November 26, 2017

The Sun’s Top 10 Songs of 2017

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1) Bodak Yellow – Cardi B

Perhaps the most pervasive and noticeable facet of this song is the unapologetic delivery of Cardi B’s lyrics. The percussive nature of her articulation almost renders the background beat subservient to her artistic command. Supporting the lyrics is the repetition of a haunting melody which produces a sense of tension that despite being peripheral, is undeniably entrancing. Mesmerizing and captivating, Bodak Yellow is a beautifully hypnotic work.

By Varun Biddanda

2) “Passionfruit” — Drake

“Passionfruit” is possibly the most confusing track on More Life. If you’re not listening to the lyrics and hear it being played somewhere in public, it makes you feel great. But when listening to it alone, when the lyrics are inevitably isolated, it brings forth emotions that no party song should bring forth, the main one being sadness. Drake meant for “Passionfruit” to be about the constant strain that occurs in most long-distance relationships. He managed to take the frustrations encountered when it comes to trust and commitment in long-distance relationships and turned them into a fun, but emotional song.

By Viri Garcia


3) “Overpass” — Kitty

Miami Garden Club shocked many listeners (myself included) when it dropped in late August. Kitty, a largely goofy Soundcloud rapper who had previously released tracks like “Give Me Scabies,” had created an album that was lush and introspective. “Overpass” finds Kitty at her best on the album, half-whispering lines about ditching your phone at home and walking around in the rain. The song opens with gulls — enmeshing the listener in Kitty’s native Florida — and fades out with the wistful synths that tie the whole album together. It’s a song that’s both intensely personal and alienating, both delicate and raw.

By Shay Collins


4) “Mask Off” — Future

What happens when you mix mega-star producer Metro Boomin and Future? “Mask Off” happens. With arguably one of the most recognizable calling cards of any song in the last decade, a sampled flute and score from “Prison Song” by Tommy Butler, “Mask Off” becomes an instant classic that will be played everywhere from the back alleys of Manhattan to the beaches of LA.

By Pete Buonanno


5) “HUMBLE.” — Kendrick Lamar

“HUMBLE.” serves as Kendrick Lamar’s melting pot. Thematically, it is incredibly diverse — at times it discusses Lamar’s origins as a simple kid from Compton with something to say, while at other moments it displays ideas of superiority and Lamar’s hip-hop divinity. Further, Lamar’s storytelling is backed by a booming Mike WiLL Made-It beat which allows the track to be bumped by everyone from students studying to athletes warming up before a game.

By Pete Buonanno


6) “1-800-273-8255” — Logic

In a press release discussing the track’s impact, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline writes that “The release of ‘1-800-273-8255’ was a watershed event for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.” For that reason alone, Logic’s poignant track deserves a spot on our Top 10. But the track, which features Alessia Cara and Khalid, is furthermore an intricate and powerful work of music. It’s difficult not to feel enraptured when Logic sings “I want you to be alive/You don’t gotta die” over a beat built on understated studio strings.

By Shay Collins


7) “Who Dat Boy” — Tyler, the Creator

Tyler, the Creator’s first 2017 single, “Who Dat Boy,” opens with an absolutely audacious beat. From then on, the OFWGKTA rapper unleashes a seemingly endless stream of reference and profanity. “Who Dat Boy” proves that Tyler, the Creator’s creative vector is still pointed up, and evidences further artistic growth since 2015’s Cherry Bomb.

By Shay Collins


8) “Green Light” — Lorde

Lorde has made a comeback and is still exploring meaningful themes, but has shown that between Pure Heroine and Melodrama, she has matured as both an artist and an individual. “Green Light” delves into the theme of not only moving on after heartbreak, but learning to love oneself along the way. She knows “I’ll be seeing you down every road” but nevertheless wants to move on. Most of the time, breakup songs are about being stuck and not being able to move on because it’s painful. Lorde has gone past that and tells the world that to move on, one has to have the will to do so first.

By Viri Garcia


9) Land of the Free – Joey Bada$$

In works of art, it is often debated what it is that is the deliberate work of the artist and what spontaneously sprung up in the creative process. Every lyric in “Land of the Free” rings electric with power and intent. Released on the date of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Bada$$’s lyrics tell of the ongoing stories of oppression and struggle faced by his community specifically in the context of the presidential election. The occasional trilling of an arcade-like arpeggio combine with the hopeful melody, evoking a faint glow of youthful optimism from within the broader framework of the song’s resentful criticism of an American reality.

By Varun Biddanda


10) I’m the One — DJ Khaled ft. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper, Lil Wayne

Only the man who claims to have almost shut down the iTunes servers through the sheer power of his own success would have the audacity to put out a track so glaringly normal: A basic trap beat, a mosaic of big-name features to carry the track, and lyrics describing, uh, success. Doesn’t matter; “I’m the One” is a total bop anyway. Justin Bieber’s wavy hook is the cherry on top of this fun, totally dancy song of the summer.

By Pegah Moradi