“Adam’s Monthly Playlist” is the first segment on SportsNak’s new “Pop-Culture” page, where at the end of every month, SportsNak Co-Founder Adam Pasternak releases his monthly rap/hip-hop playlists – starting with January.
By: Adam Pasternak
This month, I became a huge Migos fan. They’ve taken over the music world early in 2017, but can they keep this momentum going and stay relevant all year long? Only time will tell. Along with Migos, this month saw me discover some other artists, such as PnB Rock, Nick Grant, Trina, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, GoldLink and KYLE, while also listening to some new Big Sean and Wale songs. While the weather in January might be cold, this playlist is definitely fire. Here is my January Playlist:
Wale is definitely one of my favourite rappers and it’s been a while since he’s put out an album. This past summer, Wale released his song, “PYT”, which seemed like it could be a single for a possible upcoming album, but here we are in January and no such album has been released. With the similar sounding “Running Back” being released earlier this week, is it possible that this is a sign of an album finally on the way? Only time will tell, but this should keep you happy until then Wale fans.
The “mainstream” music fan definitely didn’t know much about Migos, if anything at all, until this month. Their “claim-to-fame” was essentially when Donald Glover gave the group a shout-out in his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes a few weeks ago. They have since “broken the Internet” and are among the highest trending on most social media outlets right now. The song is in just about every meme and gif out there, and their streaming numbers are through the roof. They have even been dubbed “this generation’s Beatles”. Today, they released their album, “Culture”, which will only help them live up to the lofty comparison. My favourite songs off the album are: “Slippery”, “Deadz”, “Kelly Price” and “T-Shirt”. Gucci, Travis Scott and 2 Chainz bring their A-games in their features, and are also arguably some of the biggest names in the game right now, which only brings more notoriety to the album. Who cares if you can’t understand a word they say – these songs bump. Plain and simple.
The Pro Era rapper dropped “Land of the Free” as a tribute to MLK and was released on January 20th – both Joey’s birthday, and Trump’s inauguration. The song has a very clear message: that America has many flaws. More specifically, that America still suffers from corruption and inequality. One of the lines that stuck out to me was from the hook, and it goes, “Three K’s, Two A’s in AmeriKKKa”. It’s a very powerful statement, but very simply sums up how many feel about the state of America right now. All I have to say about the matter is that I’m sure as shit glad I’m Canadian.
Nick Grant is someone I just found out about last week, thanks to Apple Music. I was scrolling through the “Recently Added” section of the Hip-Hop page and came across his album, “Return of the Cool”. These two songs are definitely my favourite from the album, although “Luxury Vintage Rap” could have easily also made it onto this list as well. Grant is a fresh of breath air in a world ruled by trap music. The beats have that old-school hip-hop sound to them, and his voice is untouched by any sort of auto-tune or voice effects. Definitely worth checking out the rest of the album, but if you’re feeling lazy – listen to “Drug Lord Couture” and “Gotta Be More”, listed above.
PnB Rock is someone I honestly never had heard of until a couple weeks ago. I had been in this huge Quavo phase (well, I guess I still sorta am) and had been looking for any song either by, or featuring, Quavo – and I came across “Playa No More”. I liked the funky-ness to it, as well as PnB’s voice, and so I decided I would check out the album that the song was on, called “GTTM: Goin Thru The Motions”. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it. Was every single song great? No, but I really liked “Attention”, “There She Go”, and “Selfish” , along with “Playa No More”. I had them going on repeat for the next week, even at 9:00am in the car on the way to class (it’s never to early for some trap music…is it?). Wiz adds a pretty solid feature in the latter half of “Attention”, and as a pretty big Wiz fan – I was just happy to hear something new from him. Check PnB out. If we have similar tastes in music, then I guarantee you will like him too.
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” should be written in brackets next to his name or something. I mean, “A Boogie wit da Hoodie”? Where these artists think of these names, I will never know. I had seen the name a couple times on Instagram (via Worldstar) and thought it was a joke. But then his name kept popping up, and that Drake had been working on a song with him, so I decided it was time to give this “wit da Hoodie”character a try. I wasn’t blown away by any of his music, but he had a few good songs. “Bag on Me” is definitely his best yet.
Big Sean is back. His latest album, “I Decided”, is set to drop February 3rd and if it’s anything like the two singles mentioned above, then it’s gonna be fire. Sean is back to his old, “Finally Famous”, ways and has steered away from the slow, melodic songs we found on his last album, “Dark Sky Paradise”. Good thing my mid-term is on the 2nd, because I know what I’m doing February 3rd.
Need I say more?
The Toronto native is back with yet another banger, entitled “Tempted”. It definitely has that dark, wintery, “New Toronto” vibe to it and sorta makes you just want to do this:
Cartier flows nicely through the hazy, almost spooky, beat and if you’re just discovering him for the first time – this song will make you “Tempted” to go and listen to more of his music. Hah! See what I did there?
Boogie, not to be mistaken for SportsNak favourite Boogie Cousins of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, is a rapper who hails from Compton. He released his first mixtape, “Thirst 48“, a couple years back featuring the single “Oh My”. In October of 2016, Boogie released the second instalment of the the mixtape, entitled, “Thirst 48, pt II”. That’s where you’ll find “Fall Before the Climb”, a nice, mellow song with a catchy hook from KB Devaughn and some great verses from Boogie, depicting life in the streets of Compton. If you’ve never heard of Boogie before, you need to click that link posted above. Now.
I’m not gonna lie. I have no idea who GoldLink is. I’ll tell you what I do know though: these two songs are dope. I haven’t had time this week to look further into him, but I plan on listening to more of GoldLink in the very near future. So should you.
This song is catchy, and the two artists sound really good together. The hook sees the two trade lines, both complimenting what the other “has under them jeans”. The beat has somewhat of a Rick Ross “Rich is Gangsta” vibe to it, with the horns and background voices creating a big, bold sound. I’m not the biggest Tory Lanez fan, but this song has been stuck in my head all month. Check it out.
KYLE is someone I had never heard of until the end of last month when I read an article on him and how people used to say he sounded like Drake. As a Toronto boy, I am naturally a fan of the 6 God, and so I decided I would look this KYLE guy up and decide for myself if he really does sound like Drizzy. I came across this song, “iSpy” and could definitely hear the similarities. If you listen carefully to his voice – you can hear them almost instantly. He has that same type of sing/rap flow they just sound similar plain and simple. While his voice may be like Drake’s, his style of music is definitely different; it’s more childish, if you will. Regardless of the whole debate, I really liked the song, and to me – that’s all that matters. It has a fun, almost playful feel, to it and it’s just a happy song. What really made me a fan though, is THERE IS A DEMAR DEROZAN REFERENCE IN THE SONG. THIS IS UNHEARD OF!!!!!
“Ayy, boy is good and he knows it, he don’t say it, he shows it
I’m just like DeRozan, If I shoot it, it goes in”
Get this guy out to a Raps game.
Thanks for reading, and make sure to keep an eye out towards the end of February for next month’s playlist!
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