JMON'S TOP 25 PROJECTS 0F 2021
Happy holidays n shit my yutes. I compiled a fractionary list of some of my favorite projects from this year, along with my favorite tracks from each joint and a short write up for why each project made it here. Hope you find something that interests ya and ill see ya next year. stay safe, drink your water, and wipe down that dusty ass ceiling fan my nigga.
- Varnish La Piscine - METRONOME POLE DANCE TWIST AMAZONE (2020)
- Aight, I know that this project came out early 2020 but I stumbled on it a few months ago and bruv... french niggas are on a different wavelength fr. The production on this joint is so bright and flavorful, and some of the chord choices are reminiscent of early 2000s pharrell. I found track 6 "ADIOS, TORNADO'S EFFECT" first and fell in love. literally no skips on this joint.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 2 - BOMBE
- Ojerime - B4 I BREAKDOWN (2020)
- Another project from 2020 that I had to sneak on this list because why the fuck not lmao. Ojerime is one of my favorite acts out of London currently, her vocal tones and production choices are so simple yet so effective. The whole tape is a vibe and its just been aging like fine wine. And this is just her mixtape!!! mannnn give this woman her flowers rn.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 10 - SELFISH (OUTRO)
- Nala Sinephro - SPACE 1.8 (2021)
- Aight now we at the projects that actually came out this year lmao. Nala's "Space 1.8" is an ambient masterpiece to me. the cover art alone made me feel a way so I knew it was gonna be a slap. If you want something to zone out to, this is that.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 1 - SPACE 1
- Fousheé - TIME MACHINE (2021)
- Ion feel like this project got enough love tbh besides the tik tok hit, obviously. While short, Fousheé did what she needed to do. Random fact but I believe she is of jamaican descent which is even more fye. Anyways, no skips on this joint.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 6 - CLAP FOR HIM (FEAT.LIL YACHTY)
- Deem Spencer - DEEM'S TAPE (2021)
- Whole lotta JA descent on this list that I'm just now realizing lmao but aye! Deem slid on this ho. Somebody said bro like a dusty frank ocean and I see it a lil LOL. minimal yet effective production, infectious flows, beautiful all around fr.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 3 - NEW LIGHT
- ZelooperZ - VAN GOGH'S LEFT EAR (2021)
- I swear this nigga rap in 2060!! Z went dummy on this project, from painting the cover himself, to the videos that released with the project, bro just got vision + energy and I love it. The flows on this joint are addictive and some of the beats are so outlandish that they should be bad but they just work. so many quotables on here too.
MEMORABLE BAR: "Points to the home team, The scoreboard glowin' like a Christmas tree! Why you spendin' all of that time adornin' me? I'm tryna get my neck lookin' like Mr. T!"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 1 - BATTERY
- Babyface Ray - UNFUCKWITABLE (2021)
- Ray one of my favorite slicktalkers fr, sumthin in them Detroit waters! I be feeling like a bad bitch when "Gallery Dept" cut on.
MEMORABLE BAR: "I make ya ho move without speaking like Matilda"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 6 - A Million Cash Race
- Paris Texas - RED HAND AKIMBO (2021)
- Paris Texas had one of the most exciting debuts to me this year, an amazing rollout to a refreshing soundscape that floats between genres effortlessly. Then these niggas spun back with this joint?! yeah they got it.
MEMORABLE BAR: "Got me feeling like Biggie, where yo dad at?" yall niggas freaky LMFAO
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 4 - BULLSEYE
- Navy Blue - Navy's Reprise (2021)
- Sage has become one of my favorite writers + producers over the last year and a half tbh. The way he's able to weave words together over soulful loops is entrancing and this project in particular feels a little more colorful than its predecessor, "Song of Sage: Post Panic!" bro levels up on every release and its beautiful to see.
