Top 20 Pop/Rock/R&B Records of 2019


Honorable Mentions:

Marvin Gaye - Where Are We Going

“Tell me, where are we going? Oh oh, what's the future showing'?” Originally released on the Lets Get It On [Deluxe Edition] in 2001, this is another timeless classic that deserved a proper release and much more acclaim - and on another note, this song would’ve been perfect for 1999’s Life soundtrack starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence.

Marvin Gaye - Gonna Give You Respect

“You got what I need baby (don't wanna lose you)/ I don't wanna lose you/ (don't wanna, don't wanna, don't wanna lose you)/ so I'm gon' give you respect and I want to protect, our love (This love of ours, yeah, yeah, yeah)” Originally released on the 2001 Deluxe Edition of the 1973 classic Let’s Get It On, this is another record that should have had millions on the dancefloor during the height of his career - this jam right here is undeniable.

Logic - Supermarket

“Where is my girl? The one I've been waiting for/ I'd give you the world, if I wasn't stuck in this store” I can’t exactly pinpoint what genre this is, but it also doesn’t matter, and the only thing certain is that Logic is one of the more creative acts in hip-hop.

Robin Thicke - That’s What Love Can Do

“Turn a boy into a good man/ make a queen feel like a princess/ one kiss at the perfect moment/ bruises start to heal/ that's what love can do” Robin Thicke hasn’t fully rebounded from his well-publicized divorce to Paula Patton and the legal battle he lost to the Marvin Gaye estate, although the miscellaneous records he’s released since that time have all been beautiful and soulful as quiet as it’s been kept.

Blood Orange - Benzo

“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.

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 secret in mainstream R&B.

Beyonce - FIND YOUR WAY BACK

“He said, ‘find your way back/ big, big world, but you got it, baby/ find your way back/ don't let this life drive you crazy” A smooth bop produced by Bubele Booi and Magwenzi, that shares a sense of dual symbolism as it relates to Simba and Mufasa as well as Beyonce and Mathew Knowles.

Jamila Woods - BETTY

“I am not your typical girl/ throw away that picture in your head” The Chicago-based singer released her sophomore appropriately titled Legacy! Legacy!, inspired by various Black artists who shape the theme of the album, as is the case here with funk and soul singer, Betty Davis.

Snoop Dogg ft Lil Duval - Do You Like I Do

“Do you like I do” Snoop Dogg, DJ Battlecat, and Lil Duval throw it back to the 90’s with a lil New Jack Swing and it’s a monumental success. This record is a vibe 🔥 🔥🔥

20) Alicia Keys - Raise a Man

“Is it okay to love a man right now? If you understand… somebody raise a man (Ooh, ooh), raise a man” Alicia Keys released this standalone single early last year, and in a way that feels like no coincidence, the sentiments expressed in this record come off as a rebellion to overhyped misogyny and ‘toxic masculinity,’ all of which resonates further when heard from such a powerful woman.

19) Anderson .Paak ft Smokey Robinson - Make It Better

“Oh baby, do you wanna make it better?/ Do you wanna stay together? Hey, if you do, then let's please/ make some new memories” Anderson .Paak & Smokey Robinson 🔥🔥🔥 we can thank the Music Gods for this one.

18) Juice WRLD - Hear Me Calling

“Do you hear me calling? Do you hear me calling? Me no want no drama/ not a fighter, a lover” Produced by Purps this record is super catchy and Death Race for Love is a memorable body of work from a talent gone too soon.

17) Steve Lacy - N Side

“Inside, inside, tell me, is it inside? My darling” 🔥🔥🔥 In all its simplicity this is the best record off Apollo XXI and Steve Lacy’s best record to date.


16) Ty Dolla $ign ft J. Cole - Purple Emoji

“Love you forever/ when we turn like 50, I'm still gonna have all of your messages saved/ purple emojis with horns on it/ like the devil, but ain't nothin' devilish, babe” 2019 was the official J. Cole feature run after he infamously (and incredibly) went Platinum 3x over with no features, and sure enough he smoked just about every instrumental he touched 😈

15) Logic - Bohemian Trapsody

“Every night/ I grab a little piece of earth and make it ignite/ I'm a satellite, drifting through your nova at the speed of light” In between his fourth and fifth albums, YSIV and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, the one and only Logic released his first ‘soundtrack’ for a novel that he wrote of the same name, none other than Supermarket - which is unlike anything he’s released before - aside from this introduction - that is more conventional logic and is nothing but flames.

14) Avicii - Heaven

“Step out into the dawn/ you pray 'til, you pray 'til the lights come on/ and then you feel like you've just been born” Originally recorded in 2014, the record was scratched from Avicii’s sophomore album, Stories, a year later, and then only after the Swedish producer’s sudden death in 2018, was this smash hit finally released on his posthumous album TIM, complete with Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin’s vocals that gives the record its timeless feel. RIP Avicii 🙏

13) Raphael Saadiq - Sinners Prayer

“Eight millimeters/ and microscopes/ fingers on the triggers/ aimed at my dome/ they're gunnin' for me/ with loaded tongues/ just tryin' to get home/ prodigal son” The legendary Raphael Saadiq released his fifth solo album, Jimmy Lee, eight years following his previous effort, Stone Rollin, in 2011, and although it’s not as consistent front to back as Instant Vintage, Ray Ray, or The Way I See It, it still has some moments that are welcomed additions to one of the best catalogues in music.

