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  • Charlie Taylor

#5EUK Top 25 Songs Of 2019

Ladies & Gentlemen! We're finally here. The end of the year and not just any "End of the year", it's the end of the Decade! Now since this is the first list that I'm dropping, let me just make it clear. You won't be finding a 'Decade list' from me. Maybe in 10 years time you will, but not now. I haven't been plugged into music the way I am now until the latter half of this decade. Now if you want a decade list from me, I shall direct you to my Podcast "Diggin' In The Digits" where I spent four episodes breaking down my 100% subjective Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of the Decade. Okay, with that out of the way, let's drop some HEAT! So I usually do 20 songs for this particular list but as you've gathered in the title, I decided to add five more tracks. When I was compiling the list, I had 20 locked in really quickly and I thought to myself "I'm sure I can squeeze in five more." So I have! Criteria is simple:

  1. "Do I love this track?"

And that's it! You can see how I locked the list in so fast eh? With past lists I tended to pick some tracks that I may have not spun regularly but picked them because they popped off. I didn't want to do that again. According to "Spotify Wrapped" I listened to 40k minutes of music. Out of all those minutes I can't pick songs that I truly enjoy?! So, self pep talk over and done with. Shall we blast some tunes? 25 tracks, 25 artists, the playlist will be at the end so if you feel like listening to them all (particularly the ones that doesn't have a music video) then be my guest.

Oh yea... NO PARTICULAR ORDER. But I did try to create chain links between each track... So it's technically in a particular order, but not ranked. Welcome to The 5th Element Top 25 Songs Of 2019! We begin our list with real "kick down the door" energy & a woman that exemplifies black excellence. (I can say this several times during this list if I wanted to...)

Sampa The Great - Final Form​

Man is this track BOSS. The audacity to start this track with that funky beat from the jump, no warning, it just sends you to a place of unabashed confidence and badassery. Thank The Sylvers for this because the production for this track is pretty much rooted in their song "Stay Away From Me". It's very true to source, an amazing job by SilentJay.

Production aside, Sampa lyrically is so rock solid on this. Delivery & flow switches are effortless. This has soul, it has attitude and Sampa sounds right at home with a song that preaches blackness & black empowerment. It ticks all the boxes for me.

Favourite bars:

"Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh / Greatness in me, you can’t make me feel less / Less hold, I’m not impressed / Best mode, got my Afro like an empress"

From a track that slaps you with pro-black vibes, to a track that literally invites you to the vibe.

BJ The Chicago Kid - Feel The Vibe (Feat. Anderson .Paak)

(Other song considered: Time Today)

So I was taught one time in school that one of the most important things to do when writing a story (in novel/novella form) is to have a great first sentence. You can apply this to all art. Think of your favourite book, film, TV show, and in this case, album. The first track must set the tone.

This track that kicks off BJ The Chicago Kid's "1123" is a beautiful intro. I'd go further and say even if you listen to this track out of the context of the album, it gets better somehow. I put this on my Regular Rotation immediately and I rarely skip it. It's so warm and hugs your ears. When BJ comes through after a very clean Paak verse, it's just peak BJ. He doesn't have a verse, just a hook. But that hook is so great. As soon as he comes in it's like you've been in the car travelling home for the holidays and your heating is broke, so you've been in this cold metal box for hours. And then you knock on the door and BJ opens it. That is what I see everytime the hook comes in. It's just a wonderfully warm song that evokes a lot of senses if you allow it.

Favourite Bars:

Paak - "Yeah, my dreams were realized, the wings was double fried / My green was stuffed between the peas and kettle fries / I quit with the beef then I, gave up the pork then I / Snatched up a cosign from one of the GOATs"

From a track that is perfect for the autumn/winter months, to a track that perfect for anytime. Partly because the title tries to cater to all seasons and ends up being a complete oxymoron...

