COMPLEX BEST SONGS OF 2017 - 2 CHAINZ, JEREMIH, DESIIGNER
The Best Songs of 2017 (So Far)
If you're looking for good rap music, the first half of 2017 did not disappoint. Future alone, across two of his best projects to date, laced us with 34 new songs. Drake did his part too, dropping the 22-song More Life, which encompassed every sort of Drake we've ever seen. Kendrick Lamar, who currently holds the title for album of the year, ~only~ released 14 songs, but each could have made this list. And that's just rap. The following is a collection of the songs that have stuck with us, and likely will continue to, this year; it's the best songs of 2017, so far.
49. 2 Chainz f/ Travis Scott, "4 AM"
Producer: Murda Beatz, Cubeatz
Album: Pretty Girls Like Trap Music
What better way to prep for an album titled Pretty Girls Like Trap Music than by dropping a monster of a trunk-rattler produced by Murda Beatz and Cubeatz? 2 Chainz has consistently killed it in recent years, no matter how much you sleep on him, and aligning himself with Travis’ Auto-Tuned excellence on the hook is a no-brainer for this one. —khal
43. Jeremih f/ Chris Brown and Big Sean, "I Think of You"
Producer: Young Berg, Cook Classics
Album: Def Jam Presents: Direct Deposit Vol. 2
If there is a more pacifying sound in existence than Jeremih purring “Left panties on my nightstand” I haven’t encountered it. This is the platonic ideal of an R&B song: a playful melody with Jeremih’s silky falsetto gliding atop, slick with desire. Chris Brown climbs to an incomprehensible octave, practically squealing, “Give me a favor” and Big Sean closes with an unfussy verse that feels wild effortless, like talking to that person you just vibe with. —Shanté Cosme
30. Desiigner, "Outlet"
Producer: SoundsByCT, Mike Dean, Vinylz
Sometimes a single line is enough to change your opinion of an artist, an unexpected moment that cracks open their personality and convinces you what they’re doing is stranger than you’d assume. And when Desiigner blurted out, “I be talking like I got a Ray Charles chopper, yeah that’s my blind date” on “Outlet,” it was like the lights went on and I could suddenly see just how interesting the 20-year-old Brooklyn MC is. No other major rapper is making music like this, with such varied production and unusual song structures. Travis Scott is close, but he saves his energy for his live shows; Desiigner spazzes in the studio. “Outlet” is a renewable resource, available anytime you need it. —Ross Scarano