Hey guys, this is my first time posting on this blog so I’ll give myself a little introduction. I’m currently a student, in my third year, and I’ve always loved music. Hip hop, rap and grime have always been big players in my music life, alongside some metalcore and other genres of rock. More recently at university I’ve started to discover the dance music scene, getting really into my house and trap. So anyway, in a semi-particular order, here is my list.
Rustie – Attak (feat. Danny Brown)
Before I even listened to this track I knew it was going it was going to be my favourite song of the year, and since first experiencing this wonder of music I haven’t been able to get the synth loop out of my head. As a massive fan of Danny Brown, and thoroughly enjoying a lot of Rustie’s previous work, especially his Triadzz / Slasherr single, this collaboration feels like a dream come true. Danny’s unique flow sits perfectly on Rustie’s energetic production, leaving you craving more.
Ikey – Timbuktu
Ikey is pretty new to the rap scene this year and is already killing it with the two songs released on the Any Means Necessary YouTube channel. Timbuktu starts as a casual rap, bigging himself up but leaving a few bars to crack the odd joke at his expense. This all changes in the last minute of the song, Ikey goes hard. The tone of the song becomes sinister and aggressive, and the video follows suit. This is a great taster to show what Ikey is capable of, and I’m incredibly excited to see what he produces in the future.
J.K. The Reaper – Fountain of Youth
I first listened to this song when it first came out over a month ago, but didn’t really start listening to it until the last couple of weeks, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since. North Carolina rapper J.K. The Reaper raps about being different to everyone around him and being stuck in the same city where every other rapper is a 2 Chainz wannabe. J.K.’s consistent flow compliments this dreamy trap beat, creating a relaxed mood but still retaining its sincerity.
Beartooth – I Have A Problem
This song shouldn’t really be on this list seeming as it was originally released last year on Beartooth’s EP Sick, but has been rereleased this year onto their debut album Disgusting. I Have A Problem addresses the vocalist’s – Caleb Shomo, previously a member of Attack Attack! – struggles with depression and alcoholism. The song packs raw emotion, one particular line always stands out to me, ‘My stomach is bleeding, but I’m still drinking’. I highly recommend checking out the EP as well as the album.
Oliver Heldens X Becky Hill – Gecko (Overdrive)
When I first heard this chart-topping hit, I was at work behind the bar, and I couldn’t help myself but start dancing. It felt like everything I have been looking for in an electro-house track was in this one song. The vocals from Becky Hill are on point and the build up to the drop gets me excited every time. This is another song I can’t stop listening to and I don’t think I will for quite a while.
Ghostface Killah – Six Degrees (feat. Danny Brown)
Produced by BADBADNOTGOOD, an improv modern jazz act from Toronto, Canada who were made famous from their extended covers of Odd Future tracks, Six Degrees has a mischievous and menacing feel to it. The production is minimalistic, yet creates manages to create an eerie ambience. Ghostface’s vicious, sturdy flow is in contrast with Danny’s deranged style, yet they thrive together on this beat. I really hope they make more music together in the future.
Martyr Defiled – 616
Hailing from Lincoln, England, Martyr Defiled released one my favourite deathcore albums this year, making it incredibly difficult for me to decide which song to put into this list. This fast paced track hits hard, with excruciatingly brutal breakdowns and harsh vocals. If this kind of music floats your boat then definitely make sure you check out the whole album.
Sam Smith – Stay With Me (Wilfred Giroux Remix)
Sam Smith has been a big name this year, and has already been featured on another editor’s list. Wilfred Giroux does a great job remixing this soulful track into a banger which would send the crowd crazy at an EDM gig. The build-up has a great layered feel which you can’t help but sway along to. For the chorus Wilfred takes short cuts from the original vocals and mashes them together into an audible collage of awesome.
Architects – C.A.N.C.E.R.
This is the fourth album in which Sam Carter has been the lead vocalist and in each one the style of music has progressed and adapted. Architects don’t wait around to get into this track. C.A.N.C.E.R. opens with heavy chugging followed by Sam Carter’s iconic harsh vocals. The outro section to this song is excellent; as Sam screams the letters C.A.N.C.E.R. you can really feel the anger in his voice. Without a doubt my favourite song off of the new album.
Flatbush Zombies – Drug Parade (feat. Danny Brown)
“Hold up, hold up, you don’t do drugs? What’s that mean? MORE FOR US!”
Flatbush Zombies are infamous for having strong themes of drugs in their songs, and this one takes it a step further. Drug Parade is an homage to all of the psychoactive substances they have experimented with, and the song itself has a slightly unsettling, trippy feel. The only member of Flatbush to rap on this song is Meech, and his deep, gruff flow is a contradiction to Danny’s high pitched, yet still aggressive flow, but his verse fits seamlessly at the end of this track. Once again, Danny Brown has failed to disappoint me on a feature, and at this rate I think he never will.