Top 10 Favorite Songs of 2019

My list for my top 10 favorite songs of 2019 is currently on my Youtube channel!

The Appreciation Enthusiast

Click the link and see what my brother, cousin, and I have to say in regards to 2019’s slew of songs. Top 10 Albums of 2019 coming soon to Youtube also! Subscribe to my channel for more content and don’t forget to like the video if you enjoyed it!

– Ant

The Pilgrimage of Kanye West

Religion is everywhere, whether from holidays to our weekly or daily devotions to higher powers, religion is everywhere. The way religion is interpreted is completely up to each individual, however, some praise their God to a different extent. Kanye West has been an interesting character throughout his career and 2019 spares no expenses in this stage of his life. However, while most would say this newfound love in God is unexpected and only an act for attention or money, one would be very wrong to assume that. Kanye’s faith in religion and God has been around since his first album The College Dropout in 2004 with “Jesus Walks”. The song “Jesus Walks” was a huge success in 2004 and Kanye continued to reference God in his music ever since, however, he never fully made an album revolving around his Lord and Savior.  Some religious artists found some traction such as Skillet and Lecrae, but many failed to grasp a loyal and dedicated fanbase over the years. But was 2004-2019 the proper climate to discuss religious tones in music for Kanye West?

“They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus

That means guns, sex, lies, videotape

But if I talk about God my record won’t get played, huh?”

With “Jesus Walks” being a hit in the music industry, Kanye West proved that religious themed-songs could succeed in the modern industry of music. But a successful religious rap album was simply a dream for Kanye. Instead of making a whole album devoted to God, he instead decided to sprinkle religious themes and religion into his albums since 2004 as a way to praise his God while still being a commercial hit. While Kanye’s lyrics weren’t necessarily “holy”, they were put in place for a reason. Up to his release of Yeezus, Kanye particularly discussed his own sins and focused the narratives of each album on himself and how he lives. With Yeezus, Kanye suggested that he himself is a God with his song “I Am a God”; this very sinful act would become the catalyst for a brand new and rejuvenated Kanye West in 2019. 

In “I Am a God”, Kanye single-handedly proclaimed that he is a being of higher power and should be treated as such. This statement comes from his second wind that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy created in 2010. After the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye was as motivated as ever to continue his streak of success and hits that MBDTF produced. In doing so, Kanye West became as sinful, influential, and experimental as ever. This new era of Kanye that gave us Yeezus, a new perspective of what it felt like to be an influential multi-millionaire living in the year 2013. Kanye was fueled by money and power at this time and it is reflected in his songs from Yeezus. This new side of Kanye would last for a few years until his next perspective change that would occur in 2016.

2016 would change Kanye West’s music, ideology, and life forever because it is the year that he would allegedly be $53 million in debt. This debt would lead Kanye to a figure that he hasn’t seen in a while, God. With his 2016 album, The Life Of Pablo Kanye starts off the album with a track titled “Ultralight Beam”. What might be one of the best Kanye West album introductions also reveals a tease of who Kanye has been talking to during his troubled times. Kanye reconnected with the one figure who was there with him from the start; and in doing so was able to solve his debt crisis, release a highly regarded and successful album, and continue his sumptuous clothing line. Kanye has high praise for this figure and talking to Him was able to put him in a great position until his stability issues in 2018 with Ye

2018 was an interesting year for Mr. West. Two years after reaffirming his faith in Christianity he lost security within his own life. The album Ye features Kanye discussing his battle with mental health and relationships with loved ones and friends. This is a low point for Kanye that hasn’t been seen since 2008 with his complete emotional breakdown and the release of 808s & Heartbreak. But with his strong work ethic, friends, and family he was able to rise once more about a week later with the release of Kids See Ghosts. With the release of this collaboration with Kid Cudi, Kanye found himself again and was eventually reborn as a new and stronger man who was still searching for answers and a figure of power.

Fast-forward to October of 2018 and we have Kanye West attempting to find an idol in former businessman and current President Donald Trump. This led to a tirade and a slew of negative comments. Kanye thought that the President would make a good idol but was met with negative reactions from a fair amount of listeners. Where Kanye thought he could come back into touch with power, he was only met with hate and pessimism from his community. This brings us to January 1st of 2019 where we have Kanye West leaving Twitter after never releasing his scheduled album Yandhi in November and facing backlash for his political comments. With not releasing Yandhi and aligning himself with a political figure, Kanye West essentially left many fans upset, confused, and worried for Kanye and his future. 

