TV BYKE

This week marks the return of all the shows (ALL OF THE SHOWS *in my Rihanna voice*). 2018 began at a gradual pace of a show here (Star Trek Discovery) and there (This Is Us). But midway through January, new and returning shows are stampeding on my evenings. Let the games begin.

Monday – Tomorrow is the 2-hour season one finale of Fox’s surprise hit The Gifted. The battle between mutant and human intensifies as the Hellfire Club gains the Underground’s trust. Meanwhile Dr. Campbell convinced Jace in using his next stage in mutant manipulation – a machine that replicates the Strucker siblings’ powers.

Tuesday – This Is Us is in mid swing of its second season, but a new challenger at 9 p.m. will require my live viewing instead. The CW’s highly-anticipated Black Lightning series premieres. The first African American hero of the CW’s D.C. family features Cress Williams as the retired metahuman. When a violent gang threatens the livelihood of his family and neighborhood, he places the cape back on. And may received help from his two daughters as well. Black. Female. Heroines. On. TV. Sign me up.

Wednesday – Wednesday evening is a triple threat of entertainment. At 8 p.m. I play soap drama with the kids of Riverdale. Next I return to Filory as SyFy’s The Magicians entered its third season. Magic is no more for Quincy, Julia and friends. But a gallant quest may be the key – or seven – to restoring the magic in the world and beyond. Finally FX delivers Ryan Murphy’s second installment of American Crime Story. This time we revisit the murder of Gianni Versace, a crime I remember but definitely do not know the full story.

Thursday – TGIT returns with Liv and Annalise on their shows respectively. And as recently promised, their two worlds will collide when Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder crossover. Who wants more wine!?

Friday – Fridays are dedicated to ABC’s excellent fifth season of Agents of SHIELD. The team has been transported 80-some years into the future, where the Earth is nothing but a crater – remnants of a catastrophic Inhuman event. Coulson and the team are fighting  Kree as well as other forces of the galaxy.

Saturday – This still remains my catch up day – between apps and Hulu anything I miss will be devoured within these 24 hours.

Sunday – CBS is screwing the populace hiding the superb Star Trek: Discovery behind its $6 pay wall. The show is great for Trekkies and newbies alike, with an African American female lead in Sonequa Martin Green (The Walking Dead). In addition to Trek, Showtime via Hulu boasts The Chi. From Lena Waithe and Common is the multi-narrative portrait of Chicago lives.

This is the schedule as of now. Subject to change of course.

502017: 5-1

Like an episode of Scandal written by The Onion, season one of Trump is reaching its season finale. If nothing else positive occurred, 2017 was laced with a wonderful soundtrack. Featuring songs from artists for every mood and moment, follow me as I count down my favorite 50 songs of 2017.

5. “The High” Midas Hutch ft. Bluey Robinson

Bruno Mars wasn’t the only artist resurrecting sounds of the past. Producer Midas Hutch traveled back to San Janipero’s 80s inspired world with this synth-heavy ode love. It’s odd while I loved 24k Magic, none of it’s songs are on this list. Ironic.

4. “The Land of the Free” Joey Bada$$

In between portraying a knife-wielding foot solider of the Dark Army on USA, Joey delivered his strongest LP to date. A politically-charged concept album gave us this thought-provoking single, taking aim at Trump, police and others that oppress for profit in Amerikkka.

3. “Bodak Yellow” Cardi B

No other artist gave us hope more than Love & Hip-Hop alum Cardi B. The “Trap Selena” catapulted to success, atop the Billboard charts and the Grammys on the strength of her record-breaking debut single. Borrowing heavy from Kodak Black’s flow, Cardi became the first female hip-hop artist to covet a #1 100 hit solo since Lauryn Hill. Money moves indeed.

2. “DNA.” Kendrick Lamar

The second song lifted from DAMN. was this insanely potent declaration of dominance. If “Humble” is braggadocios, “DNA” is unfuckwitable with a dose of bacdafucup. Kendrick’s heaving his fiercest with no regard for peers or naysayers. He obliterates Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera as he transitions spitting at the speed of light to a live Rick James sample. And the video is fucking brilliant. GIVE HIM THE GRAMMYS NOW.

1. “Crew” GoldLink ft. Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy

No other song this year did what GoldLink’s “Crew” did. The song, the features, the HOOK. “Crew” is a mood. It’s a mantra. It is the Song of the Summer. 2017’s anthem. Instant classic.

