Best Songs List

Top 10 List: Best Songs of 2018

“Disclaimer: what you’re about to read are-ah, fuck it. You already know this by now. Don’t be an asshole because of this post.”

Let’s go.

Before we begin, here are our first 5 honorable mentions.

HONORABLE MENTIONS I

In a year when he put out one of the most excruciating albums to listen to, Drake managed to get in a good song. Yep, if you look hard enough, you’ll find a diamond in the rough every now and then and Nice For What is one of those diamonds. It coasts off of a bouncy beat that heavily samples Lauryn Hill and Drake letting girls know that they don’t have to nice for any dudes that are hitting on them, even if the irony is strong with this considering that Aubrey would be one of those dudes. Also, friend of mine once said that the song sounds like a radio cut and I can hear it, especially with all of the scratches and vocal samples that occur throughout. It’s not a perfect record, but I’ll take what I can get.  

With how much modern R&B (at least on the charts) has turned into an extension of hip-hop, it’s nice to see an actual R&B song get big. This brings us to London singer Ella Mai, who broke out this year with Boo’d Up, a slow jam with one of DJ Mustard’s best production work to date with this piano-driven beat. If this is the closest we’ll ever get to an actual R&B song becoming a hit, then I’m fine with that. I hope more comes along. 

Dua Lipa is one of the best newer artists to come out of the scene, bringing some maturity and tightness that’s desperately needed in today’s pop music. Her big hit New Rules is a great example of that. It’s Dua Lipa telling herself to get over an ex-boyfriend and on the chorus, she lists the things not to do in this kind of situation. Add in some tropical production that features one of the best drops of the year and you got yourself another great song from a promising new act. This won’t be the last time you’ll see Dua Lipa on this list, though.

I plan to tackle NF in an upcoming Target Practice. He’s a great example of “just because someone’s lyrical or can rap really fast doesn’t mean they’re automatically good.” I listened to a bunch of NF’s songs and found them empty of substance and lacking replay value. Fortunately, Let You Down is one of his better songs. It’s about his strained relationship with his father and how he felt like he has let him down. For a lot of us, there’s very few things that makes us feel worse than disappointing our parents. The only reason this song is only an honorable mention is the chorus with those chipmunk vocals. You could’ve done something else with that. But otherwise, this song is okay with me.

It’s so nice to hear a good Imagine Dragons song again. It felt like an eternity when we had one of those. Like I said before, this band has reduced themselves to making background music for commercials, trailers, and sports. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but at least let them be good. Fortunately, that won’t be an issue with Whatever It Takes. The synths and guitars in this instrumentation mesh well together and the swell in the prechorus actually builds up to something epic. Dan Reynolds isn’t that bad vocally and the writing is focused on doing whatever it takes to accomplish anything. I wouldn’t call this Imagine Dragons at their best, but it’s still pretty damn good.

Onto the list.

Number 10 goes to a rapper who had a great 2017 thanks to a breakout number one single and an even greater 2018 with the release of her debut album and another number one single. It’s a Cardi B party.

10.

I can safely say that I was wrong about Cardi B about a year ago. I still don’t consider her one of my favorite artists, but I see the appeal. Anyways, I Like It. In a sea of bland, forgettable reggaeton, it’s so good to see a Latin song with some flavor and it bangs like no other. I like how the production uses salsa sounds and combines them with a booming trap beat to make one hell of a banger, one that’s rooted in a sample of I Like It Like That. In terms of lyrical content, it’s just more bragging about luxury items, but Cardi B brings a lot of personality to this song with her flow and punchlines. Bad Bunny and J Balvin were okay, nothing that mindblowing, which puts this song much lower on this list. Still, I Like It is one hell of a fun time with a great sample that’ll get people turned up.

Number 9 goes to an artist who made two appearances on my Worst lists, both for 2015 and 2016 where he held this same exact spot. Now, he’s improved himself a lot and the future looks brighter for him.

9.

