I did not think it would be fair for me to try to pick all of my favorite songs from the whole of 2019, because we were just blessed with so much awesome music this year. I decided to split the year in half, and I will be releasing another list part two to this list in a couple of days. Honestly, I have always thought the idea of saying definitely certain songs are the best songs from an entire year because music is so relative and subjective to how people are feeling about it when it comes out. There are multiple songs on this list that I feel like I may have forgotten about if I had to really pick my favorite songs from the last 12 months. Either I would have not picked a lot of songs that I know I loved when they came out, or I would have had to make this list like 60 songs long, and I do not have the time to do that on my own. With all of that being said, I hope you enjoy this list of some of my favorite songs that came out during the first half of this year! Please comment below about which of these songs you are into as well, and let me know about any tracks from the first half of the year that I may have missed!
SIMON SAYS – MEGAN THEE STALLION
Considering how huge of a year Megan had, it feels right to start off this list of best songs from 2019 talking about her. Because of her excellent XXL Freshman performances and all of the excellent features she did this year, some people have seemed to have forgotten how good her album Fever was, which came out last spring. ‘Simon Says’ is easily one of my favorite songs from this record; The instrumental goes so hard and has that dark and dirty horrorcore Southern Trap style that Megan seems to love so much, and her confidence oozes all over this song. ‘Simon Says’ is one of the songs that has production assistance from Juicy J of the Three 6 Mafia, and it features a sample from the legendary rapper as well. ‘Simon Says’ is the perfect song to play at any function to get everyone on the dance floor. I mean, when Megan Thee Stallion tells people to put their hands on their knees and start twerking, I think it is safe to say that most people are going to listen.
SUGE – DABABY
Out of all of the new rappers that dominated the airwaves in 2019, one could argue that none of them had a bigger year and had more of an impact than Dababy(besides maybe Megan Thee Stallion). Not many artists are able to have two separate full-length albums go number one in the same year, and Dababy was able to pull that off in 2019. ‘Suge’ was one of the first tracks to really blow up on a mainstream level for Dababy. Honestly, it makes sense that this song is really, really catchy. Dababy raps with such a major confidence and authority on this song that it radiates through the speakers and projects onto the listener. This is the type of song that one should listen to right before they are about to get into a big fight or confrontation; it is so motivating in the most aggressive way, and I love it for that.
BIG TITTIES – RICO NASTY FEAT. EARTHGANG
I have a feeling that there is not going to be a year for a while where I do not have at least one Rico Nasty songs in my end of the year lists. If you have been following this blog for a while or if you just decide to check out some other articles on this website after you are done with this one, it should not take long to figure out how much I love Rico Nasty. 2019 was a bit of a slow year for Rico; she has been very prolific as an artist with her content up to this point, so the fact that she only released one full length project this year is a little surprising. That project, which is called Anger Management, is one of my favorites from 2019, and ‘Big Titties,’ which features Earthgang, has got to be my favorite song on the record. ‘Big Titties’ was produced by Rico’s and my own favorite producer, Kenny Beats, with assistance from Baauer of ‘Harlem Shake’ fame. This song actually has that some high pitched ringing bells that reminds me of some New York hip hop, so Baauer’s impact on the song is definitely noticeable. Rico Nasty brings her usually extreme energy to the song, and with that weird and fun beat, she sounds extra animated. Earthgang’s contribution to this song is pretty great as well, as their weird vocal fluctuations and flows just provide another layer to an already complex song. ‘Big Titties’ is exactly what one would expect from Rico and more, and songs like this make me really excited to hear what she has coming next.
SHE LIVE – MAXO KREAM FEAT. MEGAN THEE STALLION
I, I, I, need a Nicki like Safaree, redbone, and red Ferrari… I can not even try to write about this track without the opening line from this song’s iconic chorus popping into my head and consuming my brain. Anyone who says that Maxo Kream does not have a very unique and discernible flow must not really be giving Maxo a chance, or they must have him confused for someone else because Maxo Kream’s flow is so fresh and catchy. ‘She Live’ is probably my favorite track off of Maxo Kream’s major-label debut album Brandon Banks, which came out in July. The fact that it is my favorite truly is saying a lot because you read my review for this album(if you have not done so yet, it would be sick if you do so when your finished reading this) you would know how much I enjoyed the record. ‘She Live’ has such a Houston trap vibe to it and it has so much bounce; this is the type of beat I could totally see UGK jumping on back in the day. Everything about the beat and the flows used in this track is so catchy, and once you listen to it I am sure you will be catching yourself mumbling the lyrics throughout the day because it will just get stuck in your head, which is honestly the best thing because it is an awesome song.
