As 2018 comes to an end, the time comes to reflect on the year in terms of music.
Let’s replay 2018— from the best, to the expected, to the just plain disappointing.
Last year, artist Travis Scott stole Kylie Jenner’s heart– this year, he stole ours. His long awaited summer album Astroworld delivered banger after banger. It followed an emotional journey through a symbolic amusement park and gave insight on most intricate parts of Scott’s life. The beautiful vocals and unmatched features reflected this— I shed a tear hearing artist Gunna’s voice on Yosemite. While these amazing songs did not always hit the mainstream, they did encompass messages and melodies that we continue to replay long past the summer. Although the commercial success of the album is debated, one thing is clear: Astroworld was well worth the wait.
Straddling the line between good and bad was artist Drake’s Scorpion, which hit the charts last June. The two sided hip hop/ R&B album was not completely trash, but it failed to live up the extreme hype surrounding it. Its massive promotion and catchy prior released singles (God’s Plan and Nice For What) did not make up for the amount of filler songs on the album.
Although there were some exceptions, like Can’t Take a Joke and Don’t Matter to Me, Scorpion left me feeling a bit shortchanged, wondering, “Okay…and?” Where was the promised drip that Drake had delivered time and time again? Not here. And don’t forget the cringey #InMyFeelingsChallenge that got irritating after about a day and a half.
However, nothing was more disappointing than artist Nicki Minaj’s Queen, which released this fall. Although I love Nicki, I cannot be only one completely let down by her latest album. It led with the controversial Barbie Dreams (which dissed about half of the rap industry) and was immediately followed by beef with both Travis Scott and artist Cardi B. All the drama screamed “publicity stunt”, but it did nothing to help Queen, which was arguably Nicki’s worst album.
Once you get past the initial shock of Barbie Dreams and the catchiness of Miami, you find filler after filler. And even though Queen did touch on important themes such as fame and the competition accompanying it, few songs were impressive enough to flourish commercially or spark meaningful conversation.
Between Astroworld, Scorpion and Barbie Dreams, this year was a dynamic one for music. Let’s see what 2019 has to offer.