So Nine Track Mind wasn’t a good album. It was bland and flavorless. Ever since Attention (a song that’s much better than I gave it credit for), Charlie Puth has been making up for that with songs that have actual groove and tightness to them. Unsurprisingly, How Long is one of those songs. The liquid guitars and funky bass creates an organic sound that matches Puth’s vocals, who no longer sounds whiny. Another thing that’s improved is the writing. The days of “Superman’s got nothing on me” are behind him and now, we have a song where the girl is calling him out when she catches him cheating and he admits to his faults. The genius thing about the song is the way the chorus is framed in the perspective of the girl. Good song overall.

Number 8 goes to someone whose career is very interesting to watch as she remained one of the few consistent pop singers who made some great tracks. I wasn’t exactly blown away by her latest album, but she still has it and currently holds the number one song in the country as I’m typing this. I don’t think she needs any introductions.

8.

I feel kinda bad for Ariana Grande. She’s been through a lot in recent times: the Manchester bombing, Mac Miller’s death, her and Pete Davidson splitting up. I just want to give her a big hug and tell her, “it’s okay.” Anyways, No Tears Left To Cry. This was the first song she released after the Manchester bombing and it signifies her moving on from the sadness that she experienced at the time. This was something she needed to make to cope with that trauma. Her vocal performance is stellar as usual and I like the production, the way it has those house synths and that garage beat. I wish it could’ve gone for something bigger and more epic, especially with that intro, but it fits the mood that Ariana Grande was aiming for. Can’t wait to see what else she has to offer next.

Like with Charlie Puth, the artist behind Number 7 is no stranger to my Worst lists. In 2016, he held the second worst song of the year, which is still one of my least favorite songs of all time because of its writing. Well, like a few artists on this list, he’s gone through a redemption and he’s brought back the potential he showed early on in his career. 

7.

I think I can safely say that Shawn Mendes is back on my good side. What can I say? I really enjoyed In My Blood. The music to this is great, using those acoustic guitars and pianos to create a moody sound, plus, that chorus just rocks thanks to those guitars and drums. As someone who dealt with anxiety, I can personally relate to a song like this, which is about Shawn Mendes’ experiences with anxiety and how he coped with it. With his vocal performance, he captures that feeling of negative emotions and insecurity that can really overwhelm a person. This is just a great song and it’s one of Shawn Mendes’ best to date.

And speaking of redemption stories, the number 6 pick.

6.

Remember when Thomas Rhett was known for ripping off other artists with songs like Crash And Burn and Die A Happy Man? Well, it seems like he was trying to make up for that by moving away from bro country into something more country-like, but with a pop appeal. This brings us to Marry Me, a song about seeing that girl you used to know be married to someone else while you’re sitting in the sidelines. The writing here is excellent, framing it as a trip down memory lane where Rhett remembers all the times that he spent with this girl and missing an opportunity to spend the rest of his life with her, but he accepts it all in the end. The instrumentation is really elegant with how it uses those acoustic guitars and pianos to create a somber mood that almost sounds like a wedding song. I’ve seen a few reviewers name it the best song of 2018 and I don’t blame them, this song is great.

And now for the final 5 honorable mentions.

HONORABLE MENTIONS II

Your eyes are not deceiving you. A Migos song is actually an honorable mention on my Best list. I’m just as surprised as you. Still, Stir Fry has grown on me through the year and it’s the best thing Migos has ever done. The production is the best part of the song, done by Pharrell, who brought in the energy and flavor that most of Migos’ songs lack. Quavo was easily the star of the show, especially with his chorus. Offset and Takeoff had verses that were hit-or-miss. The lyrics are more of the same drug dealing shit, but they utilize a lot of food references throughout and some of those lines do land. If Migos made more songs with production like this, I wouldn’t mind that. They would be tolerable.

After a year of doing disco tracks, Calvin Harris went back to making house music and the big hit he had this year was One Kiss with Dua Lipa. The production of this song leans heavily towards 90s house thanks to those keys, synths, and drum beat. Dua Lipa, of course, steals the show as the vocalist. This kind of music just feels natural for her, even if the writing is just another love song. In a time where most dance music is just trap, it’s nice to see something like this break the norm.

