*Tibs Favs. of 2018

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It’s that time of year again! The time where you reflect on the year that was and set new intentions for the change in calendar upon us. The procrastinator in me decided to do just that… mere hours before the clock turns 2019. Haha.

The busy holiday season distracted me from one of my annual traditions: putting all my favorite new songs of the year into one giant playlist: the *Tibs Favs. of 2018.

This tradition has underwent some evolution. Ten years ago, I created two “volumes” of *Tibs Favs. — a hip hop and R&B side with just enough songs to fit an hour and twenty minutes so it can all fit on one burned CD. To top it off, DJ MinimaxX blended it all together.

So, without further ado, here is this year’s evolved Spotify playlist (with no DJ blends, sorry) and some of my fun observations — a director’s commentary, of sorts, in no particular bullet-pointed order.

  • Like this commentary, the playlist is in no particular order with the exception of the first 4 tracks for the default Spotify thumbnail. I had trouble pointing out which 4 “anthems” stood above the rest so I settled on 1 (“Pray for Me” because that was actually my driving anthem for the first quarter of 2018) and then the other 3…
  • Drogas Wave was my favorite rap album of the year… favorite album of the year. “Sun God” was my repeat record in the car.
  • preme__xy continues to be my favorite rising artist and “Run D Chekk ⇪” was his most menacing rap track of the year. Plus, he’s got the best cover art in the game. Any artist. Period.
  • “This Is America”. Do I have to add anything? Most impactful song/video of the year? Yes.
  • The untimely passing of Mac Miller inspired a revisit to his catalogue. I noticed that I felt sad listening to most of his music again, except for his upbeat collab with Anderson .Paak that is the perfect LA sunshine tune. R.I.P. Mac forever.
  • We happened to go to the impromptu video shoot for “Crossing a Line” so this song has some sentimental value. Mike’s a down to earth dude too.
  • Picked out one track from all the G.O.O.D. Music releases (and Drake’s album for that matter) to encapsulate the summer of big-name drops. I coulda chose more but the exercise of just picking 1 proved fun and valuable.
  • dvsn’s “Morning After” technically came out in 2017 but I snuck it on here because they were my favorite artist to discover on tour in 2018. Saw them open up for Miguel and came away with a greater appreciation of the OVO duo in general. Lots of songs have been in my rotation since September but this one especially.
  • Cal-A… GTA… this all comes from 2K19. I don’t even think they’re great songs but… I play a lot of 2K19 and damn, they’re among the catchiest. “Sicko Mode” too, sorry, not sorry. (Though this meme deserves some credit also.)
  • Last thing: If you don’t recognize the artist — listen! Enjoy. I think you’ll find something new you like here, for any day, night, or mood you encounter in 2019. Happy New Year! 🎇

 

THEY’s ‘Fireside EP’ is indeed fire

I’ve always appreciated the alternative R&B stylings of THEY. The duo’s newest EP is my highlight of this #NewMusicFriday starting with Track 01: “What I Know Now”.

The Wiz feature is on repeat but not because of Wiz’s verse. The song’s guitars, melodies, and chorus doesn’t need a rap feature – it’s strong enough on its own and perfect to ride to in the whip. Hey, at least Wiz’s verse will grow on you too. Not mad at it.

You’ll notice a ton of features on here in fact. One on each track. Jessie Reyez on the “Broken” follow-up is a nice vibe also. Chicago’s Jeremih and Vic Mensa follow, but the Ty$ and Gallant records stand a little more powerfully for me. All in all: a quick 6-track listen that’s well worth your time.

*Tibs Fav.

Some more gems from Complex Con

Complex Con 18 Recap Sizzle Reel (via @Complex)

Talk about stimulation overload. Complex Con had it all last weekend in Long Beach and as a first-timer, I was simply blown away by the creativity, art, and fashion all on display. In fact, it took me a full week just to sift through everything and continue to reflect about the positive impact and community throughout the two days. Here’s just some of many highlights.

