This year has been full to the brim of absolute bangers, bops and cool summer tracks. The likes of Drake, Kendrick and Vince could have a few songs each in a top 20 list, and as a result each artist has been reduced to only one song each on the list.
20. Big For Your Boots- Stormzy
Easily the best track for Stormzy on this new album, and it is a pure belter. It hits heavy and makes you think that Stormzy is actually hardcore in real life. It’s a catchy piece that you pick up quickly, since it dropped it’s been a song I’ve regularly played. I’m not a huge grime fan and I always feel that the stuff I do like is pretty generic, so whenever someone seriously impresses me I’m thankful.
19. Unforgettable- French Montana Ft Swae Lee
Never did I ever think a French Montana would make any list of mine unless it was a negative one, but this song is just undeniably catchy. I mean really it’s Swae Lee that makes it so good, the basic ‘One Dance’ style production is a blatant copy but it is damn catchy. Fair play to Montana, if he did this every time I’d actually like him.
18. Look At Me- XXXTENTACION
WARNING THIS IS NOT A MEME. This song genuinely bangs hard, for the brief couple minutes it’s on you cannot deny how heavy it is. XXX is a polarising figure that’s for sure and his music is one of a kind, no matter how much Drake tries to bite his flow.
17. All About Me- Syd
Syd is amazing at what she does, and ‘All About Me’ is masterfully produced. It’s as smooth as it gets, everything Syd does is smooth, the split from ‘The Internet’ did her wonders, this soulful R&B goes toe to toe with any R&B track in the world right now.
16. Love Galore- SZA Ft Travis Scott
Really cool production and an amazing feature here, yes I’m praising Travis, add to a brilliant and catchy track by SZA, who is lyrically and vocally underrated. Scott and SZA both give totally different perspectives to the theme of love, this song is strangely engaging to me.
15. Magnolia- Playboi Carti
There’s a lot of rappers following the same formula to make trap greats this year, lyrically there really isn’t a lot there for them, but on a whole some of them can make amazing turn up music. Carti killed it here, the XXL freshman made it big with this track as his stock rose massively, he’s now a star because of this.
14. Green Light- Lorde
This is Lorde 2.0, a totally fresh and new sound. It was risky given her success in the past but it was a huge payoff and showed her evolution off in a major way. Lorde has a fantastic voice and some really upbeat production here, she’s really just amazing. I’d argue she’s the best female artist in the world right now.
13. 911/Mr. Lonely- Tyler, The Creator Ft Frank Ocean, Steve Lacy
Tyler is at his best when he’s making soulful alt rap tracks, this is one of his best ever songs from what is easily his best ever album. There is clear progression in his work, Frank as always delivers while Steve Lacy’s stock continues to rise each and every month. The hook is massively catchy, when the song changes gear and goes into ‘Mr. Lonely’ it loses me a tiny bit, but ‘911’ alone makes this song one of the best of the year, not to say that ‘Mr. Lonely’ is bad by the way.
12. Land Of The Free- Joey Bada$$
Badass made it big this year with one of the albums of the year in what has been one of the best years for rap ever. As far as conscious rap goes it’s arguable that he and Kendrick are neck and neck in 2017, and lyrically this track was possibly the hardest hitting track of the year. The message is glaring and it needs to be addressed. Lyrics aside, Bada$$ can spit some serious flames and flow for days, I wish people would just notice his genius more.
11. Big Fish- Vince Staples
One of the catchiest hooks of the year right here. The major single from Vince’s most recent album ‘Big Fish Theory’ is for me the highlight of what is the album of the year so far. It’s absolutely fantastic from a production standpoint. Vince has a unique voice that makes any of his tracks different to the other rappers in the game right now.
10. Mask Off Remix- Future Ft Kendrick Lamar
This was one of the viral tracks of the year no doubt, The OG Future version that is. It was always one of the best, but you add Kendrick to any track and it’s more than likely going to be better, and Kendrick did just that, he made Future’s best even better. I’m not the biggest Future fan but even I couldn’t argue that this was amazing in every way possible.
9. Good Drank- 2 Chainz Ft Quavo, Gucci Mane
To my pleasure I found out this track was released in January. This is an anthem that has been played day in day out in my life. Gucci has a solid verse and Quavo is the king of hooks. 2 Chainz is at his best at the moment for me, he’s really found his footing and made some amazing music in 2017. Also if you haven’t heard it, listen to the choir version of this track.
8. Passionfruit- Drake
The most perfect song for a long summers drive, passionfruit was the toned down Drake that I love, he doesn’t have to pretend he’s a grime gangster 24/7. The intro to this track is somewhat psychedelic, I could listen to the tracks instrumental for hours, and when Drake shows some soul it usually pays of big, as it did here.
7. Crew- Goldlink Ft Brent Faiyaz, Shy Glizzy
The leading track from the highly underrated debut album of Goldlink, Goldlink in general is massively massively underrated. This is a bop and half for sure. A really pure and soulful hook, and Goldlink’s same old flow which is top 5. When it comes to rapping ability there really isn’t many better.
6. No One Knows Me (Like The Piano)- Sampha
This might be the most beautiful song of the year. Sampha can create a masterpiece time and again, he can have you in your own emotions when he sings about his own. I don’t think people understand just how good Sampha is, I would describe him as the best electronic soul singer in the world. ‘Process’ was a masterpiece and this was the cherry on the cake.
5. DNA- Kendrick Lamar
For some time I had ‘XXX’ and ‘HUMBLE’ in the place of ‘DNA’ as the track used for Kendrick, but in the end this was just too good to miss out. When it switches up halfway and Kendrick really goes in we get one of the best verses of the year, the flow is absolutely second to none. The music video is stellar as always for Kendrick Lamar, this was some of Kendrick’s best work ever.
4. Tunnel Vision- Kodak Black
For quite some time this was my favourite track of the year, an absolute killer beat and a slick hook, an enthralling music video and a new viral dance, this track had it all. Maybe I’ve put it a little too high for some on this list, but I have a major soft spot for a Kodak Black track. Metro Boomin and Kodak will always produce fire together, and when this hook got stuck in my head it was near impossible to get it out again, not that I wanted to.
3. Slide- Calvin Harris Ft Frank Ocean, Quavo, Offset
Summer bop of the year? 100%. This is Calvin Harris’ best work ever for me, anything with Frank Ocean is always brilliant on any track, his hook was as catchy as ever. The blend of the 3 stars on this is just as close to perfect as you can get. Offset is the real star here, the best verse on the track and one of the best verses of the year. Calvin went from an EDM joke act to one of the biggest men in music this year.
2. Get You- Daniel Caesar Ft Kali Uchis
One of the best neo-soul songs ever. This track is a masterpiece, a pure masterpiece. Every time I hear it I get lost in the music. His voice is exceptional, the feature fits masterfully and the production is chilling. It’s a track that makes you want to fall in love, get drunk, sing along even though you can’t hit the high notes, and it makes you want to slow dance. I challenge anyone to find a more underrated song than this in 2017.
1. XO TOUR Llif3- Lil Uzi Vert
Lil Uzi is the worlds biggest rockstar, and this song has become the ultimate hit of 2017, it’s slightly trippy and slightly demonic, and it is without a shadow of a doubt my song of the year. I do not exaggerate when I say that in 10 years time this song will have changed rap, it’s an ultimate alt rap track that will pave the way for uniqueness in the future. Moving away from how this will influence the future, it’s easily one of the top tracks in terms of being a pure anthem, it’s never got old and it’s never got boring. Congratulations to Uzi for this track going triple platinum and here’s to hoping that ‘Luv is Rage 2’ drops sooner rather than later.