This is one of those songs that’s plain silly. For goodness sake, it’s called Sky Walker and on its chorus, Miguel says, “I’m Luke Skywalkin’ on these haters.” I should dismiss this, but I enjoy the hell out of it. Maybe it’s because of the laidback, hypnotizing production that low-key bumps and Miguel’s performance where he’s just having the time of his life. Oh, and Travis Scott is on this song. He was cool. I doubt this song will be on anyone else’s list, but it doesn’t matter to me because this is my list and I can put whatever I want on it.

Not gonna lie, I was hoping for this song to make the Year End list. Well, here we are. This is N.E.R.D’s first appearance on a Year End list and it’s for Lemon, which is one of the most fun songs of the year. The production consists of only popping percussion that’s pretty much the bread and butter of every song Pharrell produced. There’s not much content in the lyrics outside of some political references and Rihanna showing up spitting a dope ass verse. This shit bumps in the whip. I dig it.

Remember Man Of The Woods? Of course, you don’t. Everyone forgot about that shit after its release. Well, if Justin Timberlake had to have one make it, at least it’s for Say Something, which is easily the best song on the album. It’s the closest J.T. has ever come to making a country song thanks to the instrumentation that combines acoustic guitars and handclaps with electronic percussion. Chris Stapleton was awesome here, which isn’t surprising. That man should have more hits. In terms of writing, it’s all about speaking up, which is kinda vague and leaves room for it to be about anything. Still, it’s a good song and it gives me an excuse to mention Chris Stapleton, who’s a great artist.

Did I ever mentioned that Dua Lipa is awesome? Here she is at number 5.

5.

You guys have no idea how happy I was to see this make the Year End chart. IDGAF peaked at number 49 on the Hot 100, yet it garnered enough points to make it to number 98. Awesome. The instrumentation to this song is great with it’s guitar melody matched up against pulsating drums and piano notes. In the song, Dua Lipa is dealing with an ex who wants to take her back and she tells him to piss off. She’s not buying into the excuses and empty platitudes he brings to the table and she just wants to move on. In other words, she just doesn’t give a fuck about him. She sells this song with her vocal performance as she sounds like someone who’d fed up with someone else’s bullshit. I hope we hear more from Dua Lipa because she’s talented as hell.

When it comes to making love songs, hip-hop doesn’t exactly have a great track record. For every sincere love song in the genre, you got a dozen or more songs that are just sex jams. Well, the number 4 song on this list doesn’t fall into that trap.

4.

Image result for kendrick lamar love

LOVE is probably one of the most beautiful songs ever made to become a hit in recent years. It’s a single off of Kendrick Lamar’s critically-acclaimed DAMN and all of the magic of this song comes from its simplicity. The airy synths and punchy beat makes up the R&B-esque production and Zacari shows up for a pleasant sounding chorus. Kendrick doesn’t do a lot of lyrical roller-coasters here or provide any hard-hitting bars, but he doesn’t need to because it’s a love song that he made for his fiancé, no references to sex or stealing anyone’s girlfriend. One of my favorite lines from the song is where he says that he’d rather his girl trust him than to love him because how many times do people say that? It’s a better love song than anything Drake wished he could make and shows the diversity that Kendrick has when it comes to making music. Great song that should not be overlooked by anyone.

Oh, but we’re not done talking about Kendrick Lamar because number 3 is a tie between two songs that have two things in common: Kendrick is on them and they’re featured on a popular movie soundtrack.

3.

