Every year we name the Top 20 tracks that we bumped throughout the year, whether that be in class, at home or in our cars. As our studio focuses on Hip-Hop, Dance, RnB and K-Pop, the list reflects that focus. Hit us up with some tracks that we've inevitably missed, because we can't get around to listening to everything! Merry Christmas!
Top 20 Tracks
Based on the early 90's hit 'My Boo', this sexy smooth RnB jam ended up being too slow for the clubs and too raunchy for the charts. Which is a shame, because it contains one of Mike Will Made it's best beats and perhaps Ciara's sexiest vocal performance (which is saying something). Don't forget to check the video too, featuring Ciara's real-life beau Future trying to chat her up.
2. Kanye West
When I first heard this track as Kanye debuted it on SNL, I was not sure what I had just witnessed, which I'm sure was a reaction most people watching would've had. After several years of EDM RnB and '808s & Heartbreaks' style Hip-Hop, 'New Slaves' was a course correction sonically, and an layered call-to-action lyrically. It set the table for his polarizing album and equally polarizing rounds of talk-show appearances.
3. Daft Punk
Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers and Pharrell. We should be so lucky.
4. Kanye West
The track is now better known for it's 'new uncanny' video and related parodies, but the song itself was an ode to the nostalgia of love and was couched in gourgeous soul samples and Charlie Wilsons angelic vocals. It's also hilarious too.
5. Blood Orange
Never Good Enough
This track had me constantly hitting rewind for at least a month. Although the nimble bassline suggested a sultry love song, what we got was a tribute to a doomed relationship. "I never was in love, you know that you were never good enough".
6. A$AP Rocky Feat. Drake, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar
So much to love about this song. Rocky holds his own against some pretty tough competition, Kendrick turns his pep talk into a pep rally, Drake drops down and gets his Nelly on and 2 Chainz drops in for the chorus as only he can do.
Loveee Song feat. Future (Brenmar Club Edit)
8. Katy B, Geeneus and Jessie Ware
Calling your song Aaliyah is setting yourself up for failure. Luckily that's exactly what the song is about, as two of the best british dance pop singers of this generation find themselves having to leash their men around the ethereally untouchable Aaliyah. Part tribute, part floor-filling ode to jealously, the Batman and Robin of bass music weave back and forth through this slinky heater from bass vet Geeneus.
Just a touch (Brenmar Remix)
Alunageorge wore on me by the end of the year. Ubiquitous singles were flying all over the place and they began to wear out their welcome. Luckily Brenmar was around to beef up the already excellent Just a Touch and unleash it's potential as a dancefloor crusher.
10. Chance The Rapper
After a year in which he's supported Eminem and Kendrick Lamar, It's hard to believe that this track and all of Chance's success came from a mixtape. Acid Rap was a complete surprise when it came out, a Hip-Hop album influenced musically by Juke and any number of other regional sounds that provided a unique base for Chance's desperate sing-rap narratives. Chain Smoker illustrates the juxtapositions of his work, with footwork and a Bruce Hornsby sounding piano loop, with Chance going in with a vocal turn that sounds forward-thinking and nostalgic all at the same time.
11. Duke Dumont feat. A*M*E
Need U 100%
Leading the charge of the House brigade with Disclosure was Duke Dumont, a veteran DJ with a preternatural ability to craft instantly likeable tunes. The langurous vocals of A*M*E* helped out with that.
12. Pusha T and Kendrick Lamar
Pusha had 'dope' tracks this year, but none had the street-level feel of this stripped back banger. Then the white-hot Kendrick Lamar comes through asking if "you wanna see a dead body?" and it was done, son.
How do you subvert EDM without becoming a joke or an instant target. Drop the bass and pitch up your unashamedly sincere vocals. A unique one-off that remains listenable because of the sum of its parts. Do it, it'll make you feel better.
Some virtuoso rapping from Octobers Very Own. Drake at his hardest, this track stood out amongst the rap balladry of #NWTS. When Drake gives space to the track and asks us to "Remember..." the track really comes for your money like ODB. Plus the video is hilariously awesome.
16. Kingdom feat. Kelela
Kingdom gifts Kelela a spacey, bassey beat that presages Yonce's latest musical direction and signals a new force in RnB.
17. The Range
I put on the Range's debut album Non-Fiction with no expectations of what I was about to hear. It very quickly sucked me in, and this slow-burning bass-driven piano looped track worked its magic immediately. That the instrumental is interrupted bya repeated fractal vocal clip of a cockney grime artist querying a threat in rhyming slang is just relish. Give in.
Somehow I actually missed Latch on its first go around, but I certainly made up for it once I picked up Disclosures stellar debut album Settle. Sam Smith's yearning vocal is leant extra sincerity via the insistent house rhythms cooked up by the Lawrence brothers. I won't be letting go of this tune for a long time.
The violins, the falsetto and the lyrics that could sound ridiculous if spoken directly to an actual person. But driven through the airy vocals of canadian singer Milosh, you find yourself unable to resist the coo. You'll be a fool for their belly.
20. Justin Timberlake
Suit and Tie (Four Tet remix)
I had to get some Justin on here somehow, even if its via a Four Tet remix.
CL – The Baddest Female, Blood Orange - Chamakay, Disclosure - White Noise, The Juan Maclean - Feel Like Movin', Robin Thicke - Blurred Lines, G-DRAGON – Coup d'Etat, A$AP Rocky - Peso, Kanye West - I'm on it, Kelela - Do it again, J Cole - Power Trip, Jay Z - BBC, Drake - Started from the bottom, Schoolboy Q - Collard Greens, Young Jeezy - RIP, Rustie - Slasherrr, Disclosure - When a Fire starts to burn, Chance the rapper - Good Ass intro, DJ Snake - Bird Machine, Justin Timberlake - Don't Hold the Wall, Ace Hood - Bugatti, Mystikal - Hit me, Beyonce (almost all of her album)