Well ladies and gentlemen, we finally made it... We reached the end of 2020. Was this trek easy? Absolutely not. Did it hurt? Like Hell... With every bump, bruise, and scrape, we. did. it. With so much loss and pain that occurred this year, there was much light and beauty as well. In the final month of the year, December showed up and showed out with a vast variety of musical gems. Let's look at my top 10 tracks of the month.
1. Fahrelle Devine - Chinese Food
What started as a fun social media challenge by her followers, blossomed into an utterly organic, harmonic tune. With her first work in about 4 years, the DMV's own Fahrelle Devine is back with her newest single, "Chinese Food!" Telling a story of giving her all to a past love who clearly took her time for granted, she flawlessly incorporates Chinese cuisine & culture into this soothing R&B melody.
With a low yet powerfully controlled vocal display, Fahrelle uses intricate clever wordplay making listeners literally stop in their tracks to rewind and catch her sharp bars. The serenity within her voice simply feels right, like your mother's cooking on a Sunday afternoon (assuming your mother can cook very well). Dropping only days before we begin a new year, the track has literally infiltrated my entire spirit and is easily one of my favorite releases of the year.
2. Jack Harlow - Luv Is Dro (feat. Static Major & Bryson Tiller)
The feel-good music continues on the R&B banger, "Luv Is Dro." Earlier this month, Kentucky's own, Jack Harlow delivered his outstanding debut album, "Thats What They All Say!" From it birthed this gem, Luv Is Dro. Sampling the late Static Major's "Love Is Dro," Jack recruits Bryson Tiller and Static himself to breathe new life into this diamond. On first listen, I knew the song was for me completely.
3. SZA - Good Days
Giving the gift of new tunes on Christmas, SZA followed up her dreamy "Hit Different" single with the introspective, reflective "Good Days." From lyrics to delivery, everything about the record is perfect. Her passion blares throughout the entire song and her angelic voice simply takes listeners to higher levels. Prayerfully 2021 will see us listening to a brand new SZA album. I don't know about you, but I need it.
4. Blxst & Tyga - Chosen (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
If anyone had a great 2020, it was Blxst for sure. On his latest release, the Deluxe edition of his highly acclaimed, No Love Lost project, Blxst tapped in with Tyga and the feature king himself, Ty Dolla $ign to create this laidback West Coast vibe like no other with "Chosen." The song feels good. It transports you to the days of warm weather, tanned skin, and clear skies. It just boosts my mood any moment I play it.
5. Rico Nasty - STFU
The very moment I heard Rico Nasty's "STFU," I lost my mind. Her debut album, Nightmare Vacation released at the top of this month and when I say this track was for me... please believe me. "STFU" is an all-out, in-your-face anthem that literally tells all of the haters to do one simple thing, shut the F*** up. The 23-year-old DMV native is at her best when she's aggressively raging on the beat and she does precisely that. Her flow is tenacious and her bars are gritty. She holds nothing back and unloads on the entire track.
6. Young Stoner Life, Young Thug, & Gunna - Take It to Trial (feat. Yak Gotti)
December also got a little slimy with the release of Young Thug's "Take It To Trial." Recruiting Gunna and Yak Gotti, the three truly lived rent-free in my head the entire month. Catchy, charismatic, and fly, Young Thug provides that animated, appeal that just sticks as you listen. Both Yak Gotti and Gunna help elevate the track even more with their wavy verses. The song becomes one of those records that you just have to blast in the car at maximum volume.
7. NLE Choppa - Jiggin
I stumbled across this gem a couple of weeks ago on Apple Music, as I was searching for new music to play in the car. It's safe to say, what I found was great. NLE Choppa came through with such a banger that I played the song all the way from home to work nonstop. Rapping about his luxurious lifestyle, the 18-year-old proclaims he has "everybody jigging" to his music. The flow and the production are great and I can't get enough of the song. The vivacious visual makes the song even more enjoyable.
8. Lil Durk & King Von - Still Trappin'
As stated earlier, 2020 was a year of immense loss. We lost notable figures such as Naya Rivera, Pop Smoke, Kobe and Gianna Bryant, Chadwick Boseman, and so many more. Another figure who was gone far too soon was none other than King Von. Following his death, Lil Durk released his album The Voice on Christmas Eve. King Von (a long time friend/frequent collaborator of Lil Durk) and Durk came together for the trap anthem, "Still Trappin'."
The two call out their clout-chasing opposition and apply pressure throughout the entire song. The production is sinister and the Durk comes through with a lyrical verse that adds the icing on top of the cake.
9. Aminé - Mrs. Clean
This year also saw the return of Aminé with his Sophomore studio album Limbo. Following its release earlier this year, the 26-year-old followed up with a deluxe release to Limbo. From the deluxe, we were gifted with "Mrs. Clean." The bouncy Pi'erre Bourne-produced song finds Aminé feeling himself as he spits animated, agile bars. One thing Aminé doesn't do is... miss.
10. Vory - Lil Benny (2nite)
After hearing Vory on Meek Mill's latest EP, Quarantine Pack, I was intrigued by the sound. Following Meek's release, Vory dropped his own project, and naturally, I decided to tap in. I'm thankful I did. It's something about Vory's haunting yet aggressive flow that thrills me. He meshes singing and rapping well and as a listener, you feel his pain, his anger, etc (whatever he feels on the track, it's felt by the listener). This uptempo banger invigorates you as you listen and makes you want to put your foot to the gas!
Overall I believe December capped the year off in a very solid way. The releases this month were remarkable and left me in awe of what's to come in the new year. Remember, you made it! WE made it and that's something to be so grateful and optimistic about. It's been a long 12 months, but music has remained a true constant and something that has helped me deal with this ongoing pandemic. I look forward to seeing what releases 2021 will offer. Until then, continue to stay healthy and safe!
You can listen to any of these tracks in either my "vibes." or "let's get active." playlists on Apple Music, just click here!