It has been
so why should things be any different for the question of the week? Well, because, with still two days left to talk "College Dropout", we thought it might be overkill. So instead...we're almost a month and a half into the new year and though the release schedule has been slower than Rick Ross' 40 time, we have still gotten some pretty good stuff. Better yet, we might have missed some pretty good stuff. That's where this question, and you, come in.
As always, we gotta discuss the criteria for judging; this time around there is none. This question is all about
your personal favorites
. (The only rule is they have to, no shit, have first dropped in 2014.) Debates are all well and good, but sometimes its just fun to sit back and talk about favorites without considering, sales, impact, influence, dopeness. Besides I'm sure a few songs will appear more than once, which might lead us to some pretty clear candidates. So let's get to the good stuff.
First, the song that stands out most to me is "Break The Bank". Being that it is the latest single off of a highly anticipated, oft-delayed album, "Break The Bank", it really had to deliver or Schoolboy might have run the risk of losing steam. Lucky for him, he delivered more than Dominos on Super Bowl Sunday. Q with an Alchemist beat, what's not to love?
Normally, I tend to be wary of songs over five minutes because it reaches a point where it becomes filler and there is little to no substance left. Not with "Break The Bank". Even though it's just Schoolboy over a dope, yet unchanging beat, I have yet to get sick of it. It is gritty and edgy, but not to the point where, after five minutes, it becomes too much; just a perfectly constructed song. Oh and that hook; first time I heard it I was sold. Also, a million
to the person who can tell me where that little scream sample comes from. My best guess is
but I'm not 100% sure. If it is, that has to be one of the most creative sample choices in recent memory.
Next up we have my new favorite artist,
. I was literally blown away when I heard "Stronger Than Ever". There isn't a day that goes by that I don't listen to this song. The gym, the metro, waiting in line for food, it works at all times, except for when you aren't trying to sleep. There is so much life, so much passion, and so much talent on display. What a powerful, fucking epic song. There is just no possible way this guy doesn't blow up. He is too powerful, too talented, and just has that "wow" factor. I might be more into "Break The Bank" now, but looking ahead to the year end lists, I feel like I will be writing about this one while "Break The Bank" may get lost in the shuffle; this is just too damn special to forget.
I couldn't discuss the best songs of 2014 without picking one from Isaiah Rashad.
was an unexpected treat and there were some really great songs on there. For me, it is a crapshoot between "West Savannah", "Heavenly Father", and "Shot You Down (Remix)". Trying to pick my favorite is like trying to pick your favorite child but if I had to go with one I would go with "West Savannah". I have played "Heavenly Father" more than any other (77 times on iTunes alone), but "West Savannah" has been creeping up there and lately, has been my go-to song; also the Outkast reference pushes it over the edge. I really love the jazzy feel to it and SZA's vocals are subtle, but really impressive; I didn't expect her to sound so good with such a heavy jazz influence, but she sets it off perfectly. It is short and simple, but dangerously intoxicating; a great chill-out song with an amazing vibe to it. This EP has staying power and songs like "West Savannah" ensure it will be talked about (and played) even after Oxymoron and the other big albums of the year.
Jamla Is The Squad
has to get some love here. I was very tempted to put "15 Minutes Of Fame" here, in the end I think I am more partial to this Add-2 joint. The first time I heard this song, I had a giant smile on my face. It is infectious, smooth, high-energy, and just an all-around winner. Love the vintage, mid-90's vibe of Khrysis' beat and Add-2 really impressed me with his flow. It is speedy and quick, but still has a relaxed, fun vibe to it; like he is gliding on top of the beat. And the last few bars of his last verse are really impressive; I had no idea he could spit that fast. "
" is another one worth mentioning but in the end, "Bomber & A Fly Chick" is just too smooth, too fun to dismiss.
So, picking one is basically impossible but gun to my head, I think I am going to take
with "Stronger Than Ever" a close second, and "Bomber & A Fly Chick" third leaving "Break The Bank" off the podium. It's weird that that is the first song I thought of but it comes in last. I think if we were counting impact it might be first, but since it is just personal favorites, I have to go with Rashad's cut. When I think about what I will be listening to in December, I find it much more likely that Rashad and Ritchie are still in
rotation, while another song from
takes the place of "Break The Bank". Who knew that a question of the week with no real right answer would be this hard to answer?
So RefinedHype Nation, what songs have stood out to you this year? If you had to pick one, which would it be? If you say
, promptly leave the site immediately.