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The Ratings Game Presents: The Best of The Best, and The Worst of The Worst (2018)

 

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Full Wrap-Up Of 2018!


TOP SONG WE UNDERRATED

POST MALONE – BETTER NOW

 

I didn’t give “Better Now” a bad rating, but I also didn’t give it a great one when I should have. I can argue with you that this soothing Post Malone gem is one of the best pop songs this year, and definitely one of the best on beerbongs and bentleys. Me being the idiot that I am, I thought it was the fourth worst song on the album in my review back in April. Trust me, every time I hear the song in Target, the Doctor’s office, the radio and bathroom these days (Yes, some venues play soothing radio music in bathrooms), I am reminded of how dumb I am. Sorry guys, I dropped the ball on this one. I’ll be better in 2019!


TOP SONG WE OVERRATED

TRAVIS SCOTT & THE WEEKND – WAKE UP

 

Personally, I love “Wake Up” by The Weeknd and Travis Scott. The chemistry between the two megastars on it is astute, it has great energy, and I absolutely love the melodies behind it. At the time of rating AstroWorld, I was for sure it would be one of Travis’ biggest hits to-date — bigger than “Sicko Mode,” “Stargazing” and “Butterfly Effect.” Boy oh boy was I wrong.

Why doesn’t songs featuring The Weeknd get enough shine? Am I missing something?


TOP ALBUM I UNDERRATED

XXXTENTACION – ?

 

I am one of those people that absolutely loved XXXTENTACION’s “17” album. Though short, I felt like it pushed the envelope when it came to creativity.  On his follow-up effort, “?,” I thought the Floridian regressed a bit, not quite catching my attention like he did on his debut. Maybe I was suffering from concussion-like symptoms or simply thought the music I heard on “?” was over my head at the time, cause after several additional listens, I began to think it was way better than the 6.7/10 rating I gave it on my review back in March.


TOP ALBUM I OVERRATED

MACHINE GUN KELLY – BINGE

This was a very easy choice for me. Maybe it was the fact that I was in Vegas at the time and I had way too many Vodka shots the night before, or perhaps it was my lack of sleep, whatever the case may be, I thought this EP was really good when I first heard it. I didn’t think Machine Gun Kelly was amazing on it, but I thought he stuck to a sound that was electrifying enough to keep my interest. But let’s be real, there were some major stinkers on this joint, and aside from “Rap Devil,” no other song on that project made it to my iTunes library. Sorry guys, I will be better in 2019!

BTW, if you want a quick laugh, read the ass-kicking I received in the comments section of the review I did on BINGE.


TOP COMMENT ON THE SITE

THEFIRSTJEDI – BOBBY TARANTINO 2

 

First and foremost, I want to say that I am truly thankful for literally every view, comment, like, repost and spam that I receive on this site. You readers keep me going, and I am so honored to even have the attention of each and every one of you for a second. With that being said, I’ve heard some good and some bad comments from you guys, and I can honestly say that I soaked each in like a sponge. One that really stood out to me was something @ThefirstJedi said, see it below:

Overnight was the biggest disappointment on this album. I love the beat, but that second verse is god awful. It is straight garbage and ruins the whole song for me. “Maybe you was bullied in high school”, who is this geared to? like what?

LMAO! Nowadays, when I hear “Overnight,” I literally can’t stop laughing at that line. The reason I loved this comment is because it was so raw. Sometimes you don’t have to go far into your PHD level English to make a point, you just say how you feel and keep it moving! That’s sorta how I approach my writing. BTW, I actually f**ked with “Overnight!”


WORST SONG

LIL B – I GOT TO MANY B**CHES

 

This song was putrid. Matter of fact, legally, I am not obligated to call this a song. We all know Lil B trolls, but what he did here was just plain ole cruel. Not only does he f**k up the title by using the wrong ‘To’ (Should be “too’), but his singing is so bad that my computer caught a virus playing this s**t. Jesus, it’s that bad! Kudos to him for getting the one and only 0/5 this site has ever dished out.


WORST ALBUM

LIL XAN – TOTAL XANARCHY

 

Total Xanarchy featured deranged beats, raps that sounded like they were laid down while Lil Xan was recovering from an anesthesia attack, and lyrics so useless, I couldn’t help but shake my head in disgust. In my opinion, the album was the biggest mockery of music I’ve heard in a while. Do I think Xan has a spot in the hip hop game? Yes, however, if he puts out two more efforts like this piss-poor album, he may need to be sued.