MEMORABLE BAR: "Bend, won't break, don't take from the giving tree, reciprocation play a vital role within this recipe"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 3 - Code of Honor
- Aminé - TWOPOINTFIVE (2021)
- I think this is my favorite Aminé project thus far. From the merch designs, to the energetic feeling of the lead single + video, 2.5 has some of my favorite production from this year. I don't even know how to really describe it but its vaguely reminiscent of some 2000s UK Garage stuff I found earlier this year. The whole project is just fun and colorful, refreshing to see + hear when dealing with all the bullshit from this year fr!
MEMORABLE BAR: "I never take a L so I'm L-less (Ellis) like Tracee"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 4 - OKWME
- Dee Gatti - JUST CALLED TO SAY (2021)
- My heart gon fold for some slick R&B errytime. Dee Gatti just got them tones + melodies that make every song worth revisting 100 times. Production is sparse and compliments their style so well, and I really like some of the mixing techniques utilized on here. Excited to see their growth.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 5 - Headache
- Tyler, The Creator - CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST (2021)
- Gangsta-Grillz-datpiff-limewire-esque, braggadocious-rich nigga raps? 9-minute, 2 bridge ballads with rock-steady influenced second halfs? Wes Anderson styled video work + stage designs? The wayne verse?? Youngboy croooning over H-town samples? mayneeeeee I could go on & on about this one.
MEMORABLE BAR: "Used to be reckless, you should see what them commas do"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 4 - I THOUGHT YOU WANTED TO DANCE
- Mike - DISCO! (2021)
- Off rip this is one of my favorite cover arts i've seen from Mike. Music wise, this joint starts off with my most played song of the year, "Evil Eye" and just continues to impress. This body of work feels like Mike is more present in his own self and thats tight to see, the flow on "Aww (Zaza)" makes me smile everytime I hear it, "Crystal Ball" is so fye tooo. lotta guala talk on this one, as he should. Slumz affliates got my favorite writers tbh, all poets in their own fashions.
MEMORABLE BAR: "the love cluttered with abuse"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 1 - EVIL EYE
- Mick Jenkins - ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM (2021)
- Another mf poet!! Mick another yute that needs they flowers fr! nigga been nice since I found him in 2014 and he hasn't dissapointed since. With sheer talent, an amazing ear for production, and a natural nack for some sort of base concept, EITR speaks on the black experience with songs like "Things You Could Die For While Doing If Black" and "Reflection." In short, the nigga don't miss!
MEMORABLE BAR: "I'm skipping rocks that I swear used to be my stepping stones"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 8 - Speed Racer (prod. Saba)
- Vince Staples - VINCE STAPLES (2021)
- Vince is one of my favorite personalities in music just bc bro is so fucking smart and unintentionally funny. Hearing him take more of melodic approach to his work was tight to see. Assisted by Kenny Beats, the 10-track project is concise and easy to follow, but is still everything Vince. In all, I'm excited to hear his follow up to this!
MEMORABLE BAR: "hanging on them corners same as hanging from a ceiling fan"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 3 - TAKE ME HOME (FEAT. FOUSHEE)
- BLK ODYSSY - BLK VINTAGE (2021)
- Deadass the most soulful project I've heard all year. Just rich in texture and tones, BLK should be way bigger than he is now. The flows, pockets, and production all come together to paint such a beautiful experience. Along with Reggie, BLK ODYSSY is one of my favorite acts coming from Texas rn. This body of work is shaping to age like a classic fr.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 3 - NINETEEN EIGHTY
- Mach Hommy - PRAY FOR HAITI (2021)
- EVERYTIME MACH RAP I WANNA BURN MY HARDDRIVE. ONE NIGGA SHOULD NOT BE THIS HARD. NIGGA DONT EVEN GOT FANS HE GOT "INVESTERS." YOU KNO HOW HARD THAT IS? BRO DONT EVEN ALLOW YOU TO POST HIS LYRICS SO YOU DEADASS GOTTA LISTEN. LOVED THE COVER OF THIS ONE, ALONG WITH THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCTION FROM WESTSIDE GUNN. MACH GOT SO MANY QUOTABLES BUT I AINT TRYNA CATCH A DMCA SO WE ONLY DOING THREE LMAO.
