25-21

25. “California” – Childish Gambino (3)

Everyone else seems to prefer the soulful “Redbone” or the maximalist “Me And Your Mama,” and those are good songs, for sure. It’s just that I didn’t grow up listening Funkadelic or Ohio Players. Being broke in Koreatown, however, is something I relate to.

24. “Yoshi’s Circuit” – Oloff

A not-good rapper from Bristol takes an okay instrumental and fills it with dick jokes…and somehow it’s refreshing. It helps if Reddit discovers it, but “Yoshi’s Circuit” stands by itself. It’s going to have to, too, since I doubt I’ll ever see this bloke again.

23. “Finish Line/Drown” – Chance the Rapper (4), Kirk Franklin, T-Pain, Noname (mp)

Coloring Book was kind of a mess, the type that’s best to file away as an early-career misstep. But on the mixtape were a few highlights that reminded why Chance was such a force in 2015, the best  “Finish Line/Drown,” a song featuring a hook from one of the greatest hook-makers of all time and a verse from this year’s most intriguing new rapper. It focuses on the live instrumentation and choral proceedings that made “Sunday Candy” last year’s song of the year, with the same heights of happiness that ode to his grandma brought us to. Chance is rightfully blowing up, and if his debut album keeps the focus of his third mixtape’s best cuts, he’ll be on to something great.

22. “Leather Shoes” – Buerak (m)

Ian Curtis is alive! Joy Division lives on! And in Russia, apparently.

21. “Fool Wit It Freestyle” – Supa Bwe, Chance the Rapper (5)

Without the specter of heightened examination, Chance was able to play around lyrically (“we is not the Huxtables/the tux is just to juxtapose”) on his Supa Bwe cosign, and sounds a lot freer as a result. Supa was forced to bring his best, and he matches Chance’s light cadence bar-for-bar. It’s stress-free rap, and easy listening sometimes is the most rewarding.

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