Snoop Dogg - Wintertime In June (Feat. Nate Dogg)

It's tracks like these that make me miss Nate Dogg. Out of all of the deaths in Hip-Hop & music history, Nate's was one of the most unfortunate. Because listening to this song and hearing him float on the hook, he truly was one-of-one. His presence on this track wouldn't work with anybody else. If he wasn't on this track, this wouldn't be on this list.

No disrespect to Snoop, this is one of his better performances in recent years. The song's narrative is very interesting, basically a dream-like reminiscing about their collective moments with women. But Nate just sends me to a different place on this track.

Who saw it coming that in 2019 we'd be jamming to not just a Snoop track, but a Snoop track with Nate Dogg on it? What a world eh.

Favourite Bars: Nate. Dogg's. Hook.

Speaking of a legend that was taken way too early...

Big L - Casualties Of A Dice Game (9th Wonder Remix)

Okay, depending on who you are, you either think I'm cheating by putting this on the list or you're hailing me for putting this on the list.

Or you might be someone that aren't clued up no why I'm introducing the song like this. For those in the latter, I'll explain. Big L's "Casualties of A Dice Game" is a song that was originally part of his posthumous 2000 album "The Big Picture". The track in question is the same Big L bars but with a different beat behind it. But not just any beat... A 9th Wonder beat.

But it's not just because of 9th Wonder that I'm putting this on the list. Just go read the lyrics. I'm not even asking you to go listen, just read the lyrics. How many 2019 Hip-Hop tracks can you name that have this level of detailed storytelling. Every bar moves the story along, everything can be imagined. Calling his homie up, his homie selling him out, L all beat up and eventually dying. It's so sublime from a writing perspective. Put some respect on Big L's name please. And big up 9th for giving me a reason to hail Big L.

Favourite Bars:

"I'm cruisin fast and they still behind me / The same nigga who I won the money from, and his grimy crimey / It's about to get, real hasty / Grabbed the steel, took it off safety / Cause I refuse to let these niggas waste me"

Speaking of bars...

Ocean Wisdom - BREATHIN' (Feat. P Money)

(Other songs considered: BLESSED, VOICES IN MY HEAD, YUNG BOY)

So the day before I wrote this, I was on IG and Ocean Wisdom posted some videos of him performing and he mentioned that he has the World Record for being the fastest rapper. Now I didn't know this until I watched that particular IG Story and honestly, even if it isn't factual, I believe him anyway.

Ever since I got into Ocean last year he has constantly sent me into a state of facial paralysis several times. I said this when I had "Wizville" as my No.1 AOTY 2018. I have to be careful listening to him rap. If I try to follow every word, my brain can't comprehend.

Take "BREATHIN'" for example. It actually starts of at a decent pace. But the longer the song gets, the faster it gets. This track is the definition of "Snowball effect". The final third is the filthiest back & forth between rappers I think I have ever heard. P Money delivers a boss verse, but once Ocean comes in again, all bets are off. The level of bar trading, switching flows three times. This song is just too much. Follow every word at your own risk.

Favourite Bars:

Ocean - "Clinical with it I scribble the lyric / I dribble, I spit it / I bill it and lit it / This fire, you feel it? / I feel it, I feel to be liable / To kill it, I’m raw and I’m ruckus / I run up and buck ‘em / A couple nun chucks, is high when you swing it / A samurai sword, and a star, I’mma fling it / I mean it, I’m innit, I’m cold with it innit"

Since we're talking about two British rappers dropping heat...

Avelino - Cassius Clay (Feat. Dave)

I will admit, I have slept on Avelino for a while now. Not actively of course, he just hasn't been caught in my net yet.

Until "Cassius Clay". In the small sample size I've heard Avelino on a track I've liked his voice, it's very unique. But it's always on a feature and I never feel compelled to go listen to everything Avelino. But this is the first time he's really commanded my attention. The Jason Julien production fits the mood perfectly and compliments the "no hook" nature of this track. At least with the previous track on the list there was a hook for you to catch up.

