The first time I came across this song, there was no moment of hesitation. It was love at first hearing. The glitchy beat heard throughout the entire song placed against JPEG’s unforgiving vocals puts JPEG among the hardest rappers of all time.
AGAINST ALL LOGIC – “This Old House Is All I Have”
The opening track from the album 2012-2017 features an iconic jazz sample that no hip hop head would ever miss. David Axelrod’s “The Warnings” is manipulated and sometimes even torn apart, with delicacy if I may add, to transcend into what the rest of the album reveals.
BROCKHAMPTON – “J’ouvert”
Brockhampton’s fourth album Iridescence was created shortly after the termination of Ameer Vann. With a ton of emotionally filled band mates, it’s only natural that songs like “J’ouvert” would be created. The track features a few of the members, however, JOBA takes the icing on the cake with his explosive yet saddening verse.
Top Albums of 2018
From Janelle Monae’s Dirty Computerto Beartooth’sDisease, below are Coog Radio’s top album choices for 2018. Click on the image to learn why!
Not only was it the greatest addition to her dystopian universe, Dirty Computer was given to us when we needed it most. The world is full of hatred, even more so now under president 45 and it really feels like if you don’t conform to a certain standard of expectations, you’re not “clean”. Monae’s album celebrated all the “dirty computers,” the people who are proud of being different and it made it okay to fight back; made it feel good to know that you’re not alone in the fight and gave hope that we’ll one day live in a world where differences are encouraged and respected. – Bethel Biru
Nova was my top album for 2018 (although a difficult pick between this, Awake by Alison Wonderland, and Astroworld by Travis Scott) because of the quality of production and versatile sound. No two songs on Nova sound the same, and it has something for everyone. As every track brings its own flavor with different vocalists/features, the album also goes hard from start to finish with a beautiful flow that picks up your energy with it. RL Grime has definitely earned his status as one of the top artists in the dance/electronic world with this incredible album. – Parnia Razi
Love Yourself 轉 ‘Tear’ is the group’s best produced album to date. Once you take a deeper look into the album it is easy to see just how they’ve gained such positive critiques from sources everywhere. The album as a whole sets to convey the feelings and many aspects of the shortcomings or pitfalls of love. While following that general theme, the producers on this track, of course consisting of some of the members themselves, have succeeded in giving each song a unique sound. Thus, through meticulous production, cultivating a well-rounded work that doesn’t limit itself to one genre or style. – Leslie Campos
Yes, I did pick Room 25 as my favorite album of 2018, but I can’t seem to get this album out of my thoughts. Every single time I listen to it, I feel refreshed. First of all, the musicality of the album is just simply unmatched. It is so calm yet there is so much intent behind the music. However, the main reason why I love Room 25 so much is what Noname actually says on the album. She perfectly encapsulates so many parts of what it means to be a woman. From the superlatives on “Self” to detailing the pain of unrequited love on “no name,” I feel heard and understood. Effortlessly, she articulates complex feelings that I really never unpacked within myself. And yet, despite the relatable nature of Room 25, Noname is so strong in her portrayal of self. The album is a true autobiography of her unique experience and is just so easy to get lost in. He unabashed sense of self plays into my idea of a strong, successful woman. While she may venture into discussing her pitfalls in her songs, she shows that she has learned from them, rather than beating herself up for them or trying to apologize. I previously referred to this album as decadent, but Room 25 has become more of a mainstay in my life than just a weekly treat. I learn something new every time I listen to it, and I don’t think I will ever grow tired of it. – Christian Dias
Just Friends’ sophomore record is a complete step up from their 2015 debut. It evolved their initial ska-tinged emo/pop-punk sound by incorporating hip-hop, funk, and even a bit of jazz influences to create something uniquely theirs. Full of bops encouraging positivity, sticking up for your friends, and taking on the world with them, while containing two skits. This album is less concerned with intricate lyrics and more about pure, unconcerned fun. The message is as clear as its title: have fun, love your friends, and screw the haters. – Cody Bingham
The third studio album from Beartooth exceeded any fan’s expectations. Disease is playable from top to bottom. The guitar riffs slay. The drums are on point. The lyrics are relatable and give strength to those struggling with mental health issues and loneliness. Disease breaks barriers, creates community, and moves people to thrash. – Tiffany Noviski Neufeld
I played Con Todo El Mundo by Khruangbin at least 30 times all the way through in the past year. My CD case is signed by the band, and when guitarist Mark Speer saw it, he was delighted to see it in full use. The album sounds like a 70s Middle Eastern Quentin Tarentino soundtrack. I didn’t think it would surpass their debut album, but it did. All these things in consideration make Con Todo El Mundo my definitive top album of 2018. – Julian Combong
