I'll be honest, the second quarter of 2019 was a much harder list to condense down to just 20 tracks. Quarter 1 gave us new music from new artists, but Quarter 2 gave us new music from veterans, such as Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran, and Drake. Here are my 20 favorite songs from Quarter 2:
20. "Just Us" by DJ Khaled (ft. SZA)
Despite being a crybaby over the fact that his album didn't take the number one spot over Tyler, The Creator's IGOR, Khaled still continued to pump out radio-friendly hits for all to enjoy. Utilizing a slowed down version of OutKast's "Ms. Jackson" on "Just Us," it was SZA's dream come true. She has stated that she's "waited 15 years" for the prominent DJ to scream over her voice on a track.
19. "Hate Me" by Ellie Goulding (with Juice WRLD)
I've missed Ellie so much, and after two decent singles earlier this year ("Flux" & "Sixteen"), she hits the right notes on "Hate Me." Goulding is typically a solo pop artist, but after dipping her feet in hip-hop with last year's "Close To Me" (with Diplo and Swae Lee), she tried it again this year on her third single of 2019. Her vocals and WRLD's raps make for a great summer hit.
18. "Unemployed" by Tierra Whack
The still-slept-on, weirdo from Philly, Tierra Whack, dropped five weekly singles and "Unemployed" was one of my favorites. Though the chorus sounds like she's spitting a bunch of gibberish, I can assure you it's real English. You just really have to listen closely or you'll miss clever bars, such as "You ain't fly, I make your wings stop."
17. "Boy With Luv" by BTS (ft. Halsey)
Sure, I don't have any idea what they're saying (this isn't the only song on this list I can't say that about), but damn does it still sound good. The added bonus of Halsey lending her voice to the dance-able track is just icing on the cake.
16. "Blame It On Your Love" by Charli XCX (ft. Lizzo)
When two of the most entertaining females in music (and Twitter) come together to produce a summer kick-off single, it only makes sense for it to be incredibly fun and catchy. This one is dedicated to the ladies out there who love to blame their partners for something they fucked up on.
15. "CHopstix" by ScHoolboy Q (ft. Travis Scott)
Four years after tHeir first collaboration on "Ok Alright," Q and Scott are back at it again. THis time, comparing the legs of women they're infatuated witH to the utensil (kinda weird). THough the original demo of this single orginally had Kendrick Lamar on the cHorus, I'm glad they kept tHis version of it.
14. "Spicy" by Herve Pagez (with Diplo & Charli XCX)
This re-imagining of the Spice Girls' "Wannabe" is the one to play at pool parties all summer long. It contains the same exact lyrics (delivered by XCX) with a new beat and a drop in a spot of the song you wouldn't expect, but it works surprisingly well.
13. "Money in the Grave" by Drake (ft. Rick Ross)
In celebration of the Toronto Raptors winning their first NBA championship in franchise history, the biggest ambassador of the Canadian city, Drake, decided to drop a two-pack of songs. "Money in the Grave" was the better of the pair, in which he and Ross rap about their immense success, just like the Raptors have obtained.
12. "24/7" by Meek Mill (ft. Ella Mai)
The only reason why this song is so high up the list is the sample of Beyoncé's "Me, Myself & I," which is arguably her most underrated single ever. Mix that in with Mai's sultry vocals and Mill's lines about how relationships take time and you've got a pretty decent hit.
11. "Cool" by Jonas Brothers
It's safe to say that I'm now legitimately a fan of the Jonas Brothers. "Sucker" had me intrigued, but "Cool" secured me. The '80s-inspired second single from their latest album is--you guessed it--a summer anthem that references each of their personal lives.
10. "Before I Let Go" by Beyoncé
Beyoncé has had a big Q2 despite not releasing any new music. In fact, even though "Before I Let Go" is a great song, it's merely a Maze cover. She also released Lemonade on all streaming services, making a three year old album feel brand new. She also released a documentary about her iconic Coachella performance from 2018, Homecoming, along with a matching live album.
09. "I Was On the Block" by YG (ft. Valee & Boogie)
I don't know what it is about this song, but I can't stop listening to it. Maybe it's the heavy bass or maybe it's the four bars YG spits about an interaction with Kanye West ("Yeah, I had a meeting with Kanye / Yeah, we had a good convo / These were the words from Kanye / 'Fuck bein' humble, act a asshole'"). Hm. Guess I do know why I can't stop listening to it then.
08. "Homicide" by Logic (ft. Eminem)
It's always a pleasure to work with your idols and for the result to be amazing, and that's exactly what happened when Logic hit up Eminem for "Homicide." The track tests each rapper's ability to flex and spit rapid-fire rhymes, which they make seem effortless. The Chris D'Elia piece at the end kills me every time.
07. "Kill This Love" by BLACKPINK
BLACKPINK pretty much kicked off Q2 with a banger. A Korean banger that I literally don't understand, but couldn't help but play loudly each time. It came out just weeks before their Coachella performance, and after seeing them live performing this song, it made it all the better. Shout out Lisa.
06. "Outta My Head" by Khalid (ft. John Mayer)
Upon first listen, I thought John Mayer was going to do more than just lend his guitar skills on "Outta My Head," but I was wrong. However, I'm glad that's all it was. The overall sound of Khalid's smooth singing paired with Mayer's electric guitar riffs make for a laid back, chill out track.
05. "Suge" by DaBaby
The only reason why "Suge" rounds out my Top 5 for Q2 is its production value. Big ups to Pooh Beatz and JetsonMade because the beat from this single gets stuck in my head every other day. Sure, DaBaby can be off-beat with his bars, but that doesn't really matter when you only listen for the bouncy synths and in-your-face bass.
04. "I Don't Care" by Ed Sheeran (with Justin Bieber)
Sheeran and Bieber aren't strangers, but have never sang on a track together before. Cut to "I Don't Care," which tackles the ever-so relatable social anxiety or loneliness and just wanting to be alone with their significant others. "I Don't Care" is the first single from a highly anticipated collaboration album that Sheeran is about to release.
03. "Make It Better" by Anderson .Paak (ft. Smokey Robinson)
"Make It Better" just might be my favorite Anderson .Paak song of all time (so far). It has that neo-soul, west coast, Motown funk sound that I personally can't help but fall in love with, which is the topic of the track itself. With the help of the legendary Smokey Robinson, .Paak was able to create a perfect single.
02. "GRoCERIES" by Chance the Rapper (ft. TisaKorean)
"GRoCERIES" is actually my most played song from Q2 and for good reason. It marked Chance's first release of 2019, it's packaged nicely with a hard beat from Murda Beatz, and introduces most of us to an up-and-comer, TisaKorean. The track is filled with food puns and 90s references. What's not to like?
01. "EARFQUAKE" by Tyler, The Creator (ft. Playboi Carti)
IGOR is, hands down, the best album of 2019 so far. There's absolutely no question about it. "EARFQUAKE" is also one of the best songs from the album where we get soulful, singing, broken, vulnerable Tyler. Then Playboi Carti comes in with a mumbly verse that somehow amps it all up. It's Tyler's most impactful song to date.