Best of 2014

After only a brief…ummmmm…. 378-Day hiatus, SFP returns better than ever!

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Despite what many are saying out there, 2014 was pretty damn good in terms of music (as far as I’m concerned).  I’ve been reading a lot of things like 2014 sucked for rap (“Hip Hop is Dead” – Again?), but I don’t think that’s correct.  There is honestly too much music to keep up with these days…the internet is FULLY saturated. – and now on any given, day, in any given week or in any given YEAR, I find myself struggling to keep up – often missing entire albums that I wanted to listen to, but never got around to because I was too eager to listen to a new, and more recent album.  For example, I’m still trying to fully get through that new D’Angelo album which is supposed to be the bees knees, but alas, I haven’t gotten to it….yet.  So 2014 was like 2013 where I kept finding myself always forced (albeit with much delight) to catch up with another great album, band, group, song or whatever.Last year, I was able to narrow my favourites down to a Top  90 for Non-Rap songs and Top 70  for Rap (give or take) Songs.  This year, I think I went a little bananas and continued to throw being “choosy” out the window, so the number of songs on my list has expanded yet again – these are big lists..  You’ll most definitely notice that each list will absolutely contain several songs by the same artist, or off the same album: Why? I listened to alot of ALBUMS this year  – and had quite a few artists on repeat…in NR, notably The War on Drugs, Real Estate, Jessie Ware, LDR (still a fan!), Jungle, Robin Schulz, Spoon, RAC (again!), MØ and Broods (amongst many others).  Rap Artist Repeats include favourites such as Kevin Gates, Freddie Gibbs, Vince Staples and Cam’ron.

Once again this year, I did not want to, and maybe even could not bring myself to choose just one song from one artist as I found merits to each an every song chosen from a repeated artist – that way, if you yourself are unfamiliar with an artist, you’ll certainly get a good variety on my list of what they are all about beyond one single track..The way I see it, we all come out on top.  And if you want, just delete the songs you don’t like – make a shortlist from my lists! Knock yourselves out!  Dropbox links to each playlist are below, ENJOY!

stressfreeparking’s Top (96?) Non-Hip Hop Songs of 2014:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/kqraudvwab8aaf2/AADOS4oiXWeD9exq17eL8s4Ja?dl=0

stressfreeparking’s Top (81?) Hip-Hip Songs of 2014:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2j8qoa2ahg0g246/AABefTW8J7zjPThJcAJVioqOa?dl=0

…And speaking of shortlists, stay tuned over the next few days as I provide my Top 5 songs form each list…! Happy Listening. SFP

Best of 2013

daft-punk

Well, 2013 was another solid year for music…I kept finding myself always forced (albeit with much delight) to catch up with another great album, band, group, song or whatever.Last year, I was able to narrow my favourites down to a Top 30 (give or take) in both the Hip-Hop/Rap and Non Hip-Hop/Rap categories.  This year, I wasn’t as choosy, so the number of songs on my list has expanded (umm…pretty significantly).  You’ll notice that each list might even contain several songs by the same artist, or off the same album; long story short, I didn’t want to, and maybe even couldn’t bring myself to choose as I found merits on all the songs on each list – sue me. The way I see it, we all come out on top.  Dropbox links to each playlist are below, ENJOY!

stressfreeparking’s Top (90?) Non-Hip Hop Songs of 2013:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/zf84b0zpaiecwxd/Top%20Non-Rap%202013.zip

stressfreeparking’s Top (68?) Hip-Hip Songs of 2013:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ij60bpl940dtzsh/Top%20Rap%202013.zip

That said, if I were to to pick my jam of the year in each category, it would have to be the two three presented below:

RAC or Remix Artists Collective finally produced some original content this year, and the results were stellar.  Not only was this my song of the summer, but no other track “did it” enough for me over the course of the year to de-throne this tune.  Great bassline, a catchy hook, an overall delight and my Song of the Year 2013. I strongly suggest you check out the rest of RAC’s Dont’ Talk To EP, it’s phenomenal.

Speaking of thrones, I love Shawn Corey Carter (always have and always will) and while MCHG might not have been my favourite Jigga album of all time (probably The Black Album, if you wanted to know – and we can discuss this at a later date if you are so inclined), this beast of a release, which came out in early July, just in time for another summer of Hov, grew on on me (very) quickly. While critics (and fans) still appear to be divided over MCHG, I have to say it ranks relatively high for me (at least for the time being) when considering his entire album catalogue.   There are several stand-out tracks on the album (see my list above), but nothing tops this one: Hip-Hop Song of the Year 2013 for me. I just landed in EUROPE! Bawse!

I must confess that we have tie with Hova.  I really, really like what Juicy J is doing these days.  Quite frankly, after the rapid rise (and rapid fall) of Acedemy Award winners Three 6 Mafia, I thought both J and DJ Paul would be written off into history.  Boy, was I wrong – they are both back and in fine form, however it is safe to say that Juicy J has been making a lot more mainstream noise these days than his previous partner(s) in crime. There were many great  cuts on Juicy’s 2013 standout album Stay Trippy, but oddly enough, this wasn’t one of them. I guess it was more of a promotional single prior to the album’s release; either way both the Taylor Gang veteran and Toronto’s the Weeknd knock this one out of the park.  Couldn’t get this out of my mind if I tried.  Another Song of the Year 2013 for me.

Now that I have this blog, feedback is more than welcome.  What was/were your favourite tracks of 2013? Post your comments after the jump!