After weeks of gorging and deliberating, I’ve settled on my 28. Well, 29. Leon Bridges isn’t on Spotify, and the settling I settled on was a 28-song Spotify playlist. Some songs hated at first and they grew on me over months (#12), some I’ve heard for the first time recently (#11), some I’m almost sick of, but remember how much I did once love them, those many months ago (#24). But all 29 have hit me right between the eyes at some point of the year.

FYI, as always, every artist only gets one spot. It makes my job a lot easier.

I hope you enjoy a little jingle or two.


My favourite 29 songs of 2014:

29. Dean Blunt – LUSH


28. Future Islands – Seasons (Waiting on You)


27. James Vincent McMorrow – Cavalier


26. Flying Lotus – Coronus, the Terminator


25. Deniro Farrar – Tired


24. Doss – Here Tonight


23. Shabazz Palaces – Motion Sickness


22. I LOVE MAKONNEN (feat. Drake) – Tuesday


21. Pusha T – Lunch Money


20. Panda Bear – Mr Noah


19. The Antlers – Palace


18. FKA Twigs – Give Up


17. Young Thug feat. Freddie Gibbs & A$AP Ferg – Old English


16. Dipset – Dipshits


15. Merchandise – Little Killer


14. Alvvays – Next of Kin


13. Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Deeper


12. ScHoolboy Q – Los Awesome


11. Sharon Van Etten – Your Love is Killing Me


10. Banks – Brain


9. The War on Drugs – An Ocean Between the Waves


8. Run the Jewels – Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)


7. Leon Bridges – Coming Home


6. Drake (feat. James Blake) – 0 to 100 / The Catch Up



5. Jamie XX – Girl


4. Rustie feat. Danny Brown – Attak



3. Ab-Soul – W.R.O.H.


2. SZA – Julia


1. Mick Jenkins – Shipwrecked



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.




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.



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.





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.



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.



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.



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