Songs Of The Week

The Ratings Game Presents: The Best Of The Week

The best song and album from 5/7 – 5/13.


THE BEST FROM (5/7 – 5/13)

BEST SONG: RUSS – CIVIL WAR

Russ isn’t the most likable dude in the world, but lets be real, he can make hits like s**t! “Civil War” is his latest, and on it, he does it all from gifting us with something melodic to hitting us with some serious bars. But in the end of the day, it’s the song’s summertime vibes that will catch your attention the most.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: LOGIC – CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND

There are several different reasons to like “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” For starters, we all know Logic sounds like everybody in the industry, so what you get on it feels like some compilation s**t. Secondly, the subject-matters and the beats that Logic dishes out on the project are meaningful and fantastic (Respectively), which brings out many different versions of the DMV rapper. Lastly, the album artwork to it is pretty damn dope!


THE BEST FROM (4/30 – 5/6)

BEST SONG: JOYNER LUCAS – DEVIL’S WORK

Joyner Lucas went ham, cheese and ciabatta bread on this song. I get it, the subject-matter he talks about on it is a bit distasteful, as it talks about trading human lives for others, but its intricacies is hella impressive. For whatever reason, Lucas is a master at being controversial, and it doesn’t get more controversial than “Devil’s Work.”

 

 

BEST ALBUM: ARI LENNOX – SHEA BUTTER BABY

Ari Lennox is someone I wouldn’t mind marrying. In “Shea Butter Baby,” her debut album, she does everything in her power to make us feel love, heartbreak, anxiety, pressure, sexual vibes and loneliness. I love every second of the project, and can see myself replaying it over and over again.


THE BEST FROM (4/23 – 4/29)

BEST SONG: YOUNGBOY NEVER BROKE AGAIN & BIRDMAN – CAP TALK

Birdman and YoungBoy Never Broke Again aren’t the most friendly characters in the rap game, so rooting for them is something I find hard to do. However, this new track called “Cap Talk” by both of them is so good, I couldn’t help but give them a round of applause in my head. Not only does YoungBoy Never Broke Again kill s**t with a helluva melody, but Birdman holds his own on his verse, utilizing a flow some of our favorite rappers use in their music. Aside from that, I enjoy the gutter energy attached to the song, especially considering that these are two n***as that would either pay to get someone to do what they say, or do what they themselves.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: blackbear – ANONYMOUS

I am fully aware that ScHoolBoy Q came out with an album this week, (And trust me, I thought it was pretty good) but in the end of the day, I was feeling blackbear’s a little more. On “ANONYMOUS,” the talented pop musician spilled his guts out on nearly every track, while at the same time, created hits that we can all sing-along/dance to. In my opinion, that formula is very hard to bubble up, especially considering that bear’s not the biggest artist in the game to be catching anyone’s attention with his woes.


THE BEST FROM (4/16 – 4/22)

BEST SONG: KHOWSHUN – DEDICATED (REMIX)

Knowshun is easily the best rapper you’ve probably never heard of. When he raps, he incorporates outstanding punchlines, tricky flows and complex thoughts into his verses, which is very reminiscent to how Eminem raps. In “Dedicated (Remix),” I believe the Chicago rapper has his coming out party, dropping a ghoulish anthem that never lets up in clever bars and intense vibes.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: WIZ KHALIFA – FLY TIMES, VOL. 1: THE GOOD FLY YOUNG

Wiz Khalifa albums aren’t quite the greatest things since sliced bread, however, “Fly Times, Vol. 1: The Good Fly Young” actually is! Not only do I love it as a raw rap project, but it also has incredible vibes and really good R&B features. If you would’ve asked me whether or not a random release Wiz dropped on 4/20 would be fire, I would’ve said “hell no,” but the world works weird sometimes…


 THE BEST FROM (4/9 – 4/15)

BEST SONG: 070 SHAKE – MORROW

I have reason to believe 070 Shake has next. She is a product of Kanye West, and you can tell by listening to her music, because a lot of her s**t reminds me of some old school Kid Cudi. In “Morrow,” her latest single, she drops something for us that is outer-spacish, passionate and extremely melodic — Just like Kid Cudi’s old s**t! We all love old school Kid Cudi, right?