With Kanye West officially off of social media, waves of people wondered where he was heading following the 1st of January 2019. It was at this point where Kanye had to reinvent himself and his style like he’s done numerous times in the past. Kanye reached out to the one person who never left his side, God. In doing so he started the highly energetic and faithful Sunday Service’s that have played a huge role in his return to Christianity and God. Kanye went back to his roots and asked God for another favor; redemption. When Kanye left God behind in 2018 his life started to fall apart and his ideologies became questionable. But in 2019, Kanye Omari West fully pledged himself to Christianity and decided to spread the word of Jesus around the world with his newest album, Jesus Is King. This album marks the rebirth of Kanye and his first non-secular album release.

After 15 years, Kanye finally decided to release a religious album without fearing the repercussions and potential of being a commercial and critical failure. The album was received by the critics as average but was a chart-topping success for it’s the first opening week. The album fell off the top charts fairly quickly, but the impact it made remains to this day. Within 15 years we’ve seen Kanye West battle with love, loss, success, failure, and most importantly religion. Today, Kanye West is talked about and associated with religion, the single force that put him on the map. The path of Kanye West has been a long, tough, and often questionable but he is finally happy. Kanye West is finally free.

 

Favorite Song Friday #12

11/1/19

“Ballin'”

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Mustard has been one of the most prolific producers of this decade, and he continued his streak with the release of his album titled Perfect Ten. This album showcases Mustard’s production by recruiting some of the most prominent and relevant names in hip-hop. Mustard has worked with many artists in the past ten years with names such as YG, Big Sean, and Ty Dolla $ign to name a few. During his career, Mustard has made many connections with musicians and Perfect Ten was a perfect time to show how relevant his production and connections are. Perfect Ten is Mustard’s third studio album and arguably his best yet. The album features Young Thug, Future, Nipsey Hussle, A$AP Rocky and many more. While he’s a newcomer to the scene, Roddy Ricch has what I think is one of the best songs on the album with “Ballin'”.

Roddy Ricch, a 21-year-old from Compton been on the rise recently with collaborations from Marshmello, Meek Mill, and Mustard. “Ballin'” is a song that is purely about success and how one’s hard work can lead to big opportunities, especially in music. Roddy Ricch, being a newcomer to hip-hop and recently finding success within the past year is the perfect candidate for this song. This song is an anthem for prosperity and triumph, however, it is also a song that gives off a positive aura and can easily motivate one to chase their dreams. With “Ballin'” being certified Gold and Perfect Ten debuting at #8 on the US Billboard 200, Mustard and Roddy Ricch are seemingly living the dream they presented in “Ballin'” and I hope their success never ends.

 

Thank you for reading this week’s Favorite Song Friday! If you haven’t already, please take a look at my YouTube channel and subscribe if you enjoy my content!

My 100th Post (Announcement)

In April of 2017, I started this site to help express my love and appreciation for music and film. Two years later I have finally reached my 100th post on here and decided to branch out from WordPress and take on another new venture with YouTube. I decided to launch my own YouTube channel to accompany my website and I will do my best to balance the two platforms. My channel will have music and film reviews, discussions, and opinions similar to those that I do now on this platform. I believe that by using a video format, I am able to produce better content that can be easily accessible and enjoyed. While managing two platforms will be difficult, I am looking forward to connecting with new people, growing my fan-base, and creating more exceptional content overall. I hope you take a minute to check out my channel and subscribe for more content coming soon! Thank you as always for your continued support throughout the years and I hope you enjoy what I have to offer next!

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My 10 Favorite Songs of 2019 So Far (4/21-9/26)

With 2019 coming to an end soon, it is important to highlight some of the great songs to come out this year. With the first list of the year, we saw 2 Chainz, Kevin Abstract, and SAINt JHN take the top spots, however, since then we’ve seen a lot of great releases from artists as they continue to impress me over the year. Here is my list of favorite releases from 4/21 to 9/26! (As usual, there is a limit of one song per artist)

10. I Was On The Block – YG ft. Valee and Boogie

“I Was On The Block” is by far one of YG’s most intriguing songs in his catalog. This song begins my top ten list because of its use of one of my favorite flows to emerge in recent years. The “Valee Flow” is a flow used by many rappers such as Smokepurpp, Lil Pump, Nicki Minaj, and even Tyler, The Creator. While Valee isn’t a major name yet, his flow is easily influential and YG’s and Boogie’s use of the iconic style is one of my most favorite highlights of the year.

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9. Proud Of Me – Lil Keed ft. Young Thug

Explaining the appeal of Lil Keed is fairly difficult as he doesn’t add much to modern music that hasn’t already been done already. But, what Lil Keed does do quite well is make attractive and infectious songs such as “Nameless” and “Proud Of Me”. Young Thug’s feature in this song is definitely the best part as his voice compliments the song in every way imaginable and even ends up becomes more likable than Lil Keed on this track. While Lil Keed has some things to work on, Young Thug once again proves that he’s one of the hardest and greatest working rappers in today’s scene.