502017: 10-6

Like an episode of Scandal written by The Onion, season one of Trump is reaching its season finale. If nothing else positive occurred, 2017 was laced with a wonderful soundtrack. Featuring songs from artists for every mood and moment, follow me as I count down my favorite 50 songs of 2017.

10. “Late Nights & Heartbreak” Hannah Williams & the Affirmations

My number 10 selection is a year old song from the perspective of someone who knows she’s no good. As the foundation for Shawn’s title track, Williams’ voice is paralyzing as she paints her sins out on a canvas for her lover to read. No wonder Jay chose this track to apologize. Apology accepted.

9. “don’t choose” dvsn

Aww yes, the push and pull of today’s talking perfectly described. dvsn’s single from Morning After flipped from bumpin’ production to a soulful 60s vocal. At first it was a bit jarring, but the two sounds work beautifully together illustrating the struggle between love and lust our suitor faces.

8. “Don’t Go” Kevin Ross

With one of the year’s strongest R&B efforts, newcomer Kevin Ross crooned his way to the Soul Train Awards and more with this Off the Wall sounding midtempo song. A bright and shinning talent that deserves your attention.

7. “Thinking” Great Good Fine OK

This band appeared on my Spotify Discover Daily, and I know why. Sounding like a white boy band’s early traverse into R&B, it sounded like nothing else this year. The simple melody, soft vocals. It felt like seeing your school crush enter the gymnasium at your first dance. Whatcha gonna do?

6. “Cave Me In” Gallant, Tablo & Eric Nam

If “Thinking” captures the crush you let get away, “Cave Me In” is the joy of owning the love after a lifetime of wins and losses. Intricately written it’s one of the year’s brightest collaborations. R&B is live and well and in good hands.

502017: 15-11

Like an episode of Scandal written by The Onion, season one of Trump is reaching its season finale. If nothing else positive occurred, 2017 was laced with a wonderful soundtrack. Featuring songs from artists for every mood and moment, follow me as I count down my favorite 50 songs of 2017.

15. “Helpless” Gucci Mane

Glo-up of the Year, possibly the decade, goes to Radric Davis who has been the pinnacle of rehabilitation after his extensive imprisonment. Now married with children, he has a whole outlook on life. But that doesn’t stop him from making the Grade-A trap music. This gets the bronze award for hook of the year.

14. “Family Feud” Jay-Z ft. Beyoncé

I could have had more songs from Jay’s Grammy-nominated memoir, but I had to limit it to two. This one soaring over the heavenly tongues of The Clark Sisters is as triumphant in sound as it is in message. Shouts to No. I.D.

13. “Midnight” Jessie Ware

I asked for two artist to return this year. One of them was Ms. Ware. She didn’t miss a step, sounding better than ever with a seemingly visual to match.

12. “Shinning” DJ Khaled ft. Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Following the success of last year’s album, Kahled’s Grateful attempted to keep his wave adrift. While everyone may be seasick by now, the first single with the Carters was a win – even if Beyoncé left this year’s Grammy for AOTY in Adele’s hands. Still winning doe.

11. “LOYALTY.” Kendrick Lamar ft. Rihanna

Kung Fu Kenny is granted this slot for his deadly sins duet with the queen of hits. Jacking Bruno’s “24K Magic,” Kendrick questions the trust he places in others, and himself, in this thing called fame.

 

 

502107: 20-16

Like an episode of Scandal written by The Onion, season one of Trump is reaching its season finale. If nothing else positive occurred, 2017 was laced with a wonderful soundtrack. Featuring songs from artists for every mood and moment, follow me as I count down my favorite 50 songs of 2017.

20. “The Weekend” SZA

While I didn’t enjoy her project, I can’t deny the sheer success coming her way. The most Grammy-nominated female artist of the year booked a Maroon 5 duet and an SNL appearance. And all I got was this perfectly 90s R&B single about being the cousin to SWV’s man sharing ways. Being the side chick never sounded so good.

19. “HUMBLE.” Kendrick Lamar

With possibly the hottest line of 2017 (my left stroke just went viral) Kendrick continued his reign as the king of rap. Bars lit with fumes from Hades erupted this bombastic benchmark of bravado from the album that deserves that Grammy win.

