TOP 20 POP/ROCK/R&B RECORDS OF 2017
20) Lana Del Rey ft Sean Ono Lennon - Tomorrow Never Came
“Cause I adored you, I just wanted things to be the same, you said to meet me up there tomorrow, but tomorrow never came” The “Summertime Sadness” singer just put out her second studio album titled Lust For Life, and the best record is indisputably this duet with Sean Ono Lennon - who if you couldn’t tell is the only child of the legendary Yoko Ono & John Lennon collectively. The song is good by itself but the Lennon status takes it to an entire different level, where it’s been noted that he played every single instrument on the record… this one right here is timeless and all Lennon fans should love this.
19) Marc E Bassy - Let Me Rock
“I can be bad all by myself, if I want to live forever I don't need no one's help... let me rock… we got Xans, got percs, got rocks… let me rock...” While I don’t condone the percocet culture that’s taken over high school and college campuses worldwide, this melody is super tough so I’ll let Bassy rock with no hesitation - in fact this is probably my favorite record off the new album entitled Gossip Columns, which is quietly right between 24K Magic and Funk Wav Bounce Vol 1 in terms of undeniable quality.
18) Snoh Aalegra - Out Of Your Way
“Feeling you, feeling all of you, babe, hear me out, cause I go out of my way, can I come your way, babe, if it isn't too late? If it is, if it is, I'll stay out of your way” 🔥🔥🔥 the voice is immaculate and her songwriting is incredible and the combination of those talents has already made Snoh Aalegra one of the top female vocalists of the time period - and that’s just off the strength of this album alone.
17) TheColorGrey ft Oddisee - Someday
“Someday you will, someday you will, try not to think about it…” TheColorGrey is a young singer out of Antwerp, Belgium - who released a self produced EP titled Do The Right Thing last year with the Spike Lee artwork and all < points for that - and accompanied by Oddisee this should be added to all playlists immediately, this is nothing less than an excellent record.
16) dvsn - Nuh Time / Tek Time
"Baby you always say, ‘I hate when it feels like, you don't have time for me, nuh time, nuh time,’ no, no” For the record I prefer the first side of this track more than the second but it’s 🔥🔥🔥 all around, meanwhile the Morning After album altogether was some of the best R&B to come out in recent memory.
15) Jhene Aiko ft TWENTY88 - OLLA (Only Lovers Left Alive)
“We're the only lovers left alive, left alive, clearly we've been running all our lives to survive, we're the only lovers left alive, look alive” This one off Trip is produced by Amaire Johnson and has the energy of the retro 80’s and I’m here for it… not mad at this at all 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻 especially with Sean’s contribution which lowkey might be some of the best rapping of his career - don’t sleep on that TWENTY88 verse at all 🔥🔥🔥
14) Sampha - No One Knows Me (Like The Piano)
“No one knows me like the piano in my mother's home, you would show me I had something some people call a soul, and you dropped out the sky, oh you arrived when I was three years old, no one knows me like the piano in my mother's home” Produced by Sampha himself and main collaborator Rodaidh McDonald, this one right here is a monumental record dedicated to his mother, who he cared for in his childhood home once she was diagnosed with cancer. For that reason this track is incredibly moving and the lyrics and melody are profound in every way imaginable… a perfect tribute within a perfect song.
13) SZA - Prom
“Right now I feel it pourin, I need a little bit, just a little bit…” TDE’s first lady just released her first album Ctrl and this one is a riiiiiiide, produced by Carter Lang & The Antydote this one was right on time for the long car rides in the warm weather. And now it looks as if SZA is ready to capitalize on her critical acclaim this year at The Grammys.
12) Mary J Blige - U + Me (Love Lesson)
“You plus me was a love lesson, in too deep without imperfection, not always good, but I stayed on my feet, you had me, should've never questioned” The best record off Mary J Blige’s 13th studio album Strength of a Woman was definitely a smooth groove with heavy replay value, and by no surprise her recent well publicized divorce indirectly inspired some of her best music in years. Produced and written by Brandon “Bam” Hodges, this is definitely a solid record to add to her catalogue. Maybe even her Greatest Hits.
11) Chris Brown - Paradise
“I've been looking for love in all the wrong places (all the wrong places), and I've been looking for you in other girl's faces, it's time that I faced it (in other girl's faces), I messed up with you, I played the game but I broke all the rules” Produced by Cam Wallace this is perhaps the singular standout track on the 45 record compilation known as the infamously long awaited Heartbreak on a Full Moon, which unfortunately got overlooked due to the mass volume on the project. Nonetheless in 45 records this is one of the very best, and is a great example as to why it’s worth it to press play on that 3 hours of music - or at least to come to LegacyArtsMedia to play through it’s finest moments.
