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.