If you haven’t read the previous article, I’m counting down the top 100 songs of 2017. I did songs 100 through 76 last time so go read that if you haven’t, and if you have… Welcome back! Let’s jump straight into it.
75. HAIM – WALKING AWAY
Fresh off the new album Something To Tell You is Walking Away, a soulful somewhat vibrant song about a break up. The trio really delivered here, an amazing beat and accompaniment of instruments provided a perfect background for their beautiful voices, really powerful yet relaxing song.
74. YG HOOTIE FT. RAYVEN JUSTICE – MY PEOPLE
YG Hootie took the melodic, autotuned hook type of song and flipped it to deliver a gangster rap track instead. Hootie been making hits for a while and this one is politically charged and sees him rapping about “his people”, he takes us through his life and personal relationships all the while keeping up that slick talking flow and whilst it might be taken lightly there’s some serious lyrics in this that many people relate to… “The feds want me dead just for poppin’, I’m smart and I’m hood that’s a problem”. Be sure to check out his album Hubris.
73. STEVE LACY – MORON
This song didn’t even make it onto his project but I had to put it on here anyway. Steve Lacy has been quickly earning producing credits on everybody’s records from J Cole to Kendrick Lamar to Tyler, The Creator and the craziest thing is he’s making most of his music via iPhone. Moron is no different, featuring a self-produced beat and some soul-cum-funk type vocals, Lacy has been high in demand and with songs like this it’s easy to see why.
72. KELELA – LMK
Kelela struck gold with this, a charming and delectable song about a casual fling is filled with dulcet tones from her voice and a brilliantly produced track that walks the line between pop and r&b well. It helped but Kelela on the map and gave her well deserved exposure, here’s to more from her in 2018!
71. RO RANSOM FT. JAZZ CARTIER – PRETTIEST
The second song on here from this duo and they’re not even an official pairing… yet! It’s featured on Ro Ransom’s long awaited Momentum mixtape and features the two of them bragging about looks, Ro’s girl’s new Tesla, music and a whole lot more. Ro Ransom’s autotuned singing voice is still one of my favourites, and it goes so well with Jazz Cartier on the track too.
70. A BOOGIE WIT DA HOODIE FT. KODAK BLACK – DROWNING
To me it’s crazy that this song came out this year, me and my friends played it so much when it came out that it’s already at that point where we stopped playing it and then came across it again as a “yoo, remember this” type of song. It’s so good, disregard Kodak’s awful one liners here and there and you can appreciate the beat and also A Boogie’s braggadocious rapping about Cuban links and much more.
69. RETCH – FIRST DAY HOME
It’s become a thing to drop a First Day Home/Out when rappers get released from prison and when RetcH finally got out of prison, everyone knew this was coming – granted it didn’t come on the first day, but still. It’s RetcH doing what he does best: making hard thuggish anecdotal raps, this didn’t disappoint. When “I just left the county in a wraith” is your first line, you know you got a good First Day track. 2017 also saw RetcH sampled on the N.E.R.D and Rihanna collab and he dropped a mixtape, here’s to more from him.
68. ACTION BRONSON – THE CHAIRMAN’S INTENT
I was so excited for Bronson’s return to music, over the years I’ve grown to find him one of my most favoured rappers and I wasn’t disappointed when Blue Chips 7000 dropped. He’s come a long way from “that guy who sounds like Ghostface” and he’s moulded his own sound. Nobody else raps over beats like that and has not just lyrical payoffs but also comedic payoffs with his rhymes. Seriously though, Harry Fraud’s production is incredible, them guitars? Damn.
67. YOUNG THUG – FAMILY DON’T MATTER
I never in my life thought somebody rapping with a country voice would be any good but you just can’t doubt Young Thug at this point. He’s opened so many doors and proved so many people wrong with his music, he’s an artist that pushes the boundaries and keeps growing and this is proof of that. Serving as the opening song to his Beautiful Thugger Girls album it sets the tone for the rest perfectly and Thugger singing country is something you need to hear.
