The Best Music of 2018


As promised last Friday I am going to come to you all this week with my top 5 things in sports, movies, music, tv and podcasts. These lists were a bit more difficult than usual because I am very set in my ways now. I also don't get out to the movies as much, but I have seen enough to make a list. I like doing this every year though, and that has not changed at all. I'm also ready to hear why I am wrong for the top 5 things that I have picked.

Today I am going to start with my top 5 albums/music that happened in 2018. I will count down from 5 to one. It also needs to be said that my list is different from others. You will see what I am talking about as I get into my top 5 music of the year. Lets get started.

At number 5 I have the three song EP released on Spotify this year by the band Heartbones. I heard about Heartbones since I am a fan of Har Mar Superstar. I follow pretty much all the music stuff he does, and when I heard he was going to team up with Sabrina Ellis, and do the songs of "Dirty Dancing" live, I was intrigued. Unfortunately for me I did not get to see them live, but I was blessed with the three songs they put out. The songs are also originals, they are not covers from "Dirty Dancing". I love these songs. They have that 80's synth sound, but made to sound more modern. Har Mar is perfect for this type music. He is a pop singer. His voice is perfect for that style music. And he shines on these 3 tracks. I had never heard of Sabrina Ellis until now, but she rules. Her voice is also great for this style pop music. These 3 songs I can listen to in the car with the kids, and they sing and dance along with them. I love these 3 tracks. I cannot wait to see what they come up with when they do eventually put out a full album. If the rest of the tracks are 1/3 as good as "Little Dancer", "Disappearer" and "This Time it's Different", it will most likely end up on my top 5 albums of 2019. If you are a fan of either Har Mar or Sabrina Ellis, or well made pop music in general, check out this 3 song EP. It rules.

At number 4 I do have a full album, and it is a soundtrack. That album is "Sorry to Bother You" by the Coup. First things first, this is not the same record with the same name that came out in 2012. I like that record to, but this is the soundtrack to a movie that you will definitely hear more about on Wednesday. But, the soundtrack to the movie is all new material from one of our greatest hip hop groups. Boots Riley and the Coup come just as hard on this record as they do on every other one they have released. The opener, "OYAHYTT" comes at you hard. It gets you ready for the rest of the record. Boots Riley crushes the vocals, and the guitar in the song is perfect. LaKeith Stanfield also crushes his verse on the song. It is a great table setter. From there on out we get great songs featuring people like tUnE yArDs, Janelle Monae, Killer Mike and E-40. It's a relative who's who of hip hop and R&B. This soundtrack comes hard, it makes me want to watch the movie and is a good, 9 song rap record. The Coup always do good stuff, and this record is no different. It's awesome.

At number 3 I have Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats "Tearing at the Seams". This record is amazing. I loved his first record, but I was hesitant on the second. I am always hesitant on second records from people who's first record I cherish. But a friend of mine, who's musical taste I very much trust, texted me and told me it was one of the best records he had listened to in quite some time. That night I downloaded the record and listened to it three times. It was, and still is, amazing. Rateliff and his band totally crush this record. It is so good. It is a shift in the alt rock genre of music. Rateliff has that gruff voice that I love in rock music. His band is amazing. The addition of the horn section was phenomenal. The way the record is sequenced is perfect. The fact that he has a song called "Intro" that comes in the middle of the record is one of my favorite things about it. This is a record I go back to every month or so and remember why I like it so much. It is such a good modern rock record. Rateliff and his band are on a big time upward trajectory. Now I cannot wait to see what they do next. I will have no trepidations when they put out their third record. I will listen to it the day it comes out. For the time being though, I have "Tearing at the Seams", and that makes me very, very happy.

At number 2 I have more of moment than an entire record or EP. But, "This is America" is a seminal moment in music, and out current culture, and it fully deserves to be on my top 5 music list for 2018. When Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino, released this song and video, you could feel a shift in political hip hop music. It is such an important song, but the video puts it over the top. That video is astonishing. It is haunting. It is terrifying and it is all true. Glover and director Hiro Murai knew exactly what they were doing this when they released it. I still, many months later, go back and watch this video from time to time. I listen to the song almost daily, especially when I exercise. It is such an important piece of music and art. It will be remembered for years to come. I would bet a good amount of money that my kids will study this song and video when they are in high school and college. Everything about "This is America" will be historically acclaimed and remembered. It is the most important piece of pop culture to come out in 2018.

And my number one record, and it is only ahead of "This is America" is because it is a full record, I have Pusha T's "Daytona". This record is the perfect hip hop record. Pusha T, from the start, crushes all the songs. He puts himself at, or near, the top of current emcee's. The opener, "If You Know You Know" has one of the best beats I have ever heard on a rap song. And Pusha crushes with his rhyming. And in a short 25-30 minutes he touches on so many important things and he nails it all. What stands out most is his "diss" track of the highly overrated Drake, and he doesn't even have to mention his name. We all know exactly who he is talking about, and like only he can do, he pulls it off without even mentioning him. I grew up listening to Clipse, they were one of the first real hip hop groups I devoured, and to see where Pusha T is now makes me so happy. "Daytona" is wonderful. I listen to this record all the way through once a week. Usually when I run. It is a perfect hip hop record. It has anything and everything a hip hop fan could want, and it is short and to the point. I love this record. I have not heard anything nearly as good as "Daytona". It is number one, and it is number one with a bullet. This record rules. It is, by far, the best record of 2018.

That's it for today. Come back tomorrow for my top 5 TV shows of the year.


Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast. He was going to wait on his best music list to see if Run the Jewels did another surprise album drop just before the new year. Only a few hours left guys.

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