Sound Session #498 (12-28-14) – Best of 2014

Posted in Episodes, Sound Session on December 29th, 2014 by Hyphen


Christmas has passed, New Year’s Eve is on the horizon, college football bowl games are on TV, and the Seahawks are primed for another run to the Super Bowl, so it can mean only one thing: it’s time for the last Sound Session of the year and with that, our Best of 2014 show!  This is far from a definitive list and represents just a small sliver of all the great music that dropped this year, but we always enjoy this episode because it gives us a chance to kick back, reflect, and vibe out to 2 hours of amazing records.  As always, we’ve included our playlist, some notes on our selections, and a list of some honorable mention records.

If you’re curious, previous “Best Of” episodes are available here: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.

Thanks for rocking with us in 2014 and we’ll see you next year!  Make it your best one yet.

Show #498 (12-28-14)
**Best of 2014**

1.    Kendrick Lamar – “i”
2.    Isaiah Rashad – “Soliloquy”
3.    Schoolboy Q – “Break The Bank”
4.    Pusha T – “Lunch Money”
5.    Statik Selektah ft. Action Bronson, Royce Da 5’9”, & Black Thought – “The Imperial”
6.    PRhyme (Royce Da 5’9” & DJ Premier) – “U Looz”
7.    Big K.R.I.T. – “My Sub, Pt. 3”
8.    Drake – “0-100 / The Catch Up”
9.    ILoveMakonnen ft. Drake – “Tuesday (Remix)”
10.    Majid Jordan – “A Place Like This”
11.    Big Sean ft. E-40 – “IDFWU”
12.    Vanni Meursing ft. Tasman Holloway – “Town Biz” (Local Music)
13.    Thaddeus David ft. T Spoon & Stewart Villain – “Everything” (Local Music)
14.    Dej Loaf – “Try Me”
15.    Doja Cat – “So High”
16.    Jessie Ware ft. Miguel – “Kind Of…Sometimes…Maybe”
17.    Dave B ft. Sol – “Boathouse” (Local Music)
18.    Fabolous ft. Jeremih – “Thim Slick”
19.    Tom Misch & Carmody – “Atmosphere”
20.    Mar – “Man x Woman”
21.    TOKiMONSTA ft. Anderson Paak – “Realla”
22.    Esta ft. SPZRKT – “Can’t Wait”
23.    Prince – “The Breakdown”
24.    Bas ft. J. Cole – “My N*gga Just Made Bail”
25.    Melat & Jansport J – “Fanclub”
26.    Sinead Harnett – “No Other Way”