66. GUCCI MANE FT. BIG SEAN – CHANGED
Big Sean bodied this song so much so it changed my opinions on him. Before this I wasn’t that big a fan of him but I was always going to listen to this – being it’s a Gucci song and all – and Sean surprised me. His hook is so melodic you nod your head and his verse is stupidly hard, he’s addressing the doubters (me included) and proves his worth in the game. Gucci always has the good features that’s a fact.
65. KACY HILL – LIKE A WOMAN
Another GOOD Music signee, Kacy Hill released her debut album this year and this is in my opinion the best song from it. Her voice is so soothing, so soulful, so profound. The minimalist beat consisting of a piano, finger clicks and a few other things adds to the intimacy of the song.
64. MIC RIGHTEOUS – INTERESTING
The Mic Righteous and AJ Tracey had so much promise when first erupting on Twitter, but two diss songs from Mic later and no AJ reply. It’s clear to see why to be fair, Interesting is one of the better diss songs of the past few years in both the UK and US scene and AJ doesn’t exactly have the credentials to clash with Mic and win. This song was near 7 minutes of domination from Mic, he has an undeniable ability to flow effortlessly that makes the song so seamless.
63. BUDDY AND BOOGIE – 4 THE RECORD
Both of these guys caught my attention last year with their respective projects so I was so excited to hear this collaboration off of Buddy’s Magnolia EP. This song is so West Coast though, when people think West Coast music they think G-funk a lot of the time, but this is just a continuation of it. It is feel good, nod your head, ride around on a summer’s day type music. Boogie showed people why Eminem signed with his verse on this and Buddy delivered as only he can.
62. GORILLAZ FT. VINCE STAPLES – ASCENSCION
As if Vince Staples didn’t have a good enough year with his own record, he was one of the shining lights on Gorillaz’ Humanz. Ascension was one of the first songs released from the album and it just made sense that Vince was on this new Gorillaz joint, Damon and co pride themselves on being up-to-date with the current music landscape and Vince is one of the brightest talents in all of music right now. His ability to paint a picture of a panic-cladded end of the world party is surprisingly good, this was so cool to hear.
61. CHARLI XCX – BOYS
This song will be stuck in your head for days, I don’t know if it’s Charli XCX’s voice or the Super Mario Bros sound effect used in the hook that makes it so hard to forget but damn it’s catchy and damn it’s good. The video for it is also worth a mention due to the plethora of names featured in it; Joey Bada$$, Riz Ahmed, Stormzy, Denzel Curry, Mark Ronson and the list goes on, it was a fun addition to a great song.
60. IDK FT. YUNG GLEESH, DOOM AND DEL THA FUNKEE HOMOSAPIEN – PIZZA SHOP EXTENDED
Nobody saw this collaboration coming, 4 rappers all with very different styles, from different eras and locations but my word if somebody tells you this doesn’t bang they’re lying. How can a track with these 4 names not bang? Everybody brings what you’d expect them to bring, perhaps the most unknown is IDK and if you haven’t heard him you’re in for a treat – think of early Kendrick. Also I get shivers down my spine everytime I hear “It’s me the villain”. DOOM really still has it.
59. A$AP FERG FT CAM’RON – RUBBER BAND MAN
About time Killa Cam hopped on a song with someone from A$AP Mob and oh my days is it something to behold. Cam’ron’s smacktalking rap is unmatchable I’ll always be a sucker for it, and he really went in on this. Ferg has come on leaps and bounds from his prior projects and it really shows here, but you just can’t match Cam sometimes.
58. GIGGS FT. 2 CHAINZ – ULTIMATE GANGSTA
Giggs really made waves in the music world this year after a feature on Drake’s More Life album, he dropped Wamp 2 Dem in October and it collectively blew everybody’s mind. To me, it’s the best British mixtape ever, and this song has a lot to do with that. ATL’s very own 2 Chainz provided a criminally slept on verse and Giggs’ general aura projected this song to the forefront of the rap scene.