There’s no way in hell I wasn’t going to talk about these two on this list. The Black Panther soundtrack is one of those albums that I’ve listened to multiple times this year outside of Dirty Computer, which makes it something special. All The Stars is pretty much the most mainstream-friendly song from the soundtrack, but I love it so much from the first time I heard it. The African percussion along with the soaring synths and strings makes up the production of it and SZA brings one hell of a chorus. I was a bit disappointed that Kendrick only got one verse, but it was still a good verse and all of the lyrics match and connect to the themes of the Black Panther movie, of being something bigger than what you expect. When this shit came on at the same time the credits started playing, it gave me chills, making the movie watching experience even better. There’s also Pray For Me, where Kendrick is working with The Weeknd again. I knew that this was going to be a smash hit and it was. They both kill it, Kendrick with his verse and The Weeknd being The Weeknd. Like All The Stars, the lyrics match the themes of the film it’s attached to with a ton of Biblical references and relates to a hero struggling to save the day. And the production knocks harder than vibranium with its punchy drums and the African melodies that makes me feel like I’m in Wakanda. Both of these songs are great and they come from a great film as well. And for those wondering why I didn’t mention King’s Dead, this is why.

King’s Dead-Jay Rock ft Kendrick Lamar, Future, & James Blake

La di da di da, slob on me knob
Pass me some syrup, fuck me in the car
La di da di da, mothafuck the law
Chitty chitty bang, murder everything

Yeah, I am never letting that one go. Miss me with that bullshit. All The Stars and Pray For Me: the perfect superhero theme music. Wakanda Forever.

Number 2 goes to a song that brought the most joy out of me in this miserable year. I was hoping that it would inspire a trend that would inject some life and variety into the modern-day pop and R&B scene. Still waiting on that new jack swing revival, guys.

2.

Did I feel some type of way about Bruno Mars sweeping the Grammys, including winning Album Of The Year? Yeah, but I’m over it by now and 24K Magic isn’t a bad album in of itself. It does have some serious heat. Anyways, Finesse is a song from that album and its remix with Cardi B was released as a single and it’s great. It most definitely bumps in the whip thanks to its production, which sounds straight out of 1991 with its cracking drums and groove-heavy synths. It’s a perfect recreation of the new jack swing sound. Bruno brings so much charisma and energy to this track as he’s just having the time of his life. Him doing these retro tracks is where he sounds the most comfortable and where he’s at his best. And the cherry on top of this sundae is Cardi B, who kicks the song off with a stellar verse that’ll make Salt-N-Pepa smile. This was where Cardi B won me over and I understood her popularity. I really like how the music video paid tribute to In Living Color. I love that show, it was Saturday Night Live with balls. Finesse, it’s one fun ass song.

Ever since the beginning, art has been used as a tool to both point out the ills of society and start conversations around it. This is no different in music, from anti-war protest songs of the 60s to all of the patriotic country songs that were made after 9/11. Right now, the Trump era is ripe for inspiration to those who seek to create something with a message within it. The number one spot goes to a guy who managed to to spark conversations about the culture of the United States of America with both song and video. Ladies and gentlemen, Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino.

1.

Donald Glover is just that dude. Every time he puts out something, it’s always an event that starts conversations. This is no different for when he released This Is America alongside its music video. Let’s focus on the song itself first. Its production utilized the gentle acoustic guitars and choirs of gospel music and juxtaposes it with a hard-hitting scattering trap beat complete with ad-libs from Young Thug, Quavo, 21 Savage, Slim Jimmi, and Blockboy JB. I should be annoyed by seeing those people on a song together, but they actually enhance the listening experience (especially Young Thug’s outro) as Childish Gambino himself, with the use of contemporary rap flows, makes commentary about the experiences of living in the United States of America, especially if you’re black. It goes through tonal shifts from bright and joyful to dark and menacing that are matched by the music video, which shows a lot of dancing while acts of violence are occuring either randomly or in the background along with so much vivid imagery. It’s even crazier when you think about how Americans react to gun violence or any kind of violence. It’s a point where a good number of us have become desensitized to it by now, which is concerning. By now, you’ve read or seen at least one of many think-pieces about the song and video that are out there and are aware of the themes presented. Overall, this is a very interesting song to talk about and the video compliments it very well, even when it stands on its own. This Is America, my pick for the best hit song of 2018.

And those were the best songs that 2018 has to offer. What insanity 2019 has to offer, who knows. Let’s hope for a better year because we all need it. I have a few more posts planned to wrap up 2018, so stick around for those. Have a happy holidays and a happy new year.

Peace!!

