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.

50217: 35-31

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.

35. “Slow Me Down” Jessie Ware

First came love. Then came marriage. Then came the UK vocalist with the first album since adding a baby carriage. Glasshouse demonstrates Ware’s most honest work yet, and this beautiful song is first dance of matrimony ready. Depicts the vulnerability one acquires when you let love takeover.

34. “Love So Soft” Kelly Clarkson 

Another woman embracing her art as a mother was American Idol’s Kelly Clarkson. Boasting a soul-inspired sound, the underrated vocalist showcased her pipes on the first single from The Meaning of Life. One of my favorite hooks of the year.

33. “Sky Walker” Miguel ft. Travis Scott

Not since “Adorn” have I been so excited about a Miguel single or project. I bought the Star Wars-influenced track after one listen. It’s trappy, yet classy. The theme song for any situation. Would have been better minus Travis, but hey, it’s for the kids.

32. “Love Yourself” Mary J. Blige ft. Kanye West

2017 began rough for the Queen of Hip-Hop/Soul. After a public divorce from former manager Kendu Issacs, Mary’s Strength of A Woman was delayed. Despite the negative press she persevered on tour, promoting the new album and coping as only she knows how: through song. The opening track is a majestic orchestration of soul, hip-hop and honesty. Mary is her best – back to her roots – singing about the pain of a love lost. Fortunately she never stopped loving herself.

31. “Fashion Week” Wale ft. G-Eazy

As much as I try to avoid him, Wale always catches me with a single or two each album cycle. While I didn’t care for the project, I was obsessed with this fashion conscious bop. Overlooking the presence of Gerald, Wale had another hit on his hands. MY BIIIIITCH Sidenote: Had no idea this had a video until…now.

502017: 40-36

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.

40. “Want You Back” Haim

This pleasurable bop felt nostalgic as shit. Pressing play directed me back to 1990 as Wilson Phillips blended harmonies ocean side. Very few make them like this anymore. Haim did THAT.

39. “Slide” Calvin Harris ft. Frank Ocean & Migos

I did not understand this collaboration. I don’t even care for Calvin Harris’ black moniker stealing ass. But Frank’s melody atop those stutter claps is irresistible. I can’t help but do a generic MJ two-step when it comes on.

38. “S.O.S.” Kelela

I waited for the proper return of R&B’s mysterious, genre-bending maven. While I loved her entire Take Me Apart, I was drawn to the album’s shortest track. Like the songs of \ Sirens, Kelela beckons for her lover. And just as you get settled, it’s over.

37. “Lonely” Demi Lovato ft. Lil Wayne

Ever since Demi ditched the Disney crowd she’s been trailblazing her own path as a Pop&B artist. Her latest Tell Me You Love Me steams with hearty choir-assisted bops, sexy ballads and Drake-ish breakups. While I’m not sure why she enlisted Dwayne Carter, the one is Instagram caption approved.

36. “Work It Out” Karizma

I remember listening to the sample every morning via The Russ Par Morning Show. The way Google lifted the dance remix for it’s Chromebook rubbed some the wrong way. But I am slain in the spirit every time I hear it.

 

502017: 45-41

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.

45. “Vault” Keyshia Cole

R&B had a solid year with many worthy offerings. One being the return of Compton’s Keyshia Cole. With her strongest album since A Different Me, Keyshia glides on this short, sweet and sensual track from her 11:11 Reset. 

44. “Chi Chi” Azealia Banks

Ms. Banks was booked in 2017. No, not in twitter beefs, but actual work. Apart from cleaning up her public persona, she also shined in a rather dull film about a NYC female rapper. In between mending bridges and reading lines, she released this little track which I enjoyed. Wishing nothing but the best for her in 2018.

43. “Stingy” Elijah Blake

It had been a minute since singer/songwriter Elijah Blake had released any music. I really liked some of his earlier stuff, but nothing seemed to stick. Luckily his hiatus proved he improved his craft. A project boasting old school R&B flare, this funky track made the list.

42. “Icon” Jaden Smith

One of the biggest surprises of 2017 was a slice of left field from the middle Smith child. The strength of this project isn’t just the focus and musicality – believe the album is great to listen to – but the self-assuredness Jaden has within himself to make the art he does. Something a lot of artists and people in general could learn from.

41. “Think About That” Jessie J

Jessie J is one of the premier vocalists of this generation. The Brit was just seen paying homage to Toni Braxton at the Soul Train Awards, and has several viral videos singing soul standards of the 80s and 90s. Now, as the R&B artist she was meant to be, she’s releasing some of her best work. Painful. Honest. Soulful.

 

502017: Top 50 Songs Of 2017 – 50-46

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.

50. “Bring Dem Things” French Montana ft. Pharrell

The solo star of Bad Boy Ent. returned with another album I couldn’t care less about. I did however take a liking to this Pharrell-assisted song. Most likely because it featured Montana the least.

49. “Dive” Tiffany Gouche

I had the pleasure of experiencing Tiffany as Daley’s opening act in November. She’s an R&B artist through and through – with vocals and an ear for music to match. Think Syd with a stronger range. Check out her past projects.

48. “Slay” Meek Mill ft. A$AP Ferg

It’s unfortunate the way 2017 ended for Meek Mill. Beneath the trivial legal woes, he had two major projects. While I’m not his biggest fan by any means, I did enjoy this track from his Weekend Music project.

47. “IMAGINATION” Adrian Marcel

The Bay Area artist released another strong project behind the strength of this sensual slow jam of lost love. Marcel has been next for a few years now. Hopefully R&B will reclaim a sense of prominence in mainstream soon.

46. “Tap In” Blaq Tuxedo

In the realm of trap&B, I stumbled across this duo shuffling through my Spotify Discover Daily playlist. While I usually don’t entertain these hybrid artists, the bop was too addictive. And they held enough of my attention vocally to care.