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!
• Beast Coast – Left Hand
‘Left Hand’ was the lead single from Beast Coast’s ‘Escape From New York’ Album, and is one of the best tracks from the album, and another one of the best posse cuts of 2019. The song contains 9 verses, 3 hooks, an intro and outro, and has a run time of 3:45, it’s insane how much content is packed into such a short song without it sounding messy at all.
The beat overall is quite a simple one, but does contain a number a subtle components that help to add to the enjoyability. The song primarily consists of a hard hitting drum beat and this real foreboding synth which is present for a majority of the song. There are also great gunshot Ad-libs/samples used during the start and end of the hook, and some sections containing some subtle vocal samples in the background. The hook on this track is handled by Meecho Darko from rap group Flatbush Zombies, and showcases Meechy’s addictive vocal delivery, impressive wordplay, and ability to create an extremely catchy hook.
If I were to focus on each of the 9 verses individually and highlight their strong points we would be here for a long time. On this track we see verses from all 9 of the members of the Beast Coast Collective, being The Underachievers (Issa Gold and AK the Saviour), Flatbush Zombies (Meechy Darko, Zombie Juice and Erick the Architect), and numerous member of Pro Era (Joey Bada$$, Kirk Knight, Nyck Caution & CJ Fly). I honestly believe that all 9 artists bring their A-Game, with every single verse sounding unique whilst all maintaining the consistent quality of bars, wordplay, and overall sound. Each of the verses is rapped with a similar cadence, with many of them following a similar rhyme scheme too, and overall it’s just the consistency between the 9 verses that make this song as good as it is all the way to the end. As someone who was previously a fan of all 9 rappers, I think this is a great introduction to each of them, and a great showcase of what each of them is capable of. If I had to pick a favourite verse, I would actually go with the surprising choice of Zombie Juices (the 4th verse), which I think has the most exciting and enjoyable flow on the track, switching it up more than the others without sacrificing the main sound.
Overall this song is easily one of the top posse cuts of the year, showcasing the talents of 9 different rappers all in a short and sweet 3:45 banger. With a catchy little hook, well produced beat, and so so many great verses it’s hard not to like and appreciate this song. I’m one of the few who actually thinks the Beast Coast album lived up to the hype, and if you liked this song you’re bound to enjoy more tracks from the album, so I’d recommend giving it a spin, lots of gems within.
• Alex Wiley – FYI (ft. Mick Jenkins)
FYI is a random loosie released by Alex Wiley in 2019, and which surprisingly didn’t make his album Tangerine Dream 2. The song was released alongside a video, and features Mick Jenkins, and is easily my favourite Alex Wiley song of the year and also my favourite Mick Jenkins verse of the last couple of years. With a catchy hook, a couple of solid verses, and a beautiful atmospheric beat, this song is just a super chill and enjoyable listen all the way through.
This is a track that I don’t think does anything particularly special, and there’s no one feature that make it stand out against other great tracks. It’s just the overall end product that I find much more enjoyable than many other contenders. The beat is quite interesting, containing this thumping bass, these triumphant electric keyboard synths, a majestic stringed section, some beautiful little aquatic sounds and a low key drum beat. As a whole the beat sets this real laid back, atmospheric vibe, one which fits both artists well.
Mick Jenkins comes through with an incredible feature, similar in flow and impressive wordplay to a lot of his impressive features of the past; if you like Mick you should love his feature here. Alex Wiley handles the hook and the first verse, with the hook being delivered in a melodic manner and touching on the topic of the song, FYI (in this case, ‘Fuck Your Instructions’). His verse is full of solid wordplay, and showcases him flowing with ease over the atmospheric beat. Overall Alex just sound amazing for the entirety of the track, from the impressive verse to the catchy hook.
Overall I think this is a wonderful return to form for both Alex Wiley and Mick Jenkins, and a great showing of what the 2 are capable of. I was hopeful this was a teaser as to what we can expect from the 2, but was disappointed by Alex Wiley’s most recent album, so hopefully Mick Jenkins can keep up the consistent quality. This song also highlights the great chemistry between Mick and Alex, so if you enjoyed this one I’d recommend checking out another one of their collaborations, ‘Own Man’.
• Good Gas & FKi 1st – Knock Knock (ft. BigChildSupport)
Knock Knock is easily one of the best bangers of the year, with some solid bars being delivered over one of the most ridiculously bass heavy beats I’ve ever heard in hip hop. The song comes from the album Good Gas, Vol 3 by Good Gas & FKi 1st, and features rapper BigChildSupport. Going into this I wasn’t expecting too much, as I had never heard of BigChildSupport, but I came out of this so pleasantly surprised with the quality of the bars, making BigChildSupport up there with Lil Bootycall for most surprisingly good rappers of 2019.
If you’re a fragile individual I recommend you steer clear of this one, the beat is so obnoxious it’ll probably hurt your feelings and leave you feeling violated. Knock Knock seriously has some of the filthiest bass I’ve ever heard on a hip hop song, yet it contrasts this with these super pleasant sounding synths which appear at times in the background of the beat. The beat isn’t overly complicated, containing some stereotypical rattling hi hats, the subtle electronic synths which are used sparingly throughout, and the ridiculous bass. The bass is the strongpoint, it’s just so low, so heavy, and used perfectly, overall just making the whole beat sound unique despite not containing any unique components.