The bars do not stop on this one. It's methodical & covers a lot of ground. Avelino & Dave match up so well on here, they both have time to go off and you finish listening feeling like you've had a mental training session. It's very easy for the bars to go over your head. Amazing track from two of Britain's best.

Favourite Bars:

Avelino - "Why you think I'm rollin' with trendsetters that set pace? / Grew up in a race with racist / A place where they wanna replace us, I'm patient but then I'm impatient, God's grace has been ever so gracious / Something to say but I'm the saviour cause I'm in the Matrix, an alien cause I'm in a spaceship, I saw my niggas on slave ships"

I can go many ways from here... Let's keep up the duo theme...

Splurgeboys - Forbidden Fruit

So quick story. The first time I heard Tee & Rocket AKA Splurgeboys, was when I was spinning Tinie Tempah's "Flash" constantly. It was partly because of the absolutely filthy beat that Splurgeboys made for that song. It's aggressive and 'in your face'.

Fast forward to now, after listening to "Chill + Bill", "Out Of The Pan", putting Ghetts' "Gas Mark 9" on my Regular Rotation. I want to say this...

"Forbidden Fruit" has THE BEST TRAP BEAT. Don't talk to me about any other trap beat. The best one was made by two UK producers. These two are so great at modern trap beat production, the fact that they drop some decent bars on here is simply the cherry on top. They are so strong on production I'm actually pissed that they're not hyped like all the US producers in the same vein. If you got headphones or speakers that display good bass, I beg you spin this, you'll not be disappointed.

Speaking of amazing beats...

Denzel Curry - WISH (Feat. Kiddo Marv)

I've been loving what Denzel Curry has been doing for a couple of years now. Most of his popular songs are popular are usually becasue he absolutely black out lyrically.

For me, "WISH" is much more traditional where I'm here for all of it. I'm here for the lyrics, but I'm also here for the wavy hook and *dribbles* that SAMPLE.

This was one of my songs of the Summer and how can you disagree? This track is full-on Miami. It's if Denzel Curry did an updated soundtrack for "GTA: Vice City" or "Miami Vice".

Shouts to B.B. & Q Band. This song, like "Final Form", is the foundation for this song and is made that much more glorious... With a trap beat on top of it.

Favourite Bars:

Denzel - "Hit her with the stroke, get her wet like aqua / If she was a bop, I would hit, then I'll drop her / Hang with the bros 'cause you know blood thicker / I miss my vros, so we pour more liquor / And you don't want smoke, you don't want no Swisher / 'Cause you don't want war with a South Florida nigga"

Speaking of Summer vibes... And Sampa The Great...

Jungle Brown - We On (Feat. Sampa The Great)

(Other songs considered: Keep It Movin' & Time Ticks)

Ever since I saw these three support Masta Ace @ The Jazz Cafe, I have been interested in them since. They had this throwback feel but weren't reliant on having that throwback Hip-Hop feel.

Once I heard their album "Full Circle", that theory I had was confirmed. They are true Hip-Hop but don't hesitate to veer into different elements.

But with that said... When they go full Hip-Hop, it's so freaking good. Case in point, "We On". As soon as you press play, you get that sample. Kool & The Gang's iconic "Summer Madness". Tony Bones flips this sample so well. Just like Fresh Prince & Jazzy Jeff's "Summertime", you can dance to it like nobody is watching or just nod your head. You can choose how much energy you want to invest in this track. The verses by Maear, Ric Flo & Sampa The Great just float. The hook is just as infectious as "Summertime".

The only reason I compare this song to such an iconic track is because, in many ways, it's just as good. Absolute jam.

Favourite Bars:

Maear - "Even put the caption on / But you put some action on / New people latching on / Now it strong when it look like magic wand / Genie in a bottle now clearing out the fog it's really you my G that's clearing out your doors"

From one track with a throwback feel, to another song with a different type of throwback feel.

Yuna - Pink Youth (Feat. Little Simz)

So I initially gave this song a listen strictly because Little Simz was on it. One of those cases I'm sure we've all had when an artist you like is on a track by someone you never heard of.

