*Editor's note: One of the post in the 10 for 10 has been taken down and moved towards another list. This list will be updated as soon as possible!*
The AD Report is back with its 10 for 10! Last time, Hip Hop was featured in the top 10 favorite songs of the year.
This time, I go over to the R&B genre where there was a strong outing from a solid amount of artist this year. I’m not the biggest R&B fan in the world but I appreciate the melodies, cadences, and themes which range from love, solitude, peace, and good old dirty-macking.
Let’s start off with the man who returned in grand fashion.
Nikes – Frank Ocean (Blonde)
I really enjoyed Nikes. The pitched-up voice of Frank Ocean to start off the song was bit of a surprise but overall I like how his voice meshed with the melody of the instrumental. Frank is one of those artists who tends to slow things down and that usually isn’t a part of my taste. However, he succeeded in pulling me in.
Ocean also had a few quotable lines that stuck with me. One of them being “She said she need a ring like Carmeloooooo” or “Pour up for A$AP, RIP Pimp C, RIP Trayvon, that nigga look just like meeee.”
Yeah that last line kind of hit home.
Borderline (An Ode To Self Care) – Solange x Q-Tip (A Seat at the Table)
Solange’s vocals on this song were soothing and calm. The song opens up with about a couple of instruments (I’m thinking a piano and some variation of a violin family instrument) playing. Once the you hear her start off with, “we been lovers on a mission”, the beat drops and then you feel like ascending to the sky peacefully.
The song is well put together and has an interesting purpose behind it. The song seems to cover the topic of safe spaces between two people who love each other. Appreciating the space around them that isn’t full of negative energy in a world that has a lot of it.
If I’m wrong on that one, then at least I can go to the grave saying it was my favorite song because Solange’s voice and pen are great.
1990x – Maxwell (blackSUMMERS’ night)
Maxwell sings in a few different ranges and they all work well alongside the melody, beat, and instruments. I tried to sing the hook a few times in the car and felt the power, boy I’ll tell you. And while I failed in sounding well, it was a nice song to follow along with. It’s very catchy to the ear.
Speaking of the hook, it’s money. It discusses the intimacy between two people. An Intimacy so close that no other outside forces should interfere or influence it.
This could be a good song to just play around your significant other during a late calm night to set the tone/mood. Now do I plan on doing exactly that? No but you should!
Blended Family (What You Do for Love) – Alicia Keys x A$AP Rocky (Here)
Alicia Keys & A$AP Rocky did a good job on the song sharing memories on an area in life that remains personal to them, which is their families.
Anytime an artist come up with a song that remains near and dear to them such as involving family, it may not stick with as many people in general. And it isn’t shade to those people. It is just how it is. I can appreciate the song from that angle. People who talk about what’s going on in certain/current angles of their life.
Alicia has some pleasing vocals on this one and Rocky delivers a solid verse in a pinch. The sounds on this song are relaxing and peaceful. It has got to be a relief to hear this song from start to finish. The guitar playing within the song is also a nice touch.
WIFI – D.R.A.M. x Erykah Badu (Big Baby D.R.A.M.)
This song is so goofy, so ridiculous, so out there, and it does not matter because that’s what makes this song so great to me.
D.R.A.M. & Erykah havd a dual ability of being able to sing and rap (and do it considerably well). Having these two on a track together helps in giving 2016 some justice. This song has mostly singing on it and I have no issues with that at all because their vocals, is what takes the song home.
The funk influenced beat is nice but once you hear the two sing the bridge and outro on the song in the form of a duet, you can tell they had fun making the song together. And at the end of the day, that’s what it is all about.
One thing to also note, I have not heard a bad song from D.R.A.M. yet and I’m not sure we ever will.
Penthouse Floor – John Legend x Chance The Rapper (DARKNESS AND LIGHT)
I’m currently listening to this song and it’s making me bop my head back and forth. John Legend is a legend and don’t you forget about that. The guy can do no wrong. He’s a very good musician, an intelligent man, accomplished, and has a stable family life.
On this track, he does no wrong either. His vocals are on point and the background vocals on the track are on point as well. Chance also throws in his two cents with what comes off as late-night spoken word.
I think Chance and Legend should work together more. They seem to have good chemistry and I’d look forward to hearing groovy-like tracks similar to this in the future.
Scales – Solange x Kelela (A Seat at the Table)
I mainly like this song for its cadence and the heavenly voices involved. Solange and Kelela did a good job of putting some soul and gentleness on the track with their voices. The sound of the song feels intimate and their voices go hand in hand with it.
This song explores how others like to determine the self-worth of other individuals and how it can be a danger. Once I found out the true meaning of this song, I sported a Wee-Bay face. No seriously, the writing in this song is great and deserves that praise.
Aside from the song, it is nice to see Solange get her due and carve her own path. Her and Beyoncé are kind of on separate ends of the spectrum in terms of style but both are in an elite class. Solange especially. I’m glad I decided to hop on her wave now and I look to stay on it for a while.
Too Good To Last – Kandace Springs x Terrence Blanchard (Soul Eyes)
When I attended school at Rutgers University-Camden, I did a profile on Kandace for the school newspaper. So, it is nice to see that she’s continuing with her music career and excelling at it.
This song is the opposite of the song I just listed to. It’s not full of high energy nor is it fast paced. It is slow, smooth, and soothing. Kandace is a very good singer and you can feel the emotion and effort in her heavenly voice.
Kandace says, that Terrence Blanchard smashed his trumpet solo and I’m not a huge music critic but I’ll gladly co-sign on that comment. He did his thing on the song. Trumpets have a unique touch to them and in R&B songs they usually work.
This is a type of song I want to play in the background while I’m out on a dinner for two. I’ll attempt to make the request if I ever get the chance.
Nights – Frank Ocean (Blonde)
I dig the drums and acoustic guitars on the first half of the song. The production on this song feels adventurous and it feels like I’m flying through clouds during a sunset.
There is a short list of artists who can sing and rap well. Frank is one of those artists on the list and it is highlighted on this song. Frank is unpredictable in the sense that you don’t know how his pitches, flows, and speed are going to sound like from one track to the next (or throughout the song for that matter).
As soon as the beat switches on this song, Frank floats. Opposite from the first half on the song, this time you feel like flying through clouds during clear-star filled skies. This song is very chill and helps me stay cool and collected. Thanks Mr. Ocean.
Welcome to the AD report.