Friday, December 23, 2016

Top Songs of 2016: #18-17

18. Baptized in Fire - Kid Cudi: Honestly, this is a surprising choice for me. A) This song only came out two weeks ago, and B) I used to really not like Kid Cudi. Sure, he had a few gems, but more memorable for me was his 2009 party-rap reign and a sloppy live show. That said, his admirable open statement about his struggles with depression and admission into rehab could have explained the aforementioned hiccups in what has otherwise been a pretty celebrated career. Prior to last Friday's release of the triumphant and accurately titled Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin', "Baptized in Fire" dropped, and I went as far to say it was lowkey one of the better hip hop tracks of the past few years. Not only because it knocks so hard, but because all the reasons to love Kid Cudi have resurfaced. He's focused, even though lyrically, he's back to digging for meaning. His cadence is impeccable. And that hypnotic production, well, damn. Anyone who knows me well knows that nothing at this point in time could top the line, "three piece suit and I'm lookin' so cute." 

17. Pillowtalk - Zayn: Another shocker this year was my appreciation for the first two Zayn singles that followed his split from One Direction, a band I've never listened to (although I do appreciate me some Harry Styles - who doesn't). "Pillow Talk" was an obvious play on Malik's part; a sexualized ballad that includes the eff word and a video with model girlfriend GiGi - two things One Direction didn't have going for them. But regardless of the big boy change in (one) direction, the song totally blew me away, and still stands up as one of the most beautiful power pop songs of 2016.

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