MEMORABLE BAR(S): "The only real commodity to have is patience, fuck nigga. pussy." +
"Crackers keep the lifestyle in their eye, like a young lisa lopes!" +
"I aint even finna tell you what JIGGA told me!"
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 8 - Kriminel
- BADBADNOTGOOD - TALK MEMORY (2021)
- This been my go-to record when I want to hear sounds but not really tryna hear voices, just a masterpiece through & through, accompanied by beautiful artwork design by Virgil (RIP).
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 5 - Love Proceeding
- Dijon - ABSOLUTELY (2021)
- Dijon been one of my favorite forces in music for a while now, and his debut was everything I hoped for and more. The live version of this is heart wrenching; the vocal strains are palpable, and the chemistry between him, Mk.gee and the rest of the band make for a beautiful experience. The Dress, Many Times, Rodeo Clown.... *crying and throwing up profusely*
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 9 - Talk Down
- SKIIFALL - WOIIYOIE TAPES VOL 1 (2021)
- Woi! This joint is only three songs but man is the replay value on this high as fuck. Big up montreal + JA descent! Skii just be in dem pockets man ion know. plus hearing niggas rap in patois makes me feel seen.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 2 - Lost Angeles
- 454 - 4 REAL (2021)
- If I could inject this tape into my veins I would. Ive run this whole project into the ground and back again. it just sound like cotton candy or sum shit ion know! love the slowed down verisions on the backends of each song as well.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 6 - ANDRETTI
MEMORABLE BAR: "Live yo life fahsure, anytime, anybody can go."
- Baby Keem - THE MELODIC BLUE (2021)
- This was one of my most anticipated projects from the year and it sure did deliver. Keem's artistic vision levels up tenfold on this ho, as well as his production skills. The switch up on the intro, the sample and bars on "scapegoats", the glitch like effect on the drums on "16." *chef's kisss*
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 14 - FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS
MEMORABLE BAR: "What's the pros and the cons of this next check?"
- Isaiah Rashad - THE HOUSE IS BURNING (2021)
- Another highly anticipated project that delivered!! Zay really came thru with all the joints niggas been fiending for. Glad we finally got to witness this project and see Zay take more strides into being more consistent in his output, maybe I should learn from that lmfao but no skips! even the joint with uzi (i initially didnt like it) grew on me! SZA on "Score".... Smino on "Claymore"... the feeling of "Hey Mista"... he did the damn thang!
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 6 - Headshots (4r Da Locals)
MEMORABLE BAR: "If not these niggas, bet ya senses betray ya."
- Mustafa - WHEN SMOKE RISES (2021)
- As my #2 pick for the year, Mustafa comes in with some of the best songwriting I've heard all year. Creating space for grief and loss, the way that he turns sonics on its head to give new life to old habits on songs such as "The Hearse" feels magically painful. And to top it off, nigga copped a Sampha feature?? where did he even find bro?? Anyways, stark production, rich in concepts and soul, just beautiful in every sense of the word.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 4 - The Hearse
MEMORABLE LINE: "Don't crease your air forces,
Just stay inside tonight,
You know what's happening outside,
You say it's okay,
But you tucked your chain,
Like if they take it,
I won't see you for a while."
- Ye - DONDA (2021)
- Nigga rented out a Benz stadium, lit himself on fire, then floated away; need I say more? No. But I will. Andre's verse on "Life of the Party," the Lauryn Hill sample on "Believe What I Say," Fivio on "Off The Grid," Keem on "Praise God," just elite features all the way thru. Along with releasing the STEM player, a literal new instrument, I feel like with time, DONDA will be looked at as Ye's second best project.
FAVORITE SONG: TRACK 15 - 24
MEMORABLE LINE: "I turned a heavy heart to 2 million dollars."
Thanks for skimming, thoroughly reading, skipping around, or whatever you did to end up here. You are appreciated. New art 2022'! - *J*