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8. Baguettes in the Face – Mustard ft. NAV, Playboi Carti, and A Boogie Wit da Hoodie

As I’ve said in the past, I love NAV but he is simply one of the non-ironically funniest artists in the industry. But, where NAV lacks in seriousness, he makes up for in catchy choruses and verses. Mustard is a genius when it comes to selecting features for his song because of this song and “ON GOD” which both came from his newest release, Perfect Ten. “Baguettes in the Face” combines the chorus power of NAV, the style of Playboi Carti, and the flow of A Boogie Wit da Hoodie. Together these four created one of the best hits that this year has to offer.

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7. Jollof Rice – Bas ft. EARTHGANG

Ever since I heard Bas on “Night Job” back in 2015, I’ve been a fan of some of his songs. While he has some great songs, I tend to prefer his songs with J. Cole, however, Bas surprised me this year with the release of his song “Jollof Rice”. This song features WowGr8 from EARTHGANG whose presence brings the song to a new level. While it is unfortunate that Olu from EARTHGANG wasn’t on the song, I am thankful that at least WowGr8 provided some great verses to this highly addictive song. I really am impressed with Bas because of this song and I hope his EP, Spilled Milk 1 sees a sequel in the near future.

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6. I THINK – Tyler, The Creator

IGOR is without a doubt one of the best albums of the year but picking just one song from it to represent the album is very tough. I decided to go with “I THINK” because of its masterful production and message. I honestly really enjoyed IGOR and I hope that it receives its much-deserved recognition at the end of the year from critics and listeners alike.

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5. UP – EARTHGANG

EARTHGANG is perhaps the best duo of the 2010s and “UP” is the best piece of evidence I can give to this claim. “UP” combines Olu’s powerful vocals with WowGr8’s top-notch delivery to create a beautiful masterpiece. EARTHGANG has had a good amount of hits throughout the years but “UP” is by far their best one yet as it combines the best abilities of both rappers. I am really fascinated with their ability to produce terrific songs that never cease to become too repetitive.

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4. Find Our Way – Being As An Ocean

Finally, Being As An Ocean released their newest album PROXY: An A.N.I.M.O. Story which contains some wonderful tracks to be heard. One of these songs is the single, “Find Our Way”. This song is definitely the best song to come from the band in years and is possibly their finest song ever made. I was thoroughly impressed with the post-hardcore band this year and cannot wait to see what’s next for the group.

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3. On My Own – Jaden ft. Kid Cudi

Before I start, I just want to say that I love Jaden Smith, however, I love Kid Cudi more. Now, with that in mind, it is pertinent to say that “On My Own” is one of the strongest songs to ever come from Jaden and that is because Kid Cudi lends his amiable voice to the already appealing song. I adore these two for their own reasons, but, combined they made a memorable song that I will never forget. I really hope these two work together more often because their synergy is perfect together.

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2. Dangerous – ScHoolboy Q ft. Kid Cudi

ScHoolboy Q’s latest album, CrasH Talk looked very promising based off the singles but wasn’t able to surpass previously released albums of his, especially the Blank Face LP. Regardless, CrasH Talk did supply us with some great songs such as “Numb Numb Juice”, “Drunk”, and my favorite “Dangerous”. While the song is only two and a half minutes long it makes each second count as ScHoolboy Q delivers a remarkable verse while Kid Cudi performs a grim chorus. This song by far has some of the most impactful and perilous lyrics I’ve ever heard from a rapper in this decade. ScHoolboy Q has serious potential to create fascinating and hypnotic songs and “Dangerous” is a glorious example of this.

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1. NO HALO – BROCKHAMPTON

BROCKHAMPTON is an unstoppable collective that seemingly never loses steam nor fail to adapt to changing times. Five albums in and they are still going strong especially with the slew of singles from their fifth album, GINGER. One of these singles to the album is the song “NO HALO” which has every member contributing vocally. The song is a beautiful piece of art that excellently showcases the imperfections that humans inevitably have. Deb Never even lends her voice to the boyband to bring the song to it’s fullest potential. I think “NO HALO” is a great way to begin an album about that covers the past, the future, and every mistake made along the way.

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Stan

Ever since his second album in 1999 Eminem has become a household name in America. With overwhelming success in the world comes fans that will appreciate and love content that one releases. While having fans is often a sign of accomplishment and could be viewed as a positive achievement in the world, it may not always be a good thing. Obsessive fans have always been a presence in the entertainment industry, however, most celebrities are portrayed as too nice and kind to address these toxic and often zealous individuals. Eminem being the open person that he is, decided to tackle these fans in 2000 with the release of his song “Stan.”

