It's December. Next to buying presents, decorating christmas trees, eating and drinking way too much and hanging out with relatives you don't particularly like, this also means it's time for end-of-the-year-lists! We at whatsgood. don't want to fall behind and we like having heated debates about this shit so we present our WHATSGOOD. TOP 15 OF '15 list. The idea is very simple: our 15 favorite music releases of 2015. These can be either EP's or full-length albums.
5. Maribou State - Portraits
London-based duo Maribou State gained some fame in the electronic music scene with the release of a handful of EP's over the last couple of years. In June of this year they finally dropped their debut album. "Portraits" was released on Counter Records, a sublabel of Ninja Tune, the latter being famous for releases of artists such as Bonobo and Dorian Concept. Maribou State's sound resembles that of Bonobo a lot. Very atmospheric and soulful electronic music that'll give you goose bumps.
Favorite tracks: "Say More" & "Midas"
4. Mura Masa - Someday Somewhere
After the release of his critically acclaimed mixtape "Soundtrack To A Death" (with some gems such as "Lotus Eater") in 2014, Mura Masa dropped this seven-song EP this year. The 18 year-old UK-based producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist delivered an EP with a wide variety of sounds. Ranging from James Blake-like opening track "Are U There" and upbeat, bouncy "Firefly" all the way to "Low" featuring Jay Prince, that wouldn't have been out of place on a Pusha T album, and Cashmere Cat-like "Lovesick Fuck". This kid is talented. And he's dropping his debut album soon!
Favorite tracks: "Terrible Love" & "Lovesick Fuck"
3. A$AP Rocky - AT.LONG.LAST.A$AP
When this album dropped, it completely blew us off our feet. A$AP's sound seems to have matured and evolved since the release of his debut 2 years ago. "A.L.L.A" sounds a lot more soulful and organic than its trappy predecessor "Long.Live.A$AP". A$AP himself stated that:
Last time I was more concerned, subconsciously, with doing something mainstream. Once I did that, I not only proved to the world but to myself that I could do anything that I wanted.
We hope he'll continue making whatever the f#ck he wants, 'cause with this record he leaves us wanting more.
Favorite tracks: "Jukebox Joints" & "Everyday"
2. Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp A Butterfly
This album is probably in a lot of end-of-the-year-lists. It's considered a masterpiece by a lot of people within the scene and we absolutely agree with this qualification. Not surprisingly, Lamar is the leading contender at the 58th Grammy's with no less than 11(!) nominations, including album of the year and song of the year (for "Alright"). With contributions by the likes of Flying Lotus, Thundercat (whose EP "The Beyond/ Where The Giants Roam" is on no. 9 in our top 15) and Knxwledge, the productions on the album are absolutely on-point. Kendrick's recognizable voice and flow on a new backdrop give this record a whole new vibe, and we love it.
Favorite tracks: "These Walls" & "Alright"
1. Joey Bada$$ - B4.DA.$$
2015 was a great year for hip-hop. The entire top 3 of our list consists of hip-hop albums. As for the no. 1: We've listened to this album so much that we were almost surprised when we realised it was released in January of this year. For us, B4.DA.$$ was an instant classic! Amazing lyrics, delivered with a flow that's "sweeter than vanilla" on beats by the likes of Statik Selektah, DJ Premier and the late J Dilla. What's not to love? If you're into hip-hop, you can't not like Joey Bada$$. With such a wonderful debut album, this 20 year-old talent is without a doubt the next big thing from Brooklyn, where legends like Biggie, Jay-Z and Mos Def reign supreme.
Favorite tracks: "Paper Trail$" & "Christ Conscious"