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 Wavewas 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! 🎇
A busy #NewMusicFriday continues as Njomza comes through with a new release, her first of 2018. Vacation starts off well with “Lonely Nights” and the vibe continues all the way through the outro. Add this to your quick-listen projects to peep this weekend.
Jeremih & Ty Dolla $ign are sure to have some modern R&B hits on their new collab album and the one I’d like to highlight is found within the corny pun of a headline.
“Perfect Timing” actually follows the enjoyably explicit “FYT” and marks the turning point of the album where I’m really tuned in. You and your partner will likely find some common ground somewhere here.
I’ve been following SG Lewis for quite some time now, ever since he landed the moody “Warm” on the Season 1 finale of Ballers. The U.K. producer/songwriter has either captured dark moods or sunny moods in his own, fresh way.
His new single drops tonight, “A.A.T” with Drew Love, and the self-admitted “experiment” is “different for him” but it actually falls into the lane of other songs like it. You’ll hear why, but at least the beat is fresh, and it’s actually well-executed too by all parties involved. I’ll rock with it for now and see if it sticks.
It’s always interesting when the most popular rapper from a group goes solo for their first album. Quavo does just that with his new Quavo Huncho album you’re probably already spinning this weekend. I skipped ahead to the Drake feature (solid) and the Kid Cudi conclusion. As the bigger fan of Cudi amongst all the artists mentioned, I enjoyed his lyrics the most but the heavy autotune reminded me of Travis Scott (when usually when I listen to Travis, it’s the other way around.)
And oh yeah, that Madonna and Cardi B feature. Well, the “Champagne Rose” sample on the hook is kinda cool. Probs not for me but that song will appeal to the masses.
Pleasantly surprised by a new Usher album on #NewMusicFriday… and the headline is inspired by literally every track starting off with the Zaytoven tag. Haha. Just start each track and the volume gets slightly louder by the end. After all, the album is technically “Usher & Zaytoven”.
That observation aside: I was hopeful for some instant classic Usher to match some of his singles post-Confessions era (let alone anything approaching Confessions or 8701) but that hope went quickly to naught.
Sadly, the only joint that really stood out was “You Decide” (below) with the overall sound of the album matching the underwhelming, OFF-White knockoff cover. I’ll give it some spins over the weekend to see what grows on me though, but even more than that, I’ll just spin back those classics.