Songs Of The Week

The Ratings Game Presents: The Weekly Round-Up

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The best song and album from 3/12 – 3/18.


THE BEST FROM (3/12 – 3/18)

BEST SONG: SCHOOLBOY Q – NUMB, NUMB JUICE

You know what happens every three years? ScHoolBoy Q releases an album, disappears, and when he comes back, he drops some heat that reminds us how dope he is. Since “Blank Face LP” came out 2016, expect for 2019 to be the year of the Q!

“Numb Numb Juice” is mean, it’s authentically west coast, and quite frankly, vintage TDE. As expected, ScHoolboy plays bully on the track, calling n***as out and threatening foes just like the old days using both this calm and deranged demeanor (Everyone knows ScHoolboy is at his best when he’s bi-polar). While the song feels like a mere warm-up to something bigger, I don’t care, because two years has passed and I just started missing that n***a Q!

 

 

BEST ALBUM: LIL WEST – VEX, PT. 1

I hate to say it, but 2019 has been a s**tty year for music. Maybe we were spoiled by all the phenomenal releases from 2018? Whatever the case may be, no real album came out this week that excited me; however, I did enjoy Lil West’s “Vex, Pt. 1” just a tad bit. No, West isn’t the second coming of Drake, but I thought he was able to show both some creativity and versatility on the EP throughout. Will I replay this album after this week is over? Probably not, but I do think it’s at least worth ONE listen. (Just 1, man!)


 THE BEST FROM (3/5 – 3/11)

BEST SONG: YBN CORDAE – HAVE MERCY

YBN Cordae has made his second appearance on our weekly list.

I have reason to believe YBN Cordae is the second coming of J. Cole. I love how he tells stories, flies through his verses and dishes out nothing but witty bars. Well, since I threw out the Cole comparison, is it safe to say “Have Mercy” is YBN’s version of “Middle Child?” If so, I think it’s better, as the DMV rapper literally imposes his will on the track, giving anyone who went to the bathroom during the introduction of  his career a hard-hitting summary.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: JUICE WRLD – DEATH RACE TO LOVE

Juice WRLD is a hella talented rapper (I’m going to classify him as that for now) that I believe didn’t quite show every tool he had in his arsenal in his debut album “Good Bye, Good Riddance.” It’s all good, because at the time I heard it, I was overwhelmed trying to simply figure out who the f**k he was. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I thought his sophomore album titled “Death Race To Love” was pretty dope. No, I didn’t give it the greatest score, but I did applaud it for its creativity, versatility and authentic emo-sounding records. Overall, it was quite a performance Juice WRLD gave us on the album — one that I think solidified his pending superstar status.



THE BEST FROM (2/26 – 3/4)

BEST SONG: J CASH THA KING – TO MYSELF

J Cash Tha King is a real one for dropping “To Myself.” On it, he talks about the many different things that run through his mind when he’s all alone. Not surprisingly, some of those things are fractured relationships and bad decision-making (We all have these problems, right?). I love the song for its realness, infectious hook and authentic passion. What else can you ask for from him?

BTW, shout-out to Eisra for the write-up to this song!

 

 

BEST ALBUM: SOLANGE – WHEN I GET HOME

“When I Get Home” by Solange is special. The music on it is creative, high in quality and flat-out different. Though the album only has a few full tracks, it does a great job of drawing you in with its riveting interludes and quick little ballads. Folks, this might very well be the project of the year thus far.


THE BEST FROM (2/19 – 2/25)

BEST SONG: BLACKBEAR – 1 SIDED LOVE

I get it, blackbear’s fake bad boy persona can come across as corny at times, but let’s keep it real, dude is hella talented! In “1 SIDED LOVE,” the cybersex singer does what he does best — create an impassioned tune that is introspective, soothing and thought-provoking. I’m not going to lie, I loved every moment of this song, and I promise that he didn’t pay me to say that.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: KEHLANI – WHILE WE WAIT

I’ve been hip to Kehlani for some time now, and on some real s**t, I haven’t heard a full body of work by her that blew me away yet. All that changed Friday with the release of “While We Wait.”