“Stan”, tells the tale of a crazed stalker-fan simply named Stan. With the help of singer Dido, Eminem created one of the most memorable and impactful songs of his career. The song depicts Stan continuously writing letters to Eminem in hopes to finally get a reply from him. The song is an interesting concept as the letters become the main storytelling aspect while Dido provides the chorus by using her song “Thank You.” to further set the tone of the song. Throughout the song, Stan becomes more and more aggressive and irritable with each letter and eventual cassette that he sends to Eminem. Stan, being the obsessive fan that he is, decides to take things to the extreme in the song. Stan decides to get an “Eminem” tattoo, slit his wrists, and eventually kill himself and his pregnant girlfriend all because of his devotion to the rapper.

The song comes to a close as Eminem finally has time to sit down and write back to Stan and offers him life advice and assures him that he appreciates him as a fan but is still creeped out by Stan’s obsessiveness. By the time Eminem has time to write back, he realizes that Stan is already dead along with his girlfriend and their unborn child. This unfortunate ending is tragic as Eminem shows how far someone could go for someone they’re obsessed with while not knowing that help was only a short while away.

With the release of the song, the term “Stan” has been coined by fans of Eminem and is used to describe obsessive fans who exhibit a mindset similar to Stan.  Almost 20 years later, “Stan” is as impactful as ever as social media has taken over the world and fans have more access to their favorite celebrities in an easier fashion with an easier way to voice their obsessive thoughts towards these individuals. The song is considered by many to be one of the best if not the best Eminem song next to his very notable song, “Lose Yourself”. Regardless, of the era, Eminem’s timeless classic lives on through the headphones and speakers of many as a tragic tale of obsession that simply cannot be replicated.

Favorite Song Friday #11

9/20/19

“Up”

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While Earthgang has been around for almost ten years now, they finally released their major-label debut studio album Mirrorland. The duo consists of Olu and WowGr8 and is reminiscent of the duo Outkast. Both of the Atlanta duos provide a taste of freedom, wildness, and self-expression while their lyrics represent the trials and tribulations of the American lifestyle. While the two can be endlessly compared, it is essential that Earthgang gets the recognition that they deserve as they have continuously been a welcomed and revitalizing sound to the oversaturated genre.

With Mirrorland comes a slew of new hits for fans to enjoy but as usual there is always one song that stands out above the rest. “Up” is perhaps one of the most refreshing tracks that this year has to offer. The song was previewed in 2018 during a COLORS video, however, one of Earthgang’s best abilities is making songs endlessly enjoyable no matter how many times one plays the song. With Olu and WowGr8 putting their all into the track with slick lyrics and impeccable singing it is easy to see why “Up” deserves all of the praise it has gotten since it’s release last year. The song is a rejuvenating hit that surely will be one of the best songs of 2019, but, with that said it is pertinent that Earthgang continues to give their all on each release as they obviously have the potential to do great things like they did with “Up.” Until their next release, expect Mirrorland to be a talking point for the duo until they eventually outdo themselves in the future with more hits.

Favorite Song Friday #10

6/28/19

“The Catalyst”

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While Linkin Park is best known for their earlier albums such as Hybrid TheoryMeteora, and Minutes to Midnight one of their best songs comes from their fourth album, A Thousand Suns. Linkin Park is known for having an alternative rock sound that often includes Mike Shinoda rapping alongside Chester Bennington’s excellent vocals, it is easy to forget how versatile the band was during their run before Chester Bennington’s passing in 2017. The band has seen many stylistic changes over 21 years and that includes their constant attempts at experimenting with new sounds that they can take advantage of for interesting results. Linkin Park is what some may consider to be a perfect band because of their great discography and willingness to try out new things even if the fans don’t believe they could pull it off. “The Catalyst” was one of the songs that fans doubted at first as it was the lead single for their album, A Thousand Suns.

“The Catalyst” is a fusion of techno and rock as the band tries to paint the picture of an upcoming apocalypse for the human race. With the whole album adopting this theme, “The Catalyst” is a magnificent penultimate track for the group as they begin to close out their fourth album. The song is grim yet uplifting as Chester and Mike make it their goal to get their apocalyptic message across. The electronic vibe that is given off really makes the song memorable as it stands out from Linkin Park’s older work especially songs from Hybrid Theory in 2000. Since the tragic loss of Chester Bennington in 2017 the group has been on permanent hiatus until they decide what to do next, however, their impact and influence lives on through numerous projects and hits. “The Catalyst” serves as a reminder that experimentation is a necessity for bands to continue being successful as Linkin Park would go on to make three more unique and original albums before going on hiatus. Linkin Park surely is one of the greatest bands of all time and their originality and dedication to new sounds is what can be mainly attributed to this claim.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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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