MOST SLEPT ON ALBUM

NIPSEY HUSSLE – VICTORY LAP

 

I thought “Victory Lap” by Nipsey Hussle was a very f**king good album! It was passionate, had some excellent beats, great raps, and most importantly, served as a training manual for up and coming bosses on how to move in the streets once you see some success. It also had some great features such as Kendrick Lamar, YG, Belly and Buddy. For whatever reason, the album never got the credit it deserved, and still til’ this day, that s**t bothers me.


WORST VERSE

TEKASHI 6IX9INE – GET THE STRAP

 

Let’s call it how it is: Tekashi 6ix9ine is an awful rapper. I love his energy, but when it comes to laying down a solid verse, he is horrible. With his piss-poor feature on 50 Cent’s explosive “Get The Strap” record, I felt like the Brooklyn rapper reached rock bottom. Not only does he have trouble rhyming half the time, but lyrically, his content sounds like a four year old bully wrote it. Yes, I know that he’s rapped like this in the past, but in a song that really could’ve served as a chance to prove to the world that he’s more than a troll, he decided to crash and burn.


BEST VERSE

JOYNER LUCAS – LUCKY YOU

 

This was a very tough one for me. Between Cole, Royce Da 5’9 and Joell Ortiz, we got some very damn good verses in hip hop in 2018. However, in my opinion, the best of the year came from a rookie — Joyner Lucas! On “Lucky You,” he gave you serious punchlines, astute wordplay, unbelievable flows, and a level of passion that was absolutely hard to ignore. I can honestly say I felt every word he delivered, especially considering the underdog persona he gives off whenever he raps.

How many people can you say murdered Em on his own s**t?


BEST ADLIBS

KENDRICK LAMAR – WIN

 

Adlibs have sorta been extinct these last couple of months. It just feels like artists have been steering clear of them in 2018 (Sorta how I steered clear from 711 Juicy Big Bites this year). With that being said, I thought Kendrick Lamar’s adlibs this year were fantastic! Matter of fact, when it comes to Jay Rock’s “WIN,” one of the main reasons I f**k with it is because of Kendrick’s outlandish blurts throughout. You can tell it gassed up Jay to spit harder and harder, which as a result, turned into the perfect song to slap your manager to. Thank you, Kendrick!


BEST HOOK

DRAKE – IN MY FEELINGS

 

I don’t care what anybody says, Drake’s hook on “In My Feelings” was amazing! If it didn’t get so popular, I think people would feel it more. When you talk about his child-like demeanor on it, ability to create something we can a sing-along to, and most importantly, insistence on hyping you up through R&B, you’ll realize that this hook is more than a catchy one — it’s legendary.


BEST FEATURE

TIE – NICKI MINAJ & CARDI B – MOTORSPORT

 

There are so many things to peel from both Nicki Minaj and Cardi B’s verses on “Motorsport:” For one, each of them were hella competitive, dropping excellent punchlines and showing lots of aggression on them. Secondly, the verses happened to  come at a time where Cardi was on the verge of blowing up, while Nicki was on a serious comeback trail. Thirdly, if you consider everything that happened after the song released, (Rumors of Quavo asking Nicki to change her verse, Cardi and Nicki’s eventual beef, Cardi’s willingness to bring up her sexcapades with her now estranged husband) what we heard now seems like some once in a lifetime type s**t. But most importantly, considering all things, I thought both ladies did a great job of strong arming the song from the main artists (Migos), practically making you forget who’s it was in the first place.


BEST BEAT

PUSHA-T – HARD PIANO

 

I thought Pusha T’s whole DAYTONA album had some monumental instrumentals. The one that moved me the most was “Hard Piano.” The Rick Ross featured song contains some exquisite piano play, some serious bass that never stops making the room shake, and this galvanizing feel that practically forces you to bow down to it. When you add Pusha and Ross’ powerful words to the fray, you’ll realize that you were blessed by one of Kanye’s most impressive production efforts of all-time.


CHEESIEST SONG

JASON DERULO – GOODBYES

 

Jason Derulo is good for at least one cheesy record a year. This particular episode features everything from horrendous crooning by featured guest Nicki Minaj, a poor pop/reggae instrumental, and lyrical content so damn corny that I couldn’t help but shake my head in disgust. The song isn’t necessarily bad, just way to f**king corny.


BEST INTERNATIONAL SONG

NICKY  JAM & J BALVIN – X

 

The Reggaeton genre had a really good year; so much so that I believe its influence poured into both rap and pop music throughout 2018. One of the most famous yet organic reggaeton releases this year was “X” — A slow ballad by J Balvin and Nicky Jam that featured a memorable instrumental, hypnotic vibes and very solid crooning. However, what I love most about the song is that it makes you feel like you are fully engulfed in Latin culture, something that I appreciate a helluva lot more since my first trip to Mexico this past February.


