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7 Best 3-Song Album Sequences of 2019: Staff Picks

From Tyler, The Creator to Young Thug, we listed the seven best three-song album sequences of 2019.

In hip-hop, there’s nothing quite like going on a run. You know what we’re talking about—when one banger flows into another, and then finally, that third cut acts as the icing on the rap cake. 

The right sequence of songs can make an album go from good to great to spectacular. To celebrate the end of the year, here are our picks for the best three-song album sequences of 2019. Enjoy!

Tyler, The Creator — “IGOR’S THEME,” “EARFQUAKE” “I THINK”


Album: IGOR

IGOR is easily my favorite album of 2019, and there are so many perfect three-song stretches, I feel like I can’t choose. However, for the sake of listening to editorial direction, I’ll select “IGOR’S THEME,” “EARFQUAKE,” and “I THINK.” “IGOR’S THEME” is a great beginning. The song is electronic and electrifying yet somewhat dark, a perfect lead-in to “EARFQUAKE,” a song about what we feel when love goes wrong but still sticks to our core. “I THINK” is the perfect end to this stretch with its hypnotic drums and honest messaging. I haven’t heard a more perfect three-song album sequence since Kendrick Lamar’s good kid, m.A.A.d city. — Simi Muhumuza

Young Thug — “Light It Up,” “Surf,” “Bad, Bad, Bad”


Album: So Much Fun

I initially wanted to pick a stretch of songs off the remarkable Little Brother album, May the Lord Watch, but sadly there were too many skits interrupting the record’s momentum. This stretch from So Much Fun, however, is a nice consolation prize. Call me basic, but this record clicked with me on a deeper level than much of Thugger’s music had previously. Across these three songs, Thug reaches the height of his powers by successfully marrying his idiosyncratic sensibilities with perfectly contoured production, mixing, and guest verses. — Hershal Pandya

Young Thug — “Surf,” “Bad, Bad, Bad,” “Lil Baby”


Album: So Much Fun

Getting caught up in the moment is half the fun of having fun. Being able to hop into Young Thug’s long-awaited debut studio album So Much Fun at any point and find pockets of sunshine is a testament to his hard-earned appeal. His sing-song flows carried me through the early three-song stretch of the flashy “Surf,” the thumping “Bad Bad Bad,” and the hi-speed adlibs of “Lil Baby” so effortlessly I barely realized I’d heard three different songs on my first playthrough. Morsels like guest Lil Baby’s disarmingly funny admission of being a “real dope boy, don’t know how to work a cash app” on “Bad Bad Bad” keep me revisiting and finding new reasons to smile. Sometimes, the thrill of the ride is all the fun you need. —Dylan "CineMasai" Green

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Ari Lennox — “Speak to Me,” “New Apartment,” “Facetime”


Album: Shea Butter Baby

My favorite three-song sequence is from my favorite album of 2019. Ari Lennox’s flavor of silky smooth R&B never wears out, and the run she goes on in the middle of Shea Butter Baby is simply golden. “Speak to Me” softens the soundscape after the torrential title track, leading beautifully into “New Apartment,” where we find the funkiest bassline on the album. She then brings the stunning vocal riffs on “Facetime,” showing the glorious range that makes her one of the genre’s most impressive crooners. — Kenan Draughorne

DaBaby — “Suge,” “Goin Baby,” “Pony”

DaBaby 'Baby on Baby'

Album: Baby on Baby

DaBaby famously starts fast, and the same is true of the album that catapulted him to superstardom. Baby on Baby begins in earnest with its second and most popular song, “Suge,” a jetsonmade special that feels like drag racing on Mars. “Goin Baby” commits DaBaby’s ethos to vinyl; he will steal your girl and beat the brakes off you with a silver-plated smile. “Pony” is a versatility flex, a Pyrex laboratory concoction of flute and hi-hats that blends into the album’s most hilariously boastful three minutes. If DaBaby is thunder and lightning rolled up in one artist, this three-song stretch is the eye of his storm. You already goddamn know it. — Zachary Miller

With how prolific DaBaby’s undeniable breakout year has been, it’s easy to forget how face-meltingly perfect the three-song stretch between “Suge” and “Pony” is on his star-making project, Baby on Baby. Both “Goin Baby” and “Pony” are the rare breed of rap songs which feel like lyrical exercises, but where every line is quotable. There’s an assuredness in the way DaBaby raps that showcases how he was destined to become a household name. We just hadn’t caught up yet. — Matt Wilhite

EarthGang — “Tequila,” “Blue Moon,” “Trippin”


Album: Mirrorland

EarthGang can make any kind of song. It’s almost mystic how the duo—made up of Olu and WowGr8—aren’t bound by genre or form. They’re shapeshifters, able to bend their voices and production style to create a palette of sound that’s as vibrant as Paul Wall grills. On Mirrorland, their stellar Dreamville debut, EarthGang best displays their versatility across “Tequila,” “Blue Moon,” and “Trippin,” my favorite three-song album sequence of the year. The three songs are electric; they fold into one another like separate, but exquisite dishes a part of a five-course meal. That’s what EarthGang delivers—a buffet of musical flavors, best savored together. — Yoh

Jack Harlow — “GHOST,” “ROTTEN,” “ICE”


Album: Confetti

Jack Harlow’s Confetti opens with a bang. The breathless “GHOST” is concise, contemporary, and demands our ear and attention. Moving into “ROTTEN,” which features Jack’s best rapping to-date, we get an even more technical and enthused emcee. “ROTTEN” is thumping and full of quotables, with Jack sounding fly and fluid as ever. The run is capped off by “ICE,” a smoother joint still invested in Jack’s themes of mortality and living for the moment. Everything about this run screams growth and good times. — Donna-Claire Chesman



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