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1.  Kendrick Lamar – We didn’t get the highly anticipated follow up to GKMC, but we did get the first taste from the next album.  Kendrick’s self-empowerment anthem was much needed in this environment too.
2. Isaiah Rashad – TDE had a monster year and aside from Kendrick, Q, Ab-Soul, and Jay Rock, the future looks especially bright with Isaiah (and SZA). Most talented label in the game?
3. Schoolboy Q – We could have picked “Studio” or “Hell Of A Night” from Q’s album, but we chose this Alchemist produced banger. Congrats to Q on a well deserved Grammy nomination as well!
4. Pusha T – Kanye toying with the “Just To Get A Rep” sample while Pusha flawlessly delivers his standard braggadocio? Yes please.
5. Statik Selektah – Yeah, Action Bronson had a good verse and Royce killed it, but Black Thought BODIED his portion. Verse of the year?
6. PRhyme – Speaking of Royce, his collaborative effort with Premo was unquestionably one of the best projects of the year. Dope beats + dope rhymes. It’s not rocket science.
7. Big K.R.I.T.Cadillactica is my pick for album of the year, but that said, there really isn’t a singular standout track. The whole album is fantastic, but the 3rd part to K.R.I.T.’s bass anthems is perhaps the catchiest. TWO FIFTEENS!
8. Drake – The record so hot that Diddy actually put hands on Drake for “stealing” the beat…let’s just be glad we never heard Puff’s version.
9. ILoveMakonnen – Only Drake and Kanye can hop on random records and turn them in to some of the biggest tracks of the year. Hell, Makonnen even got a deal and a Grammy nomination out of it.
10. Majid Jordan – PARTYNEXTDOOR is the most hyped OVO artist but this duo are the most talented. Their EP laid the groundwork for an official debut that should make a powerful impact in 2015.
11. Big Sean – An instant anthem.
12. Vanni Meursing – Speaking of anthems, this was Seattle’s unofficial soundtrack during the Seahawks’ last Super Bowl run. Slap.
13. Thaddeus David – Thad linked with 2 talented cats from Portland, flipped the classic Dre sample, and made one of the dopest NW records of the year.
14. Dej Loaf – Drake didn’t even need to hop on this record to make it a hit. He just needed to quote it in an Instagram comment and the world took notice to low key the hardest track of the year.
15. Doja Cat – Every time we played this, the phones lit up and anyone with us in the studio had one response: “yo…who is THAT?”
16. Jessie Ware – Jessie’s Tough Love was one of the best (and most slept on) albums of the year and this BenZel produced slow jam was the highlight. Shout to Miguel on the background vocals too.
17. Dave B – The NW is filled with talent but Dave B is the most exciting up and comer in my book. When the next project drops, he’ll be in the national discussion as well.
18. Fabolous – Typically, NYC hypes up their artists far more than they should be and the buzz doesn’t reach outside the NE, and for good reason. Fab is similar in that he gets love in NYC but has been slept on recently outside the region, but he’s been quietly releasing some really dope projects the last few years. This beat + Jeremih’s hook & Fab’s rhymes should have = a hit record.
19. Tom Misch & Carmody – Tom Misch was my favorite discovery in 2014. This 19 year old singer/producer from London released an EP with Carmody in December but somehow, this track wasn’t included. Flames.
20. Mar – My song of the year pick. Just a highly enjoyable record that has everything mashed up in one track. In a year where rap seemed a little stale, alt-R&B/dance music picked up the pieces nicely.
21. TOKiMONSTA – Anderson Paak’s Venice was one of the best albums of the year, but we went with his contribution to TOKiMONSTA’s EP for our selection. For realla.
22. Esta – Not sure the Soulection camp has ever let us down. Vibes upon vibes upon vibes is what they have.
23. Prince – It was a big year for vibey alt-R&B/ambient soul, but the master also blessed us with some new work and reminded us who influenced all these singers, whether they know it or not.
24. Bas – J. Cole & D’Angelo both dropped projects right at the end of the year, which made it tough to include them in our Best Of, but we had to make sure Cole was represented. This verse might have been his most effortless of the whole year.
25. Melat & Jansport J – This beat. That sample. Those vocals. Yes.
26. Sinead Harnett – We went back to the UK for our last track of the night with this super smooth Snakehips produced R&B jam.

Honorable mentions from artists not otherwise represented:

