The Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight

After releasing what some may consider a timeless classic, how does one attempt to make a comparable record one year later? While it’s not an easy task, Travis Scott made the attempt and surprisingly came close to achieving the level of perfection that Rodeo strived to be. Released in 2016, Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight is the second studio album by Travis Scott and his second attempt at making another great album.

The album starts off with “the ends”, which is a solid reintroduction into the world of Travis Scott. On “the ends”, Travis discusses growing up in Atlanta as a child and how it shaped him into the man he is today. The song also features André 3000 as he too discusses where he came from and how the murder of children was becoming an all too familiar topic for him growing up. These murders and crimes made André 3000 give up on religion and rather focus on surviving during his childhood. The next song is “way back” and continues the narrative of Travis Scott and his life growing up in Atlanta. As one may recall, Travis decided to leave his mother’s porch in order to pursue fame, however, fame isn’t as easy it seems for him. At only two songs in, Travis is tired of the fake people and traitors in his life and decides it’s best for them to be removed. He also notes that he has lost his freedom to be public because he knowingly would end up in a scandal.

The next song, “coordinate” is simply a song about embracing the lavish life he worked hard for and how he has learned to always aim for more even when he has everything that he truly needs in life. In this song, money flies in and out of Travis’s pockets all while he makes sure to match his outfit each day. While this is more of a less serious song, “coordinate” gives an introspective into his life now that he’s a hip-hop icon. “through the late night” is a highlight for Travis because it features his idol, Kid Cudi. The two further embrace the rich and famous lifestyle as they continuously sleep and party each and every day. However, Travis decides to rap a verse from Kid Cudi’s hit song “Day ‘N’ Nite” from 2008. This is notable because while Kid Cudi was fighting his mental health in this song, Travis is fighting the lifestyle he wound up in. Both men experience different forms of stress and both seek peace, but they are from two very different worlds. The feature of Kid Cudi and the reuse of his verse by Travis show how these two worlds can turn into a nightmare. With Kid Cudi dealing with mental health issues and Travis dealing with the problems of being a celebrity, they unknowingly created a monster that only seeks to sleep and party constantly.

After “through the late night”, “beibs in the trap” is another monster that Travis has created since becoming a celebrity a year prior. This time, the topic of hard drug use is the main theme of “beibs in the trap”. With NAV appearing as an apparent influencer, Travis descends into temptation by considering cocaine use. With partying taking over his life in “through the late night”, Travis must now deal with the monster of hard drug use. This is further explored in the next track “sdp interlude” which has Travis seemingly encourage smoking, drinking, and abusing pills. After the interlude, Travis runs into another monster in his life. “sweet sweet” is about a woman who he wishes to love and be with but she has other priorities in life most notably, drugs. Travis tries to reason with the woman and win her love, but in the end, she would prefer drugs over him. After this failed attempt at love, Travis decides to reflect on those who he cares for the most and those he can always rely on. 21 Savage joins and he too is thankful for those friends in his life who have become his family. Both rappers seem satisfied with their ride or die’s in their lives and wish to continue to have this loyalty forever.

A little over halfway through the album, Travis brings Kendrick Lamar out to tell a story about being in love. Travis represents the feeling of love with the physical feeling of goosebumps. Upon sporting goosebumps, he also chokes whenever she comes around. Continuing the topic of love and bringing features, “first take” is another love song that features Bryson Tiller. Both of these rappers have found love in a non-mutual environment. While Travis teases and plays with other women, Bryson Tiller is being used for his wealth and fame. Similarly, in the next song, Travis and friends are once again denied love after their best attempt to be loyal to their women. “pick up the phone” has Young Thug, Quavo, and Travis trying to call their loves and end up being ignored in return. This monster of love has taken over many tracks on the album, but, Travis decides to begin his journey toward salvation.

Following “pick up the phone”, “lose” is about Travis realizing that he has priorities in life and can’t be held back by his monsters because he has a life that he would rather live than lose. Travis realizes that he has things at stake and decides to leave his monsters behind in order to be free of his problems. Leaving hard drugs and alcohol behind in order to live a better and cleaner life full of potential to make more money, art, and memories. But after Travis cleanses his soul, he still has to deal with his rocky relationships which he tries to do on “guidance”. Travis fools around with more women as he attempts to kick his habit but unfortunately is unable to. The final track on the album is “wonderful” which is about two friends having fun in the city together. Travis finally decides to live the life he wants to live on the 14th and final song of the album. While he fought some of his monsters over the course of the album, some still remained as Travis still smokes marijuana and still has relationship issues.

