Chance the Rapper – I was feening for some Chance in 2015 so I went to searching for every feature he’s done this year. There are rumors of a future album. As far as we know, he will be dropping sometime next year…rumored to have Frank Ocean on it, too. Thanks to RapCaviar, I ran into “Church”, and thus a Chance introduction to BJ the Chicago Kid. Of course, Chance the Rapper’s soulful, Harlem Renaissance vibe was a perfect addition to the song. I didn’t listen to Smyle by Kyle as much as I should’ve (currently relistening now that I’m nerdier since that October). However, “Remember Me?” is great. It’s awesome. Just go listen to it. Chance also shows up in The Way by Kehlani, Navigator Truck by Alex Wiley and Baby Blue by Action Bronson.
Kanye West – Like the rest of us, I am patiently waiting for SWISH? Is that what it’s called now? Now that his firstborn son has been named, I have a theory that “Saint West” is the first two letters of the acronym. The last three are hard for me to guess. So far I have “Is Son Higher”, “In Soldier’s Hierarchy” and “Is So Hov”. 2015 features from Kanye included gems from Big Sean’s Dark Sky Paradise and Rocky’s At.Long.Last.A$AP. “All Your Fault” touched me in a spiritual way. That was the song I would put on before doing an unpleasant activity. Jukebox Joints is so much fun to listen to. Who knew Omari’s old ass knew what FOMO was? Kanye pops up on a couple of other albums this year and fails to disappoint.
Drake – Even though everyone says, “What A Time To Be Alive was a Future album featuring Drake”, I don’t agree. I feel like Drake came with his shit (kentucky blue on these hoes for line of the year). However, with that being said, Drake definitely gave us a tease for his album coming in January according to my favorite Drake fanatics. If it’s anything like that fire he brought in Hotline Bling, then I’m already pissing my pants. We could also consider “If Your Reading This Then It’s Too Late” which gave us some much needed tracks like “Star 67″ where Drake talks about his brief stint of answering phones in the trap. However, a lot of fans critiqued that album to be a bunch of throwaway tracks, thus making it a mixtape. But when was the last time Drake made a mixtape?
J. Cole – I’m not gonna lie. I was one of those people that thought J. Cole was gonna fall off after 2014 Forrest Hills Drive. He wasn’t gonna be signed anymore and he needs that label/corporate mentorship. Still, J.Cole manages to make music that captures his listeners attention. Revenge of the Dreamers II was exactly what we needed this winter. “Night Job”. Perfect. It’s like, J. Cole is the Malcolm X to Kendrick Lamar’s MLK. The music of social activism is alive and well. Even though, J. Cole is apt with that fist-in-the-air type vibe, we also discovered that he can be sexy af. How could we ever forget that Planez feature, which is arguably the nastiest verse to make the radio in 2015.
In short, Cole, Drake, Chance, Ye, thank you for 2015. I eagerly await the content you intend to bring forth this coming year. Cheers.