For those unaware, Complex Con is basically the hotbed marketplace for the hip hop culture. Users are first treated to an endless space of brand activations from the biggest names in streetwear and your favorite sneaker companies – all trying to outdo one another.

Around the convention center is a full stage and venue for music performances, an outdoor area for the best LA food trucks and pop-up spots, and my personal favorite: auditoriums for #ComplexConversations — where Complex conducted panel discussions and showcased their original programming (from Hot Ones to Real Late with Peter Rosenberg).

The conversations ranged from Sneaker of the Year to an analysis and communal endeavor to improve upon society’s ills today. All of it inspiring, especially the latter if you can imagine. Here’s a succinct example via the young jedi Jaden Smith:

Skim below for some more #content. I had some fun creating a couple Insta Stories for each day.

Day 1 features some snaps of the Complex Con scene, Takashi x OVO, the Sneaker of the Year Panel with Allen Iverson, and even yours truly and Maksim Presence (peep that Gary Vee interview!)

…and Day 2 features a bunch of celebrity cameos (everyone from Nas to Karreuche to Dennis Rodman) and concludes with some more gems from Jaden Smith.

DAY 1:

DAY 2:

And now for some photos! All of the below is via @Complex.

Complex Con 2018 Host: Takashi Murakami

 

‘Women Behind The Lens’ #ComplexConversations with Issa Rae, Lena Waithe, Karena Evans, Nadeska Alexis, Yara Shahidi, hosted by: Jemele Hill

 

The Cadillac Experience My personal favorite. That grid moved. 👀

 

adidas

 

Pusha T @ adidas

 

Ty Dolla $ign @ Puma

 

Future headlines Day 2

 

First We Feast Lagoon

 

Complex Art Experience

 

@MichaelPurdie dunks at the And-1 court

* * * *

Let’s conclude this with The Answer. Complex posted this fascinating sit-down interview for 24 minutes as A.I. shares stories with Michael Jordan, Biggie, and how he even came up with some fashion and sneaker trends.

Thank you Complex Con! We’ll be back again next year. 🙏

SG Lewis new EP ‘Dark’ is the perfect driving music

Lookin’ for more new music for a late night drive? Similar to Koda’s nighttime vibes below on the homepage… but it’s the opposite tone, SG Lewis provides some bumpin’ beats and vocals to match to up the energy.

Dark is more of a darker, naturally, mood than SG’s typical lighter tones and it works just the same. “Again” really gets things going and the previously released “A.A.T” follows up stronger than how it stands on its own. Take this one through 5 tracks the next time you’re on the highway…

*Tibs Fav.

Anderson .Paak’s second single is another jam

Anderson .Paak’s album, Oxnard, is now only a week away and you know he’s been cookin’ up some funky sounds with Dre for this one. 

“Who R U?” even shouts out Dre as part of .Paak’s premonition in high school. That’s some heavy law of attraction right there!

I’m still on the first single “Tints” and look forward to how both of them rank within the rest of the album this time next week…

 

Empathy Test’s long awaited EP

It’s been amazing to see the U.K.’s synthpop duo Empathy Test continue to grow since we discovered them way back in the 2015 NBA Finals. Their music then still stands the test of time now (I play their first EP all the time and get a lot of “Who is this?!”) and their long-awaited latest drop would fit right in.

“Holy Rivers” and “Incubation Song” also get some remixes, per Empathy Test’s usual style. Where this really shines is with “Incubation Song” because the longer version is a great zone and the length of the track really works here. No excuse for not checking out this out above!

 

Koda ‘Same As It Ever Was’ (EP)

You know we’ve been rockin with Koda here at GWHH the last couple of years in LA. The singer/producer is a treat to see live and we just caught him perform much of this album this summer. 

Alas, now we have the official EP release Same as it Ever Was and it’s a great fit for your late night lonely drives. I gravitated a lot to “Meditation”, “The Drowning Machine”, and “Ghosting” but the entire 8 tracks is an experience. Listen listen!

*Tibs Fav.