SONG OF THE WEEK

Elevate-DJ Khalil ft Denzel Curry, YBN Cordae, SwaVay, & Trev Rich

5 thoughts on “Top 10 List: Best Songs of 2018

  1. Despite all the turmoil in the world, 2018 was actually a great and eventful year for me minus my uncle’s death last month from brain cancer. Saw my first female County Executive get sworn in at the beginning of the year outside in almost 0 degree weather. I interned with my local County Legislator this summer where I helped out in her office and at events and got to see the happenings of my county government. I attached the county article about me here. https://www.nassaucountyny.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=6395 I volunteered for my Democratic State Senate candidate who defeated my Republican incumbent State Senator by 10 points helping Democrats take back control of the NY State Senate along with other victories in the State. It was quite a campaign to have volunteered on. My new State Senator has a really amazing story of growing up in Iran during the Shah’s regime and immigrating to the US alone at 13 when the Iranian Revolution broke out. I went on vacation to Nashville where I got to explore a lot of the music and American history there. I saw Lorde, U2, Foo Fighters and Florence + The Machine in concert. And I joined some new clubs at my university like the Italian club, NAACP, along with a lot more things that happened. Nice For What is the only good Drake song this year. Even though it’s not all that great, I still like the song for that Lauryn Hill sample and the message even though Drake isn’t exactly the best messenger for it. Boo’d Up was one of the few bright spots this year. Ella Mai is a really good singer and I hope she continues to be successful going forward and bring more real R&B onto the charts. Dua Lipa was one of the few good pop stars to be big in 2018. New Rules was a good first impression from her and I honestly like it more than IDGAF, which was alright but New Rules is the stronger song to me. And One Kiss was another solid song from her and Calvin Harris. I like the new Hope to see more of Dua Lipa in the future. I like Let You Down for how personal it feels and how it’s complemented by the big sounding pianos and vocals. I didn’t care for any of Imagine Dragons’ hits this year and while Whatever It Takes isn’t that bad I still don’t care much for it. I’m also not a big fan of Cardi B and her songs and features have been very hit or miss but I Like It is one of those songs I enjoy from her and was one of the few summer sounding songs we got this year. Bad Bunny and J Balvin do drag it down for me but not that much to take away my enjoyment. How Long is my favorite song so far from Charlie Puth mostly because of the funky groove and Puth improving a lot as a singer. Amazing to think how bad his music was a couple years ago. Ariana Grande was also another one of the other few good pop stars to be big in 2018. I’ve been listening to a lot of earlier hits for my 2010s lists and I haven’t come across a song I really disliked from her. It’s amazing for me to see her go from a little Nickelodeon star to this big pop star who’s been going through all this turmoil over the past year. And I’ll tell you as someone who watched Victorious growing up, Ariana Grande is much better as a singer than she was as an actress. She wasn’t that great on Victorious mainly cause her character seems like the most insufferable and naive person you would know. But granted this was Nickelodeon right when it started to really go downhill. Anyways, I also feel bad with what’s happened to Ariana over the past year which also included being groped on live TV by a pastor during Aretha Franklin’s funeral. I can’t imagine what it must be to deal with all that drama in such a short time and to carry on making new music. I really like No Tears Left To Cry and I wish this would have been her first number one hit instead of thank u, next which is a fine enough song in itself. The production and Ariana’s vocals are great and this song was a great way for her to enter back into music after the Manchester bombing. Like with How Long, In My Blood is my favorite song from Shawn Mendes so far for how personal it feels and the rock style instrumentation. I don’t like Marry Me all that much but it’s still a well performed and written pop country song. Stir Fry is Migos’ best song next to their features on Slide and I Get The Bag. It’s very catchy and fun to rap along to. Sky Walker was cool. Lemon was a fun time. 2018 practically ended Justin Timberlake as a major pop culture force from the bad album to the panned Super Bowl Halftime to the renewed #MeToo criticism over how he escaped the consequences of the 2004 Halftime wardrobe malfunction with Janet Jackson while she was getting a lot of the backlash. This was not a great year to be JT but I’m glad that his best song off Man of the Woods was able to make the year end list. Yeah the writing is pretty vague for the subject matter but the singing and performances make up for it. I think LOVE. is a good song but I don’t like it as much as Kendrick’s earlier hits from DAMN. like HUMBLE. and DNA. But for what it is, it’s still nicely delivered and I can get behind the sentiment. And it’s a nice change from all the sleazy sex songs we usually get in hip-hop. Black Panther was a great movie and those two songs were great. I like Pray For Me more for how hard it goes but All The Stars is still a beautiful song with everyone involved giving a great performance. I was also mad at Bruno Mars sweeping the Grammys and it’s not because his songs and the 24K Magic album were bad but it was weaker in comparison with the other songs and albums it was competing with. Plus, it was another example of the Grammys awarding the most safe, non-threatening acts over artists who really deserve the awards. Anyway, I love Finesse. It’s just a blast to listen to. It’s the perfect throwback song in a decade that’s had no shortage of them. Finesse reminds me a lot of Poison by Bel Biv Devoe especially with the opening drum pattern and the bass sound. Bruno was great as always and Cardi B on the remix really adds to the 90s feel of the song. She really fits in with this style and is by far her best performance so far. And the music video was very cool with how they recreated the early 90s styles. Just like 6ix9ine topping your worst list, it’s no surprise This Is America tops your best list. It really stood out above everything else that charted this year. Both the song and the video really play with your mind. You think it’s gonna be a happy choir singalong but then it just suddenly goes dark without notice. It has a good message about how we as Americans pacify ourselves from all the troubles going on around us. And the fact that people moved on from this song immediately after the buzz died down proved Childish Gambino’s point. Overall, good list and we have the same top three songs (minus All The Stars). I really enjoyed following your blog over the last year. I like your reviewing style and humor and for exposing me to new music through a lot of your reviews. Can’t wait for what you’ll talk about in 2019. I’m also hoping for 2019 to be better at least for music cause we all know politics never changes. Though with Democrats having control of all my state government, we will finally pass important legislation on gun control, women’s rights, election reform, and other big items that State Senate Republicans had blocked for the last decade so there’s that to look forward to. I hope to build on my 2018 and do more big things in 2019 and make some changes in my life as I am about to enter into a new decade of my life when I turn 20 in June and as we prepare to enter into the 2020s decade. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

