The year in music wrap-up will forever be a sin of omission. There is never a way to get it right regardless of what year it is
Of all the artforms, music is the one that connects the dots of feelings, memories and taste. It is a highly personal beast.
There are indie artists sweating it out in wet and moldy clubs that released the best music that we never heard this year.
But someone did and to that someone my take of who should be discussed is useless.
But there are some moments that are worthy of everyone’s time capsule and we shall now collectively dive into that.
Radiohead just leaked an epic unreleased track that was written for the James Bond movie Spectre.
2015 brought the information that a new Deftones record is coming out in 2016.
The most interesting band in metal/rock/whatever have reportedly committed their best work to tape…seriously…someone that doesn’t get a check from them is ecstatic about it.
This year was the year that the kid with the huge hair a.k.a. The Weeknd had his way with the world. Its never a bad thing when anyone can twist pop and/or soul music into a bitter shell of itself using hedonistic intent as its weapon of choice.
Vices and copious usage of the word fuck aside, we have been handed artist that has room to grow into one of the greats. Make no mistake about it, the songs, the chops and the artistry are all there.
Yes… Meek Mill was embarrassed by Drake this summer. The whole thing felt like it was lifted straight from the movie Mean Girls even if the victim should have kept his mouth shut to begin with. As a wise man once said, “don’t start no shit, won’t be no shit.”
Kanye West did right by Pusha T and gave that man the torch that he deserves to run with. He also admitted to “smoking a little something” and showed his ass a little bit at the VMAs again. It doesn’t matter if runs for president or not in 2020. His statements land with the authority of punches now.
Lil Wayne and Birdman let their family business get into the street and subsequently the courts. The whole mess leaves us with more questions than answers.
Will Lil Wayne escape from his musical prison?
Will Young Thug become the next rapper to claim that Baby seduced with the lure of family and fortune only to bleed him dry until he was of zero use?
Will the Young Money roster be forced to choose sides like the once mighty Rocafella Records roster had to?
All these questions and more will be answered next year.
Bring Me The Horizon met their critics with an interesting record full of super-catchy songs that are still somewhat mean and stacked with little tidbits of noise.
They may catch a lot of shit for whatever reason but on That’s The Spirit they officially became stadium sized.
Big Boi from Outkast came through with his anticipated Big Grams project with the electronic duo Phantogram. I have to admit that I was so not looking forward to the EP as the concept on paper looked like a hot mess. I was wrong…Big I will never doubt you again playa.
A pair of female rappers also found a way on to my playlist. Dej Loaf is a lyrical sniper that has songs and bars for days.
She spent 2015 making a lot of noise of features for other artists like The Game and Kid Ink. What was made clear during her slot at the BET Hip Hop Awards is that she’s nobody’s sidekick.
Bebe O Hare is an independent voice from Chicago that is ready for her close-up. After the release of her Fashionably Late mixtape, she ran the table of this calendar dropping tracks on her Soundcloud and at local venues.
Animated in her wordplay and pointed with her flow, here’s to the hope that Bebe O’Hare rises from ‘she’s better than most of the shit that’s signed to the majors these days” status.
I guess we should bring up the point that Coldplay graced us with what they are threatening will be their last record. The truth is that the only people that will probably miss them have a Bath & Bodyworks card in their purse.
Ja Rule can rest easy after The Game engineered the most savage sonning in the history of hip-hop. It’s not that the Fischer Price rapper from Miami that was laid to rest was ever relevant, because he wasn’t.
There was a certain artistry to how the Compton, CA rapper snatched this person’s entire soul/pride/career/friends/life etc that gave battle losers everywhere the ability to say ‘at least I’m not…’
Hip-Hop at its best is about competition and it usually gets ugly when pretenders or hangers on lose their grip on reality.
As stated earlier, don’t start no shit…
These of course are just a few of the moments that we could have mentioned. Truthfully some voices have been discussed so much that this one just doesn’t choose to join that party.
I will share a few bullet points and a disappointment.
I will miss my cherished music streaming service Rdio.
Ellie Goulding seems to always have one of the most welcome songs on the crossover scene.
I am still waiting on Robin Thicke to get his shit back together.” Back Together” wasn’t it.
Seeing Slipknot live without Joey Jordison playing drums was and always will be strange.
Korn killed their cover of Rhianna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money.”
Those dudes in Jr Jr are catchy as hell.
Jadakiss made a strong case for his greatness on his latest record.
EDM is not going anywhere nor did it ever. A new shape or tag may emerge but the beat will remain.
What was disappointing was a lack of socially relevant content that penetrated the mainstream to help us all make sense of the fuckery that is taking place before our eyes.
We need a “ What’s Going On?” now more than ever and here’s to the hope that the right artist will find the right voice to say the right thing to create the soundtrack that is so desperately needed right now.
If Taylor Swift can defeat Apple then maybe she’s the right person for the job.
-Adrian Gregory Glover