Param Singh tells Platform his five standout tracks of the year just gone.
Run The Jewels – Run The Jewels
This year was a good year for hip-hop. Danny Brown delivered the goods with ‘Old’, Kanye brought noise-hop to the masses and Odd Future little’un, Earl Sweatshirt, lived up to his surrounding hype with the release of his debut, Doris. Underground veterans, El-P and Killer Mike’s collaborative effort, however, went over the heads of far too many. The self-titled track from the self-titled album sums up the unfaultable masterpiece the duo whipped up this Summer. Killer Mike takes no prisoners over El-P’s dark, brooding and bass-heavy beats and if the formula stays the same, Run The Jewels second release will probably make its way onto a similar list in 2014.
Arctic Monkeys – Snap Out Of It
It’s difficult to choose just one track from an album that seems hell-bent on supplying a new favourite on each listen, but at this moment in time, Snap Out Of It, edges all to the top. It’s like nothing we’ve heard from the boys before. It’s jaunty for one, and two, Alex and Matt hit notes unknown to the band before they churned this one out of the hit factory. By now, my favourite track from the album has changed, the soulful coos of ‘One For The Road’ are calling me again, but that’s exactly what makes ‘AM’ one of the most exciting album’s to come out this year.
Jai Paul – Str8 Outta Mumbai (Track 2)
If ‘Jasmine’ is the womp-heavy and soulfully more ‘chilled’ track from his elusive back-catalogue and ‘Genevieve’ is the euro-beat diamond in the rough, then Str8 Outta Mumbai takes the role of the subcontinent infused banger that Jai Paul fans had no doubt he was capable of producing. Whether or not the leaked ‘album’ that surfaced online was Jai’s official debut release isn’t certain. But what is certain is that the North London genius outdid himself on this track. When you can’t actually understand the lyrics to a song, the sounds become a lot more prominent and with this one the sounds are everything. Str8 Outta Mumbai is one of those ones you wish you put together yourself.
Pusha T – Numbers On The Boards
BALLERS, I PUT NUMBERS ON THE BOARDS! If Jay Z and Kanye were allowed to create one of hip-hop’s most over-used and overrated catchphrase on ‘Ni**as In Paris’ back in 2011/12, then Pusha T should be celebrated for writing one that rap-fans can be more than proud to scream. BALLERS, I PUT NUMBERS ON THE BOARDS! The simple, bass drenched, Kanye produced beat that gives a more cohesive idea of what was going on in his head circa-Yeezus bumps under Pusha’s ruthless, take-no-sh*t-from-anybody rhymes. BALLERS, I PUT NUMBERS ON THE BOARD! Besides the obvious line that calls to be screamed whenever the chance arrives, Pusha delivers some remarkably hilarious and dark lines on Numbers On The Boards. There’s no doubt he can really “go blow for blow with any Mexican” when he’s spitting the way he does here.
Will.I.Am – Feelin’ Myself [Featuring French Montana, Miley Cyrus and Wiz Khalifa]
Welcome to the segment where I lose all credibility and inspire one or two New Year resolutions on what I listen to and who I tell about it. Take Will out of the equation and perhaps even Hannah Montana’s illegitimate brother and you’re left with what’s actually one of the catchiest tracks to come out this year. Miley as well as looking it, is fire on the hook, and Wiz doesn’t disappoint when it comes to his turn to rhyme. I probably won’t be feeling myself too much in 2014, but when I do, it’ll definitely be to this number.