Now, what if those monsters weren’t entirely real for Jacques Webster? What if Travis  Scott created these monsters, situations, and songs as an attempt to deflect himself away from them. Travis has been known to not be a user of hard drugs and has also been with Kylie Jenner since 2017 and has since had a daughter with her. Travis never had to deal with drugs and alcohol abuse because of his upbringing in Atlanta. As detailed early on in the album, growing up wasn’t easy for a child in Atlanta and Travis did everything he could to escape that lifestyle that he could’ve ended up in if it wasn’t smart and careful. Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight is an exploration of what could’ve happened to Travis if he didn’t play his cards right after Rodeo came out. Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight is simply just a worst case scenario for Travis, but, this scenario has gone platinum and debuted at number one upon release. While it is the second album in his catalog, it is not the narrative successor to Rodeo, as AstroWorld is considered to be. Regardless, Birds In The Trap Sing McKnight serves as a reminder that bad decisions plague the world and that one bad move can result in a life of misery, corruption, and torture because of one’s wrong choice.

3×3 Monday’s 6/24/19

Figure It Out – French Montana ft. Kanye West & Nas

I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not a huge French Montana fan, however, “Figure It Out” is most likely his best song to date. The song is serious as it discusses topics of death, imprisonment, and honesty. While French Montana isn’t considered to be a deep and serious rapper, he really outdid himself with this song especially with the inclusion of Nas. Nas is another rapper I wasn’t a big fan of at first but after this song and NASIR, my opinion on the legendary rapper has changed. Add in Kanye West for bonus points and you get a solid sentimental track that invokes inner emotions.


Slayerr – Tm88 ft. Lil Uzi Vert

This song is my second time being exposed to Tm88’s work with the first being “Been Thru a Lot” back in 2016. “Slayerr”, however, is my newest favorite song from Tm88 as Lil Uzi Vert takes the song and makes it his own. The song is very reminiscent of Luv Is Rage 2 and brings the colorful yet dark-toned sound that we’ve come to love and expect from Uzi. I really like Tm88’s production on this song too and their teamwork definitely brings the track to a new height.


Cops Shot The Kid – Nas ft. Kanye West

As previously mentioned, I wasn’t a big fan of Nas for quite some time. I never understood the hype of Illmatic but I heavily enjoyed his songs “Hate Me Now” and “I Can”. I didn’t listen to NASIR when it came out last year but upon my first listen I fell in love with it. “Cops Shot The Kid” is my favorite song on the album and the Slick Rick sample completes the song in my opinion. I plan to listen to more of Nas’ discography down the road because if it’s anything like this song, I’m surely going to become a huge fan of Nas and his legendary status.

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Panini – Lil Nas X

“Panini” is Lil Nas X’s second single from his newest EP titled 7. This song is so simple and fun that it prompts me to bob my head and bounce with joy. I hope this song blows up like “Old Town Road” did because it truly deserves recognition for its addicting sound. I cannot wait to hear what Lil Nas X has to offer after and “Panini”.


Soul Glo – B.o.B

I am a huge B.o.B stan and that will never change. Bobby Ray is one of my favorite musicians and has been since his commercial debut in 2010. Flat-Earth theories aside, he is one of the most creative, consistent, and unique rappers in the industry. The music video for “Soul Glo” serves as a homage to the classic Eddie Murphy film, Coming to America. This song is surely going to make one smile with happiness because of its infectious rhythm and beat that is complemented by a catchy chorus. I am still currently listening to his newest release “Southmatic”, but I can highly recommend this song as a place to start.

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Honey – 070 Shake

I have been a huge 070 Shake fan since her debut in 2016 and even got to see her in concert. Her voice is so unique that she can match pretty much every beat given to her and can switch from rapping to singing with ease. Her versatility is what makes Honey such a standout song from her discography. Honey is a great song to get you hype but can also be interpreted in a sad way if looked at from a different viewpoint. I think 070 Shake deserves way more credit than she’s gotten and I’m forever glad that Kanye West gave her a spot to shine in 2018.