But unlike some of those cases, while Simz provides a solid feature on this, the main reason I have had this track on my Regular Rotation since it dropped is because of Yuna and the super fun production by J.lbs & Robin Hannibal.

The hook makes me feel like I'm flying by myself, it feels like a classic Jamiroquai song. And the lyrical content makes it one fat female empowerment anthem which, particularly in this year, is great to see.

The music video ain't too bad neither!

Favourite Bars:

Little Simz - "Give me space, no credit, I don't need it / Life goes and oh, well, my soul reflects gold / Don't try to let go / I give it easy to you, livin' intense flow / This is real shit, ain't nothin' to mess with / I'm just tryna give you somethin' here to connect with"

Speaking of female empowerment...

Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Science - The Anthem (Feat. Rapsody)

I'm so proud that I can finally hail some Jazz tracks. But that's not the main reason I'm putting this on the list.

This is a Top 5 Rapsody performance, maybe the best I have ever heard from her from a purely performance perspective. (spoiler alert, this won't be the last time I talk about Rapsody on here...)

For most Rapsody fans, me included. The first time I heard Rap was on Kendrick's "Complexion". Which is one of her best features. I'm here to say, this feature is better than that. Before I talk about Rap some more, I need to set the scene for this track.

It's seven minutes, headed by Carrington on drums & Aaron Parks on piano. They set the pacing, it's a reasonable pace, simple to grab onto. Then comes Morgan Guerin on Sax to add a little spice to the mix. The sax is then replaced by Matthew Stevens on guitar. And THEN, Rapsody just comes in now & again to speed things up. When she comes on the mic, everything just instinctively revs up. And then she suddenly dips. The sax takes over as the piano & drums keep the foundations. As you can imagine, this happens a few times and finally, near the end, we have our climax.

Rapsody goes full spoken word on this and it works so well. The lyrical content fits right in with her '19 album "Eve". It's female empowerment in Jazz form with bars that cut through like a katana. Like Jazz? Peep the album "Waiting Game". Like Rap? Peep this track. It's wonderful on all sides.

Favourite Bars:

Rapsody - "This is a seat at the table Rosa refused to never sat / We rather stand on it / Jump, scream rap jumping rope jumping jack / Exercising our right to be more than / Shadows in the black / See us, see me / Not as an anomaly, as a tribe / The new standard as Maya said still we rise"

Since we're talking about Jazz...

Alfa Mist - Falling (Feat. Kaya Thomas-Dyke)

So I saw Alfa Mist live @ Omeara a couple of years ago, before I heard this song the album the song is on "Structuralism". The feature on this track, Kaya Thomas-Dyke, performed by herself. It was clear at that point she was a great singer and bass player.

And then Mist & the band came through, which also included Thomas-Dyke as the Bass.

Ever since then I was hoping that somebody puts this woman on. Not Alfa Mist specifically but anybody you know? And then came "Structuralism" and this track "Falling".

Alfa Mist has this ability to create this brand of Jazz that doesn't "get loud" but still has it's peaks. His keys are soft and goes perfectly with Thomas-Dyke's vocals. It's a beautiful song that is strong on it's own but just to add a little extra, there's this sombre piano/string led outro that I feel should be a song in itself. Just sublime.

Did someone say strings?

Resavoir - Taking Flight (Feat. Brandee Younger)

(Other songs considered: LML)

Let me ask you a question. When was the last time you heard a harp in a song?

It's something I never thought about until I heard this song. First thing you hear is Brandee Younger's harp and it genuinely took me aback. Harp work is so rare these days so to hear it on this song was very refreshing.

After the Harp-led intro we get into a very fun piece of Jazz that has a very 'danceable' rhythm. I rarely get the chance to bust a move to Jazz but this track has such a clean rhythm to it.

Speaking of clean rhythm, in more ways than one...

Blu & Exile - True & Livin'

One of my favourite Hip-Hop duos of All-Time come back with this quintessential Blu & Exile track.

