“Open the door, leave me with arms exposed, oh/ outside, I saw where I belong…” Beautiful music from Devonte Hynes, who under the Blood Orange moniker released his fifth studio album, Angel’s Pulse, and this track proves the London, England-based musician has some Frank Ocean talent to his name.
Blood Orange ft BennY Revival - Seven Hours Part 1
“Figure why chase sleep, I'm tryna live a better life/ and without you, I feel I'm wasting time/ self-medicating, self-desperation/ you be in my dark thoughts when I'm on vacation” Devonte Hynes on production with the mysterious masked man known on social media as BennY Revival on the verse, who I just got hip to off this article and I still got a lot of questions.
Blood Orange - Happiness (Will Fade)
“How do you know when life will choose to fade away? How do you know if you've been wrong?” More flame 🔥🔥🔥
Big K.R.I.T - Make It Easy
“Tell me you hearing the level I'm on/ put some bass in yo' tone/ Southside, outside Multi lumni’, rep that shit 'til I'm gone/ sun die, sometimes when you stand out, ain't nowhere to belong/ winner's circle, build a castle, guess I'll make this my home” K.R.I.T. released his 4th studio album, K.R.I.T. IZ HERE, and produced by Luke Witherspoon and DJ Camper this is a nice tone-setter for the rest of the sermon.
Big K.R.I.T. ft Saweetie & Lil Wayne - Addiction
“Yeah, divin' board, all aboard/ say it feel like water, I'ma be her waterboard/ better yet, her Aquaman, let me put my goggles on/ I'ma go underwater, let me get my snorkel on” Produced by Rico Love and Don Corleone, this is a nice blend of all talent involved, including the Wayne verse highlighted above.
Big K.R.I.T. ft Rico Love - Obvious
“I caught a plane for you/ I came to your town, you know I never do that/ I said I'd change for you/ girl, I was low-down, but now I'm better than that/ to make it more obvious…” Rico Love is all over this K.R.I.T. album and helps the Mississippi native record his best commercial record to date. Also, this is a good time to reiterate that Rico Love remains the best kept in mainstream R&B.
Big K.R.I.T. ft Baby Rose - Everytime
“Three pointer in the corner, Ray Allen, I'm on it/ floater off the backboard, LeBron in the moment/ Griffey at the plate, I ball with the fam/ I'm Vince Carter in Toronto, I'm good for a slam/ AI with the practice, I'm born with the gift/ Michael Jordan with the tears when it got to a chip” On the lowest of keys this is one of the best sports-related hip-hop records in recent memory, whereas not even any other comes to mind, and this one is for its tone is a class of its own regardless.
Big K.R.I.T, - Believe
“This is bigger than the color green/ this is Denzel in the last scene/ of a Spike Lee joint, Malcolm X story/ necessary by any means” A revolutionary type of record that K.R.I.T. does so well.
Big K.R.I.T. ft J. Cole - Prove It
“Allow me to use this feature/ to shout out one of the first fans that a ***** ever had named Felicia I was brand new to the game, wasn't used to no fame/ so it was unusual when I would land in a city and see you at baggage claim” Amidst his long-awaited feature run in 2019, J. Cole laces this WOLFE de MCHLS production on his third collaboration with K.R.I.T., following two tracks released in 2012 that included DJ Khaled’s “They Ready” and Trae the Truth’s “I’m On 2.0”
Big K.R.I.T. - Blue Flame Ballet
“I saw ballet at the strip club/ sat and watched the whole play at the strip club/ I'm talkin' shows on Broadway at the strip club/ I saw ballet at the strip club” Produced by K.R.I.T. himself, the sentiment and delivery behind this track is pure genius.
Kool Keith - Makem Crazy
“All the girls looking for the He-Man action figure…” Kool Keith released his 17th solo album, KEITH, fully produced by Psycho Les of the Beatnuts and with features from Paul Wall, Jeru the Damaja, and B-Real, all of which helps the South Bronx legend tap into a nostalgic sound that’s a breath of fresh air.
