Sometimes the best tracks of the year are not always the best to dance to within Christian rap, there are far too many exceptions that prove the rule. In 2019, Groups such as Kinjaz and the Exiles grooved to nearly every Reach Records banger, from Gawvi & WHATUPRG’s infectious “Glory” to Lecrae, John Givez, & Zaytoven’s “California Dreamin.” Yet there was still a lot that was overlooked.
Without further ado, here are 10 tracks from last year that are worthy of their own choreography. 2020 already looks promising but don’t let these ones pass you by.
Byron Juane – Lonely ft. Don Ryvcko
Byron has always been a talented rapper but the release of Hopeful Soul solidified him as a double threat, able to switch between aggressive flows and tender singing at a moment’s whim. With “Lonely” alongside Don Ryvcko, he taps into his more vulnerable side but it is all set against a tropical reggaeton influenced melody that is practically built for the dance floor.
Canon, nobigdyl., & Steven Malcolm – Colossal
This trio of rappers has big personalities and it’s only fitting that the beat they decimate is of equal prestige. Carvello carves out space for three labels worth of bars here and makes each musician’s personalities and idiosyncrasies stand-out despite a thunderous instrumental. Every time I’ve listened to this, my arms start spazzing out and locking in various positions.
CASS – Control ft. Aklesso & Parris Chariz
There were a lot of tracks from Reach Records’ Summer 19 playlist that had dance potential, but CASS’ “Control” is an underrated song definitely deserving of the spotlight. She has a way of making seemingly simple statements hauntingly provocative (“I got two hands, never mind that”) and the way her voice swells every time she recites the hook act as mini-beat drops throughout the track. This coupled with Aklesso & Parris Chariz spacey and at times distorted vocals add frenetic tension that gives dancers plenty of material to work with should they choose to choreograph.
Chris Aye – Statement
Praise to Zaytoven for layering keys on top of trap beats the norm because his staple can be felt in Chris Aye’s “Statement.” The instantly catchy hook is always reinforced by the bass and has the perfect amount of braggadocio (yet introspection) that the best dance songs are made of.
nobigdyl. – Stix
“Beat hit harder than my momma after acting up in church.” “Beat hit harder than the tables to the floor of the temple when Jesus walked in.” “Harder than a concrete factory.” A quick perusal through nobigdyl.’s music video for “Stix” tells you at least one thing: wow eli’s beat and dyl.’s lyrics are a killer combination. The fact that this hasn’t been choreographed professionally yet means we truly are in the end times.
Uzuhan – Love Me ft. Not Klyde
The acoustic strumming in the opening seconds of the song along with Not Klyde’s raspy crooning of the opening lines might make you think that this is going to be a laid and stripped back R&B type song. But then enter the drums. You can’t possibly sit still listening to this.
Roy Tosh – Like You do ft. V. Rose
If you could bottle up the West Coast into one song, Roy Tosh & V. Rose’s collab “Like You Do” would be the result. Its equal parts buoyant and bouncy without yet nonetheless hard-hitting.
Rockstar JT – New Attitude ft. Jon Keith & Hulvey
There are some songs that you only need to hear the first few seconds of to know that its a banger and “New Attitude ” fits squarely into that category. Rockstar already had a win between the cantankerous bass and his instantly quotable hook. The fact that it features King’s Dream Entertainment’s Jon Keith and newly minted Reach Records artist Hulvey is saccharine icing on an already delicious cake.
Torey D’Shaun – Halftime Show ft. Parris Chariz
The darker, more spacey vibe of this track makes it fit for a more moody and introspective dance open to various interpretations. The way Torey’s vocals echo allows for the dance to be characterized with more lethargy but when Parris’ verse kicks into gear, it provides opportunities for exciting transition.
WHATUPRG & 1k Phew – Drip Lee
Just as RG & Phew’s chemistry is infectious, this track also has the hook to end all hooks: “Gotta be God / It’s gotta be Jesus.” The only requirement for this dance is that all the dancers have to wear designer brands.