I don't know how they do it to me. Because there are many "1 MC/1Producer" duos out there that can create a track with one sample. But when looking up the sample for this track, a track I have had on Regular Rotation since Day 1, I melted again.

This is why crate digging is the secret sauce between good producers & legendary producers. Flipping The Impressions' "Moonlight Shadows" to make "True & Livin'" was a masterstroke. That's all Exile but let me talk about how Blu delivers his verses so effortlessly. I was blessed to see these two live this year and when Blu performed this track... He makes rapping look easy. Totally calm & collected. Yet another Blu & Exile track that hits me in the heart with the bare essentials of a Hip-Hop song. Sometimes simplicity really is the best route.

Favourite Bars:

"Ladies and gentlemen, from this dimension / Comes the true and living 90 billion miles from the root of existence / Touch the sun and let me shine like one / Bust ya gun and watch the blind run / We change the shooter's vision / Influential intuitions, intermissions on a mission at the finish, telling 'em, that we just beginning / From out the park dropping jewels in the dark / Comes a beat beating harder than the beat of ya heart"

But I couldn't stop hailing these two there ladies & gentlemen...

Choosey & Exile - Brown & Beautiful (Feat. Blu & Ana Tijoux)

(Other song considered: Low Low)

No I'm not cheating my "one artist" rule. As you can see, there's a different MC at the front of the bill.

With that out of the way, let's talk about this magical Hip-Hop to the core love song. Firstly, the once again sample that fits the album context perfectly. For those that don't know, the album that this song is part of is one big ode to Latin-Americana. Choosey, who is of Latin-American descent, is the catalyst and this track is my favourite out of all.

The sample, Jade "Brown & Beautiful" is just that. The whole song is Choosey & Blu talking about the brown woman & hailing them. The lyrics are great. But the secret ingredient is French-Chilean Ana Tijoux coming in the middle of the track to deliver this amazing verse in her native language. That is what sent me when I first heard this. I don't know what she is saying admittedly, if anyone wants to translate for me, by all means. But regardless of that, I love it and was a great touch by Choosey & Exile.

Speaking of great homages to the roots...

Rapsody - Nina

(Other songs considered: Ibtihaj & Iman)

Remember when I talked about the importance of the intro? Here's another example. I was sitting on my sofa, the clock dropped midnight and I was so ready to blast Rapsody's "Eve". I pressed play, "Nina" comes on. I was SHOOK.

I knew that Raposdy was going to fulfil her concept of hailing black women, but this one in particular was momentous for me. Having Nina come in for the intro like a ghost right behind her, it sends chills down my spine. And that is before Mark Byrd's beat truly comes in. And the lyrical content is some of the best I've heard Rapsody spit. Go read the lyrics and tell me it's not one of the best written tracks this year. Tell me otherwise.

It's a cold track but in that cold, there's a heat behind it, just ready to come bursting through. I like to personally think of it like breaking the glass ceiling and every bar is a punch to said glass. She's in my Top 5 right now and this is exhibit B along with "The Anthem".

Favourite Bars:

"We all gon' get mils / Talk a lot of game but we get paid to like Jemele / Was raised upon a hill, the valley's a sunken place / I'm just tryna build like I came with some kettle weight / Know I'm a god emcee, 'cause nigga, I made the devil wait / 'Fore I brought hell, you ain't gotta tell me I'm hella great"

Speaking of someone that's in my Top 5...

Little Simz - Venom

I could put other Simz tracks onto "Other songs considered", but that would make it as if there was a competition. There wasn't. I still have to exhale when the beat drops on here.

This track is filth on filth. She's done a track like this before where she simply comes for necks but this performance is so ice. She doesn't have any vocal inflection until she double times it but straight after that, back to this monotone, black abyss tone that makes her sound like she's possessed.

This is "Dead Body" time two. She even mentions that track on here. That's how much she's evolved. One of her best tracks is a lyrical footnote compared to this. The speed, the lyrics, the stripped back Inflo production. Unbelievable.