    Best Hit Songs of 2018
    1)This Is America by Childish Gambino
    2)Finesse (Remix) by Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B
    3)Pray For Me by The Weeknd & Kendrick Lamar
    4)Let You Down by NF
    5)no tears left to cry by Ariana Grande
    6)New Rules by Dua Lipa
    7)Boo’d Up by Ella Mai
    8)One Kiss by Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa
    9)You Make It Easy by Jason Aldean
    10)In My Blood by Shawn Mendes
    Honorable Mentions
    Havana by Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug
    I Like It by Cardi B ft. Bad Bunny & J Balvin
    Nice For What by Drake
    Love Lies by Khalid with Normani
    Delicate by Taylor Swift
    All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar & SZA
    Stir Fry by Migos
    LOVE. by Kendrick Lamar ft. Zacari
    God is a woman by Ariana Grande
    How Long by Charlie Puth
    Sky Walker by Miguel ft. Travis Scott
    Marry Me by Thomas Rhett
    Simple by Florida Georgia Line
    Lemon by N.E.R.D. ft. Rihanna
    Say Something by Justin Timberlake & Chris Stapleton
    Trip by Ella Mai
    IDGAF by Dua Lipa

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  2. Well, even the worst years have good songs, and this year actually had several of them. Honestly, 2018’s good songs are even better than 2016’s good songs in terms of bad years (if 2018 didn’t have piece of shit people dominating the charts and most of the pop songs being worse than that particular year, 2018 would’ve been considered better than 2016). Despite the fact that I hate Drake’s overexposure, in every cycle there will be at least one or two good songs in there and Nice For What was definitely it. If it wasn’t for Drake’s overexposure, it would have made my own best list. In the year where Drake’s overexposure was at it’s highest, I felt I owed it to myself to blacklist Drake from the best list at least one because I got fed up with the overexposure. But make no mistake, I do enjoy the song. I really resent the fact that R&B (at least in the mainstream) nowadays is basically just hip hop with singing in it. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. That said, it is slowly starting to get back to its’ roots and Boo’d Up is right up there as one of the best R&B hits this decade. Compared to songs of the genre from the past, I’d say this is a bit weaksauce in comparison, but if we’re talking about now, this is one of the best songs we’ve gotten out of that genre and Ella Mai is really good singer. She’s easily the best thing DJ Mustard has given us. Too bad she did a collab song with Chris Brown and is openly part of his fandom, smh. Oh, well. I don’t care what anyone says, Dua Lipa has easily been one of the best things pop music has given us these past couple of years. New Rules is a really great pop song with the best aspects of a tropical EDM beat and she really brings a lot of personality to every track she’s on. I first heard of her in 2016 when I saw a few vids of her and began to hear her on the radio later that year with some minor hits, and I’m really glad to see that she’s finally taking off in America. I really hope she sticks around for years to come because the pop scene really needs her. Let You Down really grew on me and I enjoy it now. It’s also that awkwards moment when a white Christian rapper spits better bars than over half of the mainstream rappers. That said, this is easily the best song from the guy, so it’s no wonder this was the song that finally got him on Rap Critic’s good graces. Glad to see it was the song that charted the highest. Whatever It Takes is just okay to me. I mean, I like it and Natural is slowly starting to grow on me, but this is still not as great compared to their first two singles from Night Visions. I agree that Stir Fry is easily Migos’ best songs. I think their brand of rapping would work a lot better with beats like these. I can turn my brain off and enjoy some of their other songs, but if they made more songs like Stir Fry, I would easily jam out to these guys without any issues. While I’m disappointed that Calvin Harris went back to EDM, if he made more songs like One Kiss, I definitely won’t mind. Glad he stopped sucking or at least stop making generic nonsense. I love Skywalker, but I’m just glad it gave Miguel another