1. “Piñata” — Freddie Gibbs (Ft. Domo Genesis, G-Wiz, Casey Veggies, Sulaiman, Meechy Darko and Mac Miller)
There is no doubt Indiana-born rapper Freddie Gibbs can hold his own on a track, but he is best known for his songs featuring other hip-hop artists. “Piñata,” the title track from his 2014 album, may be the most exceptional of them all. With heavy instrumentals and verses from seven artists hailing from across the United States, it is a track that you have to sit down and focus on to enjoy. The steady, unwavering beat throughout the song allows for each rapper’s lines and distinct style to take center stage. Although Gibbs owns the track with the most memorable bars, I could still listen to Casey Veggies’ verse on repeat for hours.
2. “Front and Center” — Joey Bada$$
In this single, Joey Bada$$ flips a sample from Rodrigo Amarante’s “Tuyo” — better known as the theme song from the Netflix show “Narcos” — and makes it his own, transforming the intro of the Spanish pop song into the base for an incredibly catchy beat. Style-wise, the Brooklyn rapper has come a long way since his smooth, no-frills classic tracks like “Survival Tactics” from his mixtape “1999” by incorporating new samples and unpredictable instrumentals.
3. “Can’t Stop” — Theophilus London (Ft. Kanye West)
“… But it ain’t Ralph though!” In this track, the eccentric New York-based rapper and singer Theophilus London creates a memorable blend of melancholy and spirited moods to make a perfect, slow-paced, end-of-the-night song featuring one of Kanye West’s most memorable one-liners of all time, referencing designer brand Ralph Lauren.
4. “Aquarium” — Nosaj Thing
Jason Chung, better known by his stage name Nosaj Thing, is a Korean-American producer from Los Angeles. “Aquarium,” from his 2006 EP “Views/Octopus,” is still his most popular and recognizable piece — largely because the track was sampled on rapper Kid Cudi’s 2009 song “Man on the Moon.” Even without Cudi’s additions, though, the song is great. It is a dreamy, simple and low-key electronic piece — not one you would play at the party, but maybe on the car ride back home.
5. “Waves (Tame Impala remix)” — Miguel
There is something distinctly optimistic and summery about Tame Impala’s remix of “Waves,” originally a track from rhythm and blues vocalist Miguel’s 2015 album “Wildheart.” Psychedelic pop superstar Tame Impala puts a spin on Miguel’s energetic piece, creating the perfect song to blast over the speakers in the warmer months when you are feeling carefree and driving fast down an empty back road with all the windows down. Regardless, “Waves (Tame Impala remix)” is a fun track for anyone, any season or any occasion.
Eunice Jeong (NHS ’20) is a radio show host on Georgetown University radio station WGTB.