Grace Assogba & Pamela Bailey
2019, has definitely been a year to remember, I’ve accomplished so much of what I wanted to do and I can’t wait to grow and plant more seeds in 2020! I think this has been an amazing year for music as well because there was always something to turn to when I was feeling sad, needed to feel confident, motivated, or was just looking for a certain vibe. These are some of Pamela and I’s favorite albums of 2019, along with our favorite tracks. Vyntage Records from the 00’, because we said so. -Grace A
Note: Predominantly Afrobeats, Hip Hop/Rap, R&B/Soul, and more
African Giant | Burna Boy
Grace: I love this album. I just love Burna Boy as a performer and musical artist and being able to see him live, front row, at AfroPunk was an indescribable experience. This album is monumental for a lot of reasons, not only because it’s now a Grammy nominated album, and hopefully Grammy award winning album but because of the history and cohesive impact of the album itself. If you haven’t listened to African Giant, you’re missing out! Burna told apple music that ‘African Giant’ is, “a symbol of strength/ That’s what I want my people to feel like, to realize that they are.” I definitely think that Burna got the message across with his musical fusions, authenticity, and versatility. It’s so hard to choose a favorite song, but my top three are Anybody, Omo, and Collateral Damage.
Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial | Roddy Ricch
Pamela: First off, I would like to say that this album is really just the cherry on top to the end of my 2019. Roddy Rich executed his album with so much thought and patience, and you could definitely get that through the entirety of the album. Every single song flows so perfectly into the next, and that may go over some people’s heads. Still, I love it when the artist cares about how things sound to the actual listeners. Not only do you care, but now I do, and now I HAVE to see you LIVE.
Grace: Can I just say…this whole album was something else. I love Feed The Streets II, but this album is really it. The entire album flows like Roddy says, “You just reflect on all that, and it bleeds into the music. You just talk that shit.” and he was really talking his shit. High Fashion is on repeat, The Box is on repeat but I also really like God’s Eyes & Bacc Seat.
Fever | Megan Thee Stallion
Grace: Meg, MEGAAAAAAAAN, went crazy on this mixtape, and that’s that. Cash Shit has to be my favorite. This album really set the tone for summer, and it was one of unapologetic energy, female empowerment, growth, and relentless, radical, confidence. It was so symbolic and gave us the divine feminine, unbothered energy that we really needed.
Meet The Woo | Pop Smoke
So Much Fun | Young Thug
Pamela: I never really cared for Young Thug until someone had introduced some music to me that I’d never heard before by him. After that moment, my whole mood towards him shifted, to be honest. The song was “Oh Yeah” on his Slime Language album featuring HiDoraah, it just sounded so fire in a car, and so after that album, I started listening to his things faithfully, and this album along with the deluxe version is just filled with bangers and heat.
Revenge of The Dreamers III | Dreamville/Saba
Pamela: I remember watching the documentary that Dreamville made on youtube about the production of this album, and how it only took them about 10 days to make this album. I loved how they captured the moments they had in coming together to compile this work of art, and I recommend everyone to actually go watch that mini-documentary of their musical journey with this project. It provided me more insight into the artist signed to Dreamville, and it always makes you appreciate the time and effort it took into making each song. The features on this go absolutely crazy, which is why I love it so much.
Grace: There’s so much to say about this project, but you really just have to listen for yourself, let the stories flow for yourself. I’ve loved J Cole since 7th grade when my best friend introduced me to his music. Bestfriends, Cheer Up, those were the days. I was so upset when Dreamville Fest was canceled at first, and I couldn’t go when it was back on. I think this album was a really great way to bring Dreamville and its talents to the spotlight. Moody trap and neo-soul warmth, we love to see it.
The Lost Boy | YBN Cordae
Grace: I remember YBN Cordae was coming to one of my favorite clubs in Paris, and I didn’t go for several reasons. Still, I remember seeing the flyer and being like ‘who?’. I PLAYED myself, bigtime. I think a lot of people love him because he’s relatable and authentic, as I was listening to The Lost Boy, I didn’t think I would like his music, but I really mess with it. Broke as Fuck really hits the soul sometimes, feel me? Maybe it was because it was, in a way, a coming of age story, and for a lot of us, we’re living through that. The period of being unsure of what the next page looks like but following our dreams anyway. Sweet Lord, Have Mercy.