BEST INDIE SONG

J$Y – STYLL

 

First and foremost, I want to say that I am thankful for every submission that gets sent in to the Ratings Game. Being able to highlight the musicians that don’t quite get the love they deserve has become one of the aspects about this site I am most proud about. With that being said, my favorite submission this year came from J$Y. On his “Styll” single, he electrified with everything from his silky smooth vocals to his appealing lyrical content. Aside from that, I loved the authentic Caribbean vibes the instrumental he sung over gave off. All in all, I legitimately believe this track deserves heavy radio/club-play. If ya’ll don’t agree, I will continue bumpin’ it everywhere I go then.


BEST INDIE ALBUM

CAPRICANNO – HERENOW

 

This year, I mainly gravitated to music that was creative and made me think outside of the box; that is the definition of “HERENOW.” The short project by Capricanno had everything from deep raps, peculiar bangers and unique crooning. In addition to that, I thought it was orchestrated beautifully. The mind of Capricanno is one that clearly demands attention, and he had mines from start to finish on this EP.


SONG WE’RE AFRAID TO ADMIT WE LIKE

KANYE WEST & LIL PUMP – I LOVE IT

 

Even I, the guy with the IQ of a melon, thought this song required little to no brain-power to make. However, the more and more I heard it in the clubs/bars/shindigs/porno stores, the more I liked it! Yes, even with Pump’s poor singing on the hook, Kanye’s sick ass verse in which talks about some perverted s**t, and the big ass suits the two artists were rocking in the accompanying video, I still found a way to play this song more than any one of Nas’ joints this year 😩.


QD’S PERSONAL FAVORITE ALBUM

PUSHA-T – DAYTONA

 

DAYTONA was nothing short of amazing. I feel like it gave off this cinematic feel from start to finish, while also featuring everything from serious punchlines to Drake disses (Who doesn’t enjoy those two things in a song). It was short enough to leave you wanting more, but long enough to make you realize both Kanye and Pusha-T’s greatness. For this particular reason, I played this album over and over and over again this year!


QD’S PERSONAL FAVORITE SONG

KENDRICK LAMAR & SZA – ALL THE STARS

 

Kendrick Lamar had a pretty quiet 2018, but that didn’t stop him from dropping one of hip-hop’s most enjoyable songs this year. “All Of The Stars” is one of those uplifting/wholesome hits that made me feel all good inside, especially considering that it served as a theme song for one of the most powerful African American movies of all-time in “Black Panther.” Yes, the song is slightly cheesy at times, with Kendrick Lamar sort-of giving us some watered down verses, but at the same time, it’s one of the higher quality rap joints you will hear this year.


TOP MIXTAPE

LOGIC – BOBBY TARANTINO 2

 

Bobby Tarantino 2 wasn’t necessarily MY favorite mixtape, but I did think it was one of the more influential ones in 2018. It came at a time where Logic was getting major love from commercial fans, so it sort-of served as that reminder to his real fans that he can spit hard when he needs to, too. I loved the marketing behind the project, the instrumentals, and most importantly, its overall purpose of sounding like the definition of what a mixtape is supposed to be.


TOP SONG

DRAKE – GOD’S PLAN

 

There are so many choices to pick from on this topic. In all honesty, I went back and forth on my decision. After some serious contemplation, I realized that I had no choice but to pick “God’s Plan.” The track topped the charts for a couple of weeks, has been nominated for numerous awards, and ended up being the groundwork for a very successful year for Drake. Aside from that, the song features some serious quotables, and features a version of the 6 God that is everything from introspective to competitve. In my opinion, it’s a complete hit — one that I believe will win a Grammy this year.


TOP ALBUM

TRAVIS SCOTT – ASTROWORLD

 

Most anticipated and electrifying album, high-seller, most cohesive body of work and most experimental. As much as I want to say projects like DAYTONA and Scorpion did its thing, ASTROWORLD felt like a movement. It pushed the hip hop game forward, and created a baseline for artists to follow. In a year where a lot of guys sound similar to one another, I thought this project was very refreshing to listen to.


THANK YOU!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for the support! 2018 was a major year for us. For starters, we pretty much quintupled our views, increasing from 80k to 400k. Additionally, we’ve gotten some great feedback on album posts and indie artists. The level of growth that has come in a year or so is substantial, and I can honestly say it wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for each and every one of you. With that being said, I look forward to 2019, and I promise, we will grow even more!


 

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