hit, he’s easily been one of the best things in R&B this decade. N.E.R.D. finally got a legit hit after all these years, and it’s the one with Rihanna. And it’s well deserved because the song bumps. I never liked when Rihanna raps, but this is by far her best rapping performance yet. It really fits her well with the beat and the song goes hard. Glad it stuck around long enough to make the year end. This was the first time where the general public decided that Justin Timberlake was no longer cool and it showed by his poor chart performance this year and the album flopping (which is well deserved because it is an awful album). But if any JT song deserved to stick around and make the year, I’m glad it was Say Something, easily his best track. And people need to give Chris Stapleton more hits, he’s the best thing in country music right now. As for the list, I agree with all of it. You know, people still shit on Cardi B and think she sucks, when it’s really not true. She isn’t the best rapper, but she’s proved she’s got talent and can bring personality to a track. I Like It is that track, and it’s easily her best song yet. Jon from ARTV is buggin’ when he says this is a bad song and Cardi B is bad. I love the Latin flavor and it even brought the best out of Bad Bunny. Good to see you’ve softened up on Attention. The Voicenotes era was the one that really displayed the best of Charlie Puth’s abilities and even got me to be kind of upset that not more songs from it had staying power. How Long is one of the best songs he’s made yet. I loved it from the start. Charlie himself said that he got where the criticism from his previous era came from and that Nine Track Mind was pretty much rushed out to capitalize on See You Again’s success (which it showed), and that he was done being bland. If this is what he’s gonna be making now, then I look forward to more music from him. I’m gonna be honest, I haven’t really been too blown away by Ariana’s music this year (which is sad because I’m a big fan of hers), but No Tears Left To Cry is easily the best of the singles she released this year and it’s great to see that this came from a sincere place. She went through a lot of shit these past couple of years, I’m rooting for her to get through all of that and move on stronger than ever. If any song deserved to give Shawn Mendes his first Grammy nomination, I’m glad it was this song. It’s easily the best thing he’s made yet, and this is coming from a guy who’s gone through some anxiety problems as well. I like Die A Happy Man actually, but in terms of writing and performance, yeah, this is easily Thomas Rhett’s best song. I’m glad IDGAF was able to make Billboard’s year end. The more Dua Lipa we get, the better. The song’s great, by the way. I like LOVE., for a radio-friendly song and a rap song about love that isn’t about the same crap and is really genuine, it work very excellent. Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t have much repeat value for me, and compared to many of the other songs from DAMN., it’s not as good and it doesn’t hold up as much for me. Still, I’ll take as much from Kendrick as I can. Those two songs off the Black Panther soundtrack (the movie in which is easily my best one I’ve seen in 2018) will also do. Though, I do draw the line on King’s Dead. If that song would have been just Kendrick’s verse at the end, then it’d be different. Man, I hope we get that New Jack Swing revival. In any case, I’m glad Bruno released Finesse as a single, it was definitely something we needed in this dreadful year, and I liked Cardi’s guest feature in the remix as well. I called it, I knew This Is America would be your #1. Heck, once again we have the same top two just like 2016, lol. Shockingly, not many people have put this on their best hit songs, which is disappointing because this song stands out. It may seem like a dumb trap song, but it’s more than that, it actually has something to say and the video is really groundbreaking. It’s one of those songs people will still be analyzing and critics will look back fond of and well deserved. I’m glad it got Childish Gambino a #1 hit. It’s sad that Donald is only going to be making one more album and then he’ll be done with music, but if it’s anything like the stuff he’s been making, I’m all for it. Great list as always.

