Here we are again. Another cold December bringing holiday cheer, congested noses, whatever the hell a snow squall is, and endless “end of year” content. Only now, we’re recapping the entire decade. It’s cool to reminisce on and evaluate ten years of fire, but not entirely my vibe. Ranking-wise, at least.
So instead, last year I wrote about how J. Cole would have a phenomenal 2019 (which he did), the women would take over music (which they did), short albums would be the new trend (ha! See Chris Brown, The Game, Chance The Rapper, etc.), and we ought to make more of an effort to be fair consumers of music (some progress there, kudos). Well I’m back with some summations of 2019 and predictions about 2020. I even added an extra one. That'll be a tradition.
Like y’all Twitter bios, these thoughts are my own and certainly not objective facts. Although I wouldn’t want you calling them alternative facts either. Hm. I’ll figure this one out.
- You all owe PARTYNEXTDOOR an apology. “Loyal” is amazing. It’s simple, sure. It’s catchy, but what else do you expect? The sound might be overused at this point, but that doesn’t necessarily make this individual song worse. You’ve just got to go outside and hear it. Your mind will change. I stand by it.
- Every year that Hip-Hop exists is a great year. We’ve watched the genre evolve and become the most popular of them all. Comparatively, this year may not rival a 2011 or 2016, but why do we have to compare? There’s a world of music out there, and I get the strong feeling we feel this year was weak because certain folks didn’t drop. I can’t change your mind, nor do I want to, but I encourage the continual search for things you enjoy. It’s out there. Calling this year ”trash” is reductive.
- Artists are human. Artists will have human moments. #1 singles, sold-out shows, and screaming fans don’t cure the internal strife that keeps them up at night. Again, I can’t convince you to do anything but I would love to see more understanding of this. I let the jokes fly like anyone, but when they become genuine judgments of people like Ari Lennox and Summer Walker, to name a few, I can’t stand by that. Social media allows us to have access to these people and we try to find all the tea without considering the state of the kettle. We can enjoy and joke from a distance but imagine you were in those people’s shoes.
- I love Young Thug and Gunna but I’m really not big on “Hot”. The machine is powerful and it was clear from the day So Much Fun released that they wanted that record to be injected into our veins. I’ll nod along when I’m out. I certainly love the word “litty”, but otherwise I skip it.
- Roddy Ricch is special. To me and my bro Grizzy Roe, he’s the West Coast version of A Boogie. Their presence, ascension in the game, and the style of the music they create is nearly parallel. Roddy had an amazing run in the back half of 2019, and he’s poised for an even bigger 2020 with that album he just dropped. I’m fearful of people elevating him too soon, though. We literally saw with DaBaby how quick people switched up or said he fell off, simply for being too consistent. We shouldn’t confuse strong runs with superstardom, even though the potential is clearly there. I’m patient with his success and I wish him the best. I just don’t want to see this become another “oh, what happened to him?” a year from now. Expectations can be lethal.
- R&B won the year, and the women lead the charge. Kehlani was especially impressive this year. “You Know Wassup”, “The Morning” alongside Teyana Taylor, “Change” with Arin Ray, and of course While We Wait. Snoh Aalegra is having a run similar to that of SZA circa Summer 2017 and beyond. Ari Lennox, Summer Walker, and Layton Greene delivered great projects, with Ari having a serious AOTY contender. In rap, Megan Thee Stallion and Rapsody held it down. The best part is seeing a lot of these women hanging out together, on each other’s Instagram Lives, and just genuinely showing love. Many fans are having trouble adapting to the progressive times, but 2019 has felt like more fortification of the femme front. Nobody was intentionally left off, as there was a lot more heat this year. For the sake of brevity, salute to all of the women.
- Meek Mill is my rap feature MVP of the year. “Anything Can Happen”, “Bogus Charms”, “PETA”, “Routine”, “You Stay”, “Weather The Storm”, and the list goes on. He’s spitting at an extremely high level, balancing the substance with the flex, and overall working his ass off. We hoped he wouldn’t take his second chance lightly, but I think many expectations have been exceeded. It’s a very real possibility that we get an album next year, with Meek basically on a one year cycle since early in the decade. It’s scary to think that he could top Championships.
- SiR’s album is flawless. I’ve been looking for something wrong with it for the sake of challenging my own critical thinking. Can’t do it. He delivered a masterpiece.
- R. Kelly is and will always be a fucking dub. Don’t request him when I’m on the aux. There’s crossing the line, and there’s Robert. I’ve pondered the idea of separating the art from the artist for a while, but that guy gets no type of sympathy here. Nasty fuck.
This was fun. Dope year. Dope decade. A lot learned and gained. Here’s to another one.