I’ve come to expect well produced tracks by FKi 1st, so as much as I loved the beat, it wasn’t a real surprise. What I wasn’t expecting was for BigChildSupport to give such a solid performance. He does nothing special, but he has some hilarious bars, flows really well for the entirety of the song, and fits to the beat perfectly (or more accurately the beat hits perfectly, complimenting BigChildSupport’s bars). In 1:53 He spits 3 hooks and 2 verses, and does so with this outrageous, hungry delivery, all while changing up his flows every few bars. In the end, it’s the combination of the ridiculously bass heavy beat, hard hitting bars, and the way it all fits together that makes this song insanely enjoyable.
Overall this song just bangs insanely hard, with some incredible production and impressive bars and flows from the one and only BigChildSupport. This bumps in the whip, turns heads at parties, and has a well deserved spot in my top 50, and in any banger playlist you may have. If you enjoyed this check out any of the 3 Good Gas projects, all have insane production and surprisingly good features.
• Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot
‘Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot’ is a genre bending concoction of a wide range of sounds and styles combined to give an oddly enjoyable end product. This track is like 10 different tracks chopped up and sliced together into a short and sweet 2:37 song, and as much as it sounds messy or chaotic at times, I personally enjoy all the different sections of this track, and think it’s a great showcase of the different sounds Peggy is capable of.
Peggy produces all his own work, and if you’re familiar with any of his work you’ll know you can’t really put his production style into any sort of box, with it usually containing some of your typical hip hop features mixed with some experimental, at time industrial sounds and instruments. It’s always super creative at the very least, and this is no exception, and is one of his many beats that’s hard to really put into words. The song consists of many layers, starting with the abrasive instrumental intro that sounds like a protest, to the beat on the verse which is this floaty atmospheric guitar led beat that has this real acid rock vibe. Towards the end of each verse we see a change in vibe in both the vocal delivery and the beat, with the beat becoming more industrial and much more bass heavy, matching Peggy’s aggressive delivery. The song also features some subtle piano at time, and a short instrumental outro which is just a mish mash of different sounds.
JPEG’s vocal delivery throughout the track sounds just as unfocused and all over the place as the beat, but in all the best ways, with the song as a whole just reeking with creativity and talent. During the verses Peggy attacks the beat with confidence, with the first half of each verses being delivered clearly and with some more typical rap flows. The contrast however between the first half of each verse and the second is quite crazy, but executed brilliantly, with Peggy switching up his flow and delivery to a much more aggressive in-your-face kind of vibe. The thing that stays constant throughout the verses is that Peggy is actually delivering some amazing bars and with fantastic wordplay too. There is also a hook on this track, and it’s actually probably the best part of the track, certainly the part that kept me coming back. The hook is short, but features Peggy delivering a few melodic little bars before climaxing at the last line of the hook, belting out the final line with the best singing voice he can. Apart from the creativity, the hook sounds amazing and further showcases the versatility of JPEGMAFIA.
Overall this is probably one of the most ridiculous and least accessible songs on this list, and yet I think it’s absolutely fantastic start to end. From the in your face aggressive parts at the end of the verses to the beautifully sung hook, I just think this is a crazy experiment that somehow didn’t go wrong. If you liked this one check out some more of his 2019 album ‘All My Heroes Are Cornballs’, and if you didn’t like it then JPEGMAFIA might not be for you.
• YBN Cordae – RNP (ft. Anderson.Paak)
RNP from YBN Cordae’s 2019 album ‘Lost Boy’ is easily one of the most fun and enjoyable listens of the year. The track features Anderson.Paak and consists of both rappers going back and forth talking about their RNP, or Rich N*gga Problems. With the aid of a perfectly suited beat produced by J. Cole, this song is just super fun start to end.
The idea of the song is 2 rappers going back and forth, and this leads to it having quite an obscure structure. The song has 2 verses, the first of which has Cordae and Paak taking turns spitting 4-8 bars, whereas the second verse has the 2 of them going bar for bar for a majority of the verse. Cordae executes this amazingly though, with each verse sounding great on its own and the song sounding exceptional as a whole. Each of the artists pack their verse full of subtle flexes and even humour, all while delivering their verses or bars in this funky, charismatic way. They both flow excellently for the duration of the song, and bounce of each other super well, with all the transitions between the 2 being seamless.
Anderson.Paak handles the hook, and this is one of his best. Complimented well by the beat, Paak sounds funky, confident, and like he is having a lot of fun. In particular the way he says ‘ooh’ just sounds so good. The beat itself is spectacular and is produced by fellow rapper J. Cole. The beat helps to enhance the rest of the parts of the song, with this funky electronic baseline, this constant low tempo hi hat, and this funky little piano melody played during the chorus. There are other subtle little elements of the beat as well that help make the beat overall more interesting, such as these like vocoder samples that mirror the artists at time, and these electronic beeps that linger in the background of the verses. It’s just such a clean beat and matches the vocal performances of the artists so well.
In summary, I’d say RNP is probably the funnest song to listen to of the year, thanks to the funky beat, loose song structure and incredible performance and charisma by both Cordae and Paak. Despite having a wild structure, this song is perfectly executed, and probably my favourite example of rappers going back and forth all year. Paak just has amazing chemistry with artists, so if you liked this check out some of his other Collabs such has Dang! By Mac Miller and Dapper by Domo Genesis.
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 –