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Music

The 50 Best Songs of 2009

As part of PopMatters’ 20th anniversary, we are revisiting classic features. Travel back in time a decade ago to 2009, when indie rock was in its full ascendency,and hear the songs that soundtracked the era.

Recent
Music

A New Spin on No.1 Records: In Streaming Era, Crowning a Chart-topper Requires a Formula

So what exactly, is an equivalent album? It’s a complicated mash-up of streaming and sales data, where 10 digital-track downloads sold and 1,500 songs streamed are equal to one album.

Randall Roberts
Music

YG: Still Brazy

YG stakes his claim as one of California's most immersive scene-setters and gives us a defining anti-Donald Trump anthem for the ages.

Music

Frank Ocean and a Short History of Spite Albums

Frank Ocean's Endless, the decidedly less commercial of his two recent releases, might just be a victory for artists who've been forced to release music to fulfill contractual obligations. Here's a look at some of history's more significant spite albums.

Music

PartyNextDoor: PartyNextDoor 3

PartyNextDoor 3 finds the artist easing up on the emulation and indulging in musical eccentricities unique to him

Music

FKi 1st: First Time for Everything (Part 1)

With First Time for Everything (Part 1), FKi 1st continues to construct the supersonic bridge to the days of future past with their amalgamation of trap, drum, and bass tones that sound more relevant than tomorrow.

Music

Drake: Views

Views is step backwards in quality, certainly, but it’s a step sideways in some ways.

Music

dvsn: SEPT. 5TH (take 2)

One of Drake's best-kept secrets finds a vocalist and heads out on his own. The result is essential R&B listening.

Music

Drake and Future: What a Time to Be Alive

What a Time to Be Alive rode unreachable hype into its release, but the actual product is full of the quality hip-hop that's expected of its creators.

Music

Meek Mill: Dreams Worth More Than Money

On Dreams Worth More Than Money savvy potential hits are overshadowed by tracks with chips on their shoulders, made for a guy who sounds like he leaves blood on the mic.

Music

iLoveMakonnen: Drink More Water 5

There's something about iLoveMakonnen's tone and inflection that turns his wobbly singing and hazy, uncomplicated rapping into reliable ways to deliver hooks. He might not have perfect pitch, but his pop instincts are awfully close.

Music

PartyNextDoor: PartyNextDoor Two

PartyNextDoor may remind you of another former friend of Drake's, but he's a LOT less talented.

Music

Guessing the 2014 Grammys

Predictions and behind-the-scenes info on who will win the 2014 Grammys in ten major categories.

Interviews

Unknown Discoveries: An Interview With Julianna Barwick

With the release of her second album, indie music's reigning soundscape designer wants you to know two things: there's no grand plan to her haunting, beautiful music -- and Drake is pretty great.

Music

Drake: Nothing Was the Same (Take 2)

Drake and studiomate Noah Shebib's Nothing Was the Same is, much like Take Care before it, a gorgeous record. But is it as good?

Music

Drake: Nothing Was the Same (Take 1)

The problem with Drake, and a major flaw of Nothing Was the Same, is Aubrey Graham's continued failure to be convincing in his chosen role.

Music

Guessing the 2013 Grammys

It’s the Super Bowl of music, and we’re guessing who will be the MVPs.

Music

Predicting the 2012 Polaris Prize Short List

This is probably a dumb idea. But, here is what I expect to make the Polaris Prize's Short List.

Music

“Don’t Let Me Fall”: Hip-Hop in the Age of Austerity

Rappers have always wrestled with the question of how to succeed in a society where the odds are stacked against them. The biggest difference now is that their middle class listeners have the same worries.

Jonathan Tjarks
Music

2011: Music’s Most Electronic Year Yet

Vestigial organs like industrial music and the radio dial proved vital in 2011, while house and dubstep were invaded by hordes of uninvited outsiders, proving once again that electronic and plugged-in music is at the vanguard of change throughout the world.

Music

The Best Hip-Hop of 2011

Newcomers, giants, throwbacks, and collaborators -- 2011 was the year of diversity, in which rap fans were faced with enough variety to find whatever flavor of hip-hop they wanted.

David Amidon, Dave Heaton, Quentin B. Huff, Mike Madden, and Dean Van Nguyen
Music

The Best Producers of 2011

Noah "40" Shebib, Doc McKinney, and Illangelo provide a welcome reminder that a talented rapper or a gifted singer isn’t all it takes to create memorable, moving hip-hop or R&B.

Corey Beasley
Games

Sorry, But Our Princess Wants to Be in Another Castle

I’ve saved more than my fair share of “princesses in another castle” since 1985, but I didn't really see Chloe coming.

Music

Online Fantasy: Kreayshawn's Meteoric Rise to Fame

Female rapper Kreayshawn is on her way to becoming 2011's international sensation after her song "Gucci Gucci" ridiculed all "basic bitches" that value designer clothes. So who is this Oakland-based revelation?

Music

Cassettes Won't Listen: Evinspacey

Lyrics aren't Jason Drake's forte, but his new beats are clever enough to provide a worthy listen.

Music

J. Cole: Friday Night Lights

J. Cole reluctantly returns to the mixtape scene to prep listeners for his ROC Nation debut, once again proving to be a master of his craft, even as he intentionally saves his best for the real thing.

Music

The Year In Music: July 2010

July 2010, the subject of our latest look at the year’s biggest events in music, was full of new releases, high-profile concerts, and TV specials.

Events

Guessing the Grammys

Predictions on who will win what in the biggest categories, based on industry hype and a little guessing about the academy’s voters.

Music

The Year In Music: June 2010

June 2010, the subject of our latest look at the year’s biggest events in music, was a month of successful releases and summer concerts.

Events

Voodoo Experience: 2010 - New Orleans

With a recent contract being signed to keep Voodoo in New Orleans through 2019, fans can expect the event to continue to grow and be a fitting close to each year’s music festival season.

Daniel Boczarski
Music

Bei Maejor: Upside Down

Upside Down is a free mixtape with just enough high-quality music to pique your interest in the budding career of Bei Maejor

Tyler Lewis
Music

Colin Munroe: Is The Unsung Hero

Too much genre-bouncing leaves this mixtape unbalanced, even if it shows shades of true talent.

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