Favourite Bars:

"Fuck those who don’t believe / They will never wanna admit I’m the best here / For the mere fact that I’ve got ovaries / Its a woman world so to speak / Pussy you sour / Never giving credit where its due cos you don’t like pussy in power, Venom"

Speaking of black...

Dave - Black

(Other songs considered: Streatham & Screwface Capital)

I'm going to get very current before I talk about this track specifically. Over the past year or so, there has been some friction between African Americans & Black British Actors. You may have seen many films recently where the lead is a Black British actor portraying an African American. Whether rightly or wrongly, African Americans that care about their portrayal in film are concerned.

This is just one of the things that I think about when listening to his song. How we're told that our differences are as wide as the Atlantic Ocean. But then I go back to this song in response to that. Yes, there are differences, but there are also similarities and we sometimes forget that as people of colour.

Getting out of that box for a moment. This song was getting on my list come hell or high water. This is one of those tracks that I can't put in my Regular Rotation because of how deep it is. So much social commentary on here that deserves extensive analysis. But for now, this is an amazing piece of work with great piano & production by Fraser T Smith.

Favourite Bars:

"Black is so confusin', 'cause the culture? They're in love with it / They take our features when they want and have their fun with it / Never seem to help with all the things we know would come with it / Loud in our laughter, silent in our sufferin'"

Speaking of a young rapper catering to their roots...

Rich Brian - Kids

Before listening the album this song is housed, I saw Rich Brian as a rapper that clearly needed time to mature. The talent was there but I'm not here for this guy to utter the N in tracks.

But when I heard "Kids" I was completely shocked at how great it was. The live instrumentation, the inspirational lyrical content. I was happy that I gave this guy a chance honestly. You don't have to be Indonesian to love this track & relate to it. We all want to show out and put on for where we came from. It's accessible to all, lyrics are so damn quotable. Great 'Boom Bap' track.

Favourite Bars:

"Trippin' 'bout my future, like way before there was cameras / Hella plans on my calendar, 'fore I went all professional / Less souls to trust, man, these people makin' me cynical / More copycats and less people soundin' original / Same destination, we just took different routes / Fuck bein' one the greatest, I'm tryna be the greatest one / I ain't sayin' I ain't grateful for everything I've become / But the throne looks more comfortable than this chair I'm sittin' on"

Speaking of a joyful track...

Emeli Sandé - Shine

The Queen of our sovereignty has decided to come through and bless us with this track that says exactly what it says on the title.

The reason why Emeli is the Queen of our sovereignty (I'm not going to shorten that by the way...) is because her ability to emote is unmatched. If she's giving you a track called "Shine", bet your bottom dollar it's going to do that. This song is just unbridled joy! Everything is positive and not in a fake way. Her performance, the backing vocals behind her, the instrumentation, all of it sounds full of life and when you listen to it, you feel full of life by the end.

All hail the Queen of our sovereignty.

Speaking of a woman giving positive vibes...

Hamzaa - Someday

For those that listen to Hamzaa regularly, I feel like this wouldn't be their pick. I have that feeling because in Hamzaa's short career, she has already created some great music that explores a wide range of emotions.

Similar to "Final Form", "The Anthem" & "Shine", this sing is a real preach to the woman. The song starts off with Hamzaa talking about love and she waited so long for it. We've all been through those moments where you're trying to be patient and the thing you're waiting for never comes. It feels crap.

But then the hook comes in and the hopefulness just comes straight back in. I love the roller-coaster nature of this song, I love the horns that are laced throughout, it's just a fun track to listen to!

Speaking of a great upcoming female talent...

Tiana Major9 - CAT & MOUSE

So Tiana Major9 was the first organic discovery I had this year and my enjoyment of this song hasn't dissipated.

I love the soul behind Tiana's performance, the production really supports her and doesn't try to take the limelight. This song, for me, is about Tiana's great songwriting and intoxicating voice. The concept of "Cat & Mouse" can be applied to many aspects of life but obviously when you listen to it, it's more related to relationships and how hard it can be to find solid ground.