I remember during one of my first weeks at CoogRadio, I overheard some guy in the office offhandedly complain that female rappers were all “too aggressive” for his taste. Enraged and defensive, I immediately wanted to bring up great, laidback, female rappers like Noname, Junglepussy, or even the queen herself Ms. Lauryn Hill, but 21-year-old Rico Nasty might actually be the best response to racist and misogynistic criticisms like his. As fellow writer Stephanie Onyejekwe pointed out in her terrific artist spotlight, Rico’s music exists without any concern for the way society polices how women – especially women of color – choose to express themselves. While mainstream media outlets focused on the feud between Nicki and Cardi (as though our rap-heavy charts could only handle one female rapper at a time), Rico Nasty casually dropped one of the best rap albums of the year. Her 2018 release Nasty and its accompanying visuals does more than simply make room for female rage, cockiness, and creativity – it celebrates those traits. – Adison Eyring Released in June, Rico Nasty’s Nasty has allowed this female rapper to progress within the scene, establishing her as one of the best female rappers of the year all while releasing, in my opinion, the finest album of 2018. The alternative rapper unleashed all her rage and fabricated an album full of personality through different musical sounds. It’s one of the hardest albums music has given us this year. In Nasty, we hear who Rico is. The album/mixtape showcases how power and rage coexists within the Rico Nasty persona and rapper. It’s not hard to appreciate the sounds, the rage, the sentiment and the power Rico Nasty carries. – Amy Serratos
Mitski’s lyricism has always been one of her strongest attributes as a musician, and the fact that Be the Cowboy pushes that beyond even further really points to Mitski’s current unchained success. She is steamrolling the industry. With sold out tours and amazing TV appearances, Be the Cowboy gracefully provides an alternative from the mainstream, and it has turned the heads of listeners all around the world, old and new alike. Be the Cowboy is Mitski at her strongest, yet there is still so much more in store. – German Ronaldo
Although Drake went through the ringer when Pusha T called out the existence of his illegitimate child, the feud only fueled the birth of Drake’s best album to date, Scorpion. Without being dominated by R&B tracks, or covered in rap hits, Drake’s decision to split Scorpion into two parts, surprisingly creates a cohesive masterpiece that revisits the style of his previous R&B tracks with songs like“Sandra’s Rose” and “Summer Nights” but also introduces some staple bangers like “Nice For What” and “God’s Plan.” When compared to his previous projects, it is hard for Drake to outdo himself but with Scorpion, he did just that. – Taylor Marron
Playboi Carti for sure dropped the most energetic hip hop album of the year or maybe in any genre. Carti knows his sound and style and perfected it on this album from production to features. The intro track “R.I.P” sets the tone for the whole album. It may sound wild because of all the artists who released projects this year, but Playboi Carti dropped one of the most complete albums in 2018. – Quenton Redding
The samples, the horns, the progression – where do I even start? Nicholas Jaar’s compilation of tracks from the listed five years is everything but bland. Under an old alias, Jaar portrays his mastery of sound by implementing old house vocals while perfecting the art of a drum machine. Albums like this are why House music still thrives. – Darshak Chudasama
Top Artists of 2018
From Men I Trust to Retirement Party, below are Coog Radio’s top artist choices for 2018. Click on the image to learn why!
Men I Trust, a French-Canadian band whom have received praise from the likes of Tyler, the Creator and others, make music that Pitchfork describes as perfect for David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks,” which after binging during this break, I say is an apt description. Their recent string of singles, including standout “Seven,” are amazing tracks, that encompass a more mellow, hazy Lynchian vibe. – Waylon O’Day
My top of artist of 2018 is Houston band Khruangbin. There’s really nothing wrong I can say about them, especially with their progression going from opening acts to headliners at international shows. The best part about this is how they accomplish it while being minimalistic and predominately instrumental. It shows how you can bridge cultural gaps and bring people together, which is true from my experience. For me, this is what separates great musicians from the others. – Julian Combong
She’s released what I consider the top album of 2018, so naturally Rico Nasty deserves the honor and glory of being (according to me) the top artist of the year as well. Her work this year reflect the musical scene’s current tendency to gravitate towards an alternative sound that knows no boundaries. She composes a variety of songs unique in style that blend characteristics of multiple genres and reflects her passion, authenticity, rebellious character and artistic persona. This year Rico has done so much for herself as a female artist, for the musical cluster she places herself in, and has given women the representation they deserve in the alternative rap scene. – Amy Serratos
Though it certainly doesn’t bode well for our society that it takes female pop artists undergoing insane amounts of public trauma in order for us to take them seriously, this has undeniably (and rightfully) been Ariana Grande’s year. In an almost demented way, everybody has been on the edge of their seats wondering how our newly-appointed pop princess would cope with everything being thrown her way – her answer? A seemingly unending supply of self-love, hope, and vulnerability. On top of her chart-dominating releases and inspirational presence, she seeks to challenge listeners and music execs to view women in music as legitimate artists without confining them to one particular image or label. – Adison Eyring
