These decisions were made based on the whole team's opinions and are in no particular order. 2016 was a great year for urban music and we're looking forward to what 2017 has in store.
Anderson .Paak – "The Bird"
From the album Malibu we have “The Bird” by Anderson .Paak. The sultry guitar intro provides the perfect lead up into .Paak’s velvety voice. The song is sincere as the singer opens up about his past, his parents and where he came from. It’s an honest retelling wrapped up in a beautiful, musical package. Malibu is his third and post personal album yet featuring guests like The Game, Schoolboy Q and Talib Kweli. After making his debut on Dr. Dre's album "Compton", the newcomer has brought a refreshing sound to the game.
Hare Squead - "Herside Story"
This is our favourite track from the Irish hip hop group Hare Squead. It’s a laid back, groovy, danceable song that shows off the group’s wide range of musical influences. Growing up with everything from Kanye West and Kid Cudi to punk rockers, Green Day, Hare Squead know how to push the boundaries of creativity with their own sound.
With past releases like “If I Ask,” and “Long Way to Go,” Hare Squead demonstrates this versatility. There’s elements of the music that are perfectly suited for the club, and grooves that focus more on production and funky rap. The group consists of Tony Konstone, Lilo Blues and Jessy Rose, who all lend their vocals to the music. Together, they fuse R&B melodies and those catchy, quick-paced rap verses. All three young artists have bold personalities that have generated heat in their hometown, Dublin, Ireland. The guys are finding success after opening for Dua Lipa, and now have turned a few more heads with “Herside Story.”
Since signing to Sony, the growth and improved sound is undeniable, excited for more Hare Squead in 2017.
Childish Gambino - "Redbone"
“Redbone” is a favourite off coming "Awaken, My Love!" the latest album from Donald McKinley Glover, aka Childish Gambino. Glover’s voice in the song is pitched up one semitone and put through a filter to make it sound more electronic. As a whole, the feel of the song is soulful, groovy, and sensual while also staying super dreamy. It’s a perfect coming together of past and future, intersecting right here in the present. Donald Glover is currently working as the creator and the star of the FX series “Atlanta”. He has also been cast as young Lando Calrissian in the upcoming “Han Solo” Star Wars movie. This man has certainly had a powerful year and we appreciate the unique musical contribution that hopefully can switch gears and encourage artists to continue with innovation.
Post Malone & Justin Bieber - "Deja Vu"
On Thursday, September 8th, Post Malone dropped a dreamy duet titled “Deja Vu” which features his tour mate, Justin Bieber. The light and fluffy track is full of breathy lyrics sung by Malone, where he describes a rendezvous between him and a lady friend. With Bieber’s gentle hook adding a charming sweetness to the already chilled out, relaxed beat, this new tune took over airwaves and dancefloors in 2016.
The song is a standout on Malone’s recent album “Stoney”, which was supposed to drop on August 26th but was pushed to December 9th. Post continues to deliver an eclectic blend of trap, r&b and hometown texas-influenced western.
Kaytranada ft. Craig David - "Got It Good"
“Got It Good” is just one of the awesome tracks off of Kaytranada’s debut album 99.9% which came out this year. The whole album is a groovy melodic masterpiece that defies genre, combining elements of R&B, hip-hop, electronic, dance, and many others. The album was released on May 6th and it features a ton of huge collaborations, like the one with Craig Davis on “Got It Good”. This year was a epic for Kaytranada as he took home The Polaris Music Prize.