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Ransom – Lil Tecca

I just heard this song for the first time last week and haven’t stopped listening to it since. Lil Tecca’s rhymes are very smooth and the beat compliments his delivery very well. I’m glad this song blew up as much as it did because Lil Tecca honestly deserves credit because of this song. I hope we see more of him this year and maybe even a project release.

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Zulu Screams – GoldLink ft. Maleek Berry & Bibi Bourelly

Being one of the more successful rappers from the DMV means that GoldLink has come a long way from his debut in 2014. With his debut album Diaspora being an album I really enjoyed this year, I must highlight one of the best songs from the album. “Zulu Screams” is a song you cannot help but dance to as GoldLink glides over the beat like he usually does. With the beat being more of a dance or house type it is refreshing to see him experiment with this particular sound because I think it works very well for him. I would love to see what else he can do with this sound in the future.

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Dots & Lines – Lupe Fiasco

Lupe Fiasco has always been a special kind of rapper with his innovative way of telling stories through albums but it should be known that out of these stories come hidden gems. “Dots & Lines” has stellar production as it sounds like an old western tune mixed with classic rapping. Lupe Fiasco really killed it with this song and it makes me want to listen to all of his discography especially Tetsuo & Youth.

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Another Neighbor (Poem)

I remember you were afflicted

Misusing your influence

Sometimes I did the same

Abusing my power for only self-interest

Self-Interest that turned into a deep obsession

I found myself blissfully unaware in my matchstick mansion

I didn’t know I was about to combust

The evils of Lucy was all around me

So I ran from the answers

To chase the spark I hadn’t felt in so long

But that didn’t stop the turn of consequence

Going back and forth looking at the bridges I’ve burned

Or maybe who the author of this fire was

And while that home we had built was burning around me

I ignored all of them

Embracing a cycle of self-sabotage and greed

It made me want to run back into that burning home that I had built

Unable to see the fire was my own creation

Just because the next house you build doesn’t feel like that home

Doesn’t mean it can’t become your home

Hoping for warmth from the ashes doesn’t mean that warmth is denied to us

If I may welcome you, make yourself at home by the fire

But shit I don’t know

I’m no betting man

Maybe I’m just another neighbor.

-Dan Glennon (ZiggyStarscream – Twitter and Instagram)

I Was Wrong About Kids See Ghosts

Kids See Ghosts came out on June 8th, 2018 and my opinion on it has bothered me ever since. When this album was first played during the live stream I wasn’t a fan of the sound and style and immediately dismissed the album as something I wouldn’t enjoy. That night I stayed up for many hours with the album on repeat, especially the song “Reborn”. When I wrote my article I took the approach that the album was a project made by friends for the populous to enjoy as an experience rather than a traditional album. But, after numerous relistens, I came to the conclusion that I was wrong on three occasions.

My first fault was labeling the album as purely an experience when in reality, Kids See Ghosts stands as an album but also as an experience. Kid Cudi and Kanye West made this album to celebrate their years of friendship and wanted to share this musical masterpiece with us, the fans. By doing so, they invoked the true power of friendship in their work and created a way in which the album can be taken as an experience, an experience of true friendship. This album is full of emotions that the two men share throughout each song. Songs like “Freeee” detail being free of your demons while Reborn showcases becoming someone new, free of demons and sins of the past. These two songs flow perfectly together as do all of the songs on this album. Emotions take full control when it comes to lyricism and it should be known that both Kanye West and Kid Cudi put their all into their words and delivery.

My next fault was saying that “Freeee (Ghost Town Pt.2)” should’ve been left off the album because of the “Ghost Town” name. After multiple listens, this song has become one of my favorite songs on the album and potentially of 2018. The whole idea of losing your demons and moving on is a strong message that I’m sure I and many others could relate to. I thoroughly enjoy this song and have learned to ignore the “Ghost Town” title because I still believe it’s better off without it.

My final mistake was on my 2018 Best Albums List when I gave Jay Rock’s Redemption the number one slot on my list. I gave Kids See Ghosts the number three spot while Dance Gavin Dance took second place. I firmly believe that after listening to these three albums many times, Kids See Ghosts is my album of the year. Jay Rock did a great job on Redemption but I just do not see myself listening to this album as often as I do Kids See Ghosts. If I were to amend the list, Kids See Ghosts is my number one spot with Dance Gavin Dance taking second still, and Jay Rock in third. I must give it to Kanye West and Kid Cudi for not only being my two favorite artists of all time but also making one of my favorite albums of all time and especially of 2018.