Pamela: I’ve been in tune with YBN Cordae through his freestyling, never known him for an official album, but for this to be his first project alone and his body of work, it was just wow. This album speaks on so many things that people never want to discuss, and I love how raw and real Chordae is. He seems like a genuine soul, and I definitely see that reflected through his music.
Homecoming: The Live Album | Beyonce
KIRK | DaBaby
Pamela: DaBaby, DaBaby, DaBaby…I personally felt like this album was very heartfelt, and you can hear DaBaby’s story behind the messages of the songs. I love albums that I feel like I’m getting the artist’s actual feelings, and the message of their songs are speaking to me. This whole album speaks to me, and it resonates, who doesn’t love that?
Grace: BABY ON BAAAABEEEEY. There is no one like the DaBaby, and I really admire how he’s been grinding and working. Now that he’s blowing up, he’s literally giving us consistent BOPs, energy, choreo. I would love to work on his team because they are absolutely amazing behind the talent there is so much more and I love that it was so personal. You can’t hate the man; also, he started the triller trend because now everyone wants to triller their releases, which is cool, but I said what I said. When I listen to this album, I just want to turn up, even if not I’m just happy, and that means a lot. DaBaby for the win.
Perfect Ten | Mustard
Pamela: I’ve always loved Mustard even when he had that ‘Dj’ title in the front of his name, but I love his beats, his style of music, and the vibe that he puts out. Each song he has is a banger on this album, from the transitioning of each song to the next, I just always stay attentive to those things in his musical style. This album resonated with me the most for many reasons. Still, the song that I love the most would be ‘Perfect Ten’ by Mustard featuring Nipsey Hussle. The song being dropped after Nipsey’s passing still makes you feel like he is still alive, you know, and I love that type of storytelling when people are just speaking FACTS, like “where is your backbone at?”
Grace: There was an interview where Roddy was talking about making Ballin, and I think it was before Nipsey had died, he talked about how they had made the song before then. Still, Mustard wasn’t ready to release it. I can’t believe Mustard was just sitting on this greatness. If I had to describe this celebratory album in one word…it would be perseverance.
Pamela: The whole album is just a solid piece of beautifully constructed songs that I feel like anyone can bump to. It was actually my roommate that put me on to Sheff G, the day his album dropped she told me to listen to it and just knowing about Sleepy Hallow at the time, I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about Sheff G sooner. I love his deep voice, I love how it feel as though he is speaking to me, and his flow is smooth. I can listen to him everywhere I go for any mood I’m feeling. Shoutout to Brooklyn to a lot of artists are started to flourish out there!!!!!
Grace: Shoutout to Em because she was like you have to listen to Sheff G, and I kid you not, I was hearing ‘We Getting Money’ for a week straight. It doesn’t matter if I’m happy, sad, frustrated, there’s a little bit of everything. If you haven’t listen to Sheff G, you need to.
Over It | Summer Walker
Pamela: I’ve been keeping up with Summer Walker ever since she dropped ‘Girls Need Love,’ and the way that she’s grown, I feel like it’s like watching one of my friends grow to be honest. ‘Over It’ is just her way of saying that she is over it. That these boys that aren’t doing anything for her, she’s over too nice and forgiving, she’s past being played and treated like trash, she’s just OVER IT Y’ALL. I fell in love with the rustic feel of each song, and she sounds even better live, I’ll tell you that right now.
Wow…That’s Crazy | Wale
Pamela: Wale has always been one of my favorite musicians. I feel like he holds so many strong and retable messages through his music that can resonate with a lot of people if they took the time to listen to the lyrics instead of the song itself. This album, was one of his most solid pieces of this new era, and I love how he was so open and vulnerable about the topic of love. I just resonated with it and felt every word in my soul.
Pamela: Now if you from New York, you know that this was long overdue. We’ve been tired of the little single’s or EP’s that Young M.A was dropping on us, for her to drop a whole album was just like “FINALLY.” She definitely didn’t disappoint at all! Always finding myself relistening to her things for captions on my flicks, her bars go CRAZY.
Herstory in the Making | Young M.A.
Pam: Now if you from New York, you know that this was long overdue. We’ve been tired of the little single’s or EP’s that Young M.A was dropping on us, for her to drop a whole album was just like “FINALLY.” She definitely didn’t disappoint at all! Always finding myself relistening to her things for captions on my flicks, her bars go CRAZY.
Grace: NNAN…okay. That’s it, that’s it.