 

 

BEST ALBUM: LABRINTH, SIA and DIPLO – LSD

How good has Labrinth, Sia and Diplo been these last couple of years individually? Not only have they done their own thing artistically, but each of them have been able to assist other artists in making their music bloom. In “LSD,” the trio decided to link up, showcasing their knack for stepping outside of what we consider normal music. Every song on this album has some kind of unique element to it, which in my opinion, provokes that creative side in you to come out.


THE BEST FROM (4/2 – 4/8)

BEST SONG: LIL NAS X & BILLY RAY CYRUS – OLD TOWN ROAD (REMIX)

I am not afraid to admit that I didn’t hear Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” smash until the controversy around it hit. With that being said, I love that f**king song! In all honesty, I believe the content behind it is powerful, the trap vibes are fire, and most importantly, the country aspect of it is authentic. Well, the legendary Billy Ray Cyrus must agree with me on this, because he decided to hop on a remix to the track. While the beat did sound like it could’ve been a challenge for him, he shined bright, gifting us all with a swagged out verse that I believe was better than anything Blueface has delivered for us in the past two years. As the legend for this song continues to grow, expect more remixes and entertainer backings in relation to it.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: KHALID – FREE SPIRIT

In the words of 2 Chainz, “Free Spirit” is a vibe! While the version of Khalid you hear on it isn’t the type of guy I would invite to a beerfest, he does bring out the introspective side of me that wants to turn off my phone and lay in bed all day. Additionally, Khalid does a great job of gifting us with catchy pop bangers that is simply solid listens on this album.

“Free Spirit” might get overlooked as album of the year, but I do think it should at least be considered as that.


 THE BEST FROM (3/26 – 4/1)

BEST SONG: NIPSEY HUSSLE – MILLION WHILE YOU YOUNG

All you need to do is search Nipsey Hussle on this site to see how much appreciation I had for him. I felt like he was just reaching his peak as an artist, let alone as a person. With that being said, my favorite song by him is “Million While You Young.” When you dissect it, what you will hear is a motivational speaker that’s telling you what to do/not do on your way to success. I love the raw/grittiness of the track, in-addition to the passion Nip shows throughout. Aspiring hustlers, run this song on repeat over and over again!

 

 

BEST ALBUM: NIPSEY HUSSLE – VICTORY LAP

In terms of all the albums that came out this week, it’s obvious that Yelawolf’s “Trunk Muzik 2” will get the nod for the best. However, I decided to honor Nipsey today by pointing out his “Victory Lap” project from last year. It was his debut, and on it, he spit some of the realest bars you would ever hear in rap. When I tell you that I took mental notes from start to finish listening to it, I truly mean that s**t! The fact that this debut album will also be Nipsey’s last album is beyond heart-breaking, to me.


THE BEST FROM (3/19 – 3/25)

BEST SONG: RYAN TREY & BRYSON TILLER – NOWHERE TO RUN

Have you heard of Ryan Trey before? I certainly haven’t. The 19 year old singer is a Bryson Tiller understudy, and in “Nowhere To Run,” he does an outstanding impression of the Louisville singer. Throughout this song, not only does he showcase an ability to rap and sing pretty well, but he also lets us know he has a solid ear for music, too, picking out the perfect production to compliment his sulky sound. While at this very moment I prefer to listen to Tiller’s music, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ryan leapfrogs him in the industry these next couple of years.

 

 

BEST ALBUM: RICH THE KID – THE WORLD IS YOURS 2

One of the biggest secrets in hip-hop is Rich The Kid’s ability to make solid albums. a year or so ago, I thought his debut album, “The World Is Yours,” was solid, and now I think “The World Is Yours 2” is solid as well. I love everything from the instrumentals to Rich’s boss-like sentiments you get on the sixteen track project, and how the Rich Forever honcho does everything in his power to create hit records for his true fans. Nothing felt forced, nothing felt unauthentic, and most importantly, nothing felt plain.


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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