FAKE SMILE – ARIANA GRANDE
They’re definitely quite a few songs from Ariana Grande’s album thank you, next, as it truly is easily one of the best albums from 2019. In fact, I couldn’t even pick just one; take your guess now without scrolling down at what the other Ariana song is that I wrote picked for this list. I am actually pretty positive that I am not alone by any means in thinking this is one of the best, if not the best, songs on this record. I mean, for one, ‘Fake Smile’ is made from a Wu-Tang Clan sample, and that alone makes it one of the most dope pop tracks of the year. ‘Fake Smile’ also contains a message that I think we can all get behind; fake people really suck, so just be honest and let people know how you feel. ‘Fake Smile’ even contains a bridge with Ariana “rapping” and using her signature sassy “yuh” ad-lib to emphasize her point. This track really is a masterpiece.
TIA TAMERA – DOJA CAT FEAT. RICO NASTY
Out of all of the artists that had huge years that are on my list, I have to admit that Doja Cat is one of my favorites. ‘Tia Tamera’ was actually released as a bonus track from the extended cut of Doja Cat’s record Amala, which came out last year. I feel like her label was trying to capitalize on the viral nature of the remix to her song ‘Juicy’ with Tyga, which came out at the beginning of the year. I, for one, am definitely happy that they ended up making an extended cut of Amala, because ‘Tia Tamera’ is one of my favorite rap songs of the year(or at least of the first half of the year). The production on this song is just wild; the “melody” is provided by the super big horns that sound like something that you would hear during an apocalypse, and the bass is so hard and in your face. If you can think of all of the eccentric qualities that make Doja Cat and Rico Nasty so awesome and unique, those qualities are multiplied by like 1000x on ‘Tia Tamera.’ This song has as much boisterous personality that you will hear in any rap song this year, I promise you that. It is almost like they were trying to one-up each other and see who could make their sound bigger. Anyone who says that all rap music in 2019 sounds the same just needs to listen to ‘Tia Tamera,’ because I promise you have not heard another song like this in 2019.
LIKE A GIRL – LIZZO
Lizzo has really had a hell of a year, and I for one am really proud of everything she has been able to accomplish. I have personally been a pretty big fan for a few years, as I learned she was from Minnesota a while ago because I love finding and supporting local Midwest “underground” artists. Anyone saying that she is famous for the way she looks is just so wrong; those people would literally just have to look up one of her awesome performances on Youtube to refute that point. Although ‘Like A Girl’ is not one of the singles, and really did not get a ton of hype, I think it is definitely the best song on this album and one of the best of the year. It got slept on in the tidal wave that ‘Tempo’ and ‘Juice’ and ‘Truth Hurts’ created, and I honestly wish that more people knew this song. I really hope that you’ll check this one out if you don’t listen to any of the other songs written about in this list. ‘Like A Girl’ is funky as hell, and it is so boisterous and confident and uplifting. On ‘Like A Girl,’ Lizzo professes that she really can do anything she wants to do, and I for one believe her. This is the perfect song to play when you are in a moment where you need motivation to push you to do what you truly want to do. Have I sold this track enough yet? Please stream ‘Like A Girl’ below.
STUPID HORSE – 1000 GECS
100 gecs, the debut album from the super strange EDM artist 1000 gecs, is easily one of the best music surprises of 2019. These guys literally came out of nowhere, with their underground virality coming from the fact that their music really sounds like nothing else that is being made right now. 1000 gecs seems to be trying to take elements from all of their favorite genres of music growing up, ranging from pop to punk to emo rock to metal, and giving them a bubblegum hyper-bass quality that those genres have never had at all. I do not even know how to explain what I mean by that in a better way, y’all just have to trust me and listen to this song. ‘Stupid Horse’ is half bubblegum bass electro-pop and half emo-rock with the vocals sounding like a demented version of Alvin and the Chipmunks. I know that this does not sound that exciting or fun to listen to in writing, but I am telling you’ll, it works. This is one that you just have to trust me on. Please listen to this song and let me know what you think when you do because I think more people will love how weird it is than vice versa.