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    1. IMO, in terms of best albums, I’d say Dirty Computer, Daytona, and the Black Panther soundtrack, mainly because those are the ones I go back and listen to the most. As for worst? Well, I made the mistake of listening to 6ix9ine’s most recent album, so that would be it.

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  3. 2018 was the year that pop died, and I was that one person who didn’t seem to mind it. Sure, you have those empty flexors talking about how much drugs they’ve dealt, but I honestly preferred that over bland and generic Pitbull pop. Lots of underground rap has been really good; I have enjoyed many underground-into-mainstream albums that were released in 2018 e.g. Care for Me, Taboo, etc.

    HM1: Probably one of Drake’s best songs. Could’ve been an 10/10 for me if it is wasn’t ironic enough.
    HM2: Nothing special, but it’s pretty good. 8/10
    HM3: I don’t like Dua Lipa as much as most as my peers, but she’s still a solid artist that can make solid tracks like this one. 8/10
    HM4: I like NF’s more aggressive tracks, but this is still really good. 8/10
    HM5: This track is just so-so for me, but I can see where you’re going with this. 7/10
    HM6: Yup, this song bumps. The beat carries the song though. 9/10
    HM7: Again, I don’t like this as most of my peers would. 8/10
    HM8: Overplay killed this song for me, but this is a pretty fun song. 8/10
    HM9: BOUNCIN AROUND BOUNCIN AROUND BOUNCIN 9/10
    HM10: Um sure. 6/10
    10: The lyrics are pretty generic and the Spanish artists make the track worse, but otherwise, it’s godly. 8/10
    9: I like the retro appeal this track is trying to take. It’s pretty good. 8/10
    8: I would’ve have placed this higher, but this is probably the best song of Sweetener. 9/10
    7: Pretty generic lyrics, but it’s progress from his previous tracks. The buildup to the hook is godly too. 9/10
    6: Never listened to country and never will. Pass
    5: Oof. Three Dua Lipas on this list? 8/10
    4: Probably my least favorite track on DAMN, but it’s so really good nonetheless. 8/10
    3: I like All the Stars over Pray for Me, but that’s probably because of overplay of Pray for Me. They’re both fire. 9/10, 8/10
    2: Cardi B doesn’t add anything significant to this track, but that’s because there’s nothing more to add on it. 9/10
    1: It’s overrated as fuck. Without the music video, this track is pretty much a carbon copy of 90s gangster rap plus today’s desaturated mumble rap. The lyrics don’t add anything either. It’s a 2/10 for me.

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