71. Rochelle Jordan – “Shotgun”
Keeping with RJ’s seamless ’90s throwback style, this highlight from her sophomore mixtape P R E S S U R E also took a cue from her contemporary peers, masking a potentially dark subtext under sweet melodies and affecting production.
72. Roc Marciano – “The Man”
The perfectly titled, organ-driven closer from Reloaded is five minutes of Roc Marciano stuntin’ on another echelon. He takes on the caricature of a mafia head honcho (“silk shirt, half open with the chest hair”), and proceeds to do what he does best — fill it out with punchy, poetic bursts of colorful detail.
73. Black Spade – “Nobody’s Fool”
Another genre-blending masterpiece from the perpetually overlooked Black Spade. The crooning, rapping and production are all on point as always, and the video manages to keep pace as well.
74. Game Ft. Cool & Dre – “Black Jesus”
The Game does his thing as usual here but Dre’s beat and hook on this are some feel-good vibes, blasphemy though they may be.
75. Mystikal – “Hit Me”
In this James Brown interpolation, Mystikal and his band “go together like stanky and smelly. Tummy and belly. Peanut butter jelly.” Hit him!
76. The xx – “Sunset”
This song was fitting with its title. Coexist as an album was full of mellow and emo tracks. But they placed the most upbeat and best song right in the middle to let you know the album did have a pulse.
77. G.O.O.D Music – “The Morning”
Some tracks get replayed over and over because of the beat. This is that. And some of those tracks, after many repeats, gain a newfound appreciation towards the lyrics. This is that as well. The chill inducing bass aside, those verses (minus 2 Chainz) will have you reciting them in the back of your mind and you’ll actually love them.
78. Ab-Soul – “Nibiru”
The hook has been criticized for being too obtuse but damn that–Black Hippy’s resident deep thinker makes the ancient ways of Sumerians jam.
79. Freddie Gibbs Ft. Dana Williams – “The Hard”
We may not have The Wire on Sundays anymore, but all is well as long as we still have Gibbs crafting street tales in audio.
80. Grande Marshall – “GODBPM”
Initially, hearing Grande Marshall on “GODBPM” reminded me of Buckshot, Black Moon and Da Beat Minerz during their ‘90s heyday. Grande’s proclamation of being a “young nigga with an old soul” never rings truer than here. The horns. The gruff flow. The in-your-face attitude. The future’s bright and in good hands.