10) Bryson Tiller - No Longer Friends
"Talk about you like a queen making him madder, as if he never even mattered… and you a bad bitch, you keep getting badder, this ain't the side ***** anthem, I've been straight forward, he's going backwards” Young Pen Griffey definitely came out swinging on his sophomore album as the first official record is arguably the highlight off the entire project. True To Self only has a few memorable moments on it yet this solid production and infectious melody will likely stay in your head for days, as this one brought out the best of Tiller and it’s definitely a heater.
9) August Alsina - Don’t Matter
"I be knockin down the walls every time you make that call” After releasing a few underwhelming singles in late ‘16, the New Orleans crooner looked finally prime for a comeback when he released this single that was definitely prime for the airwaves… yet unfortunately I never really heard it (the program directors are really getting worse). Nonetheless Alsina was always well received on radio since his breakthrough in ‘13, and after a relatively sub par (but still halfway decent) sophomore project, this 3rd album will definitely be a make-or-break moment in his career.
8) Mack Wilds - Crash
“We got all day all night, to say what’s on your mind, it’s the same shit on repeat, so how bout we spend some time, turn off this broken record girl, angel, won’t you sing for me” As overlooked as the entire After Hours tape was (granted it wasn’t New York: A Love Story but there were still gems on it), it’s without a doubt highlighted by the outro that has a certain vibe to it… issa vibe… and you gotta hear this for yourself… play this on the West Side Highway with the sun coming down and thank me later ☀️☀️☀️🔥🔥🔥
7) Calvin Harris ft Frank Ocean & Migos - Slide
“Do you slide on all your nights like this? Do you try on all your nights like this?...” yea this one was definitely a heater 🔥🔥🔥 as the hook is clean and the mystique of Ocean pays off here better than almost anywhere else on his last album (separate from Nights of course), whereas this time around he pays homage to Pablo Picasso’s Garçon à la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe) - that years ago sold for unprecedented millions - another example of why Ocean is one of the legends.
6) Eric Roberson - Sky As Green
“If there are people that see the sky is green… maybe there’s a girl out there for me… who can look past my darkside and find the goodness in me…” Incredible record off one of Roberson’s latest projects Wind, the second installment of his Earth-Wind-Fire trilogy that continues to be one of the best kept secrets in all of music let alone R&B. This one right here is the gospel in every way.
5) Calvin Harris ft Young Thug, Pharrell Williams & Ariana Grande - Heatstroke
“Release, let go, and have a good time, have a good, have a good time, yeah, have a good, have a good time… when you do things like this, and you set me free... how can anyone get tired? When you do things like this, and you set me free… I think I've just been inspired” 2017 was a big year for the Scottish DJ/Producer Calvin Harris, in which he followed up his first dynamite record with Frank Ocean (that you’ll find elsewhere on this list) with another star studded lineup in which all parties involved came through and delivered. This one, along with the last one, were played all throughout the Spring & the Summer on many different formats, yet it seems as if this was a few months too soon in terms of capitalizing on the album’s release. Nonetheless this is a smooth record from front to back that honestly had all the qualities of being a global smash hit.
4) Snoh Aalegra - FEELS
“But I just feel… we're arguin what's in my heart, sing it to, I never knew, no, no, all of these feels…” The best record off her ‘debut’ album is a breath of cold fresh air in the wintertime with snow on the lamp posts under the lights of time square... this sultry singer from Sweden has officially arrived and is likely to soon become a global sensation.
3) Dvsn - Keep Calm
“I shouldn't be thinkin about, what I would do if I was beside you, in a king-sized suite, layin in those sheets, you know we work it out and I keep my eyes on you, you know I figured out the secrets to your body, baby” 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 One of the best records off Morning After produced by both Nineteen85 and Noah ‘40’ Shebib, once again reaffirming how insanely talented the OVO brand is as a whole. Otherwise singer Daniel Daley is incredible on this record with a melody and performance that immediately puts him in the conversation of best new artist, in which I case I expect dvsn to be a breakthrough success before long.
2) Sevyn Streeter - Before I Do
“Truthfully (Truthfully), honestly (honestly), I need, I need, I need to believe…” Sevyn Streeter released her debut album Girl Disrupted in 2017, and this one right here is definitely a heater. Smooth R&B produced by Bernard Harvey, Micah Powell, & The Stereotypes who altogether turned in the best contemporary r&b record of the year.
1) DJ Khaled ft Rihanna & Bryson Tiller - Wild Thoughts
“I hope you know I'm for the takin, you know this cookie is for the baking (ugh), kitty, kitty, baby give that thing some rest, cause you done beat it like the '68 Jets” What more needs to be said… Rihanna is the most 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥in the game and DJ Khaled got another one … truth be told Rihanna might be more 🔥🔥🔥 than Beyonce right now, as it’s these types of moments that have stimulated the culture more than anything, and s/o to Carlos Santana this one went global and was the undisputed song of the year.