December 26th, 2018

Exhaling And Wrestling: Top 100 Singles from the year that ended 11-and-5/6 months ago (yes, 2017)

I finished this list mid February, then was beset by various blocks and distractions and by thinking I had to write something good, also that I'd waited and dithered just as long on the 2016 list. "At least I won't be as late as I was last year." And now I'm later.

And it feels like a different world: Over the past ten months American hip-hop became central for me again, so I'm wrestling again with and against a lot of tough talk, some of it atrociously retrogressive and seemingly stupid* but obviously I'm not ready to dismiss it or I wouldn't be wrestling. Anyway, if I were doing this list now Playboi Carti's "Magnolia" would be top ten. But I'm not doing it now.

Haley Georgia's "Becky" sounds as natural as exhaling — I can imagine someone coming across it unschooled and unaware and thinking it's in a genre that could do anything and go anywhere, make a song out of any old thing. And I don't know that this isn't true — I haven't been listening much to country this decade — but my sense of country is that it's the opposite: it's like trying to walk through grass-flavored cement. —Haley's subsequent EP, First Rodeo, from this year, 2018, may not totally shut the door on her promise, but doesn't renew the promise either, nothing like "Becky"'s skipping along from slide to single-note celebrations to conjuring David Essex out of thin air. I wonder where she can go for camaraderie and support. Too bad there's no Bali Baby for her in country to splash around with her and shoot stars every which way.

Lil Debbie did a duet with Bali Baby this year and it was Debbie sounding stuck in cement. Pondering Lil Debbie's "F That" as my 2017 number one, it seems kind of cute, the toughness so bogus — except when I listen it's still locked-in power, no matter how stiff Debbie is and unnatural in the idiom — I know that's a cliché, to call the white woman in hip-hop "stiff," but in this instance it's true and on this track doesn't hurt the music (white Bhad Bhabie's not at all stiff, but I'd still rate Bhabie's "Hi Bich" 5th to Debbie's "F That" at 1).

Here's the YouTube playlist, top singles 2017, and the list below, and more commentary at the end of that. I think the music's worth several hours, if you've got 'em. Beauty and surprise:

1. Lil Debbie "F That"
2. Jovi "Ou Même"
3. MC G15 "Deu Onda"
4. Haley Georgia "Becky"
5. Bhad Bhabie "Hi Bich / Whachu Know"
6. LOOΠΔ/Yves "new"

7. Ninety One "Su Asty"
8. Miso "KKPP"
9. Scooter "Bora Bora Bora"
10. Omar Souleyman "Ya Bnayya"
11. Bhad Bhabie "Cash Me Outside (DJ Suede Remix)"

12. Omar Souleyman "Chobi"
13. Pocket Girls "Oppa Is Trash"
14. BTS "Go Go (고민보다 Go)"
15. NCT 127 "Limitless"
16. CLC "Hobgoblin"
17. Juan LaFonta ft. Big Freedia "Bounce TV"
18. Koppo "Gromologie"
19. Pristin "Wee Woo"
20. Hyolyn x Kisum "Fruity"
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