What’s good? The Wu-Tang 25 feature as you can imagine has taken up a lot of time to keep up with the latest and greatest of 2018. That being said, I do have some personal highlights in the first half of the year. 

Songs

Bruno Mars – Finesse Remix feat. Cardi B

I absolutely love that Cardi decided not to wait on her supernova of a 2017, and linked up with Bruno Mars to start 2018 with a banger of a remix. She sounds the most comfortable I’ve ever heard her be, her own music included. I wish I was as cool as they are in the video.

Red Velvet – Bad Boy

Speaking of Bruno, why not get a production team that has worked with him for Red Velvet? SM called in The Stereotypes to come with another banger. I’ve said it before, but I love this R&B version of the group. When they do their straight pop music or their ballads, they are okay, but the R&B songs allow them to flex their abilities. 

Taeyeon – Something New

Let’s fucking go. I’ve waited so long for a Taeyeon solo release to love, and it finally came. Similar to Cardi B, Taeyeon sounds the most natural on this song. I love the beat, and Taeyeon turns it into something playful, sensual, and a bit sinister, with a video to match. I knew I wanted a different Taeyeon, but I didn’t realize it was going to be this version. I am on-board with all of this. 

Yubin – Lady

The fact that this is only a few degrees away from Reboot era Wonder Girls alone makes it notable.

Pusha T – The Story of Adidon

Even the Wu-Tang 25 feature wasn’t going to stop me from this Pusha T/Drake beef. Drake responded to Infrared with Duppy Freestyle, which was pretty strong. It looked kinda bleak for Pusha, till he dug up all this dirt on Drake, including he has a secret child. Beyond the shock value, this has a deeper checkmate move from Pusha T. He calls out Drake for not coming to terms with his bi-racial heritage.

Confused, always felt you weren’t Black enough
Afraid to grow it ’cause your ‘fro wouldn’t nap enough

On top of that, Pusha chose to rap over Jay-Z’s The Story of O.J., where Jay opens that song by quoting O.J. Simpson saying, “I’m not black, I’m O.J.” He connects O.J.’s denouncing his own heritage during his trial with Drake’s struggle of his own, which sticks with me more than anything else he says on the diss track. Although, hearing Push say, “Deadbeat motherfucka playin’ border patrol” might be my favorite line in the whole track.

Albums

BoA – One Shot, Two Shot

She’s mentioned on Keyword that she’s tired of having complex dance routines and wants some easier choreography with some catchy lyrics. Well she found it on One Shot, Two Shot. It’s literally counting on your hands, and it’s amazing. The EP itself is short, sweet, and encompasses everything BoA does so well. In idol years she’s old, but damn she gets better. She’s on a Namie Amuro career arc at this point. 

Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap

These came out within a few days of each other, and I listened to these on repeat back to back for the first half of this year. There’s a sense of accomplishment with both of these projects. BoA reminded the world of her all-around greatness, Nipsey’s Victory Lap is a planting of his flag in music. He sounds more polished, and the music comes across as a distillation of all of his mixtapes. It’s an accomplishment, for sure. Nobody is sleeping on Nipsey, anymore.