20-16

20. “Why You Always Hatin’?” – YG (2), Drake (11), Kamaiyah

YG will be immortalized by “FDT,” the only anti-Trump anthem anyone will ever need. But his second act this year was just as stellar, a slow-riding track with the growl that rap has been missing for the last ten years. Drake adds Oakland to his list of hometowns Toronto, Memphis, Kingston, Houston, and Miami, while actual Oaklander Kamaiyah provides the rumbling hook for the G-funk track of the year. YG may be the only one doing G-funk right now, but he’s the only one we need.
19. “715 Creeks” – Bon Iver (2) (m)
No one knows what it means, but it’s provocative. It gets the yuppies going.

 

18. “Because I’m Me” – The Avalanches (P)
If you’re wondering how The Avalanches, an electronic group from Australia, was able to replicate sounds from early 70s urban New York City, the answer is simple: they stole them. But hey, that’s how rap was invented, so who can blame them?
17. “Destroyer” – Kevin Morby (m)
Kevin Morby imagining himself Bob Dylan is the only explanation I can come up with for his confident delivery of awkward lyrics. Because while he’s a subpar writer, Morby’s melancholy instrumentation raises his words to passable levels. And when that sax kicks in, oh my, it’s nice.
16. “Call Ticketron” – Run The Jewels (2)
THANKS RTJ for releasing an album CHRISTMAS EVE and RUINING my list. Truth is, the only victim was a Kendrick Lamar B-side, and he’s not hurting for meaningless exposure. Jaime and Mike, however, are going to need all the press they can get to get to Madison Square Garden. Let’s make it happen.
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