There was a lot of great music that came out this year, unfortunately, with so much music out; it was hard to listen to everything. I did get a chance to listen to a nice amount of what was release. From those releases, I created this list, a short list of my favorite aka best of 2017.
Evidence – Jim Dean
The first day the video to this song came out I couldn’t stop playing it. I must have hit repeat more than fifty times. The Nottz-produced track has an infectious build to it that its hard not to bob your head to it. The beat isn’t the star of the record though, the rapper is. Evidence provided us the music video of the year and provided, in my opinion, one of his best rap performances. The slick rhymes are an indicator of Evidence’s maturity and growth since his last album. Mr. Slow Flow snuck into the latter part of the year and left a crime scene, pun intended.
Two-9 – Larry Hughes / Used To Be Down
I got introduced to Two-9 when I came across their B4FRVR mixtape. I ended up liking a few records on there. When I stumbling across their FRVR album, I put the album in rotation and I’ve been sporadically listening to it ever since. I tried to pick one record from the album but I just couldn’t, even if they are counter opposites of one another. Both records have hooks that I can’t help but rap along with whenever these songs are playing. Jace’s verses on these records are dope.
Jay Z – Bam
HOV! The epitome of a cocky, arrogant, abrasive Jay Z record. Hov is the persona Jay uses when he speaks about his former life. When Jay raps about his former life in recenttimes, he’s delivered immaculate raps. This record is no different. That first verse is all different types of flame emojis. The slick talk, clever wordplay and metaphors are all featured on this record and just help paint this picture that Hov actually was a player in the game. In short, the resurfacing of Hov will always be welcome because when he comes out, he delivers, just like Hov did back in the day.
Kendrick Lamar – God
I am not a religious person by any means, but this record speaks to me. The love and appreciation Kendrick has for his religion and a higher power is…beautiful. Those two verses are powerful. The little glimpses of Kendrick’s life that he shared in the song were dope. He showed how vulnerable he was and implies that his faith helped him overcome several obstacles. As a result of his strong faith, he is where he currently is in life: a success story and an influential, role model to many.
Kendrick Lamar – Fear
“Fear” is a masterpiece. The beat, produced by The Alchemist, is magnificent. The verses are of equal quality too. Kendrick pinpoints three different periods in his life and the fears he had at that time. Who can’t relate to the first verse? I can. As a young child, I can relate directly and indirectly to some of the statements Kendrick’s mother mentions. The couch line hits home as I lived that. As he grew older, his fear changed. What Kendrick feared as a teenager versus what he feared today is different. As a teenager, he often pondered if he’d be in jail, or worst, dead. In the present, Kendrick fears losing it all: his money or his fiancé. Both are different types of all, but remain constant fear of his that hangs in the background. Kendrick’s vulnerability on this record is truly remarkable.
(Photo Credit: Kendrick’s Instagram)