I intend to use my experience with Kids See Ghosts as an opportunity to learn from my mistakes. Never again will I write something off because I didn’t enjoy it at first but rather give it time and give it a fair retry. Kids See Ghosts has taught me a lot about feelings and humanity and I, in turn, wish to keep these lessons close as I move forward through life.

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Lil Nas X – 7 EP Review

Lil Nas X has had quite the start in the music industry with “Old Town Road” being an 8x-platinum record and has become an anthem for multiple generations throughout 2019. Lasting on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 11 weeks has surely given the young artist some inspiration to outdo himself for his first official EP release of 7. Each song on 7 is shorter than three minutes and all have their own unique identity. It’s time to examine each song on Lil Nas X’s debut to see if he’s really worthy of the hype.

Old Town Road Remix

Not much can be said about this song that hasn’t already been said. This is one of my favorite songs of 2019 and definitely should be recognized as a country song on all accounts.


“Panini” is surely going to be Lil Nas X’s second big hit as it seemingly begs to be played on the radio. Supposedly, Lil Nas X accidentally took notes from Nirvana when making this song by interpolating the song “In Bloom”. This song is melodic, fun, and has the name of a sandwich thus meaning that it cannot do wrong. I wouldn’t be surprised if this song blows up and takes over the charts in the near future. This is probably my second favorite song on 7.

F9mily (You & Me)

This song is produced by Travis Barker and takes on a punkish vibe throughout it’s two minute and 43-second runtime which marks it as the longest song on the album. The song explores a family dynamic which has Lil Nas X explaining that he wants to find love and have a child with his lover. While he’s only 20 years old and one of the most known artists of the decade it is probably fair to assume that his love and child won’t be here anytime soon but in the end, he is allowed to dream after all. But besides his fantasies, this song has great production by Travis Barker and shows how flexible Lil Nas X is when it comes to experimenting in different genres.

Kick It

“Kick It” is the most self-realized song on the whole EP. On this song, Lil Nas X discusses his fame and the notorious Billboard issues that came with “Old Town Road”. He also mentions his infamous teasing of different tracks over the past few months, some of which weren’t featured on this project. With some slick rhymes and flow and a great saxophone on the track, “Kick It” is one of the better songs to be on this EP.


“Rodeo” stands out as one of the more controversial tracks on the EP because of its inclusion of Cardi B. Personally, this song is great in regards to Lil Nas X’s verse and chorus but the problematic area is the second verse with Cardi B. Her inclusion doesn’t really add much except an annoying voice to a decent beat. Cardi B could’ve been swapped for anyone and it would result in a more entertaining song. While someone like Travis Scott would be a dream feature on a song called “Rodeo”, one can only wish it could’ve worked out that way. Regardless, half of this song is enjoyable and the other half is just underwhelming.

Bring U Down

“Bring U Down” is the second punk/rock influenced song on 7 and a great song overall. Lil Nas X claimed that this song is about jealousy when it comes to others becoming successful in their respective industries. The lyrics support this claim because they’re simply doing exactly what Lil Nas X said, bringing people down by using evidence. This song is clever as it details something that happens often especially when it comes to celebrities. Lil Nas X has every right to be concerned about getting caught in a scandal in 2019 because it would inevitably ruin his career.


This is the last new song to be featured on 7, and perhaps one of the best songs on the EP. It’s a full-on mood and definitely one to be listened to on repeat. The chorus even reminds me of the WZRD song, “Teleport 2 Me, Jamie” which features Kid Cudi wishing his partner was back with him. While oppositely, this song has Lil Nas X packing up his bags and leaving for a better life. The sound of this song is rather nice and hopefully can be furthered explored in another future project.

Old Town Road

Like the remix, this song has already been discussed in full by seemingly everyone. It’s catchy and fun just like every other song on this EP. While I wish there were more countryish songs on 7, I think it’s appropriate to be thankful for the remix we got of this song.