“While We Wait” is a short body of work in which Kehlani got a chance to reach her full potential. In my opinion, Every song she delivered was passionate and had great vocal performances on the project. I also love the level of growth she showed as both an artist and a person on it.


THE BEST FROM (2/12 – 2/18)

BEST SONG: BRUNO MARS & CARDI B – PLEASE ME

Owww! Cardi B and Bruno Mars’ “Please Me” has made it’s way to the top of our weekly charts! First and foremost, let me say this: I love Bruno Mars and his intense style of singing, especially when it’s over some lovey-dovey s**t. As for Cardi, I believe she is at her finest when she’s raw, ratchet and humiliating. With that being said, the combination of the two superstars on “Please Me” makes for a romantic banger that is fun, full of excitement and very uncomfortable to listen to around parents.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: AUGUST ALSINA – FOREVER & A DAY

August Alsina has come a long damn way. In the last couple of years, he’s battled serious health issues and family tragedy, which makes his hiatus from music well-needed. With “Forever & A Day,” August finally got a chance to continue on with his fantastic R&B career, gifting us with 8 tracks full of great crooning, romantic subject-matters, and most importantly, pure/non-swagger-jacked music. I definitely f**ked with this project a lot, and I am sure you will, too.


THE BEST FROM (2/5 – 2/11)

BEST SONG: JACQUEES – WOW

When Jacquees called himself the king of R&B, maybe we should’ve taken him a lot more seriously. First and foremost, his ability to peel through smooth instrumentals utilizing an unapologetic yet soulful approach is uncanny. Secondly, I love how ‘Quees plows through his verses and choruses establishing his dominance, showing little to no fear of coming across as a boss. In “Wow,” you get all that, in addition to a fire ass beat by XL Eagle (He always hooks Jacquees up with fire).

 

 

BEST ALBUM: ARIANA GRANDE – THANK U, NEXT 

I predict “thank u, next” to get serious consideration for album of the year. I thought it was fantastic, featuring everything from dreamy vocal performances to vulnerable subject-matters. The project was also very versatile, containing its fair-share of hip-hop, pop, R&B and soulful music all blended together nicely. All in all, Ariana shined bright here, despite having to deal with some serious personal matters during its making.


THE BEST FROM (1/29 – 2/4)

BEST SONG: ACE HOOD – PRACTICE

When Ace Hood is motivated, I am under the belief that he is the best rapper in the game (Yes, I said best rapper in the game). In my opinion, he has the flows, consistency, appeal, punchlines, subject-matters and toughness to take on any one of your favorites (Including Tory Lanez). In “Practice,” his latest release, Hood absolutely decimates this riveting instrumental, leaving nothing left besides bones and blood. When it’s all said and done, his precision in his raps are beyond impeccable on the track, and the way he reacts to having his back against the wall is frightening (For his competition, of course).

 

 

BEST ALBUM: WIZ KHALIFA & CURREN$Y – SO FLY

Technically, “So Fly” came out years ago, so it shouldn’t qualify for this list. At the same time, it was re-released on Spotify last week, so I think it’s fair-game to be added. Anyway, listening to “So Fly” brought back nostalgic feels for me — I’m talking college life with bottom-shelf alcohol, spiked cup of noodles and lots of running from shaky people in the alleys. While it features a lot of smoke-talk from these two legendary stoners, I thought the biggest takeaway from it was the vibes it gave off. For majority of the album, s**t was relaxing. Nowadays, I feel like both of these dudes (Especially Wiz) are only concerned with dropping the next club-hit. Wiz, stop trying to make club-hits, bro. Get back to your smooth s**t!


 

THE BEST FROM (1/22 – 1/28)

BEST SONG: YBN CORDAE – LOCATIONSHIPS

Finding the best song this week came down to the very last day. Just yesterday, YBN Cordae dropped a track called “Locationships” that I thought was dope as hell! On it, he plays a 2019 version of Jay-Z from his “Girls, Girls, Girls” days, documenting the trials and tribulations that come with the idea of f**king around with chicks all over the globe. Personally, I love the fun-loving nature attached to the track, YBN’s clever bars (Besides the one about his Nigerian girl scamming him), and most of all, his willingness to push the boundaries when it comes to creativity. All in all, “Locationships” is beyond a solid listen!