Inspectah Deck - Can’t Stay Away
“I fiend to hear the sound through the woofer/ I love hip hop, more than Tay and Sanaa in Brown Sugar” One of Wu-Tang’s soldiers makes an ode to hip-hop and it’s music to my ears.
Inspectah Deck - Chamber #9
“They are sicker than the white kid with the AR/ ruder than the Cuban dude with the face scar” Inspectah Deck has always been super nice and is arguably the most underrated out of the Wu-Tang Clan.
Inspectah Deck ft Cappadonna & Hellfire - 24K
“New York survivor, raw supplier, talk lava/ dragon breath with Phoenix heat, I’m more fire/ and y’all liars, get caught up in the crossfire/ I’m 7:30, too early walking the short wire” Shaolin🔥🔥🔥
Inspectah Deck ft Mz. Geminii - Dolla Signs
“Dolla signs in his eyes/ they on the prize, sure to rise, move, make her feel like he paralyzed, tryna (get that money!)/ big bomb in this socks/ he even sell it to his mom and his pops, gotta (get that money!)”💲💲💲
Quavo ft Saweetie - Too Much Shaft
“Who you gon’ call? It’s a shootout (Blaow)/ black man looking for a way out (Shaft)” Not a bad look for the new Shaft soundtrack.
French Montana ft City Girls - Wiggle It
“I'll wiggle it, wiggle it, wiggle it/ you gotta spend that shit, spend that shit, spend that shit” Produced by Ben Billions this one was right on time for the Hot Girl Summer.
Wale ft Jeremih - On Chill
“I'm gettin' mine like fine wine measured in time/ many other brothers loved you but this pleasure is mine” For one of Wale’s most successful moments of his career, he flips a sample of Raphael Saadiq’s classic “Ask of You” record, puts Jeremih on the hook and the rest was radio history. All the same, though, this one doesn’t even come close to that Higher Learning feel.
Ed Sheeran ft Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock - Cross Me
“And she ain't messin' with no other man/ and me and her have something different/ I really need all you to understand/ that nobody's comin' close” Ed Sheeran released his fourth official studio album, No. 6 Collaborations Project, and with production from Fred again… this was one of the better pop records of the year.
Ed Sheeran ft Stormzy - Take Me Back to London
“But that's my fault (Oh)/ grossed half a billi' on the Divide Tour (Oh)/ yes, I ain't kidding, what would I lie for? (Oh)/ but now I'm back on the track with Big Michael (Woah)” Ed Sheeran with the bars on a grime record and it actually works, to my own surprise I’m not even mad at this.
Ed Sheeran ft Justin Bieber - I Don’t Care
“'Cause I don't care when I'm with my baby, yeah/ all the bad things disappear/ and you're making me feel like maybe I am somebody/ I can deal with the bad nights/ when I'm with my baby, yeah/ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh” Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber put their superhero powers together to create the best commercial pop record of 2019, with special thanks to Max Martin, Shellback, and Fred again…, the latter of whom’s production is all over this album.
Ed Sheeran ft Ella Mai - Put It All on Me
“It's you and only you/ who can be takin’ away/ the shit that I go through each and every day”🔥🔥🔥 I’m almost ready to put Sheeran in that Timberlake category.
Elle Varner - Coffee On The Roof
“Catching feelings, catching feelings for you/ catching feelings that I'm barely feeling, but it's true/ catching feelings for you” The LA by way of Brooklyn songstress released her sophomore album, Ellevation, in 2019, seven years after her debut Perfectly Imperfect was led by a young and memorable J. Cole feature, and all this time later the music and aesthetics are still there.
Elle Varner ft Rapsody - Wishing Well
“And even though it hurt like hell/ I cried tears in the wishing well/ I still wish you well/ I still, I still wish you well” Rapsody laces this production that picks up momentum as it plays, this is one of the better cuts on the album.
Elle Varner - Number One Song
“I probably think about you all day long/ stuck in my head like a number-one song/ stuck in my dreams, it’s a nightmare sometimes/ I'll probably think of you the rest of my life” A timeless record that somehow went completely ignored in 2019, nonetheless this is beautiful music that cuts deep to the soul, and will remain in the universe forever.