Overall, this EP is a great start for the young artist and I cannot wait to see where the success of 7 will take him moving forward. Lil Nas X has broken boundaries, released a solid EP, and an 8x-platinum song all within a year in an attempt to show that he’s much more than a one-hit wonder and that he plans on taking over the music industry with each release. I give this EP a high recommendation as it’s only 18 minutes long and each song is unique and filled with character by Lil Nas X.

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Favorite Song Friday #9


“Forgot About Dre”


Dr. Dre is without a doubt one of the most influential, successful, and known talents in all of hip-hop. Being a member of N.W.A surely gave Dr. Dre his notoriety but it wasn’t until his 1992 album The Chronic came out. This album is a classic in every way and still stands the test of time even today. This album also marked the introduction of legendary musician Snoop Dogg, however, today’s song comes from Dr. Dre’s sophomore album, 2001. “Forgot About Dre” served as the second single from the album following “Still D.R.E” in 1999. Eminem makes a guest appearance on the song and instantly gives this song a new sense of purpose and liveliness.

“Forgot About Dre” prompts a simple question to the listeners when Dr. Dre ponders if he can ever truly be forgotten. With two classic albums, a history with N.W.A, and being responsible for introducing Eminem and Snoop Dogg to the musical world can Dr. Dre ever be left out of the conversation? Dr. Dre hits hard on this track when he firmly answers this question by flaunting his wealth, lifestyle, and lyrical prowess throughout the song. Eminem comes through for Dr. Dre by detailing some of Dr. Dre’s accomplishments and reiterating that he should never be forgotten about. Additionally, Eminem adds his own twisted lyrics into the track and show that Eminem too should be known and respected. Fast-forward almost 20 years later and Dr. Dre is one of the most iconic rappers of all time especially with his well-known endeavor of “Beats by Dre”. Eminem too is regarded as a legend by many even if his newer work doesn’t stack up against his early albums. Dr. Dre not only reintroduced himself into the rap game with “Forgot About Dre” but he also reminded everyone that he will never be forgotten.

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Favorite Song Friday #8


“Wait For Me”


Big Sean is perhaps not one of the first artists that come to mind when you mention the word “underrated” but in my book, he is the definition of the word. After a slew of mixtapes, Big Sean released his debut album Finally Famous in 2011 and with it came “Wait For Me”. The song is rather upbeat while it discusses the trials and tribulations of relationships when becoming rich and famous. In this song, Big Sean details how he lost his girlfriend due to his work and ponders if it’s too late for him to get her back during the chorus. I personally love this song and album because of Big Sean’s dedication to his craft and the infusing of his personal feelings into his lyrics. However, this song also features Lupe Fiasco and we get to hear some fun wordplay and rhymes from him.

Lupe’s verse also discusses how his musical career has kept him running late and missing many opportunities in life. Instead of feeling regret, Lupe simply says to give up and be late for everything rather than on time. I really enjoy the chemistry that these two exhibit on the track as it’s my favorite song on the album by far. Big Sean is severely underrated in hip-hop but with songs such as this, he can be given credit for his great lyrics and delivery that gave him the opportunity to be where he is now.

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3×3 Monday’s 5/27/19


While I’m fairly new to Masego and his music, I have become a huge fan ever since a good friend of mine recommended him to me. His song “I DO EVERYTHING!” is a fun tune where we listen to Masego list off all of his talents and how much he can accomplish in the world of music. The song is playful and exciting as we hear all that he can do in order to create music in his world. The song fits well as the closer to his 2016 album, Loose Thoughts but can also be enjoyed as an entertaining song at any time.


Outside – The Weeknd

Feeling lonely and sad recently has brought me back to one of my most favorite artists of all time. The Weeknd never ceases to help my mind when times get tough, and “Outside” is no exception. Heartbreak is no joke and The Weeknd knows that thus giving us a relatable song that everyone can feel connected to. With such a great discography the choose from, I chose “Outside” because I feel like it is often forgotten about when it comes to The Weeknd’s amazing music history.


Bring the Pain – Method Man

The oldest song on this weeks 3×3 Monday is “Bring the Pain” by Method Man on his 1994 album, Tical. Method Man’s flow on this song brings pure joy and brings a special edge to listen to. I think this song is fairly hard to write about because it just works in every way imaginable. The song is sleek, Method Man is smooth, and the song itself it a complete work of art. I highly recommend this song to any fan of the Wu-Tang Clan or 90’s hip-hop.


