Starting with June, I will be running an updated playlist on Spotify with my own personal “Songs of the Month”. At the end of each month, I’ll update the entire playlist with all of the best Hip-Hop/R&B songs that were released in the month. Along with each month’s round-up, I’ll be posting a blog where I write about my five favorite songs of the month, which will be the top five in each playlist (The top five are in order while the rest of the playlist is random).
Missed the previous month after the next month’s playlist was released? Don’t worry, I’ll be saving each month’s playlist while updating the main “B+C SOTM” playlist!
*The playlists will be coming out more frequently at or near the 1st of the month. I was short on time since July started with the LeBron James news and of course 4th of July.*
Here is the playlist, with some quick thoughts on my five favorite songs in a jam packed month of June.
“Knock It Off” off the album “Redemption” – Jay Rock
Redemption is Jay Rock’s third studio album, but it has seemed as a bit of a coming-out party for the 33 year old rapper as he has drawn plenty of praise following the release. Led by the singles “WIN” and the delightfully colorful “King’s Dead”, the album peaked at 13 on the US Billboard charts. The feat is very impressive given his album was released right after a Pusha T album, an A$AP Rocky album, and a Kanye West album. With “Redemption”, Jay Rock firmly planted himself as the last head of the three-headed TDE rap monster that is Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, and Jay.
“Knock It Off” is far different from the hard-hitting bars that Jay Rock uses throughout the rest of the album, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t great. It’s a refreshing change of pace in the album where you get to hear Jay use some great melodies in a song that is just so easy to vibe to.
“4th Dimension” off the album “KIDS SEE GHOSTS” – KIDS SEE GHOSTS (Kid Cudi & Kanye West)
Kanye West’s producing spree of solo projects in June had its ups-and-downs. There was definitely inconsistent quality among the projects from Pusha T, Nas, Teyana Taylor, and Kanye, himself. Nas’s “NASIR” was meh, Teyana Taylor’s was good, Pusha T’s was great (overshadowed by his beef with Drake), while Kanye’s was TRASH. Hidden among all of that was the long-rumored joint album from Kid Cudi and Kanye West: KIDS SEE GHOSTS. There were some great songs with smile-inducing moments from Kid Cudi, but the production and bars in “4th Dimension” stand out to me.
If you’re wondering “What the hell is going on?” once the song starts with some old-timey music followed up by some infections, hard-hitting beats continuing with the “Ohhhh, OOHhhh, OHHHHHHH”, well then you weren’t alone. The undefeated Internet quickly found the song that Kanye sampled for the track: Louis Prima’s “What Will Santa Clause Say? (When He Finds Everybody Swingin’)”. If you’re thinking you’ve never heard that, well, you probably didn’t. It’s a damn Christmas song from 1936. “4th Dimension” is one of my favorites from the month on the sheer idiocy of this whole paragraph and how Kanye made a dope song out it all.
BLACK EFFECT off the album “EVERYTHING IS LOVE” – The Carters (You know who they are)
I’ve never been a huge Jay-Z fan, and I hope to not be crucified for this, but I’ve never been a huge Beyonce fan either. With that being said, I might listen to BLACK EFFECT every day for the whole entire next month. It bangs.
I’m never one to ask for more Beyonce rapping, but she holds her own with her husband who has his standout moment of the album on this track. “I’M GOOD ON ANY MLK BOULEVARD” fits perfectly on top of the soulful sample (and is complemented nicely in the middle of the track with Beyonce yelling, “HE GOOD”).
Before the next song I also want to point out one of the best rap lines I’ve ever heard that comes from Jay-Z on this song.
The SEC, the FBI or the IRS
I pass the alphabet boys like an eye test
“Blue Lights” off the album “Lost & Found” – Jorja Smith
If you haven’t given “Lost & Found” a listen, I want you to stop reading and go listen right now (okay, don’t stop reading — just finish the blog then go listen).
Jorja Smith dropped her debut album in June and has become one of the bigger names in R&B music. The beautiful Brit with the angelic voice has endless amounts of soul and swag in her and she uses both in the best song on the album, “Blue Lights”.
Jorja uses her voice to sing (and sometimes rap) to address police enforcement while telling an original story in between rounds of the chorus. Jorja depicts a person being caught in a situation that leads to a tragic end, while the “Blue Lights” are on their way. Her voice, the storytelling, and a Mobb Deep reference all contribute to the song to make it one of my favorites for the month.
“In My Feelings” off the album “Scorpion” – Drake
Drake couldn’t let the star-studded month of June end without dropping his album, “Scorpion”. After the first listen the night it came out, I wasn’t sure where the next “God’s Plan” or “Nice For What” was. After a couple more listens, there it was, “In My Feelings”.
Next thing I know, the song started a god damn dance craze on the Internet. Odell Beckham Jr., Drake’s lover, had to get involved.
This by far is the best one among hundreds of submissions.
There’s not much else I can say about this song other than its just another BANGER from the 6 God. Also — in a couple months — we will all hate it after it’s overplayed on the radio.