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my 26 of ’13

These are a few of my favourite things. My favourite songs of the 2013 and mittens on kittens. To make it easier, I kept it to one song per artist. Only the top ten are decked out.

 

earl-3

 

26 a$ap mob ft. method man) – trillmatic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE2gQKPFcYU

 

25 big sean ft. kendrick lamar & jay electronica – control http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkZZo0XSm5s

 

24 blood orange – you’re not good enough http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbZ3s8XWJlA

 

23 autre ne veut – counting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qhHUmL0U6k

 

22 mariah carey ft. miguel – #beautiful http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWYwerDmvrY

 

21 vampire weekend – hannah hunt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJCIhDQkqTQ

 

20 disclosure – latch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93ASUImTedo

 

19 pusha t ft. kendrick lamar – nosetalgia http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDQu8DNLzIY

 

18 action bronson – contemporary man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a0ycFYl2qI

 

17 the weeknd – kiss land http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eN84vAqO9NY

 

16 haerts – wings http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk52XHSpmF4

 

15 london grammar – help http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgBDZ1CidB0

 

14 janelle monae ft miguel – primetime http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxls2xX0Clg

 

13 isaiah rashad ft jay rock & schoolboy q – i shot you down remix http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYRQUsO-kD4

 

12 the underachievers – the mahdi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwleLyD43Hs

 

11 chance the rapper ft bj the chicago kid & saba – everybody’s something http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoS9rEfHKwo

 

10 burial – rival dealer

The most recent entry. Burial doesn’t drop music very often, but when he does you know it’s gonna be worth the wait. This was my favourite off his Rival Dealer EP, though I have a feeling Come Down To Us is gonna grow on me a lot. But those drums. This song hits you like a mack truck at mach 3.

 

9 jai paul – track 2/str8 outta mumbai

A surprise release (which didn’t turn out to be an actual release- his laptop was stolen, or something) from the incredibly talented dude who had previously released two songs in five years. This was my favourite off the demo-tape, though Track 3, Track 10 and Track 15 are great as well. I can’t wait to see how they sound when they’re actually finished.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xz0wjb_jai-paul-track-2-str8-outta-mumbai_travel

 

8 tyler the creator – partyisntover/campfire/bimmer

I was tossing up between Rusty and Awkward for a while, then I thought this song actually has more and does more than either. Perhaps because it’s three semi-whole songs stitched together. The triplet shows a lot of where Tyler is and where he’s going as an artist, which turns out to be a surprising distance from where he was two years ago. FYI I think Partyisntover’s my pick of the three.

 

7 james blake – overgrown

His second album didn’t feel as impossibly brilliant as his debut, but it was still a solid album. In my opinion this boy’s standout of his freshman album (perhaps excluding Retrograde)

 

6 kanye west – bound 2

Forget the retarded video. This song was my pick off Yeezus on first listen and is still my pick now. It’s the song that sounds the most like old Kanye, but it still has the euphoric, fractured fragments of new-Kanye. But I just like it a lot, separately from their fateful, silhouetted motorcycle voyage.

 

5 drake ft jay-z – pound cake

That beat. That sample. Tuscan Leather was the first song off Drake’s album to impress me, but Pound Cake was the one that stuck with me. It isn’t really surprising that every rap-man in town’s done his own freestyle over the beat (I think I liked Raekwon’s the most). But the original’s still the best. Love Drake or hate Drake, you have to applaud his beat selection. And I think him and Hov do pretty well.

 

4 a$ap rocky ft schoolboy q – pmw

My guilty pleasure song of the year. Yes, lyrically, it’s such a stupid-ass song. And quite offensive. But when listening through LONG.LIVE.A$AP, I liked Goldie, then 1Train, then Fashion Killa, then Suddenly. And along this entire process my least favourite songs on the album were Pain and PMW. Then, somehow, I started digging PMW. And then it was my favourite, even as the others died down, and then it turned out to be the most enduring of all. Somehow. The beat and the flow or something. I still don’t like Pain, though.

 

3 schoolboy q – man of the year

He pretty much was. Feb 25th can’t come soon enough. I was tossing up between Hell of a Night, Banger and this one, but I thought this one had the most advanced sound for q, care of the sweet Chromatics sample. At the start of 2013 I’d heard a bit of Habits & Contradictions, but wasn’t really into him, but as the year wore on, I liked the album more, and liked every new single he dropped for Oxymoron. I actually believe him when he says his album’s gonna be better than Kendrick’s.

 

2 supreme cuts ft. polica – envision

My boys doing what they do. This was my happy-times song for 2013. Divine Ecstasy’s looking like it’s gonna have a lot more vocalists on it than their previous work, but envision makes it seem like a really good idea.

 

1 earl sweatshirt – hive

My boy doing what he does: rapping insane webs of multi-syllable rhymes, assonance, wordplay and all the rest of it. Doris was my most anticipated album ever and unsurprisingly, I was a little disappointed with it. Because it wasn’t quite the best rap album ever. But it was really good, and for me this song was the strongest. My favourite line: “desolate testaments trying to stay Jekyllish, but most n*s Hyde, and Brenda just stay pregnant.” Only Earl could fit a Robert Louis Stevenson and a 2Pac reference in the same line.

 

 

kanyegoogleeyedkanyegoogleeyed

 

You could’ve guessed that it was going to happen, but it seems to be a thing: hip-hop’s gonna get really electronic, really soon.