Bottle Service – YG

“Bottle Service” is a brand new song from Compton rapper YG from his album “4REAL 4REAL”. I believe his newest album is outstanding and this track is another reason to present my case for this opinion. “Bottle Service” is very similar to his other 2019 song, “Stop Snitchin” whereas they’re both lively and amusing to listen to. I personally prefer “Bottle Service” over “Stop Snitchin” but both are great songs from YG this year. “Bottle Service” is a catchy song and definitely worth putting in your playlist for this Summer.


PUPPET – Tyler, The Creator

Much like YG’s newest album, IGOR from Tyler, The Creator is another wonderful album release from 2019. “PUPPET” is a sad song that disguises itself as a slow and melodic love song. With an unnamed feature by Kanye West, “PUPPET” stands out on the album IGOR for good reason. While I fully recommend IGOR to anyone and everyone, I think many will find this song to be one of it not the best song on the album hands down.


Nameless – Lil Keed

I only found out about this song three days ago and I absolutely love it. Lil Keed did a great job on this song and making it a memorable tune. I’ve had this song on repeat ever since I heard it a few days ago and I plan to keep it that way until I get tired of it. I haven’t heard his 2018 release, Keed Talk To ‘Em but I plan to when I have the time assuming the album is similar to this song. I actually would like to shoutout Rico Nasty for playing this song during one of her Instagram live streams because I doubt I would’ve heard it otherwise.


Like I Ain’t – Tech N9ne

Tech N9ne is a rapper with one of the greatest discographies in all of hip-hop and “Like I Ain’t” is a stroll down memory lane for Tech N9ne. In this song, Tech lists many of his accomplishments and collaborations with other rappers and musicians during his career. I really enjoy this song because it shows how prolific Tech N9ne has been for the past 20 years. Tech N9ne has been one of my favorite rappers for many years and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us in the future now that he’s reached his 20-year mark.


I’M DOPE – Tobe Nwigwe

Much like “Nameless” I recently discovered this song and have listened to it many times since my discovery. Tobe Nwigwe is a unique voice in hip-hop because of a majority of his songs barely even song like hip-hop in the first place. “I’M DOPE” is a smooth and laidback song that allows Tobe to explore his musical talent while referencing Dave Chappelle in the chorus. I really enjoy this song and have already dove into Tobe’s work and I really like what I’ve heard so far.


Come Closer – A Boogie Wit da Hoodie ft. Queen Naija

“Come Closer” feels like a blast from the past and I couldn’t possibly like it any more than I already do. Sampling Justin Timberlake’s “Cry Me a River” is a genius move on the producers part and Boogie rides that wave all the way throughout the fairly short song. Boogie’s flow and rhymes are on point the whole time and the feature by Queen Naija fits perfectly as if she was made for this song. I really like this song and I hope he dabbles in this sound again in the future.

hoodie szn_a boogie wit da hoodie


My 10 Favorite Songs of 2019 So Far (Easter 2019)

So far 2019 has been a fairly good year for music especially when you count many great album releases from artists such as Boogie, 2 Chainz, and Kevin Abstract so far. Here is a list of my ten favorite songs to come out so far in 2019!

10. ON GOD – Juice Wrld ft. Young Thug

Juice Wrld has been on a streak recently with releases and Death Race For Love is no exception. This 22 song album has some notable hits such as “Robbery” and “Hear Me Calling”, however, I believe the best song on this album is “ON GOD”. The song “ON GOD” features Young Thug and shows the insane chemistry that the two have together. With the two interweaving together they form a meticulous yet infectious song that ranks at 10 for this year’s list so far.


9. Rainy Days – Boogie ft. Eminem

Boogie’s album Everythings For Sale is one of my favorite album’s to come out this year and I cannot wait to see what else the Compton rapper has to offer. But, for now, we are gifted with “Rainy Days” featuring Eminem. “Rainy Days” is a smooth song that Boogie glides over until the Eminem verse starts. Eminem hijacks the track in order to provide us with some typical Eminem wordplay that we’ve all come to either love or hate, but, it ultimately compliments the song and Boogie’s performance. Boogie already has my attention in 2019 and I cannot wait to see what his next project will be.


