Adventure. Is nothing without the ability to bang it in your trunk.
The selections here don’t necessarily dive into uncharted waters as far as imagined, but represent a unique deftness of craft, and mirror that basic goal: Form + function.
(In search of another “Skrung Out“) Hiphop’s intriguing year continues.
20 | Clams Casino
Clams Casino brings a Favela like urgency to this snappy, low-slung creeper.
19 | Chopsquad DJ
Sosa moving further into the stratosphere.
18 | Mouse on Da Track
What this lacks in adventure, it makes up in extravagance. One of the best sounding beats on the list.
17 | Bill Cosmiq
Helium heater revolving around spectral strings and a carousel of bells.
15 | Zaytoven
One of our favourite rappers of all time, mafiaso extraordinaire, multi-linguist internal-rhymer Young Dro, could probably rap over anything. And over a more-exquisite-than-usual Zay beat arpeggioing all over the place, he is more expressive than usual.
14 | Dem Jointz
Finally a beat to match Kendrick’s verbal ping pong. Heavenly clangs.
13 | Kashaka
12 The Buchanans
The Buchanans land the best loop of 2015.
11 | A$AP P
Second entry from this sonically riveting RetcH mixtape. Who is P on the Boards?
10 | No I.D.
One of the (many) standouts from the strikingly cohesive debut of young (wise-beyond-years) Vince Staples, thanks in large part to the veteran producer’s skillful formulation and curation of its sound.
09 | Chief Keef
More Keef wavyness. Bang 3 is testimony to how much he has improved behind the boards, some its more delightfully eccentric moments born out of his own madman work on the decks. No precious delights here, though: an absolute beast.
08 | Mike Will Made It
Miley Cyrus influences notwithstanding, it seems the best producer of 2012 has switched a lane with this one, and it a refreshing detour.
07 | Remo the Hitmaker
Hard to imagine this off-beat finger-snapper becoming a certified chart topper. But that’s how well Remo bridges the divide, its crosscurrent synth drizzle and menacing, rolling 808s culminating in hypnotic (non)climax.
06 | Cardo & Yung Exclusive
One of the three standouts of the Jay Rock album, holding what a lot of these Trap classics lack: space in the mix.
05 | Metro Boomin’
Where ya at? The gallows. This monstrosity sounds (rightfully) broken.
04 | Zaytoven
“Blood on the Money” is the most regal, most complete beat of 2015 (wide-eyed cinema, larger than the sum of its parts, an absolute dream). They are both woven of the same fabric, but “Peacoat” has more esoteric charm, more silent ambition.
03 | Vinylz
02 | Wheezy
The London beats may have got more shine, but its’ Wheezy’s sound signature that stealthily molds Barter 6’s own. With stunning depth of field and (alien) tonality in sound design, one of the most spacious, recherché beats ever made.
01 | Tarentino [of 808 Mafia]
Grand Rapide. NASA. Two mad men. Touching planets.