12) SiR - John Redcorn

“Alone, every night alone/ why am I alone when I know that you want me too? Am I wrong? Tell me that I'm wrong/ tell me I deserve all the pain that you put me through, oh” 🔥🔥🔥 beautiful music inspired by the fictionalized character of the same name from King of the Hill, a connection that I never imagined would be this good.

11) Bruce Springsteen - The Wayfarer

“It's the same sad story, love and glory goin' 'round and 'round/ it's the same old cliché, a wanderer on his way, slippin' from town to town” Bruce Springsteen released his 19th studio album, Western Stars, and this track perfectly sets the tone for one of the best albums of 2019, of any genre, period. This album is incredible and one of the best surprises in recent memory.

10) Ari Lennox ft J Cole - Shea Butter Baby

“You lost in the shape of my hips/ hope there is a move/ if you really down, we can find it/ lost in an alley, make love by a trash can” The title track was also the single off the Creed II soundtrack, and complete with a J. Cole feature that was a great look for the SHROOM and Elite-produced track. Allowing it to grow on you with time, this is actually one of the best Dreamville records to date.

9) BJ The Chicago Kid ft JID, Buddy & Kent Jamz - Get Away

“You've got me flyin' home to smoke with you, yeah/ (I'll go to Houston then Atlanta, baby)/ when we fuck it feel like Vegas (Feel like Vegas)” The Chicago Kid both sings and raps on this album cut that has all kinds of sauce on it. This hook is 🔥🔥🔥

8) 2 Chainz ft Ariana Grande - Rule the World

“Top down on the Dawn like I'm used to it/ praying he make it home, I got used to it/ praying he make it home like he used to/ I realized we could rule the world” Following all the unnecessary drama created by Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings music video, the pop princess decided to appease her critics (and fans) and delivered one of the best features of the year. To her credit, she had another really good year.

7) Beyonce ft Pharrell Williams & Salatiel - WATER

"Baby, oh, I'm not much of a talker/ Baby, oh, can I drink from your water?/ Baby, oh, meet me down by the river/ We can dance to the rhythm/ 'Til the sun is high and the water runs dry" One word... Wow... this song is a religious experience packed full of life, joy, and innuendo.

6) Chris Brown ft Drake - No Guidance

“Freaky (Freaky)/ I can learn a lot from you, gotta come teach me (Woo, woo)/ You a lil' hot girl, you a lil' sweetie (No, sweet)/ Sweet like Pearland, sweet like Peachtree (Like that)” Drizzy Drake laces the bridge on one of the best Top 40 radio records of the year.

5) 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.

4) Beyonce ft SAINt JHN, Wizkid & Blue Ivy Carter - BROWN SKIN GIRL

“Tonight I might fall in love, dependin' on how you hold me/ I'm glad that I'm calmin' down, can't let no one come control me/ keep dancin' and call it love, she fightin' but fallin' slowly/ if ever you are in doubt, remember what mama told me” The most memorable record on the soundtrack is undoubtedly this smooth and catchy melody, where along with Nigeria’s own Wizkid, Biggs from Roc A Fella’s new artist SAINt JHN, and of course her own daughter, Beyonce turns in one of her most inspirational records to date.

3) Jacquees ft Lil Baby - Your Peace

“I'm tryna live my life right, right, right, right (that's all I'm tryna do, yeah, yeah)/ won't you be my peace? My peace, my peace (Come on, come on)/ Why we taking time, time, time, time, time? (What? Why we?)/ When I could be your peace, when I could be (What? Why we?)/ Now, please don't make me wait, wait (Please don't)/ I'm going out my way, way (I'm going out my way)/ I won't make you wait, wait (Nah, never)/ they couldn't take your place, place (Woo)” 🔥🔥🔥 Maybe the best R&B record of 2019 period, this John “SK” McGee and Simon Kemper production hits into a period of nostalgia and showcases Jacquees talent at it’s finest, if he put out more records like this he really would be the current King of R&B.

2) Snoh Aalegra - I Want You Around

“We can get away/ palm trees, beach views/ ordinary day/ all I wanna hear is Innervisions on replay/ and sit right next to you, you…” Snoh Aalegra had one of the best projects of 2017 with her debut FEELS, and she followed that up with a sophomore effort that although doesn’t reach the same heights collectively, it does continue her trademark sound of ‘cinematic soul’. As far singles go, however, this record produced by Rob Holladay and Cam O’bi is one of her greatest records to date.

1) Bruce Springsteen - Sundown

“I'm 25 hundred miles from where I wanna be/ it feels like a hundred years since you've been near to me/ I guess what goes around, baby, comes around/ just wishing you were here with me, in Sundown” Bruce Springsteen is an American (#Jersey) icon and this record should be included in all his Greatest Hits releases moving forward, this quality of record could almost bring rock & roll back.