaxing, and Critch flows over it with ease for the whole track. The hook as well is exceptional, and just shows how good Critch is at crafting a hook that is pleasant on the ears and just overall enjoyable. The flow, his delivery, and even the rhymes schemes all just come together so well, making this hook catchy and impressive at the same time. On top of that, the hook has some solid bars within, including;
“I play the game like an athlete,
Ever since I got money she jackin’ me,
Leave it all on her face like it’s acne,
I ran up the racks like a track meet”.
The song only features one long verse, in the middle of 2 hooks, and is easily just as strong as the rest of the track. Critch raps in this kind of nonchalant, confident manner (not too different from his usual delivery), but utilises a bunch of different flows as the verse goes on, switching it up every few bars to keep it fresh. Where Critch shines here and on most tracks he is on is just how enjoyable every bar sounds, it’s like he somehow has a boring voice and yet one of the best voices in rap at the same time. It’s like his annunciation and inflections combined with his consistently amazing flows and deliveries make every bar just sound cool. Just as some examples, the way he says the word ‘Acne’ in the hook is amazing, as well as the way he delivers the following lines;
“I was so broke, had to get what I can,
White moncler, I’m the Michelin man”.
Overall this song is just a super enjoyable little listen. It features everything that makes me think Critch is one of the most underrated in the game right now, from the beautifully produced beat, to the insane flows, to the wide range of incredible one liners, all the way down to his knack for crafting a top tier hook. If you liked this check out anything else from Critch in the last 18 months, in particular his Hood Favourite album, and his 2019 song Bully.
• Kodak Black – Calling My Spirit
In December of 2018 Kodak Black released what was my personal favourite Kodak project so far, Dying To Live. The album had a bunch of standouts, and was super close to having 2 songs make this list, but as it stands ‘Calling My Spirit’ is the only song to make, and I believe one of only 2 songs from December to make the top 50 of this year. Calling My Spirit is emotional Kodak at his best, with Kodak spitting some heartfelt bars full of substance and emotion over a beautiful guitar-led beat.
Despite being one of the most beautiful beats of the last 12 months, the beat is actually super simple made up of only 2 components really. The main part of the beat is this looped acoustic guitar synth which is playing for the entirety of the track, and give the whole song this calming, laid-back vibe. The other component is of course some drums, which despite being basic are utilised extremely well, being used subtlety throughout the verses, and being taken out of the hook entirely, leaving just the guitar. The hook isn’t anything special on paper, but in reality it’s amazing, with Kodak’s delivery and annunciations of words making it sound both emotion packed and super catchy.
I really don’t have a favourite part of this track, I feel like every part is like a 9/10, but the part that help this song standout from other tracks from the album or other top 50 contenders is the verses, both of which are solid start to end and showcase Kodak’s skills and versatility perfectly. The lyrical content itself is great, with Kodak rapping about everything from drugs and alcohol, to his friends who are locked up, to even his family. The thing that takes the verses to the next level is the delivery, with Kodak delivering all these personal bars in such a heartfelt way, with his voice sounding so full of emotion he sounds like he is on the verge of breaking down at times. He switches up the flow multiple times on each verse, and in terms of the actual delivery of the lyrics, Kodak is super coherent in this song, with all the lyrics being clear enough to follow, which isn’t always the case with Kodak.
Overall Calling My Spirit is an amazing showcase of Kodak’s talent as an artist, with him showing off his versatility in terms of flows and delivery, riding the beat with ease, and all while conveying his emotions through his lyrics in such an impressive fashion. As an individual, Kodak is a bit of a clown, so if you think his music is all trash based off that I’d highly recommend you give this (and transgression from the same album) a listen.
• Lil Nas X – Kick It
Everyone has heard of Lil Nas X, one of the biggest new artists of 2019. What people still don’t realise though, is that he is in no way a one hit wonder. As someone who personally thought Old Town Road was only okay, and who loved the hook on ‘Panini’ but thought the verses made the song drag on, I wasn’t too hyped for his ‘7’ EP, but thought it was worth a peep nonetheless, and boy am I glad I did. I overall enjoyed the project, but there was a clear standout, the song ‘Kick It’, which is super enjoyable start to end, with a catchy chorus, an interesting concept, an absolutely stellar beat, and a great performance from Lil Nas X on top of all that.
The idea behind the song and the lyrics themselves is actually quite an interesting one, with Lil Nas rapping from the perspective of an old ‘friend’ who is trying to revisit that friendship with Lil Nas now that he is successful. Not the most insane concept for a song, but It’s executed amazingly, being quite easy to understand and follow on with (in comparison to complex concepts like on To Pimp A Butterfly). The hook is one of the standout features of the track, being catchy, on topic, and showcasing Lil Nas mixing up his delivery and flows more so than on the verses. The verses themselves are fantastic despite being quite short at 8 and 4 bars respectively. Lil Nas X flows nicely on both verses, but where they really excel is in driving forward the concept and idea of the song, and each verse is also made much more enjoyable by the instrumentation used during them.
The beat itself is insanely good, probably the best part of the track if you pay attention. From the beginning the beat is encapsulating, with the real eerie distorted vocal-like synth, which is present during the hook. The beat also features some amazing drums in this section and throughout the track, used masterfully to really enhance the vocals at different times during the song. As the first verse starts the distorted vocals disappear and we hear this beautiful saxophone jam, which continues on for the entirety of the verses, giving this real triumphant feel to the track. The Saxophone also has a special little moment to shine after the middle hook, in which we hear a little instrumental break consisting mainly of a saxophone solo. As opposed to having the distorted vocal synth in the final hook, the beat introduces an gorgeous little string section which compliments the final verse perfectly to close out the track. In summary this beat is just expertly made and crafted, with the instrumentation all sounding so crisp and clear, almost as if it was live instrumentation, and the best overall having a real ‘Statik Selektah’ vibe to me.
Overall this one was a bit of a surprise for me. I didn’t expect to come out of my first listen of the 7 EP liking a song this much, but am glad I did and feel like this song is easily good enough to retain a spot in the top 50 throughout the inevitable changes that occur to it in the future. The song is great start to end, but it’s the catchy hook and the incredible beat that make this song so easy to listen to and to enjoy. Despite being one of the less poppy songs on the album, it’s probably one of the most poppy in my list, and therefore one i’d recommend to a casual hip hop listener, or anyone who thinks Lil Nas X is a one hit wonder.
Summary & 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 –