  • 50 Cent ft. Joe – “Big Rich Town”
  • Action Bronson – “Easy Rider”
  • Alchemist ft. Riff Raff & Action Bronson – “Rookies of the Future”
  • All About She ft. Jacob Banks – “I Can’t Wait”
  • Anna Lunoe ft. Jesse Boykins III – “Heartbreak In Motion”
  • Asher Roth – “Tangerine Girl”
  • BANKS – “Drowning”
  • BJ The Chicago Kid – “Soul Of A Woman”
  • Bipolar Sunshine ft. GoldLink – “Future (Part 1)”
  • Boaz – “Like This”
  • Cam’Ron & A-Trak ft. Juelz Santana & Dame Dash – “Dipsh*ts”
  • Childish Gambino – “Retro (Rough)”
  • Choosey – “Fly Me To The Moon”
  • Common ft. Vince Staples – “Kingdom”
  • Cozz – “Dreams”
  • Damon Albarn – “Lonely Press Play”
  • denitia and sene – “divided”
  • Dilated Peoples ft. Aloe Blacc – “Show Me The Way”
  • DTMD (Dunc & Toine Makin’ Dollas) ft. BOOM – “toine&B”
  • Emile Haynie ft. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Devonte Hynes, & Sampha – “A Kiss Goodbye”
  • Fashawn ft. Dom Kennedy – “Golden State Of Mind”
  • FKA twigs – “Two Weeks”
  • Fly Union ft. BJ The Chicago Kid – “Don’t Count Me Out”
  • Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Never Catch Me”
  • Freddie Gibbs & Madlib ft. Scarface – “Broken”
  • George Maple – “Talk Talk”
  • India Shawn ft. James Fauntleroy – “Floating Away”
  • Jade De LaFleur ft. James Fauntleroy – “Freedom”
  • Jesse Boykins III – “Plain”
  • Joey Bada$$ – “Christ Conscious”
  • Logic – “Under Pressure”
  • Lupe Fiasco ft. Ty Dolla Sign – “Next To It”
  • Nao vs. A.K. Paul – “So Good”
  • Nemo Achida ft. BJ The Chicago Kid – “Hands On”
  • Phantogram – “Fall In Love”
  • Pharrell ft. JoJo, Leah LaBelle, & Tori Kelly – “Freq”
  • Rejjie Snow ft. Loyle-Carner – “1992”
  • Run The Jewels (Killer Mike & El-P) – “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry”
  • Sam Lachow ft. Raz Simone & Ariana DeBoo – “Dreams of Gold”
  • Sam Smith – “Lay Me Down”
  • SBTRKT ft. Sampha – “Temporary View”
  • Shad & DJ T.LO – “Always Winnin”
  • SOS – “Secrets”
  • Spooky Black – “Without U”
  • The Roots ft. Patty Crash – “Never”
  • The Weeknd – “Often”
  • THURZ – “Right Now”
  • Tory Lanez – “R.I.D.E.”
  • Travis Scott ft. Big Sean & The 1975 – “Don’t Play”
  • Vince Staples – “Blue Suede”
  • Young & Sick – “Glass”
  • Your Old Droog – “Gunsmoke Cologne”

2015. You ready?

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Pusha T – Numbers On The Boards (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on May 12th, 2013 by Hyphen

We’re celebrating our 8 year anniversary of SNSS tonight.  That’s a lot of shows.  Lots of numbers on the boards.

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The-Dream ft. Pusha T – Dope Bitch (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on July 19th, 2012 by Hyphen

You should get one if you don’t have one. They’re awesome. Even if they only like sports when they’re courtside.

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Kanye West ft. Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz – Mercy (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on June 8th, 2012 by Hyphen

Happy birthday ‘Ye!

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John West ft. Pusha T – Lovely (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on September 5th, 2011 by Hyphen

Robin Thicke kinda has this lane on lock, but I’m not mad at this track from John West and Pusha T.  If you want a fun game, pretend that all of Pusha’s verses towards a girl are actually dedicated towards coke.  Sometimes they fit a little too well…

ActuaLOL @ the Nuvo product placement though.

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Fam-Lay – Beach Cruiser (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on August 13th, 2011 by Hyphen

Perhaps it’s just me, but the way Fam-Lay’s rhyming on this doesn’t sound like what I’m used to from him. That’s not a bad thing though, since it’s a dope record. The beat has that typical Neptunes feel, but with a bit of Erick Sermon influenced twist. As for the video, I’m convinced that the Star Trak camp hangs with nothing but the finest females…

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Pusha T ft. Tyler, The Creator – Trouble On My Mind (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on July 23rd, 2011 by Hyphen

The OFWGKTA takeover continues but simply put, breaking things and acting crazy doesn’t hold my attention. Dope music, however, does. Thankfully, Pusha and Tyler provide the latter, even if there are elements of the video that seem pretty pointless but I’ll let the kids go ahead and RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE.

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Pusha T – Alone In Vegas (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on June 11th, 2011 by Hyphen

Pusha continues his visual assault with yet another video off Fear Of God, this time for the Nottz produced “Alone In Vegas.”  2011 is shaping up to be quite the year for Terrence.

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Pusha T – Blow (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on May 21st, 2011 by Hyphen

Of all the “EEEGGGHHHHHCKK”-worthy verses on Pusha’s Fear Of God mixtape, this one might be the hardest.  The visuals do the right thing and keep it simple for this track that would make Tony Montana himself blush.

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Pusha T – Can I Live (video)

Posted in Artists, Music Videos on April 29th, 2011 by Hyphen


I could pretty much listen to anyone rhyme over this beat, but Pusha obviously does it justice. And with all his recent moves, he’s certainly living. I see you Terrance.

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