We are almost there, folks. We are rounding the corner on 2020 and everyone is very sad to see this year pass us by. Do you remember Murder Hornets? It's like not even the tenth most insane thing this year. Music was fun, though. I wouldn't call this a better year sonically from the past few years, but there was plenty that I enjoyed. The #1 should be obvious, but let's do this anyway!
#8: "Wolves" by Big Sean ft. Post Malone
Big Sean has come out more and more as one of our true hip hop artists and this dropped with a mild splash this Fall. That's the deal with many of these songs. I quite often feel like I was the only one who enjoyed them. This is solid, though and in a year of great movements in hip-hop, was one that shined above the rest.
#7: "Rare" by Selena Gomez
Does anyone remember "Rare"? This was not a popular song and no one liked it or knows it, but it dropped in January and I still really dig the rhythm. I feel like I am a stealth Selena fan. She is an underrated performer in the modern pantheon of pop divas. It's ultimately an okay song but I listened to it over and over in isolation.
#6: Supalonely" by BENEE ft. Gus Dapperton
This is such a fun song that belies such an unyielding sadness. It sounds like a 2020 song, hastily made, brilliantly executed, full of exuberance and a wry acceptance of a terrible fat. There is an angry irreverence here that's really satisfying. It was a moderate hit this past summer and proved to be one of the songs that lasted.
#5: "Tampa Bay Bustdown" by Yung Gravy ft. Chief Keef, Y2K
I don't know about Yung Gravy, I do really dig his sound but he also leans ridiculously into douche territory. He's right when he says he doesn't make rap, he makes smooth jazz. It's a distinctive sound that pleases my ears. There's a lovely hick quality to this tune that also flows like smooth jazz. I could listen to this over and over for some reason and it's a lot of fun.
#4: "Claws" by Charli XCX
Charli XCX is also an underrated contemporary pop diva. Everyone is - there is no longer mainstream cultural ubiquity. I didn't get too into this when it first came out, but she snuck her way into my ears this year. This was one of the first really noticeable quarantine videos, part of a rash of clear green screen efforts. She bends it to her will so well here, though, and the fun is crystal clear. Her album I didn't rate very high, but it was also a solid outing.
#3: "Kings and Queens" by Ava Max
This was a great year for Ava Max, perhaps my favourite breakout artist that had a really big 2020. She had quite a few great hits, but "Kings and Queens" leads the pack. It's been around for a long time as well, debuting in the age of QuaranQueens, remaining in the mix all summer, and still appearing on radio up through today. I still get pumped when I hear it and that's a good thing.
#2: "The Pink Phantom" by Gorillaz ft. Elton John & 6lack
I've been a big Gorillaz fan since their eponymous debut album and they had a steady stream of releases this summer through their latest effort, Song Machine. Most were not that good. Some were really good! This came out towards the end of their run and is my favourite. "Desole" is a close second. Bringing on Elton John is inspired, as it often is.
#1: "WAP" by Cardi B ft. Megan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion also had a breakout year, but this was a monumental song and in many ways, life-changing experience for all of us. Not only is it a legit good song, but equally ridiculous in subject matter, but also not because there are hundreds of songs about big dicks. It's the number one song across the board for everyone, fueled by so many remixes, each better than the last. The Monster Mash is the best. It literally changed my life, people. This is the best song ever.
"Pussy Fairy" by Jhene Aiko
"Boy-U" by Fennec
"Do it" by Chloe x Halle
"Circle the Drain" by Soccer Mommy
"Laugh Now Cry Later" by Drake
"Midnight Sky" by Miley Cyrus
"Good News" by Mac Miller
"The Box" by Roddy Ricch
"Rockstar" by DaBaby
"Mood" by 24kGoldn
"Murder Most Foul" by Bob Dylan
"BANG!" by AJR
"Holy" by Justin Bieber ft. Chance the Rapper
Also, of course, "Blinding Lights", our 2020 Summer Jam King deserves some credit.
I should also include most songs from Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, and Run the Jewels, but it's hard to pick just one. I say, just listen to those albums! It has been a fun year, we got "WAP" out of it, so that's really all we need. Onward, to 2021!