Ty Segall has well been established into indie rock stardom, but it’s his unrelenting passion and dedication to his craft that makes him the Artist of 2018. With five albums released this year, Ty Segall continues to demonstrate his musical prowess and knowledge by breaking into new genres head on with his signature flair. No matter the project, Ty Segall excels alongside collaborators such as White Fence and Denee Segall. His boldness and creativity paves the way for future musicians. It has truly been a wonderful year for the garage rocker. – German Ronaldo
Although JPEG has been releasing music for a few years now, I was only first introduced to him with his 2018 album Veteran. The 29 year old military veteran is known to mix, master, and produce his own music (a very rare skill). Influences from early punk rock bands created a vessel to fuel his anger towards hypocrisy, giving no one the benefit of doubt. I will happily crown JPEGMAFIA the edge-lord of 2018 and my top artist of the year. – Darshak Chudasama
I like Ama Lou because you can tell from the jump that she’s a genuine, true to herself type of person. She only has a few songs out, but her music is great and the visuals for her three part music video were amazing. She’s creative, super cool judging from her social media and the few interviews she’s done, and has this strange but interesting wailing to her voice that makes her music unique. – Bethel Biru
This was a difficult decision, given that Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” made Youtube history and Cardi B was found on the radio almost every month, but Drake’s Scorpion had listeners nearly risking their lives to become internet sensations with “In My Feelings.” With multiple number one tracks and keeping his use of additional guests to a minimum, Drake was able to conquer a 25 song project where each song made it nearly impossible to stop listening, making 2018 Drake’s year. – Taylor Marron Drake dominated the billboards this year with every single he dropped, which replaced his previous #1 record. Scorpion may have been a lackluster album to some, but you can’t hide the fact that it has over a billion streams. Drake broke many records this year and was named the highest selling artist in America. Like Drake said “How you let me run it down, I’m not even from around here” – Quenton Redding 2018 was a year that was ran by Drake with big songs such as “In My Feelings,” “God’s Plan,” and “Nice for What.” In addition to having his own big solo songs, Drizzy dominated the year with big features on artists’ songs like Lil baby, Bloc Boy JB, and Migos. Not only did Drake have an impactful year as far as music production, but his touring numbers were insane. Aubrey and the Three Amigos Tour brought in a ridiculous 79 million dollars. The year was so crazy that Aubrey announced publicly that he would be taking time away from music. – Nsikan Inyang
Rezz has been one of my favorite DJs since I first saw her play last year. Her unique sound and high energy are impressive, not to mention her raw talent in producing insane music. She’s only 23, and within a few years she has created what takes most DJs close to a decade to build. A massive global fan base, headlining at big festivals across the world, releasing her second album, and doing her own tour, it’s been a whirlwind for Rezz and I don’t doubt that 2019 will be even bigger for her. She delivers her best with every set she plays, and I don’t doubt that she will continue to create beautiful live experiences for her fans every time. – Parnia Razi
The world-renowned, critically acclaimed, and Grammy nominated artists have left a significant mark on this year. With countless releases, from two albums including Love Yourself 結 ‘Answer’, as well as solo album ventures from the group members, it is no surprise that TIME Magazine has labeled them the Next Generation Leaders. This past year and leading into the fall year, BTS has been and continues to be on their worldwide and super sold out tour titled “Love Yourself.” The Korean boy band act have pushed themselves physically, emotionally, and musically, more than any other artist this year. And the scary but exciting part is, they’re just getting started. Keep your eye out for the boys as they continue to impact the world this upcoming year! – Leslie Campos
After an extensive legal battle and feud, Lil Wayne finally released the long awaited album The Carter V in 2018. Four years after the intended release, the album was arguably the most influential hip hop album of 2018, despite many of the songs being recorded in 2014. It is astounding how Lil Wayne remains to be a relevant figure in music, despite his age and time spent in the industry. This year, Lil Wayne reclaimed his artistic identity and shot waves through hip hop, making him my artist of the year. – Christina Dias
Releasing their debut album, Somewhat Literate in May of this year, Retirement Party took the scene by storm. Their skillful blend of emo and pop-punk displays an understanding of the genres that one would expect out of seasoned veterans, which is impressive considering the band only formed a year and half prior to this release. Having seen the band twice, they play a tight set and show great chemistry and energy on stage. Furthermore, the dedication of front woman Avery Springer to tour through October and November with Mom Jeans while taking a full college course load is something to be admired and a sign that this band doesn’t have any plans of stopping any time soon. – Cody Bingham