BESTIE – BHAD BHABIE FEAT. MEGAN THEE STALLION
The rapidness at which Bhad Bhabie was able to flip the viral meme of herself on its head and make a career out of it is actually pretty astounding. I have actually always wondered in her Dr. Phil appearance was sort of staged by her and her mom; I think that she already knew she wanted a career making music, and wanted to find a way to get famous quick. Basically, she played Dr. Phil for fame, which I am totally okay with because he has been taking advantages of people’s problems for years to maintain his own fame. What comes around goes around I guess, right? The crazy and funny thing about Bhad Bhabie in regards to her music is the fact that she is very good. I, for one, assumed her music would be gimmicky and just not very good, but she is obviously very talented, and my assumption was obviously way off. ‘Bestie,’ which features Megan Thee Stallion, has become one of my favorite pop-rap records of 2019. The instrumental for this song is so fun and so retro; it kind of has a late 90s boom-bap feeling to it and will really make you want to dance. Bhad Bhabie’s flow on this song is excellent as well; it is honestly so catchy and infectious. I know a lot of people assumed her music would be crappy, but this track is a banger. If you somehow have not heard it yet, listen to ‘Bestie’ now because you will love it, I promise.
VOICEMAIL – POPPY
I am really loving this total 180 degree twist that Poppy has pulled with her character over the last year. I wonder if the plan from the beginning was always to totally break the mold at some point and start making the opposite kind of art from what she was “created” to make, or if they decided to do this somewhere along the way. Whether or not it was always the plan, this switch-up has been perfect and awesome. Just two years ago, she was making glitzy electro-pop that sounded like a sort of demented version of J-Pop mixed with Tove Lo; this music was not bad by any means, but it did not match up with the weird and creepy nature of her online persona at all. ‘Voicemail,’ however, is a song that completely matches up with this online persona. ‘Voicemail’ has a glitchy industrial metal EDM vibe that is so strange and really unlike anything that I heard this year. The theme of the song is just as strange and skin-crawling as the sound, in the best way of course. This is the type of song that I would imagine plays at a nightclub in the world of the movie Blade or Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. Whether or not that sounds appealing to you, if you do not know this song, please check it out because it is just cool and unlike anything else you will hear today.
TRIGGERED – JHENÈ AIKO
Songs like ‘Triggered’ by Jhenè Aiko are the reason why I do not think it is fair or good of me to try to make a list of best songs for the whole of 2019, rather than splitting the year in half as I am doing. I know for a fact that this was my favorite song for a while at the time it came out, as I was going through it in regards to a lady and I related to the lyrics. But since the song is not very hype or energetic and I do not relate to the lyrics as much anymore, it is the type of track I could forget about including in a list of songs for the whole year. That being said, ‘Triggered’ is a beautiful freestyle by Jheneè about how her breakup with Big Sean affected her very negatively. It is really interesting to watch all of Jhene’s emotions on the subject play out through the lyrics on this song. Throughout the song, Jhenè seems to go back and forth with how she feels about Sean, at some points saying how much she hates him and wants to punch him for how he hurt her, and at other times pleading to Sean to be in her life again. Although ‘Triggered’ is very soft and low key, this song is so powerful. It is such an accurate and emotional description of a bad break up and is the perfect song for anyone to listen to who is feeling some kind of way towards a significant other.
CON ALTURA – ROSALÌA FEAT. J BALVIN
2018 was the year that Rosalìa took the international music scene and Spanish speaking world by stom with her super unique and cool version of neo-flamenco music that she made on the album El Mal Querer. Right from the start of 2019, Rosalia made sure her star would not fade, as she kept her momentum going with her take on Latin trap music. Her first venture into the Latin pop and Reggaeton world was ‘Con Altura,’ which features the Latin Trap god that is J Balvin. Any time you can get someone like J Balvin to co-sign what you are doing and hop on your track, you know you are doing something right. Everything about this track is so rad and grandiose, from the epic nature of the instrumental and vocals to the amazing costumes used in the music video. This track really shows us that Rosalia is way more than just a flamenco artist, and that she is in fact one of the most interesting and diverse international artists making music today. The chemistry between Rosalìa and Balvin is so damn palpable on this one, and it makes me hope that they consider doing more music(and possibly a whole project) together. I am assuming that you have heard this song but if you somehow have not and need a new song to dance to or play for motivation while working out or something, you should definitely check out ‘Con Altura.’