 

 

BEST ALBUM: BOOGIE – EVERYTHINGS FOR SALE

For me, Boogie came out of nowhere. Just last week, I started getting hip to him, and since then, he hasn’t disappointed at all. In “Everything’s For Sale,” his debut album, I felt like he put up a great performance when it came to spitting bars, gifting us with solid melodies and telling some intriguing hood tales. While it’s unlikely this project will end up on top this year, I do think it will be one of those most impactful.


THE BEST FROM (1/15 – 1/21)

BEST SONG: YNW MELLY & KANYE WEST – MIXED PERSONALITIES

The more and more I listened to “Mixed Personalities” this week, the more and more I fell in love with it! The track is bizarre, daring and inappropriate at times, but also very creative. Though Kanye is the big name on it, in my opinion, YNW Melly stole the show, as he was able to create some of the better melodies I heard this year. While I’m not ready to call Melly the best rapper since Pac or anything, I do see him presenting a unique/structure-less style of music to the world that I pray sticks.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: JAMES BLAKE – ASSUME FORM

James Blake is one of those musicians that you heard of before, but can never quite link to a specific song. In his latest album, “Assume Form,” he does little to change that reputation, and in this rare case, it helps the quality of music. Throughout the project, the UK singer plays the perfect orchestra-tor, piecing together his thoughts on powerful topics such as true love and lullabies for sleeping purposes (N***as need lullabies in their life, bro). I thought the music you got from him was pure, organic, and strangely, pretty stripped down/simplified.


THE BEST FROM (1/8 – 1/14)

BEST SONG: SHREYA PREETI – JUNKYARD (LIVE)

Uh oh, we have our first upset of the year! Yes, Chicago/Minnesota’s very own, Shreya Preeti, takes home the best song of the week! That’s saying a lot, because I felt like The Weeknd’s “Lost In The Fire” was excellent, Lauren Jauregui’s “More Than That” was fire, and Kehlani’s “Night Like This” was special. However, Shreya Preeti’s live version of “Junkyard” struck a chord with me, as it boasted these passionate/relatable vibes that I thought was way too infectious to pass up. I also love what the song embodies, which is that of an up and coming artist that makes it in life being her unapologetic self. Isn’t that deep?

 

 

BEST ALBUM: ROBB BANK$ & WIFISFUNERAL – CONN3CT3D

It was another slow week for album releases, which means the crop to pick from hasn’t been that great. With that being said, I thought Conne3ct3d by Robb Bank$ and Wifisfuneral was pretty solid. It’s short, but it does feature some unique tracks in which the duo gets a chance to be themselves — authentic SoundCloud rappers that aren’t here for the clout. But lets be real, folks, this album isn’t the best thing since sliced bread, it just happened to come out during a very weak week.


THE BEST FROM (1/1-1/7)

BEST SONG: CHRIS BROWN – UNDECIDED

I feel like “Undecided” by Chris Brown is fantastic! It features a version of the singer that’s raw, daring, and willing to open up about his romantic life. Much like you, I love when Chris doesn’t give a s**t in his music, but when it comes in the form of solid melodies and positive vibes, he’s at his absolute best!

 

 

BEST ALBUM: MILA J – SEPTEMBER 2018

It’s been a very quiet week for albums, probably because artists have passed out from Egg Nog and ungodly amounts of alcohol this holiday season. I expect things to ramp up in mid-January, and by then, we should all be in prime-time form (I’ve sucked this week, too)! With that being said, my album of the week comes from Mila J (I know it’s an EP, but I decided to put them all in the same boat), and it is called “September 2018.” The project is short, but sweet, featuring five truly authentic R&B jams that fans of the genre will find impossible to ignore. Aside from that, I believe the melodies she was able to drop off were fantastic, and the topics she covered throughout were highly intriguing. That’s a combination that should catch your attention, no?


 

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