Legacy Track of the Week: Conway - Proud of Me
"****** ain't real and they always remind you/ you mad 'cause you ask for a favor and I declined you (that's wild)/ that shit is weak, *****/ you ain't dial my number in weeks, *****/ everybody food, I gotta eat, ***** (I gotta eat *****)” Produced by the legendary Khrysis this might be the best I’ve ever heard from Conway, as unlike so many other Griselda records, this one seems to have a thoughtful purpose and for that reason it stands out.
Conway - 224 May Block
"My hood made me a killer, *****, you can see it in my eyes (You can see it in my eyes, *****)/ ever since I caught that first body, it's been murder on my mind (Yeah, it's been murder on my mind, pussy, look look)/ even my bitches on the same shit, I fuck around and get you lined (Hah! I get you lined up! Look look)/ everybody is food *****, I got murder on my mind” Produced by the legendary Alchemist this is one of the best records off EVERYBODY IS F.O.O.D. 2: Eat What You Kill, Conway's seventh credited solo mixtape since 2015.
Post Malone ft Swae Lee - Sunflower
"Then you're left in the dust, unless I stuck by ya/ You're a sunflower, I think your love would be too much “ One of the biggest records of the year was released on the soundtrack to one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, none other than Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse which in part helped this song stay in rotation through 2020 and beyond.
Robin Thicke - Testify
"I testify, I pledge allegiance to you/ this love inside, it makes me come back to you” On the lowest of keys Robin Thicke has put out some heat over the last few years, as he appears to have gone back to the basics while stepping out of the spotlight altogether.
Kodak Black - Testimony
"I'm God-sent, like He sent me up so I can relay these messages/ like He use me as his vessel, like He use me as an instrument/ tryna locked me in a box, they hate how God just keep on blessin’ me/ they locked me in a box, I pray to God this ain't my destiny” For all the theatrics and alleged criminal activity, Kodak Black is actually a lot more talented than your average mumble rapper, if that means anything to you.
Kodak Black ft Travis Scott & Offset - ZEZE
"Ice water, turned Atlantic (Freeze)/ Nightcrawlin' in the Phantom (Skrrt, Skrrt)/ Told them hoes that don't you panic/ Took an island, (Yeah) flood the mansion (Big water)” Produced by D.A. Doman this was one of the biggest mumble raps of the year, yet I’m still unsure how I feel about the video.
Kodak Black - Transgression
"I couldn't even get a letter from you and that was your gun/ You ain't send me nothin' or ask no boy, "How your lil' brother doin’?” Another strong album cut off Kodak’s sophomore album Dying to Live, which overall is very impressive in spite of all the accusations and allegations outside of music. For the record, the Hot 97 interview and the reactionary ‘outrage’ that followed was one of the dumbest moments of 2018. And to be clear, Kodak needs to do better in those moments if he’s to be an inspiration to anyone.
Kodak Black - Malcolm X.X.X.
"They tryna tell us put the bikes up and the guns down/ X was tryna buy a bike then he got gunned down/ X was tryna change his life, but he got burned down/ X wasn't ridin' with no pipe so he got gunned down/ listen, do as I say, don't do as I do/ nine out of ten, it ain't gon' end up lookin' good for you” A tribute to the late XXXtentacion who was murdered earlier that summer, Kodak Black really is more talented than damn near every mumble rapper I’ve heard alongside him, and that surprises me as I write this more than anyone.
Kodak Black - Close to the Grave
"Everybody say that I changed, say I ain't been the same/ they don't even know I'm feelin’ pain/ they don't know how I feel inside, traumatized, criminalized/ but yet I'm idolized, I swear to God sometimes I wonder why” Another one of the many good album cuts off one of the most surprising albums of the year.
Method Man ft Redman, Hanz On, & Streetlife - Episode 5 - Wild Cats
"Yo, when I ain't sober, I'm bi-polar, invite me over/ Doc be dumpin' his ashes in your baby stroller” Method Man released his sixth official solo album right before Christmas of 2018, yet it actually plays more like a collaborative album for all it’s features and guest verses. With that said, with Meth and Red together they almost always deliver.
Method Man ft Spank - The Lab
"Meth Lab and we back with them cookers, I'm out the door with the cook-up/ the quiet life and I keep it private, don't like it, then pull-up” Shaolin’s finest is still cooking with fire in 2018, even if the music collectively is still a far cry from the 90s and early 2000s.