 

Kanye’s dropping his album on June 28th. Maybe. All he did was tweet the date, but what else would Kanye announce in such a mammoth form as a tweet? But yesterday or today, a video was posted of old Hudson Mohawk, one of Ye’s G.O.O.D. Music buddies, playing some new Kanye music.

 

 

It’s sounds like what I’d imagine licking a car battery in a thunderstorm would feel like. Which is alright by me. But two things make me think more of this than this:

 

1. Kanye’s last solo album, My Beautiful etc Fantasy, pretty much influenced every song since (maybe mild hyperbole). But it’s easily one of the most influential albums of the last decade, and everyone wanted to be influenced by the beautiful, dark man who is Kanye West in that album. Who was actually kind of a dick.

kanyedouche

 

2. Two of the features on his new album are Daft Punk and Skrillex (as well as Odd Future and Chief Keef, apparently). Which isn’t a new thing: A$AP Rocky’s LongLiveA$AP, released in January this year, had a Skrillex produced song on it (Wild for the Night). And of course, electronic-hip-hop hybrids have been done. But you can see it: world’s are colliding.

georgesomething

 

It’s like the two genres have been ogling each other from opposite sides of the room for a while, and now they’re meeting in a really hot way. I feel like every major electronic producer working at the moment is either influenced by, or intends to work in, hip-hop. James Blake listened to hip-hop to make Overgrown- released a couple months ago- and it had an RZA-featured rap song on it. Jamie XX has worked with, and is working with, Drake. Flying Lotus made up a rap alias and came out of the closet as a hip-hop fanatic. It seems like Daft Punk and Skrillex were two of the super-electronic club to have not made the crossover yet.

 

Oh, and that’s not the only thing. I only thought it particularly relevant because it’s Kanye, and another artist also seems to be going full-electronic.

 

 

 

Danny Brown’s upcoming studio debut, Old, is going to feature a hyped-out electronic sound, at least for a bit. Which makes sense, considering he said that if XXX was his OK Computer (ie. critically acclaimed album), Old is going to be his Kid A (ie. critically acclaimed sophomore- ignoring that XXX was a mixtape).

 

Although (I knew I couldn’t get through a post without mentioning them), Earl and Joey’s debuts are dropping in the coming months, and both seem to be poised to bring back some kind of gritty, grimy, boom-bap, 90s beat goodness. Which is alright by me.

 

That’s all.

 

wu bangas

wutangvillagedamned

I thought about it a while back and now I’ve clasped them: my fifteen favourite Wu-Tang songs. “Here we go” (the start of one of the songs somewhere there). I’ll give a short description from 11 down, and links for the top 8. Sort of arbitrarily.

 

15. Careful (The W)

 

14. Campfire (8 Diagrams)

 

13. C.R.E.A.M. (Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers))

 

12. Wu Banga 101 (Supreme Clientele)

 

11. Wu-Tang: 7th Chamber Pt. 2 (Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers))

I realise the street-cred is in thinking this is the best album ever, but the highest from it is #11 (:S). But I just love a lot of their other stuff more, mostly solo albums. Call me clown. This is my favourite off 36 Chambers. It’s so gritty and flipped out, it’s amazing.

 

10. Triumph (Wu-Tang Forever)

The best off the beast of Wu-Tang Forever. I generally listen to the Intro too, which builds the beat (and RZA’s anger) into Triumph nicely. It’s a good.

 

9. Verbal Intercourse (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx)

“RZA, Chef, Ghost and Nas something prophet.” It’s a smooth combination. All are on-point, but Nas takes the cake.

 

8. Brooklyn Zoo (Return to the 36 Chambers)

Ol’ Dirty at his crazy best. I don’t know why, but his incoherent swearing and singing everywhere and saying things that don’t make sense is awesome. The beat and energy of this song are great. When he comes in with “I’m the one man army Ason,” I believe the dude.

 

7. House of Flying Daggers (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. II)

Speaking of energy, this is one of the most energetic Wu-Tang beats I’ve heard. And I don’t know why, but I feel like Rae’s entry is one of the smoothest I’ve ever heard.

 

6. Meth Vs. Chef (Tical)

This song’s a bit of an odd idea, but the beat’s cool and both Meth and Chef come through. I wouldn’t normally say this (cause I think the “Chef” is the best overall rapper in the Wu-Tang… usually), but I think Meth won this one. Although everybody wins because this is a good song.

 

5. New Wu (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Pt. II)

I’m actually surprised I’ve got two Cuban Linx II songs so high, because (*spoilers*) Part I’s my favourite Wu album (*end*). But this song’s so smooth it’s like auditory butter.

 

4.Investigative Reports (Liquid Swords)

Liquid Swords is a beast I’ve yet to fully tame, though I’ve probably given it twice the time and energy of any other album in the world. But I don’t enjoy most of the beats, though GZA works throughout. But this beat I love, and I love the energy and the everything. Even the news samples. That’s got to be a good sign.

 

3. Ice-Cream (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx)

Just a tank song. Is got everything.

 

2. Shadowboxin’ (Liquid Swords)

The sample and the rapping and the groove and the drool. This boy’s so sublime it’s close, but not quite.

 

1. Wu Gambinos (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx)

Aside from the tedious, skippable 1-minute intro of dialogue about money or murder or something, this song is like the pinnacle of every Wu mountain of everything good they’ve ever done. Which is added to because it’s a posse cut, so almost everyone’s on this one.

 

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