8. Numb Numb Juice – ScHoolboy Q

In less than two minutes ScHoolboy Q made one of the hardest, catchiest, and energized songs of the year. With his album release right around the corner, I think “Numb Numb Juice” was the best choice to be this album’s lead single. If CrasH Talk is anything like this song, I believe we are in for an unparalleled treat from ScHoolboy Q.


7. Venom – Little Simz

I’ll admit that I’m new to Little Simz and British rap overall, aside from Skepta, however, I regret sleeping on her and this style of rap. “Venom” has one of the most intimidating beats of the year as the strings and drums intrude your ears. Little Simz holds nothing back when it comes to “Venom” and it shows. This song is full of aggressive lines that match the intrusive beat. I really enjoyed her 2019 album GREY Area and highly recommend it the same way it was recommended to me by one of my closest friends.


6. Sanguine Paradise – Lil Uzi Vert

Release issues aside, “Sanguine Paradise” is one of the most enjoyable songs so far this year. While we wait for the eventual release of Eternal Atake we have “Sanguine Paradise” to listen to in the meantime. The beat is so pleasurable and Lil Uzi Vert’s lyricism and delivery compliment it so well in every way. I love this song and would rank it higher if 2019 wasn’t already so stacked with hits. Until then, we wait for Eternal Atake and hope for its eventual release in 2019.



J. Cole came out swinging in January with the release of his song, “MIDDLE CHILD”. J. Cole stops at nothing to say what is on his mind and how it the entertainment industry makes him feel. With the powerful horns and gratifying beat, J. Cole sets the standard for hip-hop hits in 2019. I really hope we see another album from him besides his anticipated Revenge of the Dreamers III album that will be coming out this year. Until then, we are gifted with “MIDDLE CHILD” to tide us over until his next release.


4. Old Town Road – Remix – Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus

Lil Nas X is perhaps the greatest rapper to emerge so far in 2019. The mixing of country with rap wasn’t easy as we’ve seen with other attempts in the past, however, he not only did this but got Billy Ray Cyrus to come on for a feature. Billy Ray Cyrus presumably joined the song to protest Billboard and their classification of “Old Town Road” as a non-country hit. No matter what it’s genre is considered by Billboard, “Old Town Road” is one of my favorite songs so far in 2019 and I cannot wait to see what else Lil Nas X has for us this year.


3. Trap – SAINt JHN ft. Lil Baby

SAINt JHN is one hell of a vocalist and his newest song “Trap” only reaffirms my point. “Trap” has what might just be favorite beat of the year so far and paired with SAINt JHN’s vocal range creates a beautiful sound that is only further perfected by the inclusion of Lil Baby. The feature by Lil Baby is brief and a nice little touch to add more character to the already wonderful song. I really hope his next album has songs that mimic this vocal range and beat so that I may fill my lists with more SAINt JHN songs.


2. Momma I Hit A Lick – 2 Chainz ft. Kendrick Lamar

To say that “Momma I Hit A Lick” is 2 Chainz’ s best song would be an understatement. “Momma I Hit A Lick” is the ultimate 2 Chainz song. This song features 2 Chainz giving some of his best lines but above all else, the Kendrick Lamar feature makes the song a classic. Kendrick Lamar hits hard with his voice changing abilities that compliment the beat so well one could assume that these two were made for each other. 2 Chainz really goes all out in terms of lyrics, vocals, features, and presentation to deliver my second favorite song of 2019.


1. Georgia – Kevin Abstract

Kevin Abstract is a musical genius whether it’s his involvement in Brockhampton or his solo work, he is a genius in all sense of the word. “Georgia” is a simple yet satisfactory song that can connect with anyone and everyone. Kevin Abstract brings back his iconic vocal modulation for “Georgia” in order to paint the landscape with vivid and familiar images that we can all relate to. I cannot wait to see what Brockhampton and Kevin Abstract have in store for 2019 but if this is any indication I think it will be an incredible year for music.







Gorgeous: The Complications of Tenacity

How simple is it to convey messages about hate, racism, proving oneself, and success? The answer here: is not simple at all, unless you’re a genius. Kanye West conveyed these messages, broke social barriers, and created a memorable beat all in one song. “Gorgeous” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is one of Kanye’s greatest songs to date.