AUTE CUTURE – ROSALÌA
Aww, dang, would you look at that? It is two Rosalìa songs in a row! ‘Con Altura’ was not her only venture into the world of Caribbean and Latin style music this year, as ‘Aute Cuture’ has a Latin pop and Reggaeton feeling to it as well. As is indicated by the music video(Rosalia always has great visuals to go along with her music), this song is about high fashion, and also being confident in yourself. The hook of the song translates to “This is on fire, na na na na,” and Rosalìa is not only referring to her outfits but also referring to this song and her career as a whole with this line. ‘Aute Cuture’ has a lot bigger and more lofty sound that ‘Con Altura.’ I feel like the sound for this one is more inspired by artists like Shakira and other mid 2000s Latin artists than it is inspired by today’s Latin Trap music. ‘Aute Cuture’ is an excellent example of Rosalia pushing her boundaries and showing that she is not a one trick pony by any means, and it makes me very excited to she what she does next. At this point, it seems like she can and will succeed in any kind of music that she wants to make.
PROUD OF YOU – GUCCI MANE
I wonder how many years in a row that I have had a Gucci Mane song be one of my favorites for the year. Since about 2012, this dude has been on an absolute tear, releasing two or three albums a year every year. I am not going to lie, there have been a lot of clunkers, as Gucci Mane sometimes seems to settle into his signature sound too much, but there have been so many awesome bangers as well. ‘Proud of U’ is actually one of my favorite Gucci Mane songs that I have heard in a while. It definitely has one of the more unique sounds that I have ever heard in a Gucci Mane song. This is probably because it is produced by Kenny Beats, who has become the superstar producer that everyone wants to work with over the last two years(for more on who Kenny is, check out my blog post about him from a couple months ago with the search bar on the right when you are done reading this). ‘Proud of U’ has that super bass-heavy and downtempo sort of vibe that Kenny seems to utilize a lot, and the funky nature of this joint really emphasize Gucci Mane’s voice and flow in the best way. If you are one of those people that will not listen to new Gucci Mane songs because you assume that they all sound the same, please check ‘Proud on U’ out because you will appreciate how fresh it sounds.
NEEDY – ARIANA GRANDE
We have finally reached the bottom of the list, which y’all know means I really must have loved these songs. I know I said that there is not any sort of definite order for this list, but I would be lying if I said these two songs are not my two favorites from the first half or 2019, or at least 2 of the top 3 or 4 songs. As I said before, there was no way I could pick only one song from thank you, next for this list, as this album is just excellent. ‘Needy’ is my favorite song on this album, and honestly, it is probably one of my favorite songs of the last few years in general. Part of the reason for that, honestly, because of the context of the track for the lyrics. We all know about all of what Ariana has gone through over the last couple of years, and it is not hard to realize who this song is about(RIP Mac Miller). ‘Needy’ is very pretty and soft and low key, but it is honestly perfect for what it is. This song is just so vulnerable and honest and raw, and I want to thank Ariana for showing this side of herself to the world because songs like this make her one of the most relatable artists making music today. It is very refreshing to know someone as talented and famous as she has the same feelings that we do. Too many artists try to make themselves untouchable, and Ariana is one of the few that goes against that grain.
WANT YOU IN MY ROOM – CARLY RAE JEPSEN
There is a very good reason that Carly Rae’s ‘I Want You In My Room’ was one of my most streamed songs of 2019. This really is the best pop song of the year, and if you disagree, I do not think you have actually listened to it. Carly Rae is another artist that I have talked about quite a bit since I started this blog, and that is for good reason. She has been one of the most consistent pop stars of the 2010s, combining the 80s synth-pop and new wave sounds that she loves with modern electro-pop tendencies. ‘I Want You In My Room’ totally fits the bill of what she is known for, and I mean that in the best way. This track sounds like a combination of George Michael and Cyndi Lauper and Charli XCX; it is so perfectly retro-sounding and current at the same time. This song is just so fun and catchy and puts me in such a good mood, and I believe it will do the same for you. Please stream it below and let me know how much you love this song.