57. DREEZY FT. 6LACK AND KODAK BLACK – SPAR
If there ever was a year for politically motivated songs it was 2017, Donald Trump being inaugurated & Theresa May’s horrific ‘leadership’ are just two of the key factors for an abundance of politically charged songs but this one focuses on the former, Donald Trump. Dreezy provides a hot verse detailing the ill representation seen in Congress for the American people, 6lack shares the same sentiment and Kodak comes in with a verse that surprised a lot of people spitting about everything from Israelite prophecies to politics, definitely worth the listen.
56. DAVE – HOW I MET MY EX
This song is so full of emotion it’s unreal. Totalling 7 minutes and 25 seconds Dave had UK twitter in meltdown over the realness and how relatable it is, he proves age is just a number as at 19 he’s made a song better than what a lot of rappers wish they could make at the age they’re at now let alone 19. He is arguably the best at painting a picture for the listener, you can envision every setting he talks about, also yeah it made me cry. It’s already been deemed UK’s version of Marvin’s Room, go listen!
55. DOOM – NOTEBOOK 03
DOOM’s Missing Notebook Rhymes from Adult Swim was discontinued prematurely for no clear reason, we only got 7 out of a promised 15 songs but this was my favourite. No credited producer and not the longest track by any means, DOOM finds a way to rhyme and flow his way through the beat like nobody else I’ve ever heard. Just read this and appreciate the rhyme scheme…
“Scratched in the crown was the names of lames who yapped a noun
Or verb for that matter
Had no data for a herb who chat chatter”
54. LORDE – GREEN LIGHT
Songs with great build-ups are now so hard to come by, but this is one of them. Lorde’s music transcends genres and is so accessible for so many people, this song is a perfect example of that. I saw rappers tweeting about how good this is. It’s a beautiful song about her first love/break-up and helps form the basis for the whole album, she has such a distinct voice that works so well with the building piano it’s hard not to want to dance to this.
53. CONWAY FT. LLOYD BANKS AND BENNY – BULLET CLUB
Grimey rap here, all the way from Griselda (and now Shady) Records’ own Conway with help from G-Unit’s Lloyd Banks and also Benny. It’s New York rap down to a T, a grimey beat and hard bars from rappers really about it. All of them delivered here and I was pleasantly surprised by Lloyd Banks, whom I thought had fallen off. This is one of those songs that needs to be blared out from your speakers to let people know what type of mood you’re in, it’s seriously that aggressive and hood. The nod to New Japan Pro Wrestling’s stable Bullet Club of whom the song is named after made me love the song even more.
52. MOSES SUMNEY- QUARREL
I heard this song via Soundcloud’s station feature, oh my word it is something else. It’s such a deep song that strikes you to your core, his voice reminds me a bit of Bobby Womack but I get major D’angelo vibes when I listen. This isn’t to pigeonhole him and invalidate his originality however, as I’ve never quite heard the music he makes from anyone else. The beat sounds like it should be on a Tyler, The Creator album and his additional vocals in the background make you question what’s human and what’s instrument. Seriously this song will take you on a journey and you won’t want it to stop. It’s fucking beautiful.
51. MIDNIGHT PHUNK AND JAMILIAH BARRY – NORTHFACE
Jamiliah Barry’s voice on this is superb, honestly. Her vocals are the highlight of the song and that isn’t to take anything away from production or rapping provided by Midnight Phunk, I really fuck with the bars he spits as I know me personally and a few friends can resonate with them heavily. “It’s a cold world but I’m sleeping in my northface”, honestly for someone in the position he’s in (and it’s more than you think) this bar strikes home ridiculously, the ominous guitar throughout provides even more depth to the song and it makes it one of 2017’s best hidden gems.
Be sure to keep your eyes open for 50 – 26 next time!