The Intro/Kanye

At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of “Gorgeous” due to the distortion effect added onto Kanye West’s voice, however, after focusing on the lyrics, sample, and chorus I have come to appreciate this song as my third favorite Kanye West song of all time. The distortion effect gives a special layer of emotion to Kanye’s voice as it matches the sample from Enoch Lights and the Glittering Guitars song “You Showed Me” which samples the Turtles song of the same name. With the guitar sample and effect in full, Kanye is able to dig deep into this song, especially when he recruits Kid Cudi for the venomous chorus. Kanye starts his verse by highlighting the racial injustice and blatant discriminative actions that plague the country. Kanye understands these problems but he takes it upon himself to warn others of the corrupt system and how they’re all a part of it whether they want to or not.

Kanye Pt.2

In this section, Kanye points out the necessity of hip-hop for teens as they need role models to follow similar to a religious practice. Kanye West has often proclaimed himself to be a god throughout his career and this verse seemingly shows that he wouldn’t mind leading the new generation as their God, going so far as to compare himself to civil rights leader Malcolm X when he says “Malcolm West had the whole nation standing at attention.” However, Kanye goes on to claim that being a role model isn’t the full extent of his goals and that he wants to be the greatest rapper that there can be. Kanye will stop at nothing to be the best but there are always going to be forces against him every step of the way.

Kanye Pt.3

In his final verse of the song, Kanye decides to talk about how he is determined to be the successive icon that he truly wants to become even if it has its problems. He even shows this by stating how his problems won’t leave him, referencing a Beatles track in the line “I was looking at my resume feeling real fresh today, they rewrite history, I don’t believe in yesterday.” This is Kanye stating how no matter how far he comes, history can be rewritten and it can all be taken away from him. He continues this sentiment with the now iconic line “What’s a black Beatle anyway, a fucking roach? I guess that’s why they got me sitting in fucking Coach.” This is Kanye continuing his Beatle reference from the previous line, and showing how even as a musician who’s accomplished as many musical feats as the Beatles, he will never be shown the same amount of respect, and that’s why he’s seated in Coach, behind First-Class. Kanye knows he’s back on the rise at this time in 2010 and doesn’t plan on stopping soon. Kanye seeks a lot in “Gorgeous” and whether it’s fame, success, or worship he is always set on achieving his goals. Kanye ends this verse by reaffirming his tenacity of becoming the best rapper in the world.


The last verse in Gorgeous is a guest verse from legendary Staten Island rapper Raekwon. At face value, one might mistake Raekwon’s appearance on this politically charged track to be redundant to the themes in the first three verses, but as a whole, it actually adds value to and perspective to verse three, as well to the themes of the album as a whole. Kanye spends his time on Gorgeous addressing America’s twisted views on African Americans and how it’s affected him personally. Raekwon uses his verse to paint a different picture, a black man who has risen above the racial injustice and become an icon himself. Raekwon starts off with “I done copped Timbs, lived in lenses, kid, Armani suits, fresh fruits Bally boots and Benzes.” Right away we can tell that Raekwon is somebody who’s successful. He lives a life of designer clothing and luxury cars, he also references his time in the spotlight, being followed by paparazzi and the media with the “lived in lenses” line. He would then go on to rap about Louis bags, and red Jaguars, to truly show the extent to which he has succeeded in his life. The tone of this guest feature changes and circles back to the themes addressed before when Raekwon calls back to his own time at the bottom of the pyramid with the line “Throwing dice for decimals the older head, bolder head, would train a soldier head, make sure he in the right field, not a soldier dead.” grimey, right? This is Raekwon making callbacks to where he would shoot dice for small amounts of money, and how the elders in his neighborhood would “train” the youth to know the ins and outs of the streets because a mistake could get them killed. Raekwon closes out his feature with this: “Keep grinding, keep shining, to every young man, this is a plan, learn from others like your brothers, Rae and Kanye.” This is a beautiful message to send the listener off with, a message from two prolific cultural leaders that if they keep at their passions, they will rise above the injustice in America and be okay.

Kanye West attacks the idea of racism, racial profiling, and racial inequality while bringing in his own experiences into the light. With Kid Cudi giving a ghostly chorus about being afraid to lose and a feature from Raekwon, Kanye West once again brought a wonderful trio together for this masterpiece. The song itself is a great piece of social commentary and gives those who don’t have a voice a way to be heard. While Kanye West isn’t a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or a Malcolm X, he still knows where the problems are and isn’t afraid to point them out to the world on “Gorgeous”.