18. “1999” Big K.R.I.T. ft. Lloyd

A double album from Mississippi’s own was slated with remarkable track after another. Somewhere between “Confetti” and “Aux Cord” laid this ode to booty bouncing in the cut. With Lloyd on the hook, K.R.I.T. presents his thesis on the art of a woman’s body, continuing a tradition from the ’99 and 2000.

17. “Ink Blot” Logic ft. Juicy J

I really tried to get into Logic. He’s talented. Likable. You know he’s biracial, right? Yeah everything should align. But like Rachel Dolezal, close but no cigar. However, I did enjoy the dexterity shown on this short offering from his album. He and J trading bars at lightning speeds is fun as hell. More of this Logic, please.

16. “Magnolia” Playboi Carti

The hottest dance got an official theme song. Playboi Carti may be completely unidentifiable in a room full of niggas with flats, but as soon as I hear Jamie Foxx ask for Pierre, I become a Mighty Morphin Milly Rocker.

502107: 25-21

Like an episode of Scandal written by The Onion, season one of Trump is reaching its season finale. If nothing else positive occurred, 2017 was laced with a wonderful soundtrack. Featuring songs from artists for every mood and moment, follow me as I count down my favorite 50 songs of 2017.

25. “Attitude” Leikeli47

One of the joys of having more representation on TV is we’re exposed to more cultural things we may not otherwise. Thanks to Insecure I was reacquainted with Leikeli47 just in time to cop her album Wash & Set. “Attitude” is half hip-hop, half ballroom culture: 100% blackness.

24. “Lavender (NIghtfall Remix) Badbadnotgood & Kaytranada ft. Snoop Dogg

This hipster jazz outfit had an otherworldly tune when they recruited Kaytranada for the original mix. But once they added Snoop’s #BlackLivesMatter rhetoric, it became a hauntingly powerful ode to 2017’s struggle.

23. “Sorry Not Sorry” Demi Lovato

Demi followed-up her breakout Confident with the much more focused Tell Me You Love Me. The album herald this larger than life single –  a pop, gospel-fused anthem of shoulda, coudla woulda to the ex.

22. “Hood Go Bang” Wu-Tang Clan ft. Method Man & Redman

The Wu released an album to makeup for that fiasco with the pharmaceutical scammer. With the shortest track on the album – and this list – Meth and Red remind us of why the 90s remains a pristinely untouchable era of hip-hop. Prepare to rewind this 1:32 of boom bap glory.

21. “Careless” Daley ft. Chiiild

I saw Daley live this year, and he mentioned The Spectrum was an array of his musical influences. He wanted to capture all these sounds to stem off from being boxed into doing a certain type of genre. He finds himself at home effortlessly on the dance track reminiscent of 1990s house&B.

502107: 30-26

Like an episode of Scandal written by The Onion, season one of Trump is reaching its season finale. If nothing else positive occurred, 2017 was laced with a wonderful soundtrack. Featuring songs from artists for every mood and moment, follow me as I count down my favorite 50 songs of 2017.

30. “No Limit” G-Eazy ft. A$AP Rocky & Cardi B

The West Coast’s white rapper came a long way since a random Bonnaroo appearance and that awkward encounter with Britney. He’s remarkably made some good moves. From the 3-6 sample, to snagging Rookie of the Year, “No Limit” was a certified banger.

29. “P.O.V.” dvsn

The vocalist/producer duo returned with Morning After and proved they are here to stay. Atop a chopped-n-slopped “Fortunate,” dvsn pleads his case for a lover’s affection. Certified bangher.

28. “Bam” Jay-Z ft. Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley

Halfway through 4:44 50-something Shawn Carter pauses his cause to bring back the gutter shit – Hov. He trades bars with Damian’s signature vocals for an any-hood anthem.

27. “Sideline” Niia ft. Jazmine Sullivan

 

Anything with Jazmine attached gets a spin from me (except that fucking “Insecure” song) and this slow burn story of a woman playing second fiddle to her man’s ex was worth it. Newcomer Niia’s voice mixed with Sullivan’s is magic – and the video feels old Hollywood as the other women finally meet. Sidenote: 1:09 to the end >

26. “In the Moment” 1-O.A.K.

One of my favorite artists dropped his long-awaited sophomore project with this tale of situation-ship as the leading single. The interlude let’s you know the nigga ain’t shit, but the song is so nostalgically beautifully. Feeling half 2000s neo-soul, half R&B now. The melody will be on rotation in your head long after the song is over.

Halfway there. The top 25 begins Monday.