That concept is especially prevalent when we look at dating in this digital age, but I'm getting too deep. I love this song, it's been on my Regular Rotation for most of the year and it means more to me because nobody (actively) put me on to Tiana.

From a singer on the rise, to a rapper on the rise.

Aaron May - Let Go

It's songs like these that make my music exploration worth it. I completely forgot how I discovered Aaron May but believe me when I say I've had this on my Regular Rotation after 1st listen.

The sample was the first thing that I liked. Flipping "Look After Love" by Heatwave and adding a smooth beat on top of it was perfect. It gives a vibe of being lost, trying to find something. The lyrics are just as good as the beat once they come in. The song is very introductory. Like this should be the first song of Aaron May's that you should blast.

I get "Mixtape J.Cole" vibes from this song. He expresses a lot of pain, mental, physical and circumstantial. But he comes out knowing what he wants and I can really relate to that.

Favourite Bars:

"I would give grace, but I'd rather give closure (I know) / I would take breaks, but I'd rather move forward (I won't) / I done been chewed up, spit out, kicked out, let down / But I'm still a motherfucking soldier / So fuck what you told me if you showed me different / Fuck what you showed me if you came up missing / I know that actions speak louder than words / The thing about yours, they never consistent"

Speaking of a smooth beat with relateable bars...

Loyle Carner - Ottolenghi (Feat. Jordan Rakei)

There's a calmness that Loyle Carner emits through pretty much all of his songs. It's a unique brand of Hip-Hop that can vary in content but at the end of the day, anybody can jam to it.

I actually dismissed this track when it dropped as a single. I don't know why I did but once his album "Not Waving, But Drowning" came out, I listened again and fell in love with the track. I didn't know until writing this that Jordan Rakei didn't just do the hook for this, but produced it as well!

It's just a great Loyle track, one of his best lyrically and is perfect to listen to when you're on the train as the lyrics & music video would like you to believe.

Favourite Bars:

"I was sat up on the train / Staring out the window at the rain (aye) / I heard this little lady must've felt the pain ask her mum if the blazing sun’ll ever shine again / I felt ashamed feel the same not her mother though / Nah, started to laugh got her son involved (aye) / Mention the past like a running joke / And told her 'without all the rain there's no stunning growth’"

And lastly...

Big Sean - Overtime

I have a hot & cold relationship with Big Sean. On one hand, there are some tracks of his that just hit me like no other song could. (this song being one of those) I still have "On The Come Up" firmly in my Regular Rotation after putting that on my '17 Songs list.

But on the other hand I can't help but think that Sean's career could have been better so far. I don't subscribe to that rhetoric about Sean being the corniest rapper alive, but I do feel like his albums have lacked considering how good I believe he can be.

All that aside. Sean coming out of his hiatus to drop "Overtime" was just what I needed this year. No hook, just bars on bars on bars. Great punchlines and a perfect reference to Kawhi Leonard's heavily meme'd laugh. The Hit-Boy/TheTuckerBrothers/KeY Wane production is so great. That beat switch goes so damn hard. This is how you come back into the frame. But context aside, Big Sean went off, simple as that

Favourite Bars:

"Fuck that shit that you believe in, I believe in me / Talkin' on they phones and PC like they off that PCP / Bitch, I spit that Eazy-E, face to face, Smack DVD / I don't got no time for hanging out and all that E-T-C / Just cut the check, C-T-C, Godbody my physique / I can look inside your eyes and know exactly what you mean / Fuck you mean? Energy the first language that I speak"

AND THAT IS THE LIST! Ladies & gentlemen, I hope you have enjoyed going through my list. Below is the official playlist containing all 25 songs. Like I mentioned at the beginning, I tried to have a nice flow from song to song, but if you want to disrespect me and hit shuffle then go ahead...

I'm kidding of course! However you listen, I hope you enjoy, let me know if I've